Michael da Costa Managing director, The Food Doctor
Sir; I am delighted to hear that the Food Standards Agency has agreed to folic acid being routinely added to bread in general via flour ('Millers ask for folate cash', The Grocer, 19 May, p7). The idea that bread in Britain will be compulsorily made with folic acid, as in so many other countries, receives total support from The Food Doctor. Ian Marber and the nutrition experts at The Food Doctor have been campaigning on the importance and raising awareness of including folic acid in a balanced diet for several years, not just to prevent the possible incidence of neural defects, but also because folates are so important to the vast majority of the population. More than 40 countries throughout the world already enrich flour with folic acid so clearly the value of this activity has been tried and tested. Indeed, since introducing folic acid into flour in 1998 in the US, cases of neural defects are thought to have fallen by 50%.