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March of Dimes

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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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Advocates have been urging the FDA to allow corn masa to be fortified with folic acid for years, with the goal of curbing rare birth defects among Hispanic children. The FDA hasn't budged so far, but that could change as the agency reviews new research.

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Washington state Medicaid officials are changing the rule for coverage of vitamins that contain folic acid — a change that may reduce the risk of birth defects like those seen in an ongoing cluster in Central Washington.

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