Deafening Silence From Fluoridation Opponents on Results of 2017 NTP Study They Promoted
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Wednesday, May 2, 2018
NTP Study Strengthens Evidence Showing Fluoridated Water Is a Safe Way To Prevent Tooth Decay, But Critics Ignore the Study They Once Welcomed
A study led by researchers at the federal government’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) has found no link between elevated levels of fluoride and cognitive harms. Released in February, the NTP studyexamined rats that consumed water and food with different concentrations of fluoride, including fluoride exposure during prenatal development. At these exposures, the researchers reported that they “observed no exposure-related differences in motor, sensory, or learning and memory performance” for any of the nine different tests they conducted.
In addition to finding no cognitive deficits, the NTP study revealed that thyroid hormone levels were not altered as a function of 10 or 20 parts per million of fluoride. For years, fluoride critics have attacked water fluoridation by claiming it causes thyroid problems. The only side effect found by the NTP study (inflammation of the prostate gland) was observed only at a fluoride exposure that was far above the level of human exposure by drinking fluoridating water.
Critics’ Noteworthy Silence
When the NTP study was first announced, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN)—the leading anti-fluoride group in the U.S.—welcomed the news with a headline anticipating that the study’s findings “could end fluoridation.” FAN cited the NTP’s “cutting edge scientific tools” and declared that the NTP’s decision to conduct a study “puts a lie to [proponents’] claims” about fluoridation.
The American Fluoridation Society (AFS) noted that FAN has been distinctly quiet since the NTP study was publicly released.
“The leading critics of community water fluoridation were thrilled when NTP said they would conduct a thorough study of this issue,” said AFS President Johnny Johnson. “However, they have been as quiet as a church mouse since the NTP’s findings were made public. Once again, they choose to ignore the studies that don’t fit into their fear-based mindset.”
In addition to the NTP study, research published in 2015 by the Journal of Public Health found no link at all between fluoridation and IQ scores. This 2015 study was conducted in New Zealand, where fluoridation programs are common. The New Zealand study examined a large sample of people and examined IQ scores collected over a 31-year period.
Few public health topics have been researched as thoroughly as CWF. In fact, the database maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine contains more than 56,000 studies or research papers on fluoride. And the Library’s records include more than 6,400 studies that focus specifically on fluoridation.
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