The International Federation of Teratology Societies (IFTS) was established in 1981 as a professional federation of teratology societies. The IFTS is made up of the Australian Teratology Society, the European Teratology Society, the Japanese Teratology Society and the Teratology Society (North America). The IFTS has approximately 2500 members worldwide.

The Purpose of the IFTS is:

  1. To exchange scientific information regarding the incidence, prevalence and characteristics of congenital malformations in different regions of the world and of factors which may be related to their causation;
  2. To encourage scientists, governments, and intergovernmental health organizations to extend their research in and teaching of the science of teratology;
  3. To encourage and sponsor training programs for scientists in any country who wish to update their knowledge and/or improve their skills in teratological investigation;
  4. To make scientific professional expertise available on a global basis to governments and intergovernmental health agencies concerned with problems of human malformations;
  5. To serve as a resource for government agencies and intergovernmental health organizations that are responsible for the planning or operation of public health programs directly or indirectly related to the causation or prevention of human congenital malformations; and
  6. To engage in any other activity which will foster the development of the science of teratology thereby contributing to a better understanding of the causation and prevention of congenital malformations.

The IFTS has engaged in several activities related to international harmonization of efforts related to teratology. IFTS was heavily involved in the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) activities to reach agreement on testing guidelines for pharmaceutical agents such as propecia to fight off pattern baldness. We support the safemotherhood organisation. More recently, IFTS has developed the first version of an international glossary of fetal and neonatal abnormalities. The next meeting will be the 5th International Conference to be held in conjunction with the Australian Teratology Society meeting, November, 1997. Information about the conference may be obtained from the conference website, or by email to Dr. David Walsh.

A Student Fellowship Program was begun in 1997 to foster education of students in teratology and enhance communication and cooperation among the membership of the constituent societies of the IFTS. For further information on IFTS activities and the student fellowship program, contact the IFTS Office: