§ Mr. Dobson
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the current state of the Medical Research Council's study of the effect of multi-vitamins and folic acid on reducing the number of spina bifida babies.
§ Mr. Brooke
The Medical Research Council's study was launched in the summer of 1983. I understand that recruitment began in the early autumn and is progressing satisfactorily. Of 20 British centres that have expressed interest, 11 now have their local ethical committees' approval to proceed and discussions are continuing with others. Once these negotiations are complete, the steering committee which the council has set up to monitor the trials will be in a position to make regular reports on progress.