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Scientific Opinion on the Substantiation of a health claim related to Iodine and the growth of children pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006

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Following an application from the Association de la Transformation Laitière Française (ATLA) submitted pursuant to Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 via the Competent Authority of France, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies was asked to deliver an opinion on the scientific substantiation of a health claim related to iodine and the growth of children. The scope of the application was proposed to fall under claims referring to children's development and health. The food constituent that is the subject of the health claim is iodine which is a well recognised nutrient and is measurable in foods by established methods. The Panel considers that the food/constituent, iodine, which is the subject of the health claim is sufficiently characterised. The Panel considers that normal growth is beneficial to children‟s health. Evidence provided by reports from authoritative bodies and reviews shows that there is good consensus on the role of iodine in growth and development. A wide spectrum of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) has been observed, depending on the degree of deficiency and the life stage at which the deficiency occurs. Most countries in the world have some degree of IDD including several European countries. The Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the intake of iodine and normal growth of children and adolescents. Recommended intakes of iodine to meet requirements for normal growth in children and adolescents have been established. Iodine intakes may be inadequate in sub-groups of children and adolescents in some EU countries. The following wording reflects the scientific evidence: “iodine contributes to the normal growth of children”.