Demand SafeFood retract their women shaming folic acid press release.
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I'm calling on SafeFood (Ireland) to retract and apologise for a press release they distributed today about folic acid use among women in Ireland, which outright shames women for not taking folic acid even if they are not currently pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant (folic acid reduces the risk of a baby being born with conditions like Spina Bifida).
The press release today is based on 'research' they carried out about women's morning habits, which shows that women do entirely normal thing like shower, brush their teeth and check their phones (which men also do in the morning by the way) but only a quarter of women surveyed included taking a folic acid tablet in their morning routine. This lead to the headline of "Young Irish women are three times as likely to check their smartphone in the morning as they are to take a folic acid tablet" falsely equivocating the two actions. It is not a bad thing or a crime to check your smartphone in the morning time and this headline entirely twists the results of SafeFood's own survey as the women who took part weren't asked which they'd rather do, or which they think is more important, they were simply asked what do they do each morning.
SafeFood has taken that information and is using it to shame women for doing entirely normal things like checking their phones, implying that they'd rather do that than look after the health of their future, unborn, currently unconceived children.
Furthermore, later in the release SafeFood bizarrely quizzes the women who took part in the survey on how much money they spend on make-up each year, and compare that to how much folic acid costs. Again, implying that women are spending all their money on make up rather than looking after the health of their future, unborn, currently unconceived children.
Would. You. Be. Well.
A public information campaign about the benefits of folic acid on the developing foetus is of course to be welcomed and is of course important. And giving women the facts and the information so they can make up their own minds is fine. Encouraging women to take folic acid in a non judgemental fashion is fine. In fact I currently take a folic acid tablet every day myself and I am not pregnant or trying to conceive! So I am not anti folic acid, nor anti public health campaigns. I AM anti shaming women and using false narratives and false equivalency to guilt women into staying in a permanently pre-pregnant state.
Also, let's consider that there is no equivalent national SafeFood campaign aimed at men telling them what they should or shouldn't do with their sperm. Because of course their isn't, men are seen as more than just their reproductive organs.
In short, SafeFood needs to keep its women shaming beak out of the nation's wombs. Stick to the facts, the guilt trip isn't necessary. Retract that press release, apologise for the contents of it and do better next time.
Blessed be the Fruit
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