• Corn Masa Flour Fortification for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects

      Center for Public Health Law Research (Temple University Beasley School of Law) (2013-10-17)
      Neural tube defects, such as spina bifida or anencephaly, affect 3,000 babies in the United States each year. The majority of these cases can be prevented by taking folic acid throughout pregnancy, through diet or other supplements, or through the fortification of food. Because many grains in the United States are enriched with folic acid, there have been declines in neural tube defects. However, many staple foods in Hispanic communities are made from corn flour, which is not fortified. Hispanic populations also see greater rates of neural tube defects. In their Critical Opportunities presentation, Erica Reott, MPH and Lt. Cmdr. Kinzie Lee, MPH, make the case that fortifying corn flour could improve health outcomes and reduce disparities among Hispanic women and their babies.