Folic Acid debate – your help is needed

As you may have heard, the Government has been considering whether to introduce legislation to fortify all flour with folic acid. If the proposals are adopted this could prohibit any unfortified flour being sold for human consumption in this country.

As small-scale flour producers traditional corn millers, such as Holgate Windmill, will find fortification of flour very difficult, if not beyond their capability, without a major investment in expensive new equipment which may even be impossible to install given space constraints and the listed building status of their windmill or watermill.

The inability to sell flour could potentially see the end of milling in many traditional mills, something we would wish to fight against strongly.
Whether flour should be fortified with folic acid is very much a personal matter and we do not seek to influence your views on that. We fully support the intention to minimise the risk of neural tube defects in babies, which is the reason for the proposal, however if mandatory fortification of all flour threatens to prevent windmills and watermills from producing flour to sell, we would wish to raise our concerns with the government.

SPAB Mills’ Section and the Traditional Cornmillers Guild (TCMG) consider that an exemption for small-scale producers could be included in any change to the regulations without substantially affecting the proposals, and they ask for your support in this.

The TCMG has produced a paper setting out the background to the proposals and some of the issues affecting those milling in traditional windmills and watermills; the document can be found at

It also provides guidance on how to respond to the public consultation, which ends on the 9th September, should you wish to do so.

The public Consultation Document and questionnaire can be found at

We urge you to read the documents and fill in the online questionnaire. It is really important that as many people as possible comment on the proposals. Thank you