Fluoride Action Network

Politics vs Science: Keeping the journal Fluoride out of PubMed

FAN Bulletin | December 12, 2013

Dear Supporter:

Over the course of this fundraiser we will be hearing from many in the Fluoride Action Network (www.FluorideAlert.org) team, which of course includes all of our supporters.  We have already heard from Paul, Stuart, Carol, and Michael.  Today we will be hearing from Ellen.

Politics vs Science: Keeping the journal Fluoride out of PubMed

This bulletin is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and colleague
Albert Burgstahler, who passed away earlier this year.

The journal Fluoride has been published since 1968 and is the only scientific journal dedicated to all aspects of fluoride research. It is published by the International Society for Fluoride Research 4 times a year, and all issues are available online for free.  The journal carries no advertisements and employs no paid personnel.

Over the past 45 years, the journal has had three very fine editors (George Waldbott M.D., John Colquhoun BDS, PhD, and Albert Burgstahler PhD) who were not only good researchers in their own right but were also men of the highest scientific integrity (see Note 1).

Incredibly, the largest online search engine for biomedical papers, PubMed, funded by the American taxpayer through the National Institutes of Health, has refused to index the Fluoride journal. Speculative reasons for this are:

• The findings they publish are at odds with government policy
• Some higher-ups in U.S. regulatory agencies asked PubMed not to index it

An editorial was published in Fluoride on the 2009 rejection by PubMed. It stated:

 “… the editor and managing editor of Fluoride conclude that this negative decision appears to stem more from the unyielding endorsement of water fluoridation and dental fluoride use as completely safe by the US Department of Health & Human Services than from any appropriate objective criteria… “
By Albert W Burgstahler, Editor and Bruce Spittle, Managing Editor.
Fluoride 42(4)256–259. 2009

A Key Resource for Skeletal Fluorosis Research

Whatever the undeserved reason that allows PubMed to keep Fluoride out of it search engine (politics / censorship) it has deprived researchers and others access to this journal and to the important research that it has published from many different countries for over 40 years. For some researchers if it didn’t appear in PubMed it didn’t happen!

One of the areas extensively covered by Fluoride since its inception has been skeletal fluorosis. The journal has published well over 100 reports on skeletal fluorosis since its inception (see Table 1) and despite the exclusion from PubMed, many of these studies have been widely cited by scientists in the field — including by the very same U.S. health authorities that have censored the journal.

Skeletal fluorosis is a painful, sometimes crippling, bone disease caused by prolonged accumulation of fluoride in the bone. (Approximately 50% of all fluoride one is exposed to is retained in the human body, mainly in bone with a half life in bone estimated at up to 20 years (NRC-2006, p 92). The main cause of skeletal fluorosis worldwide is fluoride contamination of drinking water. (See news reports from two countries particularly hard-hit with high fluoride areas, India and China).

Skeletal fluorosis causes “chronic joint pain, arthritic symptoms, slight calcification of ligaments, and osteosclerosis of the cancellous bones (NRC-2006, pp 5-6)” well before it cripples. Despite this, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues to base the fluoride “safe” drinking water standard on the notion that crippling skeletal fluorosis is the only health effect to protect against.

Moreover, although the first symptoms of skeletal fluorosis are remarkably similar to arthritis, no research is being done in fluoridated countries to see if there is a link between lifelong consumption of fluoridated water and the massive increase in arthritis rates in the U.S. The journal Fluoride thus remains a vital source of information for those seeking to understand the full spectrum of the disease, including its early and more subtle stages.

The NRC-2006 Report Referenced Fluoride More Than Any Other Journal

Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards was a landmark report on the toxicology of fluoride published in 2006 by the National Resource Council of the National Academies (NRC). It cited the Fluoride journal more than any other – and rightly so.  Despite this, many fluoridation proponents still try to dismiss Fluoride because PubMed does not index it.

You can find the titles and links of each of the 56 citations to the journal Fluoride in the NRC report in Table 2. The following is a list of the top 10 journals referenced in the NRC report:

Name of Journal # of Citations
Journal of Dental Research
Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Journal of Public Health Dentistry
Journal of the American Dental Association
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
Calcified Tissue Research
Caries Research
Pediatric Dentistry

Among the many studies from Fluoride that the NRC cited were five studies linking fluoride to reduced IQ – which the NRC committee discussed at length. Rather than cavalierly dismissing these studies, as many fluoridation proponents do, the NRC committee concluded that the consistency of the findings warranted investigation into fluoride’s neurological effects here in the United States.

Since the NRC released its report, Fluoride has published 3 additional original studies on IQ and has published translated versions of 11 of the Chinese studies – see Table 3 for a list of the IQ studies that the journalpublished.

U.S. health authorities, by contrast, have failed to conduct any studies to determine the neurological effects of current fluoride exposures, including among the children most vulnerable to such harm (e.g., children with nutrient deficiencies, etc). Since U.S. health authorities continue to duck their head in the sand on the fluoride/neurotoxicity question, the journal Fluoride remains a vital source of information for people seeking to understand the latest research on this critical issue.


As long as protecting the fluoridation program remains at the heart of the public health establishment in this country this is not going to be easy. However, we urge our supporters to do the following:

1. Subscribe to the Fluoride journal.
The cost for a 2014 subscription (4 issues): US $56, Canadian $59, UK £36, Japan ¥5,500, EUROPE €43, Australian $60, or New Zealand $72, with a discount of 10% for copies posted to a NZ address. Send check to Dr Spittle, Managing Editor Fluoride, 727 Brighton Road, Dunedin 9035, New Zealand. E-mail: spittle@es.co.nz.

2. Please email us your suggestions on how to get media and scholarly attention to this blatant censorship to mailto:info@fluoridealert.org

3.  If your community is involved in a battle over fluoridation ask your local library if they would carry this publication and if funding is an issue accept a gift subscription from you.

4. If you are a professor, ask your university library to subscribe, or accept a subscription as your donation.

5.  If you are a dentist or doctor ask your alma mater (or current hospital library) to subscribe, or accept a subscription as your donation.

NOTE 1.The editors of Fluoride: George Waldbott, MD (1968-1981), Albert Burgstahler, PhD (1982-1991 and 1999-2013), and John Colquhoun, BDS, PhD, (1992-1998). Individually they were opposed to fluoridation but welcomed articles and editorials on fluoridation written from either a pro- or anti perspective. They shared a common belief that if the best science was undertaken and published that it would become clear to those with an open mind that fluoridation was an unacceptable practice. Dr. Bruce Spittle has been the co-editor since 1994 and managing editor since 1999.


Ellen Connett, Managing Director

Fundraising update from the Fluoride Action Network:

With the help of Dr. Mercola’s challenge grant, yesterday we raised $2,398 from 23 donors. This is doubled with Mercola’s matching grant and so our adjusted total is $4,396 from 22 donors.  Our running total for the past 11 days is $30,348 from 208 donors.

Thank you all for your donations. It has been heartwarming, but there is still a very long way to our ambitious goals of $120,000 from 600 donors by midnight Dec 31 and our mini-goal of $80,000 by Christmas Eve.

The next $534 donated will be doubled by the remainder in Dr. Mercola’s challenge grant.  When we reach our mini-goal of $80,000 Mercola will match an additional $5,000 in donations.  Do we have any other angels out there who are willing to double donations up to a chosen amount?  Knowing that one’s contribution is going to be doubled is a good incentive for many people.

If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation – large or small -you can either:

•       Donate by using our secure online server.

•       Donate by sending a check – payable to Fluoride Action Network – to: FAN, 104 Walnut Street, Binghamton, NY 13905

Remember, a donation of $75 will get you the “Fluoride Deception” Flash Drive. You can also choose one of our exciting gifts available at different donation levels.

Please Donate Today


Stuart Cooper, Campaign Director

Fluoride Action Network

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