Dublin Senator Catherine Noone has called for the mandatory fortification of flour with Folic Acid.
Senator Noone said: “Recent studies, described as a game-changer, have removed any doubt that this is a safe and highly effective method of reducing Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) in babies, which can lead to conditions like Spina Bifida.
“Some one hundred babies are born with NTDs in Ireland every year; the vast majority of these are preventable with enough Folic Acid.
“We have had numerous reports recommending that we implement this measure and it is now clear that there exists no scientific or medical reason not to do it.
“Fortifying flour with Folic Acid is cost effective and the benefits are clear. Simply put this is an obvious solution to a problem that affects Ireland worse than most countries around the world.
“This would be a positive step in ensuring the health of women and babies in Ireland.
“It is my hope that we will implement mandatory fortification and by doing so reduce the number of babies born with lifelong disabilities on this island,” Senator Noone said.