U.S. health officials want a vitamin added to corn flour products in an effort to prevent birth defects which affect mainly Hispanic women because of a genetically transmitted disorder.
Officials from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention are pushing for millers to add folic acid -- a B vitamin -- to corn flour, which studies show will reduce the number of spina bifida and anencephaly cases in the United States.
The risk of birth defects is higher for the Hispanic community than any other group, due to the fact that Hispanic women have trouble metabolizing folic acid. The typical Hispanic woman's diet is more likely to contain corn flour than wheat flour, the newspaper said.
The cost of enriching corn flour would be 3 to 4 cents for folic acid, the North American Millers Association said.