BAPM is preparing a response to the government's proposal to fortify flour with folic acid in the UK to prevent neural tube defects.
BAPM asks members to either forward a copy of their consultation response or to email the BAPM office with their comments by the 26th August. BAPM will then write a unified response compiling member views and submit as part of the consultation. BAPM also encourages members to reply directly to the consultation in addition to contributing to the BAPM response.
About the consultation
Public Health Minister Seema Kennedy said “We all want to give our children the best start in life and a birth defect diagnosis is devastating for parents. The simple measure of adding folic acid to flour would help spare hundreds of families from such a life-changing event. Women from the poorest areas are less likely to take folic acid supplements and it is right that we do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in society.”
Roughly half of all pregnancies in the UK are unplanned and evidence suggests that even for planned pregnancies, many women do not follow health advice to take folic acid supplements before pregnancy. Around 1,000 pregnancies are diagnosed with neural tube defects each year in the UK. Over 40% of cases are fatal and spina bifida accounts for about half, the large majority of whom need ongoing care.
Folic acid fortification has been adopted in more than 60 countries worldwide including Australia, Canada and the US. In Australia, neural tube defects fell 14% following the mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid.
Deadline for BAPM comments: 26 August 2019
Consultation deadline: 9 September 2019