Midwives welcome folic acid flour fortification consultation announcement

on 23 October 2018 Folic Acid Pregnancy Member consultation Department of Health

Today (12.30pm) the Government has announced that it will consult on the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid in a bid to tackle foetal abnormalities.

Commenting on the announcement, Clare Livingstone, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “The RCM has been calling for this for some time so it is a welcome announcement.

“Introducing the mandatory fortification of flour will bring the UK in line with over many other countries including the United States and Canada. They have this in place because the evidence about the benefits of this is very strong. The impact of this in those countries has been marked in reducing incidences of fetal abnormality.

“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 announcement 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.

The RCM will be responding to the consultation and we urge the Government to introduce this as soon as possible following the consultation.” 






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


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/.