Fluoride Action Network

Letter: Doing the homework on fluoride

Source: Gloucester Times | June 19th, 2017 | By Karen Spencer

To the editor:

“Fluoride has no known essential function in human growth and development and no signs of fluoride deficiency have been identified.” – European Food Safety Authority on DRV (2013)

In response to Richard C. Gardner’s letter (”In defense of Moulton, fluoride,” May 15) it is unfortunate the Times omitted the urls to two letters carbon copied to Congressman Moulton. They included more than scientific citations. However, if Dr. Gardner had checked the online edition of my May 10 letter, he would have seen I included the urls in the comments.

I suggest Dr. Gardner should read Mundy et al. (2009, 2015) before commenting on neurotoxicity. The references to the EPA designation of fluoride as a developmental neurotoxicant in its database are not the 2012 Choi et al. review unfairly attacked by dentists that he cites. Additionally, fluoride has always been designated as a poison in the U.S. government’s database of poisons and is not designated as a nutrient by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA calls fluoride an “unapproved drug.”

That a 15th century astrologer opined “the dose makes the poison” is not a defense of fluoridation policy. Modern toxicologists state that a poison is a poison irrespective of dose. Using municipal water supplies to deliver an uncontrollable and constant “dose” to the populace is the antithesis of modern pharmacology and precise medicine. In 1939, fluoride at 1 parts per million was considered a dangerous concentration. That was increased to 2.5 parts per million circa 1950, and to 4 parts per million in the mid 1980s. In 2006, the National Research Council advised the EPA that the 4 parts per million threshold was decidedly unsafe and that they could find no literature that defined any safe dose. The EPA has failed to act.

As to specific science items, let me start with a 1952 item with a lead author who is also a Dr. Gardner. “The fluoride concentration of placental tissue as related to fluoride content in drinking water” was published in Science. The authors found that women who drank fluoridated water at 1 part per million had a placental fluoride concentration of over 2 parts per million, but under 2.5 parts per million. They concluded there was no way to determine the fetal concentration but “At any rate, the placental concentrations are not of the magnitude to cause deleterious effects in the mother.” This post-hoc item is what passes as a safety study.

A coauthor of that 1952 study was Harold Hodge, DDS, a key figure in the fluoridation of water supplies endorsed by government in 1950. Another author was Reuben Feltman, DDS. Dr. Feltman published in a 1956 issue of the Dental Digest and a 1961 issue of the Journal of Dental Medicine. At least one percent of his test subjects comprised of pregnant women and children had an immediate and acute adverse reaction in this long-term controlled-dose study. Women received 0.825 milligrams a day and children under 2 received half that, while infants under 6 months born to mothers who received fluoride while pregnant received none. This is a lower dose than received by those of us drinking 0.7 parts per million fluoridated water, eating foods prepared with that water or treated with fluoridated pesticides, and using fluoridated toothpastes.

Feltman et al. also noted dental fluorosis in a few children in the moderate to severe categories. i.e. brown stains and pitted enamel. Approximately half of our adolescents have some level of dental fluorosis (evidence of fluoride poisoning during childhood), a condition associated with learning disabilities and kidney disease. In the past ten years, the moderate to severe incidence of dental fluorosis has increased from 4 percent to 23 percent.

In 1999, UNICEF wrote, “ … for decades we have believed that fluoride in small doses has no adverse effects on health … But more and more scientists are seriously questioning the benefits of fluoride even in small amounts.”

Three 2016 items published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine, and the Journal of Risk Research all found that fluoridation policy posed considerable risks and little if any benefit.

I have read hundreds of studies. Congressman Moulton hasn’t even read the letters delivered him beginning in 2015 let alone paid attention to the citations attached to those communiques. I commend the congressman for his work in many areas, but like Dr. Gardner, he is too lazy to do his science homework and prefers repeating talking points that protect a dental myth rather than admitting a medical mistake.

I’d be delighted to meet with Dr. Gardner or Congressman Moulton to discuss medical science and ethics after they read the letters with more than 100 attached citations which I will post in the online comments for this letter.

Karen Spencer

* Original letter online at http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/letter-doing-the-homework-on-fluoride/article_5dd2c21d-65fd-5e05-b689-fff954cd138f.html