Letter sent to David Clark 18th March 2018
As you know, the landmark IQ study, Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6–12 Years of Age in Mexico, was published last year in Environmental Health Perspectives, the world’s leading health science journal.
The funding agencies for this study were U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute of Public Health, and the Ministry of Health of Mexico.
This study was completed by a group of researchers who have produced over 50 papers on the cognitive health of children as related to environmental exposure to other toxins like lead and mercury. The researchers were from highly respected Universities in the US and Mexico.
The study reported that for every 0.5 mg/L increase of fluoride in the urine of the mothers there was a statistically significant decrease in average IQ of the children of about 3 IQ points. A fluoride level in urine of 1 mg/L could result in a loss of 5 – 6 IQ points. This is particularly relevant to the New Zealand situation where fluoridation is carried out at 0.7 mg/L to 1 mg/L and fluoride urine levels have been found to be in this range.
The lead investigator had this to say: “This is a very rigorous epidemiology study. You just can’t deny it. It’s directly related to whether fluoride is a risk for the neurodevelopment of children. So, to say it has no relevance to the folks in the U.S. seems disingenuous…” – Dr. Howard Hu, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto on Bashash et al. (Sept 2017)
Please note, neither the NZ Medical Association, the NZ Dental Association, the Royal Society of NZ, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science advisor, the World Health Organisation nor any other health or scientific organisation in the world has provided a review or rebuttal of this major study. The reliance on the views of any of these organisations is now out-of-date and invalid.
We understand that the current Bill is set to move decision making to the District Health Boards. However, contrary to claims that this will allow local decision making, Annette King stated at 1st Reading: “The Minister said that population health is best addressed by elected district health boards at a local level. They are required by the Minister of Health, who has absolute say over what they do through the letter of expectation, to carry out the wishes of the Government of the day. So the idea that they have got some autonomy in making decisions around health is only very, very at the edges, if at all.”
The truth is, David, as Health Minister, you are ultimately responsible for the decision to allow fluoridation to be carried out in New Zealand.
Therefore, we would really appreciate it if you would provide thoughtful answers to the below questions:
- If a 12 year, US Government funded, multi-million-dollar study, carried out by a team of distinguished neurotoxicity researchers from Harvard, the University of Toronto, Michigan and McGill, who have written over 50 papers on similar studies of other environmental toxins like lead and mercury, has found that children exposed in utero, to the same levels that NZ women are exposed to, reduces IQ, does not make you invoke the Precautionary Principle and suspend fluoridation – then what will?
- Why continue with fluoridation when the benefits are dubious and there are other public health programmes being carried out in non-fluoridated countries and areas of New Zealand that are really effective, save money and are acceptable to everyone?
Please note, we are asking for your thoughts on the above two questions. We are not interested in the fact that some dental and health organisations support fluoridation.
On behalf of the team at Fluoride Free New Zealand
See Fluoride Action Network for more details
See our press release in September 2017
Response to NZ critic of the US Govt funded study.