Iodine Global Network (IGN)

EUthyroid scientists warn that a widespread lack of iodine threatens child brain development in Europe

April, 2018
On 18th April, European scientists investigating IDD as part of the EUthyroid project met in Poland to sign the 'Kraków Declaration on Iodine.'

It is hoped that a pan-European declaration will draw attention to iodine deficiency in Europe and encourage policymakers to review the existing national public health strategies to ensure adequate iodine status in the European populations.

With very few exceptions, Europe is an iodine-deficient continent. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, even mild or moderate iodine deficiency of the mother may impair fetal brain development, neurocognitive function, and reduce offspring I.Q.

Due to a lack of comparable data, we are uncertain about the scale of the problem, but estimations suggest that up to 50% of newborns in Europe are exposed to iodine deficiency.

Increasingly concerned about the deteriorating commitment of policymakers to addressing iodine deficiency in Europe, the EUthyroid scientists supported by several stakeholder organizations called on European policymakers to support measures to eliminate iodine deficiency.

With the 'Kraków Declaration on Iodine'Achtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster the experts have joined forces towards eliminating iodine deficiency. They demand:
1. Methods of IDD Prevention:
Regulators and policymakers should harmonize obligatory Universal Salt Iodization to ensure free trade of fortified foodstuffs in Europe. Similarly, iodized animal feed requires regulatory approval to ensure free trade within the EU.
2. Control of IDD Prevention:
National governments and public health authorities have to perform harmonized monitoring and evaluation of fortification programs at regular intervals to ensure optimal iodine supply to the population.
3. Support for IDD Prevention:
Scientists, together with public-health care workers, patient organizations, industry and the public, should support measures necessary to ensure that IDD prevention programs are sustainable, as appropriate within a rapidly changing environment and further social awareness of the issue.
The signatories of the 'Kraków Declaration on Iodine' ask for support from all stakeholders across Europe and beyond to pool resources and expertise to ensure iodine deficiency is eradicated.

Sign the declaration today at www.iodinedeclaration.euAchtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster to ensure future generations will receive an iodine sufficient start into a healthy life and realise their full potential.
Signatories of the 'Kraków Declaration on Iodine' included Prof. John Lazarus (IGN Regional Coordinator), Mr. Attilio Caligiani (Director General, World Iodine Association), Prof. Alicja Hubalewska-Dydejczyk (IGN National Coordinator for Poland), Dr. Zbigniew Król (Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Health, Poland), and Prof. Marek Ruchała (Polish Society of Endocrinology)

Additional endorsements

Attilio Caligiani (World Iodine Association):
"The Kraków Declaration on Iodine represents the cornerstone of a multi-stakeholder approach to implement a harmonized and coordinated strategy to prevent and tackle IDD at a global level. The World Iodine Association (WIA) recognizes and supports the valuable work done by EUthyroid. It provides the basis to develop effective measures for improving and optimizing iodine intake in Europe in close cooperation with European and national authorities, while creating societal awareness via patient organizations, the medical community and the industry."
Ashok Bhaseen (President of Thyroid Federation International):
"The Kraków Declaration on Iodine developed by EUthyroid represents an important step towards the prevention of IDD, through a multi-stakeholder approach. The Thyroid Federation International (TFI), as a Patient Organization, endorses the valuable work done by EUthyroid. The TFI believes that it is important to increase awareness to the public through promotions and campaigns. Together with the Medical Community and Industry, joint actions will certainly strengthen this cause and bring to the EU a wider sensitivity on this topic. Together, a nice step forward."

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About EUthyroid

EUthyroid comprises 31 partners from 27 countries (including the Iodine Global Network) and with a budget of € 3 million will make a significant contribution to analysing the status quo of iodine deficiency prevention measures in Europe. The research consortium ‘EUthyroid - Towards a EUthyroid Europe’ (# 634453) was one of only 67 successfully funded research proposals, out of nearly 2,200 submitted, in the first call of the new Framework Programme of the European Commission: Horizon2020. www.euthyroid.euAchtung Link öffnet sich in einem neuen Fenster