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Flour: Folic Acid

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 28044, tabled on 11 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the consultation on mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid which closed in September 2019, what estimate his Department has made of the number windmills using traditional milling processes which prevent accurate dosing of flour with additives.

Answered on

19 March 2020

The recent consultation on the proposed mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid to help reduce neural tube defects in foetuses did specifically ask people to highlight any potential impact of this policy on small and medium businesses. People who responded to the consultation did not have to identify themselves or any sector they may be representing. However, of those who did, 50 identified themselves as working in the heritage/artisan milling sector. Officials from the Department have met with representatives from the The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Mills Section and the Traditional Cornmillers Guild and visited wind and watermills to understand at first hand the practicalities around fortification in those premises. We have only the publicly available data on the number of traditional mills; noting that not all buildings manufacture flour as some are museums. Ministers are currently considering the consultation response analysis and further information will be provided in due course.