Yesterday an abstract posted on PubMed sends yet another serious warning signal on the potential disastrous consequences of continuing to add fluoride to the public water supplies. Researchers at Indiana University in Bloomington, have found – using the FETAX test, one of the standard screening tests for teratogenicity (the ability to cause birth defects) of chemicals – that sodium fluoride causes birth defects in frog embryos. This study is scheduled for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxiology in November.
The authors note in their abstract that, “Since FETAX has a high degree of success in identifying mammalian teratogens, the observed teratogenic action of sodium fluoride on frog embryos would indicate a strong possibility that sodium fluoride may also act directly on developing mammalian fetuses to cause malformation.”
Unfortunately, at this time we do not know the concentrations of sodium fluoride used in this test, but even so if this was a chemical proposed for the marketplace, such a result would cast serious doubts about its use. However, this is not a chemical for the market place it is a chemical we add to our drinking water every day, so we should be even more cautious. However, fluoridation is a practice in which a lot of reputations and a lot of money is at stake. Based on the long sordid history of unscientific promotion of fluoridation in this country, we predict the following will take place:
1) Pressure will be put on the University to reprimand or otherwise discipline the authors so they don’t make the mistake of pursuing this further. Fortunately, the lead author is listed as an “Associate” professor which usually means that the person in question has tenure.
2) Private memos will be circulated by the CDC which will attempt to discredit the authors and the methodology used.
3) Researchers at the FDA will not be able to reproduce the results.
4) It will be dismissed as just an “animal” study which has no relevance to water fluoridation.
5) It will be otherwise totally ignored, in the same way that Jennifer Luke’s findings on the accumulation of fluoride in the human pineal gland have been totally ingored, even when they were put right under the noses of officials (e.g. the Medical Research Council of the UK) supposedly investigating fluoride’s toxicity and the safety of fluoridation.
We shall see.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2003 Nov;41(11):1501-8.
Effects of fluoride on Xenopus embryo development.
Goh EH, Neff AW.
Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Program, Jordan Hall 009A, 47405, Bloomington, IN, USA
Fluoride was first associated with fetal malformation shortly after water fluoridation was initiated in the 1940s. Since many chemicals can interact directly with the embryo to cause malformation, the effects of fluoride on embryonic and fetal development were investigated. The effects of sodium fluoride on the development of frog embryos were studied under conditions described by the Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay-Xenopus (FETAX), a screening assay for teratogens. The most prominent malformations caused by sodium fluoride are reduction in the head-tail lengths and dysfunction of the neuromuscular system of the tadpoles. The values for LC(50), EC(50), and minimal concentration to inhibit growth (MCIG) of sodium fluoride met the limits established for a teratogen in frog embryos, showing that sodium fluoride is a direct acting teratogen on developing embryos. Since FETAX has a high degree of success in identifying mammalian teratogens, the observed teratogenic action of sodium fluoride on frog embryos would indicate a strong possibility that sodium fluoride may also act directly on developing mammalian fetuses to cause malformation.
PMID: 12963002 [PubMed – in process]