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Birth Defects Today Could Be Prevented

Birth Defects Today Could Be Prevented Through Government Action

The Government should support the 35-plus children born every year in this country with birth defects as a result of vitamin deficiency and ignorance, says New Zealand CCS President, Lyall Thurston.

“I applaud the Government finally moving to support the offspring of Vietnam and other veterans affected by Agent Orange and other combat chemicals. However they won’t be allowed to forget their main responsibility,” said Mr Thurston.

“Most women in this country still don’t know that taking folic acid before and after pregnancy will reduce the chances of their having a baby with a neural tube defect (most commonly spina bifida or stillborn with anencephaly) by 70 percent.

“We’ve had this conclusive information for over a decade and there still hasn’t been a public health campaign – it’s bordering on criminal.

“Government should consider support for every baby born with a neural tube defect since 1991 – since the link between folic acid and neural tube defects was proven conclusively and promoted internationally.

“This is a public health issue and they should definitely take responsibility.”


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