There was nothing socially irresponsible or misleading about an advertisement regarding fluoride lowering children’s IQ, the Advertising Standards Complaints Appeal Board has ruled, overturning part of a decision by the Complaints Board in November 2018. Complaints were therefore not upheld.
The Complaints Board had originally ruled that the claims were substantiated and that the advertisement was not misleading but that the inclusion of the image played on fear. However the Appeal Board disagreed.
The advertisement appeared in the Dominion Post and the Otago Daily Times to advertise talks by three visiting fluoride experts from overseas. (Video footage can be found HERE)
Spokesperson, Mary Byrne, says the ruling is validation that the claim is based on serious scientific evidence and is hugely important to New Zealanders. “A multi-million dollar study, Bashash et al, funded by the US Government, has found that children born to mothers exposed to the same levels of fluoride as mothers in fluoridated communities in New Zealand, had a significant drop in IQ. This research comes on top of 50 other human studies, and hundreds of animal studies, that have found fluoride is a neurotoxin”.
A New Zealand Report carried out by Professors Gluckman and Skegg, in 2014, found no harm to the brain. However, Ms Byrne says, “the most important research to date is the Bashash study, which was published since the NZ Report. Besides, the NZ Report was fatally flawed as it incorrectly stated that previous studies had only found an average loss of 1/2 an IQ point, whereas it was half a standard deviation – which is 7 IQ points! When correcting this error, the authors did not also update their original conclusion that the loss was insignificant. Obviously a loss of 7 IQ points is highly significant, particularly as it means a doubling of those requiring institutional or supported care due to extreme intellectual disability”.