Fluoride Action Network

Nature Publishes Fluoridation Article

Fluoride Action Network | Bulletin | November 21, 2021

“…toxicologists worry that dental-health gains have come at a cost.”

One of the world’s most important scientific journals has published a special news feature on water fluoridation, focusing on the Fluoride Action Network’s federal court case against the U.S. EPA and quoting our legal counsel along with several accomplished neurotoxicity researchers.  It’s a well-balanced piece that we suggest sharing far and wide with the message: you can fill a cavity, but you cannot fix damage to the brain.

The piece, entitled “The Fluoride Wars Rage On,” has been published by the United Kingdom-based journal right as the nation faces the significant threat of a fluoridation mandate.  It lays the truth bare for the scientific community, revealing that:

“Yet research over the past 50 years has sown a seed of doubt. Rates of tooth decay in some high-income countries with no fluoridation have declined at a pace similar to that seen in fluoridated US communities. And an increasing number of studies are indicating that fluoride…might be a developmental neurotoxin, even at the level that the US Public Health Service has declared optimal for fluoridation…Some toxicologists and epidemiologists are now questioning whether even low doses of fluoride can have systemic effects, including causing a dip in IQ in children who were exposed to it in utero. The first indications of this came from studies that compared unfluoridated villages and communities with fluoridated ones…followed by better-controlled studies that measured fluoride in individuals. In the United States, each new study was met with extreme criticism, ridicule and anger that, at times, threatened the careers of those involved.”

It also accurately communicates the toll fluoridation has on the very population it is intended to benefit; those with limited financial means:

“…toxicologists worry about any impact of fluoridated water on IQ, especially in populations that are already vulnerable because of exposure to high rates of air pollution and elevated poverty rates, for example. And even if such populations are aware of the potential risks of fluoridation, they are least likely to be able to afford bottled water to use when formula-feeding infants, for instance.”

The article is also packed with powerful quotes, including from FAN’s attorney Michael Connett.  One important quote comes from Pamela Den Besten, a pediatric dentist and researcher, raising alarms about the lack of research on side-effects:

“Den Besten has spent her career trying to work out the systemic effects of swallowing this anion. The fact that fluoride can affect ameloblasts, the cells that produce and deposit tooth enamel, suggests that it could affect other cells of the body. In fact, she notes, studies in animals and humans show that, in addition to fluorosis, cellular effects of fluoride also include inflammation and altered neurodevelopment. That, in turn, suggests that it could make its way into the brain. Den Besten says that means researchers should be looking into whether fluoride has potential effects on the central nervous system. ‘It should be a high priority to answer these questions. And yet, it’s not.’ These potential effects of fluoride are important for individuals at all ages, she says.”

Another comes from physician and scientist Howard Hu, MD, MPH, ScD:

“Hu sees two big problems with how the dental public-health community has reacted. The first, he says, is that most of those in the dental community who are critiquing his and Till’s conclusions are doing so without a deep understanding of how they got them. ‘From the environmental epidemiology perspective, the methods employed in the most recent studies of prenatal fluoride exposure and neurodevelopment are exceptionally rigorous,’ he says, and were put through stringent peer review. The second problem is a misplaced idea that decades of research on fluoride prove it is safe. ‘They are ignoring the fact that almost none of these ‘decades’ of research have focused on the very specific issue of prenatal fluoride exposure and neurodevelopment…There hasn’t been a single US study of fluoridation, prenatal exposure and natal development,’ Hu says. He and his collaborators are starting one now, using data from past studies, and they aim to have answers in the next two years.”

First published over 150 years ago in 1869, Nature is considered the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journal. It’s where Watson and Crick first published their discovery of the structure of DNA and Kendrew published his discovery of the first structure of protein, changing biology forever. Nature had previously published an article on fluoridation in 1986 by Mark Diesendorf entitled, “The Mystery of Declining Tooth Decay.” This commentary called for the scientific community to reassess the claimed benefits of fluoridation after research showed reduction in decay could not be attributed to fluoridation.

The publication of Nature’s latest article on fluoridation is further evidence that significant people in the scientific community are not only taking notice of the neurotoxicity research, but are raising alarms.  In recent years, studies have been funded by the U.S. Government, and well-established toxicologists and award winning researchers, such as Linda Birnbaum, Philippe Grandjean, Howard Hu, Bruce Lanphear, and Christine Till have been sharing these landmark study findings and are actively pursuing additional research. Major high-impact scientific and medical journals are publishing this research, including JAMA, the Lancet, Pediatrics, and Environmental Toxicology.  This is all good news for us.

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Thank you,

Stuart Cooper
Campaign Director
Fluoride Action Network

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