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More than 40 members of Congress called for the FDA to allow folic acid to be added to corn masa on Tuesday. Advocates say such a move could help prevent devastating birth defects like those seen in three counties in Central Washington.

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According to the Maine Children’s Alliance, 30 percent of Maine kids ages 10-17 are overweight. That’s more than 36,000 kids, and nearly half of those are considered obese. And children from low-income families are especially vulnerable.

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Waiting for Medicaid eligibility is a common experience in Bexar County, Tex., and one big reason why women don't receive prenatal care as early as they should. It contributes to the rising number of babies born to women who received prenatal care after their first trimester — or not at all.

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Thousands of babies are born every year in Bexar County, Texas, to mothers who receive no prenatal care. Those women are more likely to give birth prematurely, increasing the odds that their newborns will develop immediate and long-lasting health problems that can be both costly and fatal.

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In the past couple of years, the Affordable Care Act has provided thousands of residents at Wyandotte County with health insurance, creating a surge in demand for health care in a county that had already been designated a Health Professional Shortage Area by the federal government.

Picture of JoNel  Aleccia

Washington state health officials say they’ll start telling families who’ve lost babies to a devastating birth-defects cluster about genetic studies aimed at decoding possible causes.

Picture of JoNel  Aleccia

Washington is among 33 states that don’t have active birth-defects surveillance systems to track problems. It took an astute nurse to raise warnings about a cluster of rare and fatal defects in Central Washington.

Picture of JoNel  Aleccia

The Food and Drug Administration will review a long-delayed petition calling for the voluntary addition of folic acid to corn masa to prevent neural-tube defects such as those seen in Washington’s cluster.

Picture of JoNel  Aleccia

More than 40 mothers have lost babies to a rare and deadly birth defect in three counties in central Washington state since 2010, but the cause remains unknown. Why haven’t health officials and lawmakers done more to find answers?

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Reports of dogs dying after swimming in blue green algae-infested waters in California this summer have raised concerns about the health risks to humans who come into contact with harmful algal blooms. Just how safe are California's waters?

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