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Folic Acid

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice she has received from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition regarding the compulsory fortification of flour with folic acid; and if she will make a statement. (124143)

In December 2006, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommended mandatory fortification of folic acid as the most effective way to reduce the risk of pregnancies affected by neural tube defects (NTD), providing voluntary fortification of food with folic acid is controlled and guidance is provided on the use of supplements containing folic acid.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is currently consulting on different options to improve the folate status of young women in order to reduce the number of NTD-affected pregnancies.

The FSA Board will consider SACN’s recommendation and the responses from the public consultation in May 2007. It will then provide advice to Health Ministers regarding mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.