In Pakistan, use of iodized salt in processed foods is currently voluntary, and no data is available on what proportion of the industry is using iodized salt in their food products. To encourage food manufacturers to use adequately iodized salt in products where salt is an ingredient, the Utility Stores Corporation in collaboration with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) conducted a panel discussion with the leading food suppliers of the USC including the representatives from Qarshi Industries, Shan Foods, Colgate Palmolive, and Unilever.
It’s been more than half a century since iodine deficiency disorder was recognized as a public health problem in Pakistan. Almost 50 per cent of the Pakistani population is still at risk of iodine deficiency disorders; physical and mental retardation are very common indicators of IDD. According to the WHO (2014), reasons behind IDD include high cost of iodized salt, consumer misconceptions, lack of awareness, lacking legislation, and instability of iodine supply. Creating adequate awareness among policy makers, the salt industry, and the general public has been the goal of GAIN, UNICEF, WHO and other agencies.