Eating foods such as bread will help avoid around 200 neural tube defects, such as spina bifida each year – 20% of the annual UK total
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Folic acid will be added to wheat flour to help prevent life-threatening spinal conditions in babies.
This means that eating foods such as bread will help avoid around 200 neural tube defects, such as spina bifida each year – 20% of the annual UK total.
Kate Steele, chief executive of Shine, a charity supporting those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, was “delighted by the Government’s decision to support mandatory fortification of the most commonly-consumed flours in the UK with folic acid – a move we have campaigned for over 30 years”.
She added: “Mandatory fortification will improve public health for so many, now and in the future.
“The step will reduce the numbers of families who face the news that their baby has anencephaly and will not survive.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has at least six children, said: This will give extra peace of mind to parents and families, as well as helping boost the health of adults across the country.”
Since the Second World War, flour has been fortified with calcium, iron, niacin and thiamine during milling to support the nation’s health.
Downing Street said the costs of fortification to industry are “expected to be minimal”.
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