The National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) has unanimously accepted the recommendations of its working group, calling for the swift publication of the NTP’s state of the science report and accompanying meta-analysis on fluoride neurotoxicity with only minor edits to improve clarity. The chair of the BSC, David L. Eaton, PhD, summed up the report by stating that “Overall, the NTP did a very good job,” which along with the board’s unanimous vote and calls for immediate publication, contradicted baseless claims by pro-fluoridationists that there were any meaningful inadequacies with the report or its fluoridation-damning conclusions.

This is an encouraging result that FAN supports since the promoters of fluoridation have worked for years to weaken and censor the NTP’s systematic review, which detailed that 52 of 55 studies linked decreases in child IQ with increased fluoride and concluded that, “[t]he data support a consistent inverse association between fluoride exposure and children’s IQ.” Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) emails obtained by FAN’s attorneys documented repeated attempts and sustained pressure from pro-fluoridation agencies including the Centers For Disease Control’s Division of Oral Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)–working in tandem with lobbyists from the American Dental Association–to smear, discredit, and prevent the NTP’s review from being released (watch Attorney Connett’s presentation below to learn more).

At the May 4th hearing, Dr. Howard Pollick, a long-time fluoridation devotee and spokesperson for the American Dental Association, called on the NTP to continue to indefinitely delay the publication of their review so that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine could conduct a third peer-review after having already conducted two unprecedented reviews of the NTP’s report.

Pollick and the ADA also called for the inclusion of a disclaimer in the report stating that the findings weren’t relevant to water fluoridation. However, the NTP authors had already responded to similar attempts to replace science with politics, repeatedly repudiating them in documents shared in March, stating clearly that the report’s conclusions were very much relevant to fluoridated communities and pointing out that the “highest quality studies showing lower IQs in children were done in optimally fluoridated areas.”

Not only were the American Dental Association’s (ADA) recommendations to the BSC rejected on May 4th, but efforts to delay the process indefinitely or keep the report from being published appear to have failed. The NTP’s Director, Dr. Rick Woychik, echoed the wishes of the BSC on May 16th, saying that “[he] will be working…to get this into publication as quickly as possible.”

The BSC–an external committee whose members are appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to advise the NTP leadership–held two public meetings. The first was on May 4th, where they heard a presentation on the findings of a working group, which was tasked with evaluating “the adequacy of NTP responses to external peer review and federal agency comments received” on the NTP’s fluoride monograph and meta-analysis. The meeting also included an hour of public testimony and allowed for the submission of written testimony. You can watch the entire meeting by clicking on the graphic below:

To make navigating the approximately 3-hour hearing more manageable for our supporters, we have provided links to each speaker’s 5-minute presentation, as well as links to the BSC deliberation and vote:

Click here to see all of the written comments submitted to the BSC.

A second BSC meeting was held on May 16th to make a correction to an important error that was pointed out by FAN’s Paul Connett, PhD in his May 4th testimony. The BSC working group report misinterpreted the large and highly consequential 7 IQ point average loss amongst 55 studies as only a 0.5 IQ point loss and therefore inconsequential. At the second meeting, the BSC acknowledged they made this error and corrected it. The meeting lasted only 20-minutes and can be viewed below:

Dr. Woychik said at the May 16th meeting that he will now work with the NTP authors on making the minor edits to the report and may call on the BSC for further advice if needed. It has yet to be determined if the NTP will recombine the state of the science report and meta-analysis into a single document, or at least arrange for the two documents to be published simultaneously, as recommended by the BSC and many of the external peer-reviewers.  It is also unclear whether publication will be by the NTP itself or through a scientific journal, which could slow the process.

Here is media coverage of the BSC’s May 4th meeting:

Thank you,

Stuart Cooper
Executive Director
Fluoride Action Network