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Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action
“The evidence that fluoride is more harmful than beneficial is now overwhelming… fluoride may be destroying our bones, our teeth, and our overall health.” - Dr. Hardy Limeback, former President of Canadian ADA, Head of Preventive Dentistry at Univ of Toronto, 2006 National Research Council Scientist (2007)
The 2006 National Research Council on Fluoride in Drinking Water commented to the EPA that fluoridation at 1 ppm can be anticipated to be harmful for those with reduced renal function and the elderly. The NRC confirmed that fluoride not excreted by kidneys builds up in bones, resulting in arthritic pain and increased brittleness. However, there were no EPA studies on the whole health impacts of fluoridated water on susceptible population such as kidney patients, children, those with prolonged disease or the elderly. There still aren’t.
However, there is mounting science from other sources that “optimally fluoridated” water, which is known to cause varying degrees of dental fluorosis in 58% of Black American adolescents and 36% of White American adolescents, is causing subtle deficits in ability to remember or focus. That same “optimal level” has also been proved in a 2014 study as being nephrotoxic in rats with chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects approximately 15% of Americans, although CKD is quadruple the rate in Black Americans, and predictably worse in older Americans.
Perhaps the most horrifying part of the story of fluoridation is that not only is at least 50% of every drop of fluoride that has passed the lips of a Baby Boomer permanently stored in bones, fluoride isn't the only poison in packages of fluoride that originate as the waste product of aluminum an phosphate industry. 100% of the fluoride sampled in a 2014 study was contaminated with aluminum; arsenic and lead were other common contaminants. In other words, fluoridated water serves as a delivery system for aluminum and lead into our bones and our brains. As we all know, aluminum is associated with Alzheimers in adults, and lead is associated with learning disabilities in children. Approximately 15% of the population who is sensitive to chemicals cite inability to think clearly and overwhelming fatigue as symptoms of exposure to fluoridated water.
Our generation was part of a great human experiment. It may have had noble intentions based on the faulty hypothesis that drinking fluoridated water prevented cavities. It is now known that any perceived benefits of fluoride are from tooth brushing. Our grandchildren are the third generation in this travesty. I suggest we all DEMAND the AARP stand up for us and our grandchildren by issuing a strong position paper calling for the cessation of water fluoridation.
- 2014 in Toxicology. Effect of water fluoridation on the development of medial vascular calcification in uremic rats. (“Optimal levels” worsen kidney function😞 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24561004
- 2015 in Neurotoxicology and Teratology. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. (Children with visible dental fluorosis perform less well on memory tasks, correlating with the degree of severity of their fluorosis. One of a series of human and animal studies with the same consistent findings.😞
- 2014 in Physiology and Behavior. Fluoride exposure during development affects both cognition and emotion in mice. (Measurable behavioral changes😞 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24184405
- 2014 in International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. A new perspective on metals and other contaminants in fluoridation chemicals. (All samples of fluoride are contaminated with aluminum, plus other contaminants like arsenic, lead and barium);
- 2014 in Scientific World Journal. Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention. (Health risks and cost don't justify minimal and questionable dental benefit.): http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/293019/
RACIAL INEQUITY (FOIA)
Here are three Oct 2014 news articles on the content of the Freedom of Information Act documents. Rev. Andrew Young, former UN ambassador has pursued them with the CDC, but to little effect. Civil Rights leaders have been calling for an end to community water fluoridation (CWF) since 2011.
- 1. Black Americans disproportionately harmed: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/health-care/item/19317-feds-blacks-suffer-most-from-fluoride-fl...
- 2. CDC, ADA and Pew inappropriate relationships: http://benswann.com/do-newly-released-emails-reveal-conflict-of-interest-between-the-cdc-and-the-ada...
- 3. Kidneys, Civil Rights & Ralph Nader: http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2014/10/428383.shtml
2015 LEGAL ARGUMENT (GROSS DISPROPORTIONALITY)
There is a legal initiative in Peel, Ontario (pop 1.3m) to remove fluoride from the water supply based on the principle of gross disproportionality, i.e. marginal benefit does not justify great risk of harm. There is also a political effort afoot in Canadian govt to mandate fluoridation and thereby make the legal argument moot. I suggest this document is well-worth printing. http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/peel.june2014.pdf
- a. The first 19 pages of this document is about the legal strategy. It includes summary of US legal cases that found water fluoridation harmful to the public, but legal under US "police power" mandate.
- b. Starting on page 20 is a devastating affidavit by Dr. Kathleen Thiessen, NAS/NRC scientist and international expert in risk assessment. Very readable summary of science indicating harm to populations in “optimally” fluoridated communities.
POPULATION WITH LOW CHEMICAL THRESHOLD
- In excess of 25% of previously healthy Gulf War Veterans have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, which includes sensitivity to fluoride. See: http://www.va.gov/rac-gwvi/docs/committee_documents/gwiandhealthofgwveterans_rac-gwvireport_2008.pdf
- EXCERPT: “It is well established that some people are more vulnerable to adverse effects of certain chemicals than others, due to variability in biological processes that neutralize those chemicals, and clear them from the body.” - Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses 2008
- Affidavit of Dr. Hans Moolenburgh: https://fluorideinformationaustralia.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/affidavit-moolenburgh.pdf
- Except: “As a summary of our research, we are now convinced that fluoridation of the water supplies causes a low grade intoxication of the whole population, with only the approximately 5% most sensitive persons showing acute symptoms.The whole population being subjected to low grade poisoning means that their immune systems are constantly overtaxed. With all the other poisonous influences in our environment, this can hasten health calamities.”
- PubMed Listed Studies on immune system response:
- a. Fluoride makes allergies worse, rats (1990): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1707853
- b. Fluoride makes allergies worse, in vitro (1999): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9892783
- c. Immune system of the gut (2010): http://www.hindawi.com/journals/iji/2010/823710/
- d. ASIA Syndrome, adjuvant impact (2011): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20708902
- e. Gene predicts fluoride sensitivity (2015): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25556215
- f. Brain has an immune system (2015): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26030524
AARP - STAND UP on our behalf!
In an environmental context, the precautionary principle can be defined as such: when an identified threat of serious or irreversible damage to the environment or human health exists, a lack of full scientific knowledge about the situation should not be used to delay remedial steps if the balance of potential costs and benefits justifies action (Resnik, 2003).
New Autism study again condemning fluoridation!
The continuous rise of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) prevalent in the past few decades is causing an increase in public health and socioeconomic concern. A consensus suggests the involvement of both genetic and environmental factors in the ASD etiopathogenesis. Fluoride (F) is rarely recognized among the environmental risk factors of ASD, since the neurotoxic effects of F are not generally accepted. Our review aims to provide evidence of F neurotoxicity. We assess the risk of chronic F exposure in the ASD etiopathology and investigate the role of metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation, immunoexcitotoxicity, and decreased melatonin levels. These symptoms have been observed both after chronic F exposure as well as in ASD. Moreover, we show that F in synergistic interactions with aluminum’s free metal cation (Al3+) can reinforce the pathological symptoms of ASD. This reinforcement takes place at concentrations several times lower than when acting alone. A high ASD prevalence has been reported from countries with water fluoridation as well as from endemic fluorosis areas. We suggest focusing the ASD prevention on the reduction of the F and Al3+ burdens from daily life.
Strunecka, A. & Strunecky, O. (2019). Chronic Fluoride Exposure and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health,16(18), 3431. doi:10.3390/ijerph16183431
It appears that the fluoride poromoters are complaining about their “criticisms not being heard”, when in reality regardless of the overwhelming science that condems fluoridation and the FDA not having approved such practices, fluoridation continues without justification or even slight (or any valid) evidence of any true benefit. Thus, overwhelming or denigrating opponents is the means to stifle truth now by the polluters.
If even fluoridated salt can cause IQ loss, and brain damage in developing brains, then what will daily exposure to silicofluorides in the public water do?
Per Bashash et al. (2018):
Fluoride, the ionized form of the halogen element fluorine, exists widely in the environment and is the most electronegative and reactive among all elements (ATSDR, 2010). Its well-known cariostatic effect led to the addition of fluoride to water, salt, and milk in some countries. Other sources of fluoride include dental products, such as toothpastes, mouth rinses, and varnishes, supplements, processed foods made with fluoridated water, fluoride-containing pesticides, teas, and fluorinated pharmaceuticals. Systemic ingestion of fluoride through water and water-based beverages is the main source of fluoride intake, accounting for approximately 75% of dietary fluoride intake among adults living in communities that fluoridate their water supply in the United States (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010; USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), 2005). However, in Mexico City, individuals are primarily exposed to fluoride through fluoridated salt (mean concentration of fluoride in salt is 250 ± 50 ppm), and to varying degrees of naturally-occurring fluoride in water, which have been reported to range from 0.15 to 1.38 mg/L (Juárez-López et al., 2007; Martinez-Mier et al., 2005). Public water supplies are not fluoridated in Mexico and the mean fluoride content of the water supply is not publicly available.
Bashash, M., Marchand, M., Hu, H., Till, C., Martinez-Mier, E. A., Sanchez, B. N., ... Téllez-Rojo, M. M. (2018). Prenatal fluoride exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children at 6–12 years of age in Mexico City. Environment International, 121, 658–666. doi: 10.1016/J.ENVINT.2018.09.017
sirpac - you say:
"If even fluoridated salt can cause IQ loss, and brain damage in developing brains, then what will daily exposure to silicofluorides in the public water do?"
Where is the credible evidence "fluoridated salt" causes IQ loss? (Notice the word "credible). And what is this about "silicofluorides in the public water?" Did you not realise the existence of these species in a dilute form in water is chemically impossible.
As for the Bashash paper - why do you quote the first paragraph in the introduction and label it an abstract?
For a critique of that paper read:
Evidence linking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with community water fluoridation is poor
You will notice like most of these studies the reported relationships are extremely weak - although in this case the 3 to 4% explanation of variance is better than in their other studies.
It is also very likely that this study ignored some important risk modifying factors. Perrott, K. W. (2018). Fluoridation and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder a critique of Malin and Till (2015). British Dental Journal, 223(11), 819–822 showed how inclusion of important factors (in this case altitude) removed any relationship of ADHD with fluoridation.
One needs to read these studies critically and intelligently.
CarryAnne, Love the quote from Betrand Russell. Sums up my whole approach. Facts, data, evidence are what should ground us.
As you will notice this has been my whole approach in this and other discussions. I have approached my analysis of the Green et al. paper by looking at, and dealing with, the data. I am not influenced by authority statements - either from the author, coauthors, editor or those who had early access to the paper and set out to promote it.
An Editorial note is unprecedented, as this editor specifically said. it is not something I have come across before in my extensive research and publication experience.
I have written in detail about the handling of the data - I obviously do not agree with your unsupported claim this was "impeccable." But then again I deal with the facts, evidence, data - not personal "authority" assurances. And the fact that the editorial review was contentious (and the editor specifically mentioned contentious statistical review) surely supports my point.
Yes, the mean IQ values provided in Table 1 are not "adjusted" - how could they be. They are plain means, not the result of a regression model.
Yes, in the regression model adjustment for other confounders did influence the association or coefficient - it reduced it (from -2.6 to -1.95 for all children, from -5.01 to -4.49 for boys and about the same 2.23 to 2.40 for girls).
This is quite normal. When a model includes a range of risk-modifying factors that influence the outcome the correlation coefficients for a particular factor is reduced compared for unadjusted regressions. Sometimes, as in the case of the Malin & Till (2015) ADHD paper, adjustment actually removes an association completely. (In this case, their reported association of ADHD with fluoridation disappeared completely when the altitude was included in the adjustment - see Perrott, K. W. (2018). Fluoridation and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder a critique of Malin and Till (2015). British Dental Journal, 223(11), 819–822).
Apart from the fact that reference to adjustment is irrelevant to simple mean values it is surely straw grasping to talk about adjustment in the vain hope of converting a non-significant difference into a large difference. But I notice a few anti-fluoride campaigners are now starting to attempt this with a vague reference to "adjustment."
More worrying to me is the fact that the authors did not even refer to that specific data in their discussion. If there was an argument based on "adjustments" that would have been the place for it to be made.
But another, more political, point. There is nothing in the Green et al study to justify the claims of anti-fluoride campaigners in New Zealand that the study shows that "Fluoridated water lowers kid's IQ." Quite the opposite. That claim is completely wrong and will probably lead to action from our advertising authority. It is false scaremongering - probably why several local authorities have ordered the offending billboards be taken down.
Your claim that I have only concentrated on the mean values form the papers Table 1 is completely wrong. I have spent some time showing that the regression analysis used by Green et al produces a best-fit line explaining only 1.3% of the variance in IQ. This is a fundamental and important point. This, together with the suspect nature of the regression (the data was not normally distributed so probably violated an inherent assumption) means that the much-touted value of the regression coefficient is meaningless. A simple look at the figures published in the paper confirms that assessment (see below). How could the much-touted coefficient of 4.49 predict the real values?
CarryAnne, I do not see you engage properly with any data. You instead rely almost exclusively on "authority" statements. While that is normal for anti-fluoride campaigners it is extremely poor behavior for any scientists. In fact, it is not at all scientific.
I leave you with this graph from the Green et al. (2109) paper which surely shows that the claims based on the best-fit line have absolutely no predictive power. They are meaningless. It is surely significant that the anti-fluoride campaigners promoting and misinterpreting this paper never show this data.
You remind me of Donald Trump when you say,
"I am not influenced by authority statements - either from the author, coauthors, editor or those who had early access to the paper and set out to promote it."
Then I assume you do not agree with any research unless you did it yourself.
Authors, peer review, consistent multiple studies all mean nothing to you unless the results fit within your bias, gut feeling. I call that "Trumpian science."
Too many are ingesting too much fluoride and they are being harmed.
Bill Osmunson DDS MPH
CarryAnne and Ken,
Your comment is both respecful and accurate, gentle and firm.
KenP has confirmational bias to the extreme.
Ken asked me to debate him on his blog and I agreed, but I chose the topic "excess fluoride exposure." First he dodged claiming his computer had problems. I sent him my side of the first debate and he has refused to respond. The simple answer is too many are ingesting too much fluoride as reported by several streams of evidence. Excess fluoride does not confim KenP's bias so he refuses to investigate and comment.
Instead, KenP is refusing to look at the "weight of evidence" and "streams of evidence" and his research limitations.
For example, Ken P should consider the JAMA Editor noted regarding the Green et al study. Remember, this Journal has promoted fluoride, most of their members promote fluoride. I have had them speak publicly in favor of fluoridation when I spoke opposed. JAMA is a pro fluoride Journal.
To speak up against what they have promoted did not come lightly. In effect, they are admitting they may have been wrong. Not easy for anyone.
The Editor wrote:
Bill, you say:
"Ken asked me to debate him on his blog and I agreed, but I chose the topic "excess fluoride exposure." First he dodged claiming his computer had problems. I sent him my side of the first debate and he has refused to respond."
That is completely incorrect. You have completely misrepresented the situation and I ask you, as a matter of good faith, to correct this. My offer to you for an exchange on my blog was repeated as recently as last month in this forum. (See post 101) when I wrote:
" I am interested in critiquing the dental fluorosis argument – specifically the Neurath paper you rely on in your article – so I am keen for the exchange to go ahead."
Anyone interested to the truth in this matter should refer to the email exchange between Bill and me which is reproduced in that post 101 (at the moment the link is https://community.aarp.org/t5/Brain-Health/Fluoride-Demand-AARP-Take-Action/td-p/1528688/highlight/t... but this probably changes as more posts are made. Just page
This is the second or third time I have had to deal with this particular misrepresentation, Bill. I said last time (in post 101):
"I repeat I do not appreciate the misrepresentation you have indulged in, Bill, or the resort to abusive terms. These should not be used in a scientific exchange – another reason why I think the Open Parachute blog is the best place for such an exchange."
I think your persistent misrepresentation in this matter (the facts of which are easy to verify) says something about your whole approach to this exchange. How can one participate in a respectful exchange when there is no good faith, or any respect for the truth, on the part of one's discussion partner.
You say, "You have completely misrepresented the situation" regarding a fluoride debate and that I am completely wrong. Sorry, I'm very busy and must have missed your answers and documentation on:
1. How much total fluoride exposure is necessary for dental caries prevention? Desired individual dosage? (mg/kg/day)
2. How much fluoride is too much and based on what evidence?
3. What government agency determines the safe and effective dosage of chemicals/substances and gives approval with cautions and warnings?
I sent you many references and streams of evidence and have not seen your response. If you post responses somewhere in social media, please also send it to my email address so I don't miss it.
Ken, you seem to be intent on showing how research is flawed which finds fluoridation is harmful or excessive. Yet I don't hear you present any high quality studies on safety, efficacy or dosage. Do you agree with any research?
Bill Osmunson DDS MPH
Whilst we welcome robust debate, we ask that everyone abides by the guidelines.
Please be respectful and refrain from making hateful and/or incendiary comments. You are free to express your opinions, but you must do so in a way that respects the opinions of others.
There is no basis upon which to make the claim that has been made by fluoridation promoters, that the urinary fluoride study proves that water fluoridation does not decrease IQ. This is inane. The study did not include people who had systemic fluoride levels and urine fluoride levels reflective of normal controls in more typical nonfluoridated areas. Therefore the claim that "fluoridation" does not decrease IQ is, as I said, nuts.
The difference in urine fluoride is far more reliable as a chemical measurement even though it is criticized in the previous post.
Also I think the readers are perfecxtly clear that I do NOT disagree with the authors of the study, that is, that a 1 ppm increase in maternal urine fluoride is associated with a significant several point drop in IQ in male offspring. The authors are far more in tune with their data and trustworthy than the critic.
Finally, if a larger urine fluoride difference had been present, all previously published well controlled studies indicate even a larger IQ drop would have been found.
Richard, you are playing with words. The anti-fluoride people are NOT claiming "that the urinary fluoride study proves that water fluoridation does not decrease IQ." They are claiming the exact opposite.
The point is that there is absolutely no evidence in this study that fluoridated water lowers kid's IQ" as they are specifically claiming about the study. The billboard is presenting a lie.
I noticed you refused to answer my questions relating to your attempt to draw conclusions from the urinary F data relevant to fluoridation. And you avoid the extremely weak nature of the association involved. (You will recall I called out Malin & Till for the association they reported (and they had R-squared values of about 22 to 34%. Even so, their claimed relationship of ADHD with fluoridation disappeared when better risk-modifying factors were included).
The statistical analysis indicates that the data in the Green et al paper was not distributed normally, the variance was too high for that according to the probability distribution. This, together with the extremely weak nature of the association (R-squared around 1%) means the result is really meaningless and will be seen as such by the experts.
You are busily avoiding the elephant in the room - the weak nature of the reported relationship and the questionable regression used to obtain it.
What? Read the post. I said fluoridation promoters. Of course those opposed to fluoridation make no such claim.
A small effect is noticed with a small F increase. So what? F levels in controls, from drinking tea, or whatever, predict a small effect from a small additional increase in F from fluoridation above that level And a low r^2 does not disprove its reality. Who says it must be linear? And any small effect can have a low correlatiom coefficienr even wben the effect is real.
As stated before the controlled mammal studies prove F'd water incduces brain abnormality. You can't get a perfect study like those in humans who cannot be caged.
Stop changing what i state to suit your own needs.
Richard - read my post and stop diverting. In fact, the anti-fluoride campaigners are telling lies about the Green et al paper as my photo of their local billboard shows. It is likely they will be asked by the advertising authority to remove these billboards - several local authorities have already ordered them down. And the local media is very critical of the scaremongering involved in their advertising.
They are simply scare-mongering, in the worst possible way targeting children and pregnant woman, and they are simply lying. The study says nothing of the sort - in fact, the data shows no effect of fluoridation - as you admit. The local anti-fluoride peop[le have really misjudged the situation this time and will find it very difficult to recover from this.
Who says it must be linear - not me and I found a more normal distribution of the data using partial log transformation. The authors acknowledge the data was not perfectly normal but judged they should not transform the data (they say because of difficulty in interpreting a model but more probably because the transformed data was unlikely to show a relationship).
A low R-squared value shows that the relationship is incapable of explaining much of the variance - in this case only 1% which is extremely weak. It is telling the authors did not discuss the R-squared values and relied simply on p-values which can be very misleading.
I have not commented on the correlation coefficient, low or high is immaterial. The relationship is so weak and the regression so questionable I do not believe we can extract any meaning from that coefficient.
The trustworthy well controlled caged mammalian studies are the most reliable,, proving beyond doubt that fluoridated water ingestion in newborn offspring leads to damaged brain function. There is no debate about this. The blood levels used for F were comoparable to that for humans ingesting fluoridated water. The case is closed for me. It does not need to be proven in humans who cannot be caged anyway and for whom it is difficult to obtain a good control.
The data are what they are, and if F causes brain dysfunction in childhood as rpeortedin manyhuman publications, then the small increase in urinary F here in the JAMA article that the authors claimed may be responsible for the corresponding expected small lowering of IQ is consistent with the known toxic effects F is known to have.
As far as those who oppose fluoridation in advertising claims, vs those who promote the industrial fluoridation of people, I side with those who are rational and oppose fluoridation of people with a known toxic substance, regardless of whether the effect can be easily detected or not, where humans cannot be caged like animals can. For example, the formation of bone of poor quality begins with the first sip of F'd water. But can we detect with current methods any observable effect from it in such people? Of course not. Does this mean you should continue to incorporate fluoride into your bones by drinking fluoridated water because it appears nothing is wrong with it? Of course not. Just like smoking, the longer you do it, the more toxic effects accumulate. All toxic effects of fluoride ingestion have their own intrinsic diffiuclty in assessing in man. I do not condemn as "liars" those who repeat what the JAMA authors claim is real. Sorry.
For heaven's sake, KenP - I gave you the audio link where the JAMA Pediatrics editors said they performed "several" statistical reviews, but highlighted the twitter response (not my own) that said two reviews as a visual and you imply that I'm using my own tweet as a reference in order to generate fake news?
Then you reverse my point that you and Adam omitted 20% of the data in your amateur statistical reviews that you threw together within a day or two of the publication of this prospective cohort study. Your review and Adams's were being used by fluoridationists to cast shade on the findings which had several professional reviews by the premier medical journal who took great care in confirming the quality and accuracy of the study. Really?
- If I may use your own words, misrepresentation such as you demonstrated "says something about your desire to avoid facing up to problems."
The exceptional & unusual handling of this paper by the editor that you reference was explained in the beginning of the JAMA Pediatrics podcast. Because fluroidationists have drilled it into the orthodoxy that fluoridation is safe and any science that claims otherwise must be false, these top notch scientists and doctors wanted to be sure that the science was solid. The editors also mentioned that in performing their due diligence they learned lots of facts that they didn't know (because they had been so close minded due to their indocrination) - such as fluoridation is not universal in the modern world (including Canada and Europe) and fluoridation is not necessary for healthy teeth.
As for Johnny Johnson's comment where he implies that dentists are more expert in matters involving pregnancy and fetal neurodevelopment than scientists or the pediatricians and other doctors at JAMA simply because the study involves fluoride:
"As a scientist, I hesitate to say any one observational study is definitive, but I'd definitely not allow my pregnant daughter or grandchildren drink fluoridated water after reading this one study. However, it isn't just this one study. There are studies of every type verifying that fluoride is poisonous to humans with an increased risk for the very young. As a scientist, I have no hesitation in saying that fluoridation is harmful to consumers beginning in the womb." - A scientist commenting on “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada” published in JAMA Pediatrics (August 2019)
CarryAnne, OK, I haven't listened to that podcast yet. Instead, I was actually reading the paper, applying a bit of critical thinking, and lookin at the data. This takes time and is one of the reasons critical reviews were not immediate (except for the UK Science Media Centre which probably had early access).
Notice, I don't comment on paper undtill I have had a chance to read them and critically eview data. This contrasts with the immediate reaction from anti-fluoride cmapaigners, coauthors and their supporters who have ignored the data and relied on statements of "authority." None of those promoting the paper actually use or refer to the data - that tells us something.
I repeat, this paper has been handled in a very strange way. An unprecedented Editor's comment, and now a podcast. Unprecedented, and probably an indication of the internal fighting that has been going on over publication of the paper in its current form,
I have enough experience of scientific and publication politics to laugh at the claim that the reason for the fighting was the effect the paper's findings will have on policy because we know it will not have any more effect than the Bashash papers - the reported relationships are so extremely weak as to be meaningless. And it is a fact that Green et al reported no difference in child IQ for mothers from fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas.
No, the expressed concern is just politics-speak to cover up what the real fighting was about.
However, I will get around to listening to the podcast. from what Jonny says it appears it is quite revealing as to the bias of the Editor and perhaps others.
"JAMA had two professional statisticians review the research. Adam only used 407 points because he couldn't find them all, leaving out 100 data points. Not good, scientific or accurate." - NYSCOF, August 21, 2019
This is too good not to share. Statistics student Adam Kruchten was one of a couple of quick-draw fluoridation apologists who were lionized on social media for sloppy attempts to discredit the recent MIREC study published in JAMA Pediatrics on August 19, 2019.
Adam has removed all his tweets about this study and his critique because he had the good sense to be ashamed of his epic mistakes. Unfortunately, the repetition of those mistakes that were shared on other platforms outside of Adam's control will live on because not all fluoridationists have the integrity to admit a mistake. Consequently, those flawed amateur analyses will be cited again and again. Just refer back to the actual MIREC study by Green et al., the JAMA Pediatrics podcast, and Bellinger's opinion. Here's another useful summary by an investigative reporter. This isn't a matter of choosing sides, it's a matter of scientific truth and integrity.
The image is from a cached screenshot of one of Adam's Twitter threads.
“Industry has learned that debating the science is much easier and more effective than debating the policy. In field after field, year after year, conclusions that might support regulation are always disputed. Animal data are deemed not relevant, human data not representative, and exposure data not reliable.” - David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in “Doubt Is Their Product” (2008)
KenP is a frequent and prolifc defender of fluoridation in social media, routinely posting online comments in American newspapers. This retired agricultural chemist from New Zealand has posted 15 comments on this AARP thread in two days. He is entitled to his point of view. Both fluoridationists and opponents have points of view and as the AARP moderator mentioned, robust discussion is encouraged. However, avoidance of issues and misrepresentation of facts is not of service to anyone.
KenP complains that he has a hard time getting his critiques published. I pointed out that the studies he critques are strong and mentioned some detail of why his critique of this latest study was problematic. Matter of fact this flurry began because I noted that another amateur statistician had the good sense to erase his Twitter history about a flawed critique that shared some of the same flaws as KenP's.
I find KenP's response to me troublesome. In fact, I suggest his real strength is in rhetoric rather than science. Yes, the editor's note was 'unprecedented' but the podcast and editorial meetings were not. Dr. Osmunson posted that editorial note in full, while KenP used the word 'contentious' four times in his response in order to plant an inaccurate image of the published material.
Let's make this easy:
The MIREC study in JAMA Pediatrics is the 2nd NIEHS sponsored study to use maternal urine to measure dose in North American populations that found a dose related adverse impact on fetal brain development. An Asian study of fluoride in children's urine where the water concentration matched what is regarded as optimal to safe in the US found a strikingly similar impact - all in the past three years (see image below).
Although AARP members are concerned with their family's health, the AARP forum is not the place for in detail scientific discussion about spedific studies. In my opinion, neither is the New Zealand blog of a zealous fluoridationist who is expert in rhetoric.
Fluoridation policy is politics pretending to be science. It poisons bodies, bones and brains from womb to tomb. The very young, senior citizens and any with chronic health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease are most at risk. The evolving expert opinion based on scientific evidence is against fluoridation policy. Fluoridation policy is immoral and AARP should oppose it.
CarryAnne - You say:
"KenP complains that he has a hard time getting his critiques published."
In fact, I have only had trouble with 3 contributions.
1: A critique of Hirzy et al (2016). As this was in the Journal "Fluoride" a well known anti-fluoridation propaganda outlet I was not surprised my critique was refused by the Editor Spittle (one of the Co-authors of the Hirzy paper). As this was the first paper I have ever had rejected (and I have published many) I felt really proud it should be rejected by such a shonky journal. That critique is available on Researchgate:
CRITIQUE OF A RISK ANALYSIS AIMED AT ESTABLISHING A SAFE DAILY DOSE OF FLUORIDE FOR CHILDREN
2: My Critique of Malin & Till (215) ADHD paper - The Chief editor of the relevant Journal -
Environmental Health - Grandjean is a well-known critic of community water fluoridation and coauthor of some of the fluoride-IQ papers. He refused to allow it to be considered. I complained about the poor ethics of this to the administrators as the critique should have been published in the journal where the original paper was published. I understand he was disciplined for this behaviour.
My critique was instead published in another journal - see Perrott, K. W. (2018). Fluoridation and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder a critique of Malin and Till (2015). British Dental Journal, 223(11), 819–822.
My critique of the first Bashash maternal F/Child IQ paper was submitted to the journal where Bashash published - Environmental Health Perspectives. Unfortunately, this journal has stopped considering shorter communications like critiques so the paper could not be considered. Not really a rejection.
I have made that critique available on Researchgate - see Predictive accuracy of a model for child IQ based on maternal prenatal urinary fluoride concentratio....
I have also made a critique of the later Bashash et al ADHD paper available. So far I have not checked the possibility of publishing in the journal used (Environment International) but have made it available on Researchgate. See Evidence linking attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with community water fluoridation is poor.
So far I have not considered publishing a critique of the Green et al paper - mainly because I am aware there has been widespread criticism of the paper and I expect better scientists than me to make critiques and submit them to the journal. However, I am concerned that the Editor did not seem keen to allow such criticism in the journal itself. In fact, on checking I see that this journal only allows critiques of a paper if received within 4 weeks - so it seems unlikely that journal will allow any critiques of Grenn et al to be published now.
Finally, I notice you are again retreating from a scientific exchange with the comment you made before - "the AARP forum is not the place for in detail scientific discussion about specific studies."
If you really believe this then you would not be commenting on these scientific papers or attempting to use them as authorities for your ideological/political advocacy.
It is perfectly normal for scientists to debate papers and, especially, to critically and intelligently consider the data and evidecne presented in papers.
Long may this continue.
How do you know that this statement that you made is correct?: " Matter of fact this flurry began because I noted that another amateur statistician had the good sense to erase his Twitter history about a flawed critique that shared some of the same flaws as KenP's"
Where did you get this firsthand information? Did you speak to the statistician? I did. You are making statements that you are not in possession of. It is ok to have your own opinions, but not your own facts.
Are you aware that one of the co-authors of the Bashash, Till, and Green studies publicly still supports fluoridated water for pregnant mothers? Now, that's a first hand fact.
Johnny Johnson, Jr., DMD, MS
CarryAnne - you claim that Adam Kruchten made "epic mistakes" in his analyses and that he more or less admitted this.
Could you please let us know what those "epic mistakes" were? (I couldn't see any) and provide a link to his admission?
I have seen extremely little of Adam Krutchen's analysis on social media - I don't think many people are even aware of it.
Omitting 20% of the data points isn't epic enough for you, KenP?
I cited JAMA Pediatrics per NYSCOF's Twitter response to Adam, not myself.
Listen to JAMA Pediatrics podcast with the editors and notice the bit about the "shift in the curve" as being quite important. Also that Green did sensitivity analysis and used individual level data in "a very good cohort study." Plus the editors who are medical doctors noted that gender differences of neurodevelopment in humans and animals are well known. The editors also noted that systemic fluoride could still be harmful to infants and young children after birth because brains are still developing after birth. Dr. Christakis said JAMA Pediatrics had "several" stats reviews before publishing. https://edhub.ama-assn.org/jn-learning/audio-player/17802991
Carry Anne, have now listened to this and think you have assumed a little too much. A throwaway statement indicating there had been a contentious discussion of the paper in during its review and that it had subjected to (contentious) statistical review - several of them. That does not equate to including two statisticians on the review panel as you implied.
It does suggest to me that the contentious discussion, the disagreements, were about the stats - not effect on policy. I am not surprised.
My take away impressions is that both of these editors are quite ignorant of fluoridation and the controversies. To not have an understanding of how wide the health measure is used in Europe and Canda is, to me, telling. To confuse the "topical" and ingestion issue again implies they are ignorant. And to be unaware of similar studies also indicates their poor background on the issue. Those guys were clearly out of their depth
I do not see any value in the podcast (or their advice) except to reinforce the impression that the publication of this paper was very contentious, the statical analysis was a contentious issue, and that the editors may now be having misgivings as they see the more detailed critiques coming through.
I only hope the journal will publish critiques and not ban them as happened with my critique of the Malin & Till (2015) paper - see https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/we-need-more-post-publication-peer-review/We need mor...). I am pessimistic because so far no assurance has been given.
CarryAnne, so you rely on your own twitter response as an authority for your claim that the paper was reviewed by two statisticians!!
Amazing. This is how fake news is generated.
I would love to know just what reviewers did say about the statistical problems in this paper. it might help explain the exceptionally unusual manner the editor dealt with this paper.
CarryAnne, the incomplete recovery of data from the graph is not an "epic mistake," it is a simple fact of digital extraction. In this case, I do not believe all the data was included in the graphs. I managed to extract a few more points than Adam but find it hard to believe that so many points are hidden.
However, I guess only the authors will be able to tell us if they omitted 20% of the data points - and they are not responding to critiques.
With the points, I extracted I managed to produce almost the same value as the authors for mean IQ values and the comparison of fluoridated and unfluoridated areas. Here are my values of mean IQ with those of Green et al in brackets:
All children: 106.6 (107.2); nonfluoridated: 108.3 (108.1); fluoridated:108.8 (108.2)
Boys: 104.0 (104.6)
Girls: 109.6 (109.6).
The fact you use the emotional "epic mistake" for a recognised and acknowledged problem of digital extraction (especially where authors do not include all their data points) and ignore these vey close values says something about your desire to avoid facing up to problems with this paper.
Extremely close and confirming their result that there was no statistically significant difference in mena IQs of children for mothers from fluoridated and unfluoridated areas.