Gael German, Israel’s Minister of Health, bans fluoridation: See: Israel
Sep. 1st. Holidays: Note this is the first update since August 11 and summarises important items for the remainder of August
A decades-old dental debate over water fluoridation has resurfaced in Cincinnati. A task force revising the Cincinnati city charter uncovered a forgotten provision that may give Cincinnatians a unique voting right to remove the chemical from their water supply
Fluoride intake threatens learning
Some intelligent comments – look for Gwendoline Dennis
Fayette County, Georgia
I attended the Fayette County Board of Commissioner’s meeting on Aug. 14. At the meeting there were two interns speaking about the fluoridation of Fayette County water. This letter, in part, is to thank each intern for speaking. I also want to thank the commissioners and the chairman for allowing the interns to speak.
This is also to alert and inform those who are on city water in Fayette County that their drinking water is being poisoned by the applications of chemical fluoride.
… Six years ago my personal story about fluoride happened. My doctor put me on thyroid medication and said I’d be on it for the rest of my life. I was determined that day not to let that happen. I did at least a thousand hours of research on the thyroid and fluoride and found that in Europe they used fluoride to suppress a patient who is hyperthyroid. I read that in the 1920s and 1930s they would bathe people in fluoride to suppress their thyroid.
Could that be why most everyone I know is on thyroid medication? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if fluoride suppresses one’s thyroid, the main engine for our bodies, that I was put on thyroid medicine due to being hypothyroid as a result of fluoridation.
The reason I know this is because I’ve been off thyroid medication for over six years now. Why? Because I had a reverse osmosis [water purification] system put in my home. After putting in reverse osmosis seven months later while taking thyroid medication I had to go to the emergency room because I was pale, my heart was racing and I didn’t feel right. The ER doctor checked my heart, ran tests and finally told me to get off the thyroid medicine immediately and to go to my doctor and do a blood panel. I did.
To my thrilling surprise, my doctor said my “thyroid looked beautiful.” As a result, I haven’t taken the medication I thought I’d be taking the rest of my life in six years.
Next to air, water is the most vital thing we need to sustain our lives. What quality of water do you want for your body?
Peachtree City, Ga.
Fort Smith, Arkansas
See the full article if you want to know why, even though the public voted against fluoridation years ago, the coucil cannot stop it
Fort Smith is using a $1.8 million grant to cover startup costs associated with adding fluoride to its water system as mandated by the state.The grant from the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation comes three years after state legislators passed a law requiring water systems serving 5,000 or more customers to fluoridate their public water using funds from any source other than tax revenue.
The law, Act 197, affects 34 Arkansas water systems, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.City directors on Tuesday authorized Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders to execute the fluoride grant agreement; Ward 4
Fort Smith is the largest city in the state without fluoridated water. Fort Smith voters turned down fluoridation twice in popular votes, in the 1970s and in 1992. –
For sheer arrogance, the whole tone of this article from the ADA takes some beating
— Thanks in part to quick action by local dentists, community water fluoridation will not be on the ballot in November for voters who live in the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District.
Rockport selectmen hold off stand on fluoride
, August 22,
ROCKPORT — The town’s selectmen have decided to endorse all articles on the upcoming fall Town Meeting warrant — with one very notable exception.
Article L, which deals with whether fluoride should be in the town’s drinking water, has yet to garner the selectmen’s support or a call for voters’ rejection. The choice to delay a decision on the article — which would not force a decision on fluoride but would place the issue before voters in a November referendum — doesn’t mean the selectmen don’t support the article.
Sarah Wilkinson, who chairs the Board of Selectmen, said that the board wanted to wait until all members of the board could get together to render a decision. Selectwoman Eliza Lucas was absent during the board’s meeting Tuesday night when the articles were discussed.
“I think we will vote on it at our meeting on Sept. 2,” Wilkinson wrote in an email.
Karen Tysver, a network member, said she has multiple concerns about fluoride in the drinking water, including that fluoride is added without the public’s consent. She pointed to multiple studies that indicate that fluoridation does not reduce the amount of tooth decay, its primary purpose. Murphy, however, noted that the American Dental Association supports keeping the fluoride flowing, as well, but said he’s “going to keep an open mind” during Town Meeting.
Members of Clean Water California were successful in convincing San Francisco and East Bay water municipalities to add an infant formula fluorosis warning to annual water quality statements.
Clean Water Sheridan won’t sue city, but continues efforts to stop fluoride
SHERIDAN — Members of Clean Water Sheridan, a group seeking to stop the addition of hydrofluorosilicic acid to Sheridan’s water supply, has decided at this time to halt plans to sue the city over the matter. Organizers have said they will continue the group’s grassroots effort to demonstrate public disapproval of water fluoridation to city officials.
Group member Erin Adams said that new information that has come to light caused the need to pause legal efforts, but she added that the group is no less earnest in its desire to persuade City Council to give the people of Sheridan a choice on whether or not they want fluoride in their water.
“We’re treading water right now,” Adams said. “I’m hoping the will of the people will prevail.”
Von Krosigk said any challenges to the 2010 council decision will need to come “via judicial declaration or a petition that meets requirements of the law by the opponents if that’s their goal.”
Adams said that Clean Water Sheridan will continue to gather signatures on its petition asking the council to stop the addition of fluoride to the water. The group currently has more than 1,800 signatures, more than 70 of which were gathered at the most recent Third Thursday street festival.
The group plans to present its petition at a council meeting this fall. In order for City Council to consider the matter, it will need a motion and a second by two councilors to be placed on the table.
VALPARAISO | The city’s Utilities Board is expected to vote in two weeks on a recommendation to the council on whether Valparaiso should continue to add fluoride to the city water supply.
The board officially received the report of its fluoride commission at Tuesday’s meeting.
The commission voted 5 to 2 earlier this month in favor of continuing to fluoridate the water but to re-examine the issue again within five years. The utilities board agreed to study the report before voting on a recommendation, probably in two weeks.
The towns of Kouts and Hebron have discontinued fluoridation for monetary reasons, while Lowell has so much naturally occurring fluoride it had to remove it prior to switching to Lake Michigan water.
The final decision will be up to the City Council
Could this letter be the start of a new campaign?Intersting evidence on thyroid function.
AAP continues to recommend fluoride for prevention of dental caries
A chemical that has been linked to cancer cell growth is being used by millions of Americans in toothpaste every day, it has emerged.
The company behind Colgate Total insists that triclosan, which it uses to stave off gum disease, is safe to use because the toothpaste was approved in 1997 by the Food and Drug Administration.
But the toxicology documents used by the FDA to approve the toothpaste were only released early this year after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last year – and reveal the agency relied upon company-backed science to reach its conclusion, Bloomberg News reported.
The 35-page report reveals the FDA had concerns that triclosan could increase the risk of cancer – but Colgate said the chemical was only problematic in large doses.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722289/Chemical-used-Colgate-Total-toothpaste-linked-cancer.html#ixzz3BmcjpgIn
Edmonton and Alberta
‘No Fluoride’ hero advocate is building a huge sign on QE2 highway about 50 km south of Edmonton.
Peterborough has fluoride in its public water supply and a local group has been working for more than a year to put an end to the practice. On Wednesday (Aug. 13) Fluoride Free Peterborough hosted. Paul Connett, the founder of the Fluoride Action Network to speak to community members about water fluoridation.
The question of whether or not the City of Cranbrook should continue the practice of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply will be put to a referendum this November. As part of the ramp up to the vote, the city will be hosting an open house on Thursday, Oct. 23
Cranbrook is one of a small minority of communities that still add fluoride to their water supply. Those include Sparwood, Prince George, Fort St. John, Prince Rupert and Terrace. Prince George will be having a non-binding referendum on the matter.
Cranbrook’s referendum vote will be held as part of the municipal election on November 15, 2014. The city is encouraging all eligible voters to participate.
The Oct. 23 meeting will feature Canadian health experts on both sides of the fluoride debate. Dr. Alastair Nicoll, of the BC Dental Association, and a local dentist will argue for the continued addition of fluoride to the water, while Dr. James Beck, Professor Emeritus for Medical Biophysics at the University of Calgary and co-author of ‘The Case Against Fluoride’, will advocate against.
Following the link to the city web site leads to a further page- extract below – with ten links to other greoups’ four of them anti, including FAN and Cof-cof. Unusual.
Water Fluoridation: Be informed — then vote!
The City of Cranbrook is seeking electoral assent on whether or not to continue adding fluoride to the City’s water system will be held as part of Cranbrook’s November 15, 2014 Municipal Election. All eligible voters are encouraged to participate.
The question will ask: “Are you in favour of Council adopting City of Cranbrook Cease Fluoridation Bylaw No. 3799, 2014, which authorizes stopping the addition of fluoride to the municipal water supply effective January 1, 2015?”
The question will part of the official ballot providing you an opportunity to choose either “yes” or “no”. A yes vote means you want to eliminate fluoride from our water, while a no vote means continuing to add it. Additional Information About Water Fluoridation
THE region’s general practitioners have backed calls to put fluoride in Cairns’ drinking water, saying it would prevent long-term health problems and possibly chronic disease.
A survey by FNQ Docs, a representative group comprising private GPs, showed that almost every one of its members wanted Cairns Regional Council to review their decision to remove the mineral from the water supply
This tone of this article is unusual in Australian press reviews and of seventeen, often lenghty, comments, there is not a single pro-fluoridation contributer. Anti-fluoride writers include Paul Connett.
Fluoride dosing plants set to be built
Fluoridation of the water supply to Lismore and Ballina moved a step closer yesterday after the award of the tender to build four dosing plants, but anti-fluoride campaigners may yet continue their fight to stop it.
Rous Water announced yesterday that the tender had been accepted for the building of the four plants at Clunes, Corndale, Dorrougby and Knockrow, with the state health department to cover the initial cost of around $2.7 million.
Anti-fluoride campaigner Al Oshlack told ABC North Coast that he attended the meeting to advise delegates they could be in a legally tricky situation if they voted to go ahead with plan.
Mr Oshlack said the argument by pro-fluoride supporters was that it was given as a therapy to stop tooth cavities. Mr Oshlack argued that if that was the case, then fluoride would be a medicine requiring a licence from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
The vote by Rous Water councillors to award tender was carried 4-3.
Chair of Rous Water, Cr Sue Meehan, told the ABC the project was costly due to Byron Shire Council’s decision to opt out of the plan.
Cr Meehan said because Byron was excluded from the dosing-plant network, four sites have to built instead of two, which meant a doubling of the price of the plants including their ongoing maintenance.
Meanwhile, the Fluoride Action Network Australia (FAN) has accused Australia’s National Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of ‘extreme bias’ in the makeup of the committee set to review water fluoridation’s health effects.
According to FAN, the NHMRC has stacked its new fluoride committee with at least nine members who have publicly advocated for water fluoridation, making fluoridation advocates a majority of the 15 member NHMRC committee, according to Merilyn Haines, president of FAN Australia.
Ms Haines said four of the committee members were well known fluoridation activists who had all also received significant grant funding from the NHMRC and all have used their own publications to promote fluoridation.
‘It appears that the NHMRC CEO has also not invited anyone who is opposed to fluoridation to join the committee despite the NHMRC claiming in late 2013 and early 2014 that their review process will be open and transparent and would include anti-fluoride representatives,’ Ms Haines said.
‘It is now August and the NHMRC has still not disclosed the committee members’ conflicts of interests even though the new committee commenced official meetings in June after being appointed by the CEO in May 2014.
‘The NHMRC have invited the public to submit evidence on fluoridation health effects but the public has been allowed only one month to submit evidence, despite the planned two year review timeline.
‘The NHMRC have also said they will reject personal evidence of harm such as medical histories, case notes etc from members of public.
The NHMRC’s intention to do such an extremely biased and deliberately skewed review of water fluoridation is dishonest, it brings disrepute to Australian medical research and is fraudulent use of taxpayer’s money.
‘How can anyone ever take the NHMRC seriously again when they descend to this sort of tactics to protect fluoridation, an outdated practice that most of the world countries don’t even do,’ she said.
A collection of items about a new government sponsored report’
1 to 4 : the build –up; 5: the report; 6 -7 the reactions.
1. Aug 13
Secret panel claim in fluoride dispute
The Government is wading into the turgid waters of fluoridation, with an “authoritative report” being developed behind the scenes to counter increasingly aggressive anti-fluoride campaigners.
A panel of some of the country’s top scientific experts in the field has been quietly working for months on the report – to be made public in the next few weeks – after pleas from councils besieged by a torrent of opposition to adding fluoride to drinking water.
At least three councils have been embroiled in legal battles in the past year, including the Kapiti Coast District Council.
The report is being fronted by the prime minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, and the Royal Society of New Zealand.
Anti-fluoridation group New Health NZ Inc yesterday accused the society of convening a “secret panel” to support its pro-fluoride views. “We are chiefly concerned that there has been
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule, who is also mayor of Hastings, said that, with anti-fluoridation groups raising the pressure, councillors were being forced to make decisions beyond their expertise.
“We are not health experts, we just own the water pipes.”
The Dominion Post
2. Aug 14
The Prime Minister’s chief science adviser says there is nothing “silly” going on with a Royal Society of New Zealand review of water fluoridation
3. Aug 15
OPINION: The Government’s fluoride report is a rare acknowledgement to the evidence being presented to communities by concerned citizens and health professionals opposed to fluoridation (Secret Panel Claim in Fluoride Dispute (August 13).
Yet an ”authoritative report” fronted by Sir Peter Gluckman, compiled and reviewed by pro- fluoridation ”experts” is likely to be another whitewash.
Questions repeatedly put to them have not been addressed, such as why they assure the public there is no risk of harm but fail to mention that the toxicity limit for long-term ingestion of fluoride is being exceeded by large sections of our community.
Claims of large benefits to dental health are not supported by real life data.
It would appear the Government has had its arm twisted by some councillors who think their job is just to look after the pipes.
With no transparency or balanced input, this is an obvious attempt to shut the gate on information. STAN LITRAS
Fluoride Information Network for Dentists Wellington [abridged] – The Dominion Post
|4. 16 August|
Secret Fluoridation Review Totally One-Sided Admits Chair
The secret ‘review’ of water fluoridation will only look at research that supports fluoridationists’ belief in ‘the safety and efficacy of fluoride in water’, says Sir Peter Gluckman, co-chair of this thereby-admitted ‘kangaroo review’.
It is no wonder that scientific studies showing water fluoridation is neither safe nor effective have not been sought for this bogus ‘review’.
Even the Ministry of Health admits there is robust scientific research against the claimed safety and effectiveness of fluoridation. But only under the Official Information Act. Publicly it denies this admission. Who could possibly trust these people?
The US National Research Council Review, published in 2006, raised major concerns about toxic health effects of fluoride at levels in NZ drinking water. The NZ Ministry of Health ignores this finding. Only recently, another scientific study showed fluoride reduces IQ, adding to the prestigious Harvard meta-analysis of international studies.
In the US a recent press release stated “A series of disclosures are surfacing about the actions of water fluoridation promoters that point to a likely tsunami of Fluoridegate investigations, hearings, and explosive courtroom entanglements.”
Tennessee state legislator Frank Niceley states, “There is a real Fluoridegate scandal here. Citizens haven’t been told about harm from fluorides”
Washington D.C. toxic tort attorney Chris Nidel says, “I think when we look back we’ll ask why Fluoridegate didn’t surface earlier. There are serious concerns about possible conflict of interest and heavy editing of information being fed to the public about fluoride risks and impacts.”
Does this sound warning bells about this ‘kangaroo review’ by Gluckman and the Royal Society – sure does! Against this background, this secret ‘review’ is extremely alarming – a ‘review’ by committed fluoridationists who deny the published science that fluoridation is not just ineffective, it is a serious health risk. The NZ public deserves better. The NZ public must demand better. Unless we are no more than sheep.
Fluoridation is a crime against humanity. Those who seek to force it on the population need to be held criminally liable. This is especially true of those, like Gluckman, who abuse the trust that the public place in them, believing them to be objective scientists, when they are no more than fanatics pursuing a quasi-religious crusade on this issue.
5 This release picked up by several publications..
Fluoride ‘safe and effective’ in community water – report
August 22, 2014 Source: ONE News
A review of the science around the fluoridation of public water supplies has reaffirmed the belief that the levels of the chemical used in New Zealand’s water systems does not pose a risk to health.
The issue of whether or not to allow fluoride into the country’s water supplies has caused significant debate in many regions, with opponents arguing the negative health effects outweigh the protection it provides against tooth decay.
However, the report, which was compiled by five experts, explored claims that the chemical can contribute to the risk of cancer, brain disorders and other illnesses but concluded there was no scientific evidence to back these up.
“The review finds compelling evidence that fluoridation of the water at the established and recommended levels produces broad and continuing benefits for the dental health of New Zealanders,” says Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.
Mr Gluckman helped to commission the review with the Royal Society of New Zealand.
“The public can be reassured on the basis of robust scientific data, that the implementation of this public health measure poses no risk of adverse health effects
Followed inevitably by..
Northern DHBs welcome expert fluoridation findings
Friday, 22 August 2014, 1:23 pm
Expert scientific fluoridation findings welcomed
DHBs across the Northern region have welcomed the findings of an expert scientific review of fluoridation of public water supplies finding ‘compelling evidence’ of dental health benefits for New Zealanders.
The review – by a panel established by the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and the Royal Society of New Zealand – was also unanimous in concluding there are no adverse effects on brain development, cancer risk, cardiovascular or metabolic risk.
Speaking on behalf of Northland, Waitemata, Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs, Waitemata DHB Chief Executive Dr Dale Bramley said the review’s findings provided a clear, independent endorsement of the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies.
“The science has been independently evaluated and the findings are very clear – fluoridation remains the safest and most appropriate means of improving public dental health,” Dr Bramley said.
“The report confirms that the fluoridation levels used in New Zealand are safe and that the various arguments put forward by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence.
“Furthermore, it concludes it is appropriate that fluoridation should be extended to those communities that are currently not covered as a means of improving dental health.
“This report should assure those New Zealanders who may have been doubtful of the importance of fluoridation that it is not only safe but that it is critically important from a public health perspective.”
The executive summary is included below and the full review is available to download at www.royalsociety.org.nz and www.pmcsa.org.nz
7. Dr Litras of FIND has this to say. It should be the last word
Sunday, 24 August,
By Dr. Stan Litras BDS BSc FIND (Fluoride Information Network for Dentists)
Most New Zealand children and many at risk adults are exceeding the upper toxic limits for chronic ingestion of fluoride (0.05 mg/kg body weight/day), fluoride crosses the placenta but it’s effects on the unborn child is unknown. The total fluoride intake at the individual level is unknown and uncontrolled. The MOH considers it acceptable to continue drip feeding HFA, a class 6 toxin, to communities until it becomes obvious that harm is occurring.
These facts were acknowledged by the report, which nevertheless bizarrely concluded that fluoridation is completely safe for all people.
The somewhat confused nature of the report, full of contradiction and unsupported statements, is an indication of how the panel of pro-fluoride experts must have struggled to put square pegs into round holes and reconcile the scientific facts with their pro-fluoride agenda.
An honest and fair review would have included a balanced panel of experts , as did the NRC review 2006, and been conducted with a transparent process.
The councils who called for the review may feel short-changed about this, but the end result should leave them in no doubt as to why water fluoridation is rejected by 90% of the world and why it was banned in Israel just last week.
Fluoridationists are playing Russian roulette with people’s health.
Health Ministry ‘clueless’ about childhood tooth decay patterns
Israel Outlaws Water Fluoridation
NEW YORK, Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
The Jerusalem Post has reported that Israel’s Minister of Health has not only ended mandatory fluoridation (as reported earlier) but has ended the practice altogether. Regulations allowing fluoridation in Israel were introduced in 1974, and made mandatory in 1998. New regulations, beginning August 26, will end fluoridation in Israel for 5.3 million residents, says Fluoride Action Network.
This decision will give a huge boost to the growing movement to end fluoridation worldwide. The newly formed Worldwide Alliance to End Fluoridation with over 100 groups and a new campaign Parents Against Fluoridation has attracted 2,000 new members. Over 150 communities have rejected the controversial practice since 2010.
According to media reports Health Minister German declared that scientific evidence showed that fluoride can damage health, is not effective, is a waste of money, and violates an individual’s freedom to regulate the amount of fluoride their children ingest.
When Minister German’s decision to end fluoridation was first announced it triggered a hostile personal campaign from proponents of fluoridation[6-8]. This in turn triggered worldwide support for the Minister’s position. On June 25, over 100 professionals signed an Open Letter supporting the Minister and challenged promoters to defend their position in open public debate. No one in Israel accepted this challenge.
On August 15, Dr. Hardy Limeback, PhD, DDS, Professor emeritus of preventive dentistry (University of Toronto), sent a letter to Minister German. He wrote,
“I have looked at this from all angles and I have to conclude that fluoridated cities would save money on fluoridation costs, parents would save on costly dental bills treating dental fluorosis, dental decay rates would remain unchanged or even continue to decline (as has been demonstrated in many modern fluoridation cessation studies) and the health of city residents would improve when industrial waste products are no longer added to the drinking water (I find it absurd that the fluoride used to fluoridate drinking water is derived from industrial waste without purification, increasing carcinogenic heavy metal levels, such as arsenic and radionuclides, in the drinking water).”
The Director of the Fluoride Action Network, Paul Connett, PhD added, “We congratulate Yael German for resisting the bullying tactics of fluoridation proponents. We would dearly like to see the same integrity from health officials in countries that continue this outdated, unethical and reckless practice.”
References, see http://fluoridealert.org/news/israel-outlaws-water-fluoridation/
SOURCE Fluoride Action Network
German ‘reneges’ on optional fluoridation of drinking water
Days before the deadline fpor ending fluoridatior undedr this heading there were frantic warnings of the damnage that is going to be done to poor children’s teeth.
Here is the Jerusalem Post article on the decision. It remains very biased.
Contrary to the advice of public health and dentistry experts in her own ministry and academia, Health Minister Yael German has decided to prohibit the fluoridation of drinking water around the country.
She also issued her decision Sunday in contravention of a letter written exactly two years ago by Prime Minister (and then-official health minister) Binyamin Netanyahu, who told Knesset Interior Committee chairman MK Amnon Cohen that he [Netanyahu] “could not agree to the cessation of fluoridation” of potable water. Netanyahu continued that municipalities had requested to continue their fluoridation of water and that they should be allowed to do so.
The Health Ministry introduced mandatory water fluoridation in 1970 in cities, towns and settlements with over 5,000 residents, and indeed, 70 percent of Israelis have received fluoridated water delivered to their taps. But German opposed it as Meretz-Party mayor of Herzliya and stopped it in her city. Just weeks after entering office as health minister, she declared that she would stop fluoridation and, encountering fierce criticism from critics in leading Israeli schools of public health and dentistry and from her own ministry experts, she wavered and suggested as late as June that fluoridation could be an option instead of being outlawed.
German’s spokesmen said that only Ireland and Israel require fluoridation of drinking water, but her critics responded that everywhere else is it an option open to all local authorities except where barred completely only in Holland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
The Adin Committee (headed by Prof. Avner Adin) that looked into water quality standards had recommended that fluoridation not be mandatory but it also stated that it could instead be optional. The committee also stated that desalinated water — which increasingly is making up for water shortages around the country — be fluoridated.
German reiterated on Sunday that she recognized the tasteless, colorless gas as very effective in reducing dental cavities, especially among children. But she added that instead of forcing all Israelis to consume fluoridated water to benefit children’s teeth, the delivery system should be changed so each parent can decide and take action individually if they wanted their child to get dental protection. On August 26, regulations to halt all fluoridated will go into effect, and parents would have to act proactively to protect and improve their dental hygiene.
The health minister maintained that according to the World Health Organization, there is a decline in dental caries in countries that do not have mandatory fluoridation. But her critics noted that high-income, homogeneous countries have fewer poor families and better dental habits than in Israel. Here, there are many large families including Arab, ultra-Orthodox and other children whose parents have a lower level of health education and cannot afford or are otherwise unable to protect their teeth and who require automatic delivery of fluoride in the drinking water.
Prof. Arnon Afek, German’s director-general whom she recently handpicked and who is an expert in pathology and medical administration (but not dentistry or public health), told The Jerusalem Post Sunday that he personally supported the health minister’s decision to prohibit fluoridation. “Mandatory fluoridation is medical treatment. Individuals have the right to decide if they want it or not. The question is not if fluoride is beneficial but how it should be delivered. We cannot force people. It is legitimate that experts in the field oppose the health minister’s decision, but we have a policy,” said the director-general. “The ministry supported it for over 40 years, but this is a new era. The world has changed, and we can educate parents.”
Asked about the fact that most of the developed world has been adding vitamin D to all milk products, iodine to salt and folic acid to flour for decades due to their health benefits but that Israel has not yet done so, Afek said that if the ministry decided to do so, “those who didn’t want the supplements could choose not to consume these products. But with fluoridation of tap water, there is no free choice.”
German said only one-percent of water supplies are consumed via the tap, thus fluoridation of all potable water was “a waste.” Children should instead be encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, she said, and dental clinics, health funds, kindergarten and elementary school teachers, the School Health Service and tipat halav (well-baby) clinics will aim at educating parents about fluoride.
Prof. Itamar Grotto, chief of public health at the ministry, was on Sunday abroad on vacation and unable to comment. He avoided speaking publicly on the issue in recent months in light of the minister’s position. But in a letter to then-ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu in May 2013, Grotto stated that he favored the option of fluoridation according to local needs and that desalinated sea water for drinking must be fluoridated. As late as June, Grotto said fluoridation of drinking water would be optional for municipal and local authority heads, but this was dashed by German’s announcement on Sunday.
German did not state how much money it has allocated for educating parents, teachers and public health nurses through all these institutions. the vast majority of countries with optional fluoridation and the handful that prohibit fluoridation have significant budgets for health education purposes.
The Israel Dental Association representing the country’s dentists issued a statement on Sunday stating that it supported the continuation of fluoridation via tap water. “Fluoridation reduces and prevents dental cavities; cancellation of fluoridation [via the water supply] thus harms the dental health of Israeli residents,” the IDA stated. The association of Arab dentists within the association has issued a strong call for fluoridation as their sector tends more to suffer from poor dental health that would be even worse without fluoride in the water.
In a last-ditch effort to get German to change her mind, a group of high-level public health and dental medicine experts wrote a letter to the health minister on Sunday.
“The health ministry decided, in complete contravention to the views of public health experts — including those in her office — and many MKs, that her view is more important. She is the first-ever health minister not to listen to the advice of professionals and bring to her office ideology that is not based on scientific facts and irresponsible decisionmaking, to say the least.” Among the signatories were Prof. Jonathan Mann (former dean and now head of community dentistry of the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of dental medicine; senior expert in dental epidemiology at the same school), Prof. Ted Tulchinsky, a former senior Health Ministry expert in public health; and Dr. Alon Livny, Prof. Avi Zini, Dr, Yuval Vered, Dr. Ilan Diamant, Dr. Sigal Mazor, Dr. Alex Haimov and many others.
The experts noted that more than 400 million people around the world today consume and benefit from fluoridated tap water.
They maintained that German’s decision on the basis of the Adin Committee were “inaccurate and even misleading and that it never recommended halting fluoridation but to offer it according to public needs in each location and creating suitable alternatives. The committee also urged that long-term epidemiological research be carried out over 10 years with Health Ministry funding.” But the experts said that no such research was launched since the Adin Committee made the recommendation.
The public health experts added that fluoridation prevents cavities and minimizes social gaps, and that German has totally “ignored” the Adin Committee’s recommendation to fluoridate desalinated water. “The minister’s decision is amateurish and liable to cause long-term damage to Israeli children and adults, making their health situation poorer, especially on the economically and educationally disadvantaged.” Every year, they continued, 500 children are brought to hospital emergency rooms for treatment of bodily complications of rotten teeth. Her decision “is liable to increase this number many times over,” the professors declared. “Until she became minister, Israeli society enjoyed a dental and social Iron Dome” that protected their teeth, but “German canceled this.”
“This is a sad day for public health, dental health and child health in Israel,” added Tulchinsky, who is currently head of the School of Health Professions at Ashkelon College. The health minister is deliberately depriving mainly poor children especially those living in the south and north of the country from preventing 30 percent of dental caries. She is banning fluoridation despite worldwide proof of its cost effectiveness and safety.”
And this is the reaction of Paul Connett. So say all of us!
August 18, 2014 Just occasionally during the long sordid history of fluoridation an individual stands up against the bullying tactics of the arrogant promoters of fluoridation. This has just happened in Israel where the Minister of Health Yael German has ended fluoridation in Israel despite the vocal and vociferous attacks of fluoridation promoters which have been gleefully – and one-sidedly – reported in The Jerusalem Post.
Doubtless these ill-informed critics will continue their bullying tactics and do everything they can to encourage dentists and doctors outside Israel to join their ignorant outcry. However, before the latter do so they should read carefully the letter below written to the Health Minister by Dr. Hardy Limeback, one of Canada’s leading dental researchers and former head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto.
You can also see FAN’s open letter to Minister German sent on June 25, supporting her opposition to fluoridation and signed by many professionals from around the world. We congratulate the Israeli Minister of Health, Yael German, for performing her job with integrity while under great pressure. She has offered the international public health community the model to follow on the fluoridation issue.
Paul Connett, PhD Director, Fluoride Action Network