Learn more about what the Coalition has been up to and the resources we're offering.
Activities & News
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- Newsletters and Compendium
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- Other Activities
FDA Approves Folic Acid Foritification of Corn Masa Flour
On April 14, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they will permit fortification of corn masa flour with folic acid to help prevent certain birth defects, effective immediately. Fortification of corn masa flour could increase folic acid intake among Hispanics and reduce the number of neural tube defects in this population. Read more here.
Birth Defects PSA Video
Check out this public service announcement about birth defects awareness. You can also download the PSA from the National Birth Defects Prevention Network website.
National Folic Acid Awareness Week is January 4-10, 2014
Help make National Folic Acid Awareness Week a success by promoting the benefits of folic acid to your patients and clients. Click here for more information and materials from the National Council on Folic Acid.
2015 Florida Birth Defects Registry Statewide Meeting, January 8-9, 2015
At the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Tampa Airport-Westshore. Contact Caron Watkins at email@example.com for more information.
Folic Acid and NTD Prevention Anniversary
September 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Public Health Service folic acid recommendations for all women capable of becoming pregnant. CDC is planning a series of communication pieces documenting the public heatlh success story of folic acid in the U.S. and will highlight new global efforts. Click here for more information.
Now Available: “Folic Acid: At Work for You!” A Folic Acid Worksite Wellness Program
Through a grant from the March of Dimes Florida Chapter, the University of Florida’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department has developed a folic acid educational toolkit for use in the workplace. The toolkit provides materials to help occupational health and wellness staff educate their employees about the health benefits of the vitamin folic acid, particularly for birth defect risk reduction.
Each toolkit contains:
- Guidebook for occupational health and wellness professionals
- Two DVDs with folic acid videos
- CD-ROM with PowerPoint® presentations, sample emails, sample newsletter, quiz questions, and PDF copies of handouts, case studies, and brochures
- Copies of handouts and case studies (English and Spanish), recipes
- Posters and brochures in English and Spanish
Contact Gail Rampersaud at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-392-1978 Ext. 423 for more information.
No events scheduled at this time.
You may be able to get free or reduced-price multivitamins through your local health department. Please contact them directly for availability.
Download the Florida Folic Acid Coalition's "Compendium of the Council's Activities, 1999-2003" (681KB pdf).
Download and print our newsletters in pdf format (download Adobe Acrobat reader):
- Spring 2013 (1.4MB pdf)
- Winter 2012 (1MB pdf)
- Summer/Fall 2010 (632KB pdf)
- Summer 2008 (567KB pdf)
- Winter 2008 (1.03MB pdf)
- Summer 2007 (441KB pdf)
- Winter 2007 (563KB pdf)
- Summer 2006 (453KB pdf)
- Winter 2006 (571KB pdf)
- Summer 2005 (507KB pdf)
- 2003 (130KB pdf)
- 2002 (273KB pdf)
- 2001 (971KB pdf)
Does Folic Acid Increase the Risk for Autism?
The prevalence of autism has increased over the last decade. The potential causes of autism are still being researched, but areas of interest include dietary patterns and intake. One of the practices hypothesized to be associated with autism is consumption of folic acid from prenatal supplements. Although a recent study noted a high correlation (r=0.87) between increased rates of autism and the use of prenatal vitamins containing 1 mg (1000 mcg) or more of folic acid (Med Hypotheses. 2011; 77:15-17), the findings from another study suggested that prenatal vitamin intake was associated with a reduced risk of autism (Epidemiology. 2011; 22:476-485). Furthermore, another study found that women who did not take a prenatal vitamin during the periconceptional period and who had variations in certain genes that code for key enzymes in folate metabolism had a greater chance of having a child with autism (Am J Clin Nutr. 2010; 91:1598-1620).
Currently, there is no definitive evidence for an association between folic acid supplementation and increased risk for autism, but there is solid evidence supporting the role of periconceptional folic acid intake in reducing the risk for neural tube defects. Non-pregnant women should be encouraged to obtain 400 mcg of folic acid every day.
NEW: Online Training Module Now Available for the "Folic Acid Every Day" Toolkit
The “Folic Acid Every Day” toolkit is an educational program and resource kit for learning and teaching about folic acid and neural tube defects in a variety of health care settings. The toolkit was developed by faculty in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department (FSHN) at the University of Florida, UF/IFAS. The toolkit has been recently updated and is available for purchase through the IFAS Extension Bookstore.
In Spring 2006, a training module for the toolkit became available on this website. The training module was developed by faculty and staff in the FSHN Department at UF/IFAS as part of a March of Dimes Florida Chapter grant. The training module was designed to help health care professionals learn about the materials in the kit and how to use them effectively for different audiences. The toolkit includes an Educator’s Guide with lesson plans and handouts, a DVD with two videos, a CD-ROM with a PowerPoint® presentation and PDF files of the handouts, and an interactive learning tool for designing meals. The materials found in the toolkit can be used to instruct and educate health care professionals, consumers, and patients. The training module describes each component in the kit and provides instructions and suggestions for use in different health care settings. The online training module is free, user-friendly, and can be accessed at any time.
What is available in the training module?
- A description of the components in the toolkit.
- An explanation of how materials are used with health care providers, clients, or patients.
- An animated demonstration of how to use the meal planning activity in the toolkit.
Accessing the training module
Note: You will need to enter a valid email address to access the training module.
Ordering the toolkit
The “Folic Acid Every Day” toolkit, in English or Spanish, is available for purchase at the IFAS Extension Bookstore by calling (352) 392-1764 or at the bookstore website.
FFAC Position Statement
The FFAC recently developed a position statement concerning folic acid recommendations and other folic acid-related issues. The purpose of the position statement is to clarify the Coalition’s position and support for:
- Current U.S. Public Health Service and Institute of Medicine recommendations on folic acid supplementation for women of childbearing age
- Current FDA rules on fortification of enriched cereal grain products
- Support of education for all women of childbearing age, plus other population groups, concerning the health benefits of folic acid
- Support of development of clinical guidelines that promote folic acid awareness as a routine and standard part of the delivery of preventive or other health care services
- Support for the continued monitoring and measurement of knowledge, awareness and behavior of consumers regarding folic acid
- Support for basic, epidemiological, and appropriate experimental research regarding the association between folic acid and birth defects and chronic disease risk reduction
See the entire FFAC position statement (20KB pdf).
Recent activities and accomplishments of the Florida Folic Acid Coalition (FFAC):
- February 6-10, 2012: Florida Folic Acid Awareness Week.
- January 8-14, 2012: National Folic Acid Awareness week.
- November 2, 2011: FFAC Executive Committee meeting at the University of Florida.
- July 19-22, 2008: the FFAC exhibited at the Florida Dietetic Association's Annual Symposium in Boca Raton.
- March 29, 2008: the FFAC distributed folic acid educational materials and other items at the Alachua County (Florida) March for Babies walk.
- October 30, 2007: the FFAC and March of Dimes North Central Florida Division hosted a free Grab-n-Go Folic Acid Breakfast at the University of Florida.
- October 18-19, 2007: The FFAC exhibited at the 2007 Florida Occupational Health Nursing Conference in Orlando.
- October 2007: Spina Bifida Awareness Month and Folic Acid Awareness Month in Florida.
- August 31, 2007: FFAC Executive Committee meeting.
- May 2007: The FFAC exhibited at the Governor's Conference on Women's Health in Tampa.
- March 24, 2007: WalkAmerica, Alachua County, Florida. Information table.
- January 2007: One-year grant renewal by the March of Dimes Florida Chapter to develop and evaluate a folic acid educational program for worksites.
- January 8-14, 2007: Promotion of National Folic Acid Awareness Week.
- October 2006: The FFAC exhibited at the 46th Annual Florida Occupational Health Conference, Lake Buena Vista.
- June 2006: FFAC Executive Committee meeting.
- May 2006: The FFAC exhibited at the Governor's Conference on Women's Health in Orlando. FFAC Executive Committee members Lynn Bailey, PhD, and Elizabeth Jensen, VitaGrant Project Manager, presented sessions on folic acid.
- January 9-15, 2006: National Folic Acid Awareness Week. Various print, radio and TV media activities.
- January 2006, December 2005: “Folic Acid Every Day” toolkit training sessions conducted at the Healthy Start Coalitions in Jacksonville and Miami-Dade.
- November 2005: The University of Florida's March of Dimes Collegiate Council hosted a folic acid breakfast on campus. The FFAC participated by helping with the distribution of buttons, magnets, brochures and other folic acid-themed items to help promote the health benefits of folic acid to the University's students.
- November 2005: The FFAC participated in the Oak Hammock Health Fair in Gainesville.
- September 2005: The FFAC exhibited at the Florida Nurses Association 92nd Biennial Convention in Bonita Springs.
- July 2005: The FFAC exhibited at the Florida Public Health Association's annual conference in Sarasota.
- July 2005: The FFAC exhibited at the Florida Dietetic Association's 70th Annual Symposium in Ft. Myers.
- June 2005: Presented the "Folic Acid Every Day" toolkit at the National Summit on Preconception Care, Atlanta, GA.
- May 2005: Exhibited at the American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Conference, Orlando, FL.
- May 2005: Conducted "Folic Acid Every Day" toolkit training for VitaGrant outreach personnel, Tampa, FL.
- March 19, 2005: WalkAmerica, Alachua County, Florida. Information table.
- FFAC Executive Committee meetings: February 28, 2005 and June 2, 2005.
- January 24-30, 2005: National Folic Acid Awareness Week. Various print, radio and TV media activities.
- January 2005: One-year grant award by the March of Dimes Florida Chapter to conduct folic acid educational activities targeted to health care professionals in Florida.
- December 2004: Conducted 3 folic acid sessions at the Partners in Perinatal Health Sharing Solutions Conference, Orlando, Florida.
- October 2004: Contract between the University of Florida and the Florida Department of Health for continued folic acid activities in Florida and establishing the FFAC Coordinator position.