Corn Masa Flour Fortification Can Reduce Risk of Neural Tube Defects| May 28, 2024


Hispanic women of reproductive age are at high risk of having a baby effected by Neural Tube Defects (7 NTDs per 10,000 live births). Join FMI, with FDA and CDC experts, for a discussion on fortifying corn masa products with folic acid to address this urgent health issue. We’ll cover strategies for the public and private sector to work together to make these products more widely available. 

FDA offers an inquiry portal for manufacturers seeking guidance on fortifying corn masa products. For more information, visit FDA Consumer Update: Adding Folic Acid to Corn Masa Flour May Prevent Birth Defects. Manufacturers who have questions about FDA regulations related to fortifying corn masa flour or other corn masa products with folic acid can contact the FDA through the inquiry portal:

Look under the Resources tab for even more resources discussed during this presentation. 


You will be redirected to FMI's online store to complete your purchase ($0.00 for FMI members and non-members), then return to this page to access the recording and resources.

Claudine Kavanaugh, PhD, MPH, RD


Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling (ONFL), CFSAN, FDA

Dr. Kavanaugh is the Director of the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  She has been with the FDA for 20 years and prior to leading ONFL, Dr. Kavanaugh led the commissioner’s nutrition innovation strategy and work related to restaurant menu labeling and updating the nutrition facts label. Prior to joining the FDA, Dr. Kavanaugh was a cancer prevention fellow at the National Cancer Institute.  Dr. Kavanaugh received her Ph.D. in nutrition from Purdue University and a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.  She is also registered dietitian. 

Kristi Muldoon-Jacobs, PhD

Acting Director

Office of Food Additive Safety (OFAS), CFSAN, FDA

Dr. Kristi Muldoon Jacobs is the current Acting Director for the FDA’s Office of Food Additive Safety (OFAS). OFAS is responsible for ensuring the safety of direct and indirect food additives, color additives and GRAS substances as well as supporting safety and innovation in food from new plant varieties and made with cultured animal cells. Dr. Muldoon Jacobs earned a Ph.D. from UMDNJ/Rutgers University program in biomedical sciences and continued research at NIH/National Cancer Institute on mechanism of tumor suppression and carcinogenesis. In her previous roles at FDA and USP she served as a toxicologist with expertise in the safety assessment of FDA regulated products including food ingredients, indirect and direct additives, dietary supplements, and drug impurities. She has extensive knowledge regulatory systems globally to ensure quality and safety of products and has served as an expert to JECFA, OECD and ICH committees. She is an internationally recognized expert in the application of new and alternative safety and risk assessment methods such as TTC, QSAR and read-across methodology. She has served as an expert on 15 international working groups and has published over 30 peer reviewed publications in areas related to her expertise.

Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP


National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)

Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, is the Director for the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). She has more than 30 years of experience in public health and health care, with leadership roles in the public and private sectors. Her “north star” has always been children and families, and she has shaped her career around helping every family have the best opportunity for health and well-being. Prior to joining NCBDDD, Dr. Remley served as Senior Advisor to the COVID-19 response for the Office of the Commissioner, Virginia Department of Health, where she was instrumental in increasing and assuring testing for COVID-19 to ensure it was widely available across the Commonwealth of Virginia. She also worked as a Professor of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Dr. Remley has served on many national committees and commissions working on public health education, health equity, and patient safety, including her roles as Chief Executive Officer of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Commissioner of Health for the Commonwealth of Virginia under two governors; Chief Medical Director of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Virginia; and Chief Executive Officer of Physicians for Peace. In 2018, she served as the Inaugural Senior Fellow at the de Beaumont Foundation, a foundation dedicated to pragmatic solutions to improve public health.  Dr. Remley earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, an MPH at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her MD from University of Missouri in Kansas City. She completed her pediatrics residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND

Senior Director, Health and Well-being

FMI-The Food Industry Association

Krystal Register, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND is the Vice President of Health and Well-being at FMI - The Food Industry Association. She is responsible for overall leadership, strategic planning and execution of nutrition, health and well-being activities and initiatives at FMI. She serves as the lead coordinator and subject matter expert for nutrition policy, programs, operations, and communication issues across the food industry for FMI members, industry partners and community collaborators. Krystal is committed to connecting the science of food and nutrition to improved public health

Prior to joining FMI, Krystal was a food retail dietitian with Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. for twelve years and made significant contributions to company-wide wellness programs, consumer health messaging, employee wellness, community events, and media response. Krystal’s background includes environmental and nutrition science studies with degrees from the College of William and Mary and James Madison University, with both clinical nutrition and personal coaching professional experience. 

Krystal currently serves as Chair of the Food & Culinary Professionals (FCP) Dietetic Practice Group with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is an Academy Fellow.  She has served for many years with FCP as Supermarket/Retail Subgroup Chair, Treasurer, and Membership Chair. She also served as mentor to the Academy Foundation Nutrition in Food Retail Program Development Fellow, and contributes to many advisory committees, including the Portion Balance Coalition, USDA’s MyPlate National Strategic Partnership, and the National Fruit & Vegetable Consumption Coalition.  


Corn Masa Flour Fortification Can Reduce Risk of Neural Tube Defects
Open to view video.  |  36 minutes
Open to view video.  |  36 minutes Use the icons on the bottom right of the video window to search the video by keyword, turn on/off captions and adjust the video speed.