Lords campaigning on folic acid
5 July 2022
Since 2013, Lord Rooker has persistently pushed the government in the House of Lords to fortify UK flour with folic acid to help prevent birth defects in babies.
The government has announced it will act and Lord Rooker has continued to press ministers for a timetable to implement changes.
Folic acid: impact of the Lords
Lord Rooker (Labour) has used his work in the House of Lords to put persistent pressure on the government about the fortification of UK flour with folic acid. He has asked 17 questions, raised the subject in debates and introduced a private member's bill.
Pressure in Parliament's second chamber
The government’s decision to take action is one example of how members’ questions and advocacy for issues that matter to them, alongside campaigns outside Parliament, can lead to change.
Lord Rooker's campaigning
Lord Rooker's contributions on folic acid are available to read in Lords Hansard.
Find out more about Lord Rooker’s Bread and Flour Regulations (Folic Acid) Bill in the Lords Library briefing.
Work of the House of Lords
What are Lords questions?
A 40-minute question time takes place at the start of business in the chamber from Monday to Thursday.
Four questions are put by members. They can be on any subject – local, national or international – for which the government is responsible.
Once the government spokesperson has answered, there is then a chance for a short exchange of related, or ‘supplementary’, questions. The government spokesperson must answer each one.
What is a private member's bill?
Bills (draft laws) introduced by a backbench member (rather than the government) are called private members’ bills.