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.”
1. Siegel-Itzkovich J. 2014. Health Minister German outlaws fluoridation of all tap water. The Jerusalem Post, August 17.
4. Fluoride Action Network. 2014. Communities that have rejected fluoridation since 2010.
5. Press report in Hebrew. 2013. April 30. http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4374000,00.html Translation of what the Health Minister said about her decision:
“My decision to stop fluoridation was because Israel fluoridated all the water for residential use. In fact, less than 2% of the water is used for drinking. Fluoridating the washing-machine water, dish-washer water, baths, toilets and gardening are actions without logic. Physicians told me that fluoridation can harm pregnant women, people who suffer from thyroid problems and the elderly. I was exposed to studies from the world that raise the suspicion that too much fluoride can harm teeth and bones. In the current state we receive fluoride from several sources: drinking water, toothpaste, cooking water, vegetables, and it is impossible to know what’s the dose we absorb. The WHO published a study, which shows that there is no difference between cavity levels in countries that fluoridate and do not fluoridate. Because of this, with all considerations and interests combined, I think that continuing massive fluoridation of 100% of the water was not right and many also think that it harms the basic rights and the freedom of choice.”
6. Siegel-Itzkovich J. 2014.Fluoridation to remain a local option. The Jerusalem Post, June 25.
7. Siegel-Itzkovich J. 2014. Backlash against Health Minister Yael German for her decision to stop fluoridation. The Jerusalem Post, June 23.
8. Tulchinsky T, Mann J, Sgan-Cohen H. 2013. Health Minister attacks dental health protection. The Jerusalem Post, May 19.
9. Fluoride Action Network. 2014. Open letter to Honorable Yael German, Minister of Health. June 25.
10. Limeback H. 2014. Letter to Yael German, Health Minister, Israel. August 15.