FSA recommend state-imposed Folic Acid

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Folic acid in your bread, whether you like it or not? The Food Standards Agency (FSA) say yes.

The Food Standards Agency, as advised by their Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition, has written to Sir Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer, to confirm their view that it should be mandatory for folic acid to be put into British bread.

This mass medication programme would be undertaken to reduce rates of Spina Bifida, a debilitating condition which develops in a baby during its mother’s pregnancy, as a result of shortage of  Folate (vitamin B9) in the diet. Currently the annual incidence is around 1,000 cases in the UK annually, which the FSA reckons could be reduced to 350 cases.

If the Department for Health recommends legislation the UK could soon become the first European nation to follow the example of the USA and Canada. As with the mass fluoridation of water, this move to medicate without choice is controversial.

Because the body cannot store Folic Acid, those who argue in favour of the supplement point out the advantages of having the nutrient continuously available in the staple diet. Folic acid, along with other B-vitamins, is already found in a number of popular breakfast cereals.

However, critics point to the unknown effects of state-imposed Folic Acid over long periods. In a study last year, Prof Young-Im Kim of the University of Toronto highlighted increases in bowel cancer rates in USA and Canada, saying: “Excess folate, especially in the form of folic acid, can fuel lesion growth, accelerating progression into life-threatening cancers, because high levels of the vitamin make it easier for tumour cells to copy themselves.”

Natural sources of Folate include green leafy vegetables, beans and sunflower seeds.

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2 Responses to “FSA recommend state-imposed Folic Acid”

  1. Shirley Elwell Says:

    Yet again the FSA are trying to push this mass medication – so people who love their sprouts, broccolli, peas, brown rice and sunflower seeds will risk overdosing on synthetically produced folic acid. As elderly people now make up 50% of our population this extract from the FSA eatwell.gov.uk site speaks for itself:- ” If you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 taking doses of folic acid higher than 1 mg can hide this fact. If vitamin B12 deficiency isn’t noticed, it can eventually lead to damage of the nervous system (neurological damage). This is a concern particularly for older people, because as we get older it becomes more difficult to absorb vitamin B12.”

    And on the same page there’s this!: –

    “What is FSA advice? Unless you are pregnant or thinking of having a baby, you should be able to get all the folate you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.”

    For more information check the Institute of Food Research article on http://www.ifr.ac.uk/media/Newsreleases/071030folic_acid_fortification.html

    We all need to make a big noise and make it soon – stop this madness – sign an e-petition with No 10 at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk

  2. Shirley Elwell Says:

    Just a footnote to the previous comment – the Food Standards Agency has now changed their webpage on folic acid advice, my quote is from a former one which can be accessed via – http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthydiet/nutritionessentials/vitaminsandminerals/folicacid/
    So why may they have done that?

    Also, does anyone know what company may be poised to supply this mountain of synthetic folic acid additive to the UK milling and baking industry?

    ps – I just noticed my mis-spelling of broccoli – apologies

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