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Mail defends Steve Field, 'Dry January' supported and flour could be fortified with folic acid

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

We’ll start with the Daily Mail’s spin on the GPC’s call for Professor Steve Field to resign. 

The Mail claim that GPs are angry because Professor Field ‘dared to criticise failing surgeries’ in an interview with them last week.

It quoted Roger Goss of Patient Concern, who said about the BMA and RCGP’s interventions: ‘This is the death of free speech. In the eyes of the RCGP and the BMA, GPs are above reproach.’

The irony of attacking the BMA and RCGP for exercising their right to free speech seems to be lost.

Public Health England has endorsed ‘Dry January’, which sees people giving up drinking after the festive season, the Telegraph reports.

It found that two-thirds of people giving up drink in January reported that it changed their habits in the long term.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, from PHE, said: ‘A period of abstinence could help encourage less harmful, better drinking habits in the long term - even six months later, evidence from Dry January shows that more than two-thirds of participants are still drinking less.’

Experts are calling for flour to be fortified with folic acid, a move they say would prevents thousands of cases of serious birth defects.

The BBC reports that a study in the Archives of Disease in Childhood estimated that it would have prevented 1,798 pregnancies with NTD in England and Wales, 152 in Scotland and 64 in Northern Ireland over a 14-year period up to 2012.

It reports that the DH and the Scottish Government are considering the policy.

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