Midwives welcome folic acid flour fortification announcement

on 15 October 2018 Folic Acid Consultations

Media reports today say that the Government has said it will introduce the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida. This will bring the UK in line with over many other countries including the United States and Canada, that have mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.

Commenting on the reported announcement, Clare Livingstone, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “The RCM has with other organisations long campaigned for this so it is a welcome announcement.

Many pregnancies are not planned meaning many women will not have taken folic acid around the time of conception and very early in their pregnancy.  This is when folic acid is most effective and that is why this reported announcement  - if correct - is so important .

“This will significantly help to reduce the number of fetal anomalies related to folic acid deficiency. This means fewer babies will be born with neural tube defects, and the sooner this is done, the sooner this will start to happen.

“We urge the Government to introduce this as soon as possible.”

To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Note to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.