Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West, Cáit Keane, has today (Thursday) called on the Food Safety Authority, to introduce mandatory folic acid food fortification and to have a renewed public health campaign to promote the importance of taking folic acid pre pregnancy. The Senator made her calls in response to the findings of a new study carried out by the UCD centre for human reproduction and the HSE Eurocat Registers, which reveals that there has been a rise of 10% in neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly in babies since 2009.
“I am raising this issue today to emphasise the importance of folic acid in a pregnant or pre-pregnant woman’s diet. Even before a woman becomes pregnant, what she eats is very important for the healthy development of her baby. This is even more important when you consider that many women may be unaware of their pregnancy I the first few weeks, a crucial time in the baby’s development.