CCI employee Joe Mulinare, former CCI employee Diana Valencia, and former CCI consultant RJ Berry were named in a recent CDC Connects article highlighting the Agency's efforts to expand the reach of folic acid fortification globally.
Since the US Food and Drug Administration began requiring the addition of folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours and other grain products in 1998, the rates of neural tube defects have decreased by 36 percent in the US, and produces an annual savings of approximately $300 million. As part of their global initiative to significantly reduce infant death and disability resulting from neural tube defects, CDC is focused on expanding the reach of folic acid fortification of staple foods in low- and middle-resource countries. As part of this effort, CDC provides scientific and programmatic expertise to expand neural tube defects prevention and strengthen global birth defects surveillance. CDC is currently supporting partners in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America to increase birth defects prevention through folic acid fortification. Furthermore, CDC is partnering with groups such as the World Health Organization and the Flour Fortification Initiative to expand the reach of fortification and emphasize neural tube defects prevention.