The real weakness in the case of adding folic acid to flour or bread is that it reeks of mass-medication for a problem that may affect a miniscule number of women of childbearing age and their offspring.

It has no relevance in medical terms for the male population, children, most young women or women who have reached the menopause. It can disturb the vitamin B balance and enough has already been said about masking B12 deficiency.

If the ’Staff of Life’ is to be used as a vehicle that provides for the minority, how long will it be before statins are added for the heart, ibuprofen for rheumatoid arthritis, and aspirin for headaches? Now there’s a thought for a money-saving NHS project covering a huge amount of the population.

Seriously, though, if folic acid has to be added, then it should be declared along with the other B vitamins and minerals, which are added to replace those extracted during the milling process to produce an otherwise devitalised white flour. Again, if it is added, then surely it must be at the milling stage, as the process will be too hit and miss with bakers.

Finally, for goodness’ (literally) sake, do not include it in wholemeal flour and certainly not organic wholemeal. At least let the purists among us have bread that hasn’t been tampered with.

Ray Hill,

Sunshine Craft Bakery,

Stroud, Gloucestershire

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