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Author Topic: adding folic acid to food products.  (Read 7655 times)

paul.fr

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adding folic acid to food products.
« on: 17/05/2007 11:11:20 »
I puppose this could be in the chat section, but any way. I know women who are pregnant should take folic acid, but should we be adding it to general food stuff? Is it not the responsibility of the expecting mother, or mother trying for a baby to take the stuff?

As a side note, what benefits would this give to none-pregnant mothers, fathers or kids?


 

Offline Bored chemist

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #1 on: 17/05/2007 20:33:10 »
Not all expectant mothers know they are pregnant until it's too late; the damage caused by a shortage of folic acid would already have been done to the baby. Also, not all expectant mothers have the resources to ensure that theri diet is adequate. It's easier and cheaper for society to add folic acid to foods than to threat the results of a lack of it.
Folic acid deficiency is more common in those who drink a lot of alcohol; that might apply to some of the fathers etc.
 

another_someone

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #2 on: 17/05/2007 20:58:15 »
On the other hand, there is concern that taking folic acid supplements might mask the effect of B12 deficiency, thus causing irreparable damage to people who are deficient in B12 (more common amongst the elderly, but can be a risk for anybody).
 

Offline that mad man

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #3 on: 17/05/2007 21:49:48 »
Strange as they are saying first that NTD's affect 700 to 900 births per year and then say it would possibly stop only around 160 birth defects per year.

Because of that I cant see it should be a basis of mass medication.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #4 on: 24/05/2007 14:29:16 »
I've got mixed feelings about it. There's no doubt that adding flouride to water has decreased the incidence of tooth decay - but that's something that affects everyone, not just a few people.

I don't really approve of the nanny state mentality because it can be taken too far (& in my opinion, it has been already in the UK). Is it really such a big step from where we are now to adding something like antabuse to foodstuffs to stop people drinking? Or a chemical that reacts with tobacco smoke to make the smoker feel ill so that they have to quit?

I'm a believer in free choice.Stop interfering & let people make up their own minds. There is enough education these days that women should be made aware of the benefits of folic acid without having it rammed down everyone's throats whether they need it or not.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #5 on: 24/05/2007 20:11:24 »
The women may well know about folic acid; the problem is that they might not know they are pregnant. The baby doesn't have a lot of freedom in this case; don't we owe it to them to make it easier for the mother.
The problem of B12 deficiency is more complex (though you could always add both vitamins to the foods)
BTW, that mad man, who are "they" in "Strange as they are saying first that NTD's affect 700 to 900 births per year... "
 

paul.fr

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #6 on: 29/05/2007 21:26:48 »
If a woman is having unprotected sex, should she not assume she may get pregnant?
 

another_someone

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #7 on: 29/05/2007 21:59:45 »
If a woman is having unprotected sex, should she not assume she may get pregnant?

It is not that uncommon for women (or men) to have sex without making any assumptions (possibly they are too drunk, or just carried away by the moment, and suddenly realise the situation the morning after).

It is also possible that she thought she took precautions, but they turned out to be inadequate.

The problem is that the more you take control away from people (whether of their diet, or of anything else), then you also take responsibility away from them.  The problem with the nanny state, aside from the removal of personal choice, is that it leads to a complacency (if not deliberate risk taking behaviour) simply because it is assumed that it is the state's responsibility to look after you, and your family (because that is the responsibility they have taken upon themselves), so you no longer feel you have either the control or the responsibility to do anything about it yourself.
 

paul.fr

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #8 on: 29/05/2007 22:15:37 »
It is not that uncommon for women (or men) to have sex without making any assumptions (possibly they are too drunk, or just carried away by the moment, and suddenly realise the situation the morning after).

It is also possible that she thought she took precautions, but they turned out to be inadequate.

The problem is that the more you take control away from people (whether of their diet, or of anything else), then you also take responsibility away from them.  The problem with the nanny state, aside from the removal of personal choice, is that it leads to a complacency (if not deliberate risk taking behaviour) simply because it is assumed that it is the state's responsibility to look after you, and your family (because that is the responsibility they have taken upon themselves), so you no longer feel you have either the control or the responsibility to do anything about it yourself.

if you have sex, there is always a risk that pregnancy will be the result. The onus is on both parties to ensure that adequate protection is in place. Being drunk is not an excuse, the government should not force feed us because a man or woman do not protect themselves.

It is not just up to the woman, she should protect herself and the man should also. if only to prevent STD's.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #9 on: 30/05/2007 20:11:20 »
Yes, all perfectly true; and people should stick to the speed limit. Here in the UK it's technically illegal to have a car accident except due to unexpected mechanical failure or sudden ill health etc. That should mean we don't need speed limits or a rule requiring seat belts. People are human. Humanity does lots of things to reduce the harm done by stupidity because Humanity knows it's often stupid.
This is just another example.
 

paul.fr

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #10 on: 30/05/2007 22:47:08 »
I know where you are coming from, BC. I just wonder where this will stop? Are we not giving the government a licence to, pardon the pun, force feed us whatever they wish for our own good. like it or not.
 

another_someone

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #11 on: 31/05/2007 02:26:04 »
Yes, all perfectly true; and people should stick to the speed limit. Here in the UK it's technically illegal to have a car accident except due to unexpected mechanical failure or sudden ill health etc. That should mean we don't need speed limits or a rule requiring seat belts. People are human. Humanity does lots of things to reduce the harm done by stupidity because Humanity knows it's often stupid.
This is just another example.

All true, but what is harm?

You, implicitly, are assuming harm to be simply defined as being measured by the minimising of physical illness, and maximising of life expectancy, of individual persons; but is this an adequate definition of harm?  Often personal freedom demands we accept risk, and sometimes that includes collective risk not just personal risk.  Thus it follows that the only way one can minimise physical harm as defined above, is to minimise personal freedom.  Yet, we take the greatest risk of all, to fight wars, in the name of freedom.  Maybe the wars are folly, but the alternative would seem to dark an outcome to contemplate - a world without risk, a world without choice.

Ofcourse, a world without risk is also a world without serendipity, and thus a world where we can never progress to anything better, because we cannot take the risk that we may produce something worse.

Interestingly, I was seeing just such a debate on the BBC web site about the risks and choices associated with the Isle of Man TT race - where there is substantial risk (to bystanders, not just to the competitors), but its supporter (of whom there are many) still cherish the freedom to undertake such risks.

Actually, the introduction of national speed limits was introduced, not as a safety measure, but as a fuel conservation measure (true, the early speed limits of 4mph, and 20mph, were indeed safety measures, but have long since faded into the history books, but I am talking here about the 70mph national speed limit we have today).

The other problem is, who judges harm?  Do you really want politicians to be the final arbiter of what constitutes harms?  They too are human beings, and have often been found to be wanting in judgement.

As you say, it is technically illegal to have an accident except due to unpredictable mechanical failure, or unpredictable failure of health; which ofcourse means human error is now illegal (a pity that nature does not obey the law passed by politicians).
 

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adding folic acid to food products.
« Reply #11 on: 31/05/2007 02:26:04 »

 

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