New York – October 2007 – Researchers reporting in the Oct 6 British Medical Journal (BMJ) indicate that fluoridation, touted as a safe cavity preventive, never was proven safe or effective and may be unethical. (1)
Cavity rates declined equally in fluoridated and non-fluoridated European countries over three decades. “This trend has occurred regardless of the concentration of fluoride in water or the use of fluoridated salt,” write Sir Iain Chalmers, editor of the James Lind Library, which was set up to help people understand the evidence base of medicine, KK Cheng, professor of epidemiology at Birmingham University, and Trevor Sheldon, professor and pro-vice-chancellor at York University.
In 1999, England’s Department of Health commissioned a systematic review on the effects of water fluoridation on dental health and to look for evidence of harm. (York Review). The reviewers were surprised that fluoridation was long endorsed and promoted with such certainty when 3200 world-wide papers failed to show any good quality evidence of benefit or safety. “Thus, evidence on the potential benefits and harms of adding fluoride to water is relatively poor,” the BMJ’s researchers write.
Sheldon, who was Chair of the York Review’s advisory committee, as well as co-author of the BMJ article, wrote in a different 2006 report that officials promoting fluoridation may have misrepresented the York Review findings to suit “prior beliefs and policy intent.” (2)
Discussing the ethics of informed consent, the BMJ researchers write, “This is especially important for water fluoridation, as an uncontrollable dose of fluoride would be given for up to a lifetime, regardless of the risk of caries, and many people would not benefit.” Further, they write “In the case of fluoridation, people should be aware of the limitations of evidence about its potential harms and that it would be almost impossible to detect small but important risks (especially for chronic conditions) after introducing fluoridation,” they write.
Many fluoridation supporters “used the York review’s findings selectively to give an overoptimistic assessment of the evidence in favor of fluoridation,” they write.
Similar problems exist in the U.S. as outlined in the summer 2005 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. “Artificial fluoridation of drinking water… probably does not reduce tooth decay…Proponents of fluoridation have censored most media, ignored intelligent discussion of fluoridation, slandered most opponents of fluoridation and overturned legal judgments against fluoridation in a manner that demonstrates their political power. Many published studies that had conclusions favoring fluoridation were later found unsupported by their raw data,” writes JM Kauffman, PhD. (3)
On October 2, 2007,Juneau Alaska voters rejected fluoridation, 61% to 39%, despite the American Dental Association’s $150,000 funded political campaign to return fluoride into Juneau’s water supply after the Juneau legislative body voted it out in November 2006.
Topanga, California residents are fighting to keep their water fluoride-free. (4) But their County Supervisor won’t even meet with them to hear their concerns (5) as of October 8, 2007.
Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director of the Fluoride Action Network says “The BMJ article fails to mention the 2006 National Research Council fluoride review, the most comprehensive overview of the toxicology of fluoride ever written. The crucial message of the NRC’s report is that the highest scientific authority in the US has determined that low levels of fluoride in drinking water may have serious adverse health effects,” says Connett. “Government officials who continue to promote fluoridation must testify under oath about why they are ignoring the powerful evidence of harm in the NRC report,” says Connett.
Paul Beeber, President and General Counsel, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, says “This British Medical Journal article lends further credence to our efforts to end fluoridation and have Congressional hearings held in the US concerning the ongoing government goal to fluoridate more water supplies without individual consent and without any valid evidence of its safety or effectiveness.”
An online petition to end fluoridation and call for a Congressional hearing is here http://FluorideAction.Net
Fluoride chemicals are added to 2/3 of U.S. public water supplies which winds up in virtually 100% of the food supply. The Centers for Disease Control tells us that many US school children are over fluoridated, with up to 51% sporting dental fluorosis – white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted enamel. Yet cavities are rising in our most fluoridated generation – toddlers.
For example, a New York State TV station reported on October 8, 2007 that in Rochester, NY, fluoridated for decades, “40 percent of 162 toddlers [examined] were suffering from baby bottle tooth decay. Most averaged two cavities; some as many as 20…The cost to one community can be as much as $1 million annually to treat children with this oral disease, a tab picked up almost completely by Medicaid…reasons…Many pediatric dentists won’t care for patients as young as one or two and they often won’t accept Medicaid.” (6)
Dentists often pat themselves on the back while claiming they are the only profession willing to put themselves out of business by forcing fluoridation onto the American public. That’s hardly the case as the New York Times reports it’s a boom time for dentists; but not for teeth. “With dentists’ fees rising far faster than inflation and more than 100 million people lacking dental insurance, the percentage of Americans with untreated cavities began rising this decade, reversing a half-century trend of improvement in dental health,” according to the NY Times (7)
“Dentists’ incomes have grown faster than that of the typical American and the incomes of medical doctors. Formerly poor relations to physicians, American dentists in general practice made an average salary of $185,000 in 2004, the most recent data available. That figure is similar to what non-specialist doctors make, but dentists work far fewer hours. Dental surgeons and orthodontists average more than $300,000 annually,” reports the New York Times.
(1) “Adding fluoride to water supplies,” British Medical Journal, KK Cheng, Iain Chalmers, Trevor A. Sheldon, October 6, 2007
(2) “Muddy waters: evidence-based policy making, uncertainty and the ‘York review’ on water fluoridation,” Journal Evidence & Policy, Paul Wilson and Trevor Sheldon Vol 2 No 3 2006 pages 321-31
(3) “Water Fluoridation: a Review of Recent Research and Actions,” by Joel M. Kauffman, PhD, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 10 Number 2 Summer 2005
(4) Topanga Messenger Online, “ Citizens to Zev: Halt Fluoride OPEN LETTER TO SUPERVISOR YAROSLAVSKY,” October 7, 2007
(5) Topanga Messenger Online, “Zev to Citizens ‘No Comment’ Supervisor Approves $20 Million Grant for Fluoride,” by Lee Michaelson, October 7, 2007
(6) “Screening for ECC in baby teeth,” 10/8/2007, by Diana Palotas
(7) Boom Times for Dentists, but Not for Teeth , October 11, 2007
SOURCE: NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
PO Box 263
Old Bethpage, NY 11804
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