Government to mandate folic acid in most bread-making flour to protect babies

A Stuff article.

Folic acid will be added to bread-making flour to reduce birth defects a decade after doctors first urged the Government to get behind the policy.

The policy, to be introduced over two years, would ensure all non-organic wheat flour for making bread is fortified in a move the Government says could prevent between 162 and 240 neural tube defects – birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord such as spina bifida – over 30 years.

“This is about protecting babies. Low folate levels in mothers cause neural tube defects that result in the death of babies, or life-long disability,” Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said.

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