Ireland has a high rate of neural tube defects (NTDs) compared to other countries. Folic acid has been shown conclusively to prevent NTDs if taken at the correct dose at the right time before pregnancy. While numerous other countries have progressed with a mandatory folic acid fortification policy, the UK is still consulting and Ireland has not yet implemented a fortification policy.
Question 1: Write an essay summarizing the evidence both supporting (and not supporting) folic acid food fortification, entitled, “An exploration of folic acid fortification with a view to developing health policy for Ireland”.
Question 2: Consider the role of nutrient fortification generally in providing additional nutrients, but the specific case of folic acid should be the main focus of your essay.
Question 3: Discuss the scientific evidence (from peer-reviewed literature) underpinning the current recommendations in Ireland for folic acid fortification.
Question 4: Discuss the current obstacles to progressing with folic acid fortification in Ireland. What is the cost of not implementing fortification?
Question 5: Consider the different population groups that may be at risk of overexposure to folic acid. Consider different age groups and the wider male and female population (including college students) in consideration of a policy
What should Ireland do next?
Question 6: Conclude your essay with a summary paragraph that brings together all the findings from your reading into this topic.