Flour Fortification: Folic Acid

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 7th May 2019.

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Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)

What his policy is on the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We have announced our intention to consult on the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid. We are fully committed to this and we will be launching the consultation as soon as possible.

Photo of Stuart McDonald Stuart McDonald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Immigration, Asylum and Border Control)

I am grateful to the Minister for that answer, but the Government said in January that the consultation would happen soon. As it was originally announced in October, people are becoming frustrated. Can she say that this will happen before the summer? Can she confirm that it will be about how we go about mandatory fortification, rather than about whether we should do it?

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I share the hon. Gentleman’s frustration, and I know that Members have been waiting for this. I am reassured by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State that this will happen. I am going to be making it happen before the summer, and I will return to the House to update it.

Photo of Judith Cummins Judith Cummins Shadow Minister (International Trade)

The Healthy Start scheme, which provides food vouchers and coupons for free vitamins, reaches only about a third of children living in poverty. It is also woefully out of date; this is worth only £3.10 and it has not been updated since 2009. What are the Government doing to improve both the scale and impact of this important scheme?

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend Jackie Doyle-Price says that she is looking into it and that we will report back.