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JoNel Aleccia's blog posts

posted 07/03/2015

A cluster of serious birth defects in central Washington state has led health officials on a search for the cause. Experts believe a lack of folic acid may be partly to blame, but efforts to fortify common Hispanic foods such as corn masa have languished. Fellow JoNel Aleccia investigates.

JoNel Aleccia's Blog

A cluster of serious birth defects in central Washington state has led health officials on a... more »
posted 07/03/15

JoNel Aleccia's Work

A mysterious cluster of rare, fatal birth defects has devastated families in three rural counties in Washington state. JoNel Aleccia of The Seattle Times shares key lessons from how she reported her award-nominated fellowship series.

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.

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.