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B vitamin

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The FDA finally took action on a long-delayed petition Thursday, allowing folic acid to be added to corn-masa flour to potentially prevent birth defects. The vitamin has been added to other grains for years.

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More than 40 members of Congress called for the FDA to allow folic acid to be added to corn masa on Tuesday. Advocates say such a move could help prevent devastating birth defects like those seen in three counties in Central Washington.

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Washington state health officials say they’ll start telling families who’ve lost babies to a devastating birth-defects cluster about genetic studies aimed at decoding possible causes.

Picture of JoNel  Aleccia

More than 40 mothers have lost babies to a rare and deadly birth defect in three counties in central Washington state since 2010, but the cause remains unknown. Why haven’t health officials and lawmakers done more to find answers?

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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