15 October 2018
North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds has warmly welcomed news that the government is about to announce approval for the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.
DUP Deputy Leader, Leader of the DUP Parliamentary Party, Spokesman on Reform and Constitutional issues and Foreign Affairs
Folic acid is recommended by NICE as a supplement to be taken by women prior to pregnancy to help prevent life threatening and seriously debilitating conditions such as spina bifida. Mr Dodds has been a strong supporter of the campaign for the addition of folic acid to flour as a preventative measure. He is co-chairman of the Westminster All Party Group on the issue.
Commenting on the news, Nigel Dodds said,
"I am delighted that our Government appears to have responded to the strong evidence in favour of the fortification of flour with folic acid. Across the world over 80 countries, including the USA, Australia and New Zealand, have acted on this evidence to introduce folic acid into all flour and related products to help prevent the incidence of life-threatening and seriously debilitating conditions such as spina bifida or anencephaly.
“Over recent years I have jointly hosted meetings at Westminster in support of this campaign, in association with other MPs, doctors, scientists and baby health campaigners. I have championed this cause on the floor of the House of Commons and in private meetings. Diane and I have drawn on the experience of our own family, and the life of our son Andrew who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephaly.
“I have been convinced by the clear clinical evidence in support of the benefits of folic acid. However, awareness of when to take supplements, and actual uptake, remain low. Experts have shown that folic acid is proven to be safe and effective and that the fortification of flour will mean that up to 75% of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, can be prevented.
“The positive consequence is that hundreds of babies a year in the UK will escape profound disabilities, due to neural tube defects, as a direct result of this historic decision.”