Bread Should Be Fortified With Folic Acid

Bread should be fortified with folic acid to ensure the population gets enough folate.
During a meeting of the Joint Committee on the 8th Amendment, medical experts advised there would be no negative effects on the population from such an initiative.
At the meeting of the Committee on the 8th Amendment today, Dr. Peter McKenna, Clinical Director of the National Women and Infants’ Health Programme, highlighted that the current expectation of people taking folate tablets daily was unrealistic.
Each year in Ireland, 100 babies are born with a Neural Tube Defect (NTDs).
These conditions have life changing effects, such as Spina-Bifida. However, 70% of these situations are preventable, if pregnant women receive enough folate during pregnancy.
By ensuring that producers add folic acid to flour, even below half of the recommended amount, we can reduce the rate of NTDs in Ireland by 30%.
Mandatory fortification of wheat-flour has received the backing of the WHO and has been recommended in Ireland by numerous reports. Moreover, many countries have already adopted this measure, for example the USA and Canada, both of which have seen a drop in the number of NTDs.
By availing of this simple measure, we can make a profound improvement to the lives of hundreds of children in future generations.

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