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Coalition petitions FDA to fortify corn masa flour with folic acid
Date:4/23/2012

of corn masa products with folic acid, including Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico.

The FDA accepted the petition on April 17. The petition now will be reviewed by the agency, which is not required to follow a prescribed timetable on the approval process.

"Gruma Corporation has been privileged to work with its fellow petitioners to pursue the addition of folic acid to corn masa flour so that consumers of its Mission tortillas and other leading corn masa-based products may receive the benefits of this important nutrient," said Joel Suarez, Chief Executive Officer of Gruma. "We strive to produce products that support the health of consumers and are proud to be among organizations like the Spina Bifida Association and the March of Dimes in supporting this effort to reduce neural tube defects in the Hispanic community."

"This is an important moment in the history of fortification," said Cindy Brownstein, President and CEO of Spina Bifida Association. "If fortification of corn masa can be achieved, lives will be saved and families spared a lifetime of struggling to ensure the complicated health and social needs of their loved ones are met. We are grateful to our colleagues who have participated in this important endeavor and look forward to an outcome that will truly make a difference in the lives of many."

"We've seen the success with fortifying cereal grains with folic acid," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President of the March of Dimes. "Adding folic acid to corn masa flour can successfully decrease neural tube defects in the Hispanic community. This is a safe and effective way to address the disparities we see in the Hispanic community and will give even more babies a healthy start in life. I'd like to thank our fellow petitioners for their leadership on this important health issue. We look forward to the FDA's determination on our petition."

"Folic acid fortification has been a common sense policy that has helped impr
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Contact: Elizabeth Lynch
elynch@marchofdimes.com
914-997-4286
March of Dimes Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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