In response to an article in the Otago Daily Times regarding the Talk at the University, Dr Vyvyan Howard sent the following letter to the ODT. It was never published but should have been.
Re: Anti-fluoride campaigner invites university debate (6/9/18)
I was surprised to find no mention of the scientific issues, presented at the meeting, mentioned in your article. As one of the “trio” of “campaigners” (as described in your article) you made no mention of my qualifications and therefore of my influence to the discussion.
I am a medically qualified pathologist, specialised in the effects of toxic substances on the fetus. The last time I spoke in public on the topic of fluoride and health was 10 years ago in Toronto. I do not consider myself to be a campaigner but I am a medical professional with a concern for public health. The reason I have given up 2 weeks of a busy life to come to NZ is that I consider the findings of the latest published papers (of which you gave no mention) merit a civil and informed discussion amongst involved scientists from both sides of the argument.
I stated yesterday, in the presence of your reporter, that if I was in medical practice here in NZ I would be advising female patients who were considering starting a family to avoid drinking fluoridated tap water. This is based on the findings in the recent paper by Bashash et al which shows very clearly that fluoride is associated with a considerable fall in IQ (over 5 IQ points) in offspring in a dose dependant manner. This very well designed study mirrors the findings in over 30 prior studies. Not to have mentioned these facts will also probably have surprised your readership.