Fluoride Action Network

The World’s First Randomized Controlled Trial On Fluoridation Is Targeting Children

December 16th, 2022 | Fluoride Action Network

Donations Are Still DOUBLED

Since Wednesday we’ve raised $2,435 from 15 donors. This was doubled to $4,870 thanks to the $10,000 doubling-pledge made by a “super angel” donor last Friday. Our new total is now $35,291 from 170 donors on our way to our goal of raising $180,000 from 1000 supporters by midnight on December 31st.

There’s still time to have double the impact! The next $3,027 donated will be doubled!

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the Fluoride Action Network’s 2023 budget. Only with your help and financial support can we stand a chance of ending this practice and protecting generations of children to come.

How To Make A Tax-Deductible Donation

Dear Friends,

The children of Lenoir County, North Carolina are being recruited for an unethical human experiment that will expose them to levels of fluoride that have been shown in many peer-reviewed studies to cause harm to the developing brain. Parent’s aren’t being warned about the potential risks involved, so the Fluoride Action Network has started a collaborative campaign with locals citizens, community leaders, and professionals in North Carolina to warn parents and protect these vulnerable infants and toddlers.


The study–named waterBEST and led by University of North Carolina (UNC) dental researcher Dr. Gary Slade–is giving bottled water with fluoride levels of 0.8mg/L to 100 infants starting at age 3–6 months and continuing to age 4 years. It’s intended to test whether fluoridated water reduces cavities for infants and toddlers, and ultimately justify an expansion of the practice.

It’s important to note that the principle researcher, Dr. Slade, is an avid pro-fluoridationist. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Fluoridation Society, which is devoted to promoting fluoridation.

Also, despite over 75 years of fluoridation proponents claiming the science is settled regarding the effectiveness of the practice, this is the first ever randomized controlled trial (RCT) ever conducted on water fluoridation. It’s worth repeating, there is not a single RCT demonstrating water fluoridation’s safety or effectiveness. This is important because RCTs provide what is considered to be “the gold standard” of evidence proving the safety or effectiveness of a medical treatment due to their potential to limit study bias.

Here is a very short 2-minute video overview of the waterBEST study that features video and audio of Dr. Slade admitting openly that this is the first ever RCT on water fluoridation. Click Below to Watch:

The recruitment area for the infants is Lenoir County, one of the poorest regions of North Carolina, with 22% of persons living below the poverty line. That puts it in the top poverty rankings in North Carolina. Demographically, the county has a population that is 41% black, with the city of Kinston (the study’s primary focus) having a population that is 67% black, making this an environmental justice issue as well.

The study is offering inducements to recruit participants. Parents are being promised $480 in compensation; free bottled water provided for 3 1/2 years for the whole family, and annual dental exams. Families will also receive “dispensers and other supplies to encourage water consumption consistent with nutritional recommendations.”

Parents Are Not Being Warned

While parents are being told about the financial incentives and the theoretical benefits of fluoridated water for their infants, they are being misinformed about the risks. The National Institutes of Health–the funding agency for this study through the NIDCR–guidelines for human medical experimentation require that participants be fully informed of risks, and that risks do not outweigh potential benefits. However, in a 2018 article Dr. Slade advised avoidance of “mixed messages” that inform people of fluoridation’s pros and cons.

“Given that the average person does not understand fluoridation scientifically … mixed messages that introduce even some uncertainty should be enough to lead to a rejection at the polls [of fluoridated water].” [Curiel 2018].

The Informed Consent document that parents must sign for waterBEST reflects that attitude by failing to mention the risk of lowered IQ or dental fluorosis. In our view, the warning given to the parents in the Consent form is misleading because it’s purposely vague. It acknowledges that there is a risk, but doesn’t explain the potential side-effects. It only says:

“A possible risk to your child in taking part in this research is too much fluoride intake.”

As Dr. Slade pointed out in that quote on messaging: the average person does not understand fluoridation scientifically. So clearly the average person will not understand the potential side-effects from ingesting “too much fluoride” without it being accurately described to them.  Also, if you visit the waterBEST website, you will not find any notice of potential side-effects.  If you look at their promotion materials you will not find any indication that the study could injury participating children.

The study invites the whole family to use the free drinking water provided in this experiment. However no warnings will be given to pregnant women in the household. The Mother-Offspring fluoride studies show that the fetus and infants (Till 2020) are especially vulnerable to fluoride’s neurotoxicity.

There’s an extensive National Toxicology Program (NTP) review of fluoride neurotoxicity that identifies over 100 studies showing adverse effects including IQ loss and ADHD. Among 27 studies designated as high quality, 15 show fluoride injury at the same exposure levels proposed in Slade’s early childhood study. The risks are very real, life-long, and significant.

What FAN Is Doing To Protect The Children Of Lenoir County

  • FAN created an online portal so the public could learn about this study, and we sent out a press release to national and North Carolina media outlets.
  • FAN detailed how the waterBEST study violates these requirements in a formal Letter of Concern to the UNC Institutional Review Board (IRB) that is responsible for monitoring the ethics of human research. The IRB board didn’t respond to our initial letter, so we sent follow-ups.
  • When the IRB failed to respond again, FAN sent a letter to Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, the Chancellor of UNC at Chapel Hill.
  • FAN recruited local citizens, community leaders, and professionals to collaborate in a new campaign called fluorideWORST. Together, we first developed an educational website for the people of Lenoir County.
  • Our collaborative team then utilized traditional and online advertising to target parents living in the region. Below are photos of two of our billboards running in downtown Kinston, not far from the local hospital and from the waterBEST headquarters. These received a lot of attention according to both our local contacts and the billboard company representatives.

  • Our campaign then starting making presentations to local community organizations. One of the presentations we’ve provided thus far included a very well-attended public forum hosted by the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where well over 100 citizens heard our information.
  • fluorideWORST has developed our outreach even further by initiating an education campaign that will directly reach the parents of Lenoir County. We can’t be more specific at the moment because we know the fluoridation-lobby is monitoring our actions, but we believe it will be an incredibly efficient and cost-effective approach to combine with our other work.
  • We have also developed campaign materials, including the brochure you see below. Click below to access the full brochure:

**If you’re a North Carolina resident and able to help us advocate for the children of Kinston in any way, or you have contacts in Kinston or Lenoir County that you can refer us to, please email:fluorideworst@gmail.com

It obviously isn’t worth losing 5-9 IQ points, even to potentially prevent one cavity. This study is ethically unacceptable and puts vulnerable children living in a vulnerable community at risk. Please support our work in 2023 as we work diligently to protect the children of Lenoir County and the rest of the world from overexposure to fluoride.

Thank you,

Stuart Cooper

Executive Director

Fluoride Action Network