Dr Alison Wright, vice president for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said in her statement, “There are approximately 1,000 diagnoses of neural tube defects in utero in the UK, such as anencephaly and spina bifida per year, 85% of which currently result in an abortion. The evidence is clear that fortification will prevent around half of these neural tube defects.”
Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer in a statement said, “The evidence shows that fortifying flour with folic acid is a practical way of reducing folate deficiencies in pregnant women and reducing birth defects. However, as with any intervention of this kind, we need to be certain it is also safe, and that means considering what the wider implications would be for the rest of the population who eat flour. I am pleased to see the government taking action on this issue and hope to see the wider scientific community feed in their views to this important consultation which could benefit and improve the lives of many women and babies in this country.”
The taste and appearance of the fortified flour would remain same say the officials. UK already fortifies white flour with iron, calcium and two other B vitamins – thiamin and niacin. These are lost during milling of the flour. Gluten-sensitive population however would not benefit from this fortification add experts.