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Memorandum of Understanding re salt iodisation in Australia & New Zealand

We the undersigned, hereby acknowledge our agreement on the following issues:

1. There is irrefutable evidence that iodine deficiency has become a significant public health issue in Australia and New Zealand.

2. Iodine deficiency is a major risk to the development of unborn and young children in Australia and New Zealand, and is a major risk for thyroid disease at all ages.

3. Urgent action is needed immediately to correct this situation. Otherwise increasing numbers of Australian and New Zealand children may be born with irreversible reductions in IQ and increasing numbers of people of all ages may be affected by goitre, thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.

4. The proposed intervention of iodisation of salt in bread alone, is not sufficient to have any real impact on the problem.

5. The preferred option is immediate implementation of USI universal salt iodisation at a rate of 30 to 60 mcg iodine per gram of salt. We call upon FSANZ and the food industry to implement USI immediately.

6. We support supplementation of women with iodine before and during pregnancy and lactation, but are aware that many women will miss out. These women and their children have a right to the protection afforded by universal salt iodisation.

7. We support the ICCIDD’s call upon the NHMRC to rescind its contentious upper limit of iodine intakes for 1 to 3 year olds. Currently this upper limit is a very small 200mcg per day which ICCIDD inform us is actually a very safe intake. This amount could be left open or set to 1000mcg daily pending more definitive data. This upper limit is proving to be a major obstacle to the implementation of USI. Once NHMRC have rescinded the upper limit for 1 to 3 year olds we repeat our call for FSANZ to implement USI immediately .

8. If needed we will support the ICCIDD if it calls upon the State and Federal Health Ministers to consider urgently mandating the introduction of USI using their discretionary and emergency powers.

ICCIDD= International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders
FSANZ= Food Standards ANZ
NHMRC= National Health and Medical Research Council
USI= Universal Salt Iodisation

To endorse the memorandum of understanding please go to its home page click here.

Please email any other comments to Iodine Australia iodineau@gmail.com

Dear Friend

Welcome to Iodine Australia, a blog dedicated to increasing awareness about the iodine deficiency emergency in Australia, and to its solution- USI Universal Salt Iodisation (at 30 to 60 mcg iodine per gram of salt).

There is irrefutable evidence of iodine deficiency in Australia. This is causing an increase in thyroid disease. We are on the brink of a catastrophe as iodine deficiency can impair the brain development of the unborn child. Iodine has the strongest effect on IQ of any single factor- a full 13 points, which is equal in impact to several years of schooling.

Various links discuss different aspects of the problem and its solution. But why not keep it simple- start USI now. Please note that USI is the recommended policy of WHO, UNICEF and ICCIDD.

Dr Ben Balzer
Honorary coordinator
Iodine Australia