Researchers Hid Data Showing Fluoride Lowers Kids’ IQs, Emails Reveal

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by Brenda Baletti, Ph.D., Childrens Health Defense:

California’s dental director and his team of researchers intentionally omitted data from a study seeking to undermine the forthcoming National Toxicology Program report linking fluoride exposure to neurodevelopmental damage in children, according to documents released last week.

A team of pro-fluoride researchers led by California’s dental director intentionally omitted data from a study seeking to undermine the forthcoming National Toxicology Program (NTP) report linking fluoride exposure to neurodevelopmental damage in children, according to documents released last week.

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The documents — obtained through a California public records search and posted in a press release by the Fluoride Action Network — show that the team, led by Dr. Jayanth V. Kumar, a dental surgeon, conducted a meta-analysis of the scientific literature on fluoride’s neurotoxicity and found a link between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ in children at low levels of exposure.

However, they omitted the data and wrote a paper concluding there was no evidence of a link.

Four rounds of peer review rejected Kumar’s manuscript as “poorly researched,” “internally inconsistent” and committing “unashamed exaggeration” before the journal Public Health finally published the study last month.

NTP report: ‘no obvious threshold’ at which fluoridating water is safe

Kumar et al.’s study was published online less than a week before the NTP’s May 4 Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) meeting where advisors would finalize any recommended changes before the NTP publishes the final version of its report on fluoride’s neurotoxicity.

The NTP, an interagency program run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that researches and reports on environmental toxins, conducted a six-year systematic review to assess scientific studies on fluoride exposure and potential neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects in humans.

Its groundbreaking report on those findings — which consists of a “state of the science” monograph and meta-analysis surveying the literature on the links between fluoride exposure and cognitive health effects — concluded that prenatal and childhood exposure to higher levels of fluoride is associated with decreased IQ in children.

It also found that given that children are exposed to fluoride from multiple sources, there was “no obvious threshold” at which fluoridating water would be safe.

That means even when water is fluoridated at lower levels (typically 0.7 mg/L), studies found children had dangerous levels of fluoride in their systems.

The study’s findings contradict mainstream assumptions, the position of the dental industry, the sugar industry and the health regulatory agencies on the safety and benefits of fluoridating water to prevent cavities, despite substantial evidence to the contrary, including a series of studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

At the BSC meeting, the American Dental Association (ADA), with whom Kumar is affiliated, used his meta-analysis as evidence there were problems with the NTP study and argued that the NTP report should therefore be postponed.

This was just the latest in a series of attempts by industry and regulatory agency officials to “weaken, delay, or kill” the report.

The report is a key document in the ongoing lawsuit filed by Food & Water Watch, the Fluoride Action Network, Moms Against Fluoridation and private individuals against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking to end water fluoridation.

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