Research and Commentary
Cochrane Review provides little convincing evidence of fluoridation benefits
This Cochrane review was published on June 13 by an organisation considered the ‘ gold standard’ of medical research. It built on earlier reviews, including the York University study of 2001 and used the same criteria to assess the standards of the statistical evidence presented by the research published over the period considered.
It found, yet again, that there was no statistically impeccable evidence from any studies over the last forty years, that proved fluoridation was effective in reducing tooth decay.
The complete document is available here http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD010856.pub2/full
(150 pages). If you want to see the 50-page narrative only, ask SWIS. The following combines extracts from commentaries by FAN, by Dr. Stan Litras, director of FIND (Fluoride Information Network for Dentists) and a release from FFNZ.
A new review just released by the Cochrane Collaboration, internationally acknowledged as the gold standard in evidenced based reviews of health science, confirms doubts over the benefits of fluoridating water supplies in modern developed countries.
The Cochrane Review finds the science does not support claims that water fluoridation is of any benefit to adults, nor that it reduces social inequalities, nor that it provides additional benefits over and above topically applied fluoride (such as in toothpaste), nor that tooth decay increases in communities when fluoridation is stopped.
The review is not convinced that studies showing that water fluoridation reduces decay in children are applicable to today’s society either, as nearly all the studies used in calculations (dating back to the 1940’s) were conducted prior to the availability of fluoride toothpaste and other sources of fluoride which we have today, and were at high risk of bias.
The Cochrane Review found:
- An estimate that 40% of people will have dental fluorosis when water is fluoridated at 0.7ppm
- An estimate that 12% of people will have dental fluorosis that could cause concern over appearance when water is fluoridated at 0.7ppm
- No evidence that cessation of fluoridation led to an increase in dental decay rates
- No evidence that fluoridation reduced inequalities between rich and poor
- No evidence that fluoridation benefited adults
- 97% of the studies they examined were biased
Add this to the Irish Department of Health review below and for good measure check out Dr Thiessen’s demolition of the ‘$38 saved for every $1 invested’ study and surely no one would want to spend public money on a water fluoridation scheme – would they?
FAN reminds us that we have also had Stephen Peckham (University of Kent) on a thyroid function and fluoridation ( see earlier SWIS resources) in the UK and the paper published in the journal Environmental Health that found an association in US between fluoridation and the prevalence of ADHD http://fluoridealert.org/content/bulletin_03-11-15/
Other articles saved by SWIS or available to download from address shown
2 Fluoride Free New Zealand (FFNZ) replies to a post written on by Jess Berentson-Shaw. It is a good short statement of arguments against fluoridation, particularly aimed at children. It begins:: ‘Jess Berentson-Shaw begins by stating that she is finding out what makes life good for all children, not just some of them. Well, considering fluoridation does not work and is not safe, it is a straightforward decision to cease fluoridation’
3. Fluoridation: Illegal, Unethical and Must End, says US Legal Scholar
Fluoridation violates numerous legal and ethical human subjects research protocols, argues Rita Barnett-Rose, Chapman University Associate Law Professor, in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review (Volume 39 | Issue 1).
Using case law, legal opinions and scientific reports, Barnett-Rose argues that fluoridation schemes allow public health officials to experiment on humans without their informed consent.
4 From the Parry Sound North Star,
Dr. Hardy Limeback BSc PhD DDS Professor Emeritus, and former health, Preventative Dentistry Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto and Past Member of the US National Research Council Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water write Re: Town opts to stick with fluoride (Beacon Star, June 5), reminds readers that ‘our committee of experts spent 3.5 years to look at the fluoride toxicity literature and suggests the town reconsiders. He then expands on ‘ some basic facts’::
- The chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are impure
- Fluoride, unlike chlorine, is added to treat people, not the water. It is, therefore, considered a drug.
- The cost quoted to save a maximum of 6,000 fillings this represents more than $1,200 per filling.
- The cost of fluoridation never includes the cost of treating dental fluorosis or the cost of defending against lawsuits
- All the recent literature does not support the assertion that removing fluoride will cause an adverse health effect
- Side effects from too much fluoride ingestion are not trivial. There is a tremendous amount of good peer-reviewed science published on the toxicity of fluoride, including my own, which is not considered pseudoscience.
- For 60 years public health has selective reviewed only the pro-fluoridation literature.
Needless to say, the comments in the paper include an attack on Dr Limeback by dentist Mr. Slott, dentist
5 Extract from letter on the Rockport MA debate, reminds us of the Brunelle and Carlos survey
The fact is, the National Institute for Dental Research, conducted the largest study ever of 39,207 children who had lived their whole lives in 84 either fluoridated or non-fluoridated communities, and found no difference in their cavities. The NIDR, a pro-fluoridation group, had intended to prove conclusively that fluoridation is effective. When they failed to do so, at taxpayer expense of $3.6 million, they both hid the results and tried to fudge them. But the truth was unearthed and exposed with a Freedom of Information Act filing.
6 Mercola’s new article http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/06/14/fluoride-health-effects.aspx
Dr. Mercola kicked off Awareness week with a new 20-minute interview featuring FAN’s Director, Paul Connett
8 Winning the War of Words”
Notes from FAN
These two new documents from experienced activists show that we are indeed becoming expert at combating propaganda with words of truth.
Both the documents and the 2-hour audio recordong of the rteleconference are available
Auidio recording and documents all in SWIS/ Resources
9 Finally, two contributions picked up by Ann Wills
From the Daily Mail
Daily Mail 18.6.15 “MEN’S FERTILITY CRISIS” by Fiona MacRae, Science Editor.
Just 1 in 4 men now has good quality sperm, & male fertility is falling across Europe, a new analysis shows. For more than one man in 7 the problem is so acute that he would need fertility treatment to start a family, scientists say.
Dr Niels Jorgensen, a Copenhagen University researcher, believes that much of the blame lies with the cocktail of chemicals that surround us in everyday life. He announced this to European Society of Human Reproduction & Embryology’s annual conference in Lisbon, after reviewing over 70 years of research.
Dr Jorgensen calculates that just 25% of European men have good quality sperm. Sperm counts have fallen by at least a quarter in Denmark since the 1940s. Today around 1 in 7 couples in UK has trouble conceiving & although infertility was traditionally thought of as a female issue the problem is as likely to lie with the man. Suspect substances include phthalates, found in PVC flooring, car interiors, & PFCs which are “extremely harmful” chemicals found in non-stick pans & non-stick cookware. (A PFC is a perfluorinated compound – an organofluorine, containing fluoride.)
It’s thought unborn boys are particularly at risk because if chemicals pass to them in the womb, it could damage the development of their reproductive system leading to problems with sperm production as an adult.
..and from The Independent. The blue plastic beads in toothpaste was reported in a SWIS extracted article in 2014, with the supplier (Colgate) belatedly agreeing to remove it.
10 Independent 9.6.15 “EXCLUSIVE: TINY PLASTIC TIMEBOMB – THE POLLUTANTS IN OUR COSMETICS” by Steve Connor, Science Editor.
Millions of tons of microbeads are being washed into the sea, up the food chain, & heading for the fish on your plate. Millions of people are unwittingly pouring hundreds of tons of tiny plastic beads down the drain. These can persist in the environment for over 100 years & contaminate a wide variety of freshwater & marine wildlife, The Independent can reveal.
Many cosmetic products, such as facial scrubs, toothpastes & shower gels, now contain many thousands of microplastic beads which have been deliberately added by the manufacturers of more than 100 consumer products over the past 2 decades.
Plastic microbeads, which are typically less than a millimetre wide & are too small to be filtered by sewage-treatment plants, are able to carry toxins into the animals that ingest them, including those in the human food chain such as fish, mussels & crabs.
Research is by scientists such as Prof Ian Boyd of Brunel University & Prof Richard Thompson of Plymouth University. The plastic beads are often labelled as PE, PP or PMMA in the product ingredient list. Harmful ‘Persistent Organic Pollutants’ such as DDT & PCBs stick to the polyethylene microbeads. Details from Marine Conservation Society.
The Hull Daily Mail reports on opposition to fluoridationproposals from Gill Kennett, described as ‘the only Hull Red Labour councillor’ who, says the safety of water fluoridation cannot be guaranteed.
A major review has found ‘no definitive evidence’ that water fluoridation produces either positive or negative health effects, The full HRB report can be viewed here and is in SWIS/Resources
Legislation to give local water providers control over whether to add fluoride to the water supply failed to make it out of a Senate committee Wednesday.
Residents voted Tuesday to authorize the Bethel Water District to continue adding fluoride to the town’s water supply.
Bethel business owner Sarah Lane, who is not a resident of the town, asked selectmen to call a town vote on whether to stop using fluoride. The Bethel Water District did not take a position on the issue.
With Jon Calvert’s election to the Clarksburg Water Board, the three-member panel’s split decision to stop buying fluoride will likely be reversed, both sides agree. Board President Al Cox voted against the move, Calvert, who takes office in July, is in Cox’s corner when it comes to fluoride.
Local and state governments decide whether to fluoridate the water systems under their jurisdictions.
Some background to the recently reported decision to back fluoridation, A letter to FAN , condensed below, is from activists who banded together and formed the Cape Ann Fluoride Action Network
The Rockport Board Of Health held what they euphemistically called a ‘forum to discuss the myths, misinformation and meaningful use of fluoride,’ inviting parents to learn the ‘benefits of fluoridation.’ Only the panelists selected by the BOH would be allowed to speak. Written questions were neither read nor answered.
The panelists derisively dismissed peer-reviewed studies documenting adverse effects, and expressed barely contained rage at opponents ‘who want to harm our poor children.’ The event featured promises that pain, suffering and toothlessness would be revisited on Rockport if they stopped fluoridation The fluoridationists even tried to get members of the Cape Ann Fluoride Action Network who were were handing out information opposing fluoridation at the door, arrested.
Meanwhile, the local paper ran a full-page advertisement several times in the week leading up to the election, paid for by dentists, declaring those opposing fluoridation are “ANTI-PUBLIC HEALTH FEAR MONGERS”. Pro-fluoride letters, filled the papers the week before the election, along with a pro-fluoride editorial, and letters opposing fluoridation published the day after the election with substantial edits or published online only
With approximately one third of the registered voters casting a ballot, Rockport voted 3:2 to keep fluoridation.
WESTERN GROVE — A monthly meeting of the Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority, which was held at Western Grove City Hall, featured a presentation on fluoridation by representatives from the Arkansas Department of Healththat did not go over well with the water system officials and customers.Without exception, each water system’s representative said their customers did not want fluoridation.
Arkansas Act 197 mandated fluoridation of water districts supplying water to 5,000 or more people. Board chairman Andy Anderson said he had asked Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to exempt the Ozark Mountain Water Authority from the act.When asked what would happen if the board refused to comply with the law, Jeff Stone, director of engineering, said a possible fine of $500 a week could eventually result.
State Rep. David Branscum (R-Marshall) said he had voted against the fluoridation bill. He had also supported a bill in the last legislative session that would have given each water system entity the choice of fluoridating or not. The bill had passed the House, but not the Senate. He planned to re-introduce the bill in the 2017 session.
According to Anderson, much of the water from the Ozark Mountain system drains into the Buffalo River, with the fluoride undiminished. “All the environmental people should be up on their soap boxes,” Anderson said.
Picture 1 ;Fifty pound bags of sodium fluoride stored at the town’s well will be added over time to the fluoridation system, pictured in the background. That system injects the fluoride into the public water system.
The local paper reports with uncritical acclaim the town’s role as a guinea pig in 1951 for fluoirdation.Sixty-five water systems in Maine — about 76 percent — currently provide fluoridated drinking water to 133 communities, to more than 520,000 people, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In Maine just under half the population has access to public water systems.
Extracts and pics from Oxford Hills Sun Jouirnal
Sullivan MO June 2
There is no indication of the reasons for this decsision, or whether there had been any prior campaining.
Fluoridation Repealed In Sullivan,
The City of Sullivan will no longer be adding fluoride to its municipal water supply following actions of the Sullivan City Council, Tues., May 19, during their regular meeting
The council voted unanimously to repeal city code 705.050 which required the city to add fluoride to the municipal water supply. The city ordinance had been approved in 1994, but since then health recommendations to reduce the levels of fluoride in public water had decreased nationwide.
The council approved ordinance 3667 which eliminated the fluoride requirement.
From the Sullivan Indepoendent
Following a brief discussion at their June 17 meeting, the Wenham Board of Health plans to investigate the practice of fluoridating the town’s water supply.
No individual resident has raised the issue to the board, but member Gerald Donnellan included the topic of fluoridation as part of the meeting’s agenda.
Stressing he had “no opinion on it either way,” Donnellan noted fluoridation has become a hot topic in neighboring Massachusetts communities, including Rockport and Topsfield among others.
From http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/06/22/3620803_washington-state-considers-lowering.html?rh=1 Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/06/22/3620803_washington-state-considers-lowering.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
Pic 2:’ city employee at Pasco’s Butterfield Water Treatment Plant demonstrates a test on the system’s fluoridation equipment. The test is used to check the calibration of the pumps to ensure the proper amount of fluoride is added to the city’s water. ‘
TRI-CITY HERALD FILE Buy Photo
Also: The state of Washington is working on a new rule to reduce the amount of fluoride that is added to community water supplies after the federal government issued new recommendations in April.
Extracts from Union Bulletin
The Quebec Order of Dentists is blasting the provincial government for not advancing the cause of fluoridation of drinking water. Just five communities in Quebec add the compound to their municipal water supplies.
In an editiorial in the Order’s publication, president Dr. Barry Dolman says Quebecers are being swayed by non-credible groups which spread unfounded concerns about adding fluoride to drinking water.
The Eau Secours! coalition is opposed to fluoridation and tells the Journal de Montreal that adding fluoride to drinking water is akin to prescribing a medication to everyone in the province. It also feels fluoridation is a waste of money, as just 1% of tapwater is consumed by humans – the rest is used for cleaning and other tasks
New South Wales
Gunnedah Shire Council has punted the water fluoridation issue back to the NSW Department of Public Health, telling the government it is up to them to “sell” the idea
The council had made it “very plain” to the department they would not go down the path of fluoridation without being clear about where the funding was coming from and without a public education campaign.
“It is their responsibility to sell the program to our community,” Cr Hasler said. “We are one of only a very few of councils – 15 or 16 among 151 councils – that don’t have flouride injected into the water supply.
Council considered fluoridation in 2009 during the introduction of automatic chlorination to the water supply.But the council decided to put the decision on hold, noting it would need “much higher community support” before further action was taken.
The NSW Department of Health has stated it would cover installation costs for fluoridation, but ongoing costs would become council’s responsibility.
The construction of four fluoride plants in the region is expected to be completed this month. Fluoridated water will be supplied to most town water customers in the Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley Council areas.
N ew Zealand
Fluoridation of water supplies inspired two submissions to the Central Otago long-term plan, from opposite viewpoints.
Noeline Gannaway, urged the Central Otago District Council to ”end fluoridation and supply pure water for the public good” while Peter Herbison took the opposite view and said it was an opportune time to add fluoride to the drinking water as council water supplies were being upgraded.
Council staff will point out there are no fluoridated water supplies in Central Otago.
The council meets on Monday to consider 199 submissions to the long-term plan
Last updated 16:25, June 4 2015
Nelson Marlborough District Health Board chief executive Chris Fleming said the Marlborough District Council should make a commitment to work with the board to fluoridate the region’s water supplies.He was speaking at a council hearing on the region’s long term plan on Wednesday.
Mayor Alistair Sowman said local government wanted to shy away from fluoridating water because it could land councils in court.”If you want to stir people up, talk about water fluoridation. It is a debate that has divided us around the table.”
He wanted central government to make a definitive statement on the issue.
The Marlborough Express
According top FFNZ, Lake Taupo, one of the most pristine bodies of water in the world. Is bein polluted. Taupo District Council have admitted that fluoride chemicals are not being removed in Turangi’s Waste Water Treatment Process and are being added to the Hangarito stream that feeds Lake Taupo. This is the first time that testing of the waste water for fluoride chemicals has been undertaken by Taupo District Council and only occurred after Fluoride Free NZ brought it to their attention.
. In recent years tens of millions of dollars have been spent to shore up the environmental impact caused by farms and inhabitants adjacent to the internationally famous lake. It seems inconceivable that for the last 47 years Taupo District Council has been deliberately polluting the lake.
At the recent Taupo District Council Long Term Plan 37 submissions were received on fluoridation. 35 submissions opposed fluoridation and 2 were for its continuance
Part of an interview ( advertorial?) with Branded: Dianna Blake-Bennett,Sales & Marketing Manager, Industrial Chemical Company (Ja) Limited. Note the evidence given for fluoride in salt seems to be as poor as it is for water fluoridation.
TL: Tell us something we might not know about your brand.
DBB: In 1984 a national programme of salt fluoridation was spearheaded by ICC in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) and the Ministry of Health’s Dental Unit. This programme introduced fluoride to the Freeflo brand. The result of this introduction, as reported in the PAHO report Promoting Oral Health: The Use of Salt Fluoridation to Prevent Dental Caries, was significant improvements in the mean average of decaying, missing and filled dental cases in children. Before the introduction of fluoridation of salt, the cases of children with missing teeth, tooth decay and the need for filling were numerous. The study stated that “the changes in caries in school children 1984 and 1995 may be a result of a combination of factors. The likeliest factor, however, is the fluoridation of salt”. (Warphea, 2001). Our salt helps to reduce cavities, as it is fluoridated and iodised.