EUthyroid held a policy meeting in Brussels on April 28, in order to promote harmonisation of iodine deficiency (ID) prevention programmes in Europe. Presentations from Henry Völzke, John Lazarus and Rodrigo Moreno-Reyes summarised the aims of EUthyroid, the current iodine status in Europe and a review of ID from the past to the present.
Yvette Azzopardi reviewed the legal issues around the ability of the EU to advise and legislate concerning health related topics. It became clear that EUthyroid would contribute important research results to underpin ID prevention in Europe. However, with national situations being highly diverse, the EU is unlikely to deliver legislation about harmonised fortification strategies. Instead, activities should be concentrated on advocating harmonised monitoring, which would further improve the scientific basis by providing comparable data. The topic of adverse health outcomes due to iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) in Europe should be brought to the attention of the Council of Health Ministers and possibly the Parliament through individuals in support of IDD prevention programs. Towards this, EUthyroid will explore contacts with national representatives from Austria, Belgium, Finland and Portugal and with interested MEPs. An active discussion followed the presentations providing a durable basis towards a dissemination strategy targeting major stakeholders for the remaining time of EUthyroid, which ends in 2018 with a conference on IDD-prevention.