Intended for healthcare professionals


Experts urge addition of folic acid to flour to halt “avoidable tragedy” of birth defects

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 31 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k477
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The UK government has been urged to fortify flour with folic acid to prevent birth defects, after a reappraisal of existing evidence concluded that there was “no scientific basis” for setting an upper level of folate intake.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London and the School of Advanced Study at the University of London concluded that there were “elementary” flaws in a previous analysis from the US Institute of Medicine that suggested that the daily dose of folic acid should not exceed 1 mg.1

Health experts said it would be “an avoidable tragedy” and a “dereliction of public health duty” if the UK government failed to fortify flour on …

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