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The Bread and Flour Regulations (Folic Acid) Bill is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Rooker (Labour). The Bill received its first reading on 23 May 2016 and is scheduled to receive its second reading on 8 July 2016. The Bill would amend schedule 1 of the Bread and Flour Regulations 1998 to include folic acid (Vitamin B9) as an “essential ingredient” in flour, with the amount to be added and the conditions of use to be set by the Secretary of State upon advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. It is recommended that women take folic acid supplements when they are trying for a baby and when pregnant (up to the 12th week of pregnancy) as folic acid can reduce the chances of neural tube defects occurring (including spina bifida and anencephaly). However, there have been a number of calls to instead fortify flour with folic acid to better cover unplanned pregnancies and low compliance with these recommendations.

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