Failure of the DH to asknowledge and act on government-derived information on water fluoridation.

The request was successful.

Dear Department of Health,

This request for information relates to water fluoridation. Please number your replies in the order in which the questions are asked.

1a. Is the DH aware of the database maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US? http://www.epa.gov/ncct/toxcast/files/su...
Fluoride is listed as a developmental neurotoxin in the middle column of the right-hand-section. Recognising that the US also uses hexafluorosilicic acid as their fluoridating agent:

1b. What steps have been taken by the DH to recognise and classify fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin?

1c. If no steps have been taken, why not?

2a. Is the DH aware of the ARCPOH statistics relating to dental decay which were collected during 2003? These are official statistics and were commissioned by the Australian Department of Health. They show that fluoridated Australian children experience a delay in tooth eruption due to the presence of fluoride in their water and food. The occurrence of fluoride-induced delayed eruption of teeth has been supported by research by Komarek et al. in 2005. (A Bayesian analysis of multivariate doubly-interval-censored dental data. Biostatistics, 2005, 6, 1, pp. 145–155).

2b. If the DH is aware of these statistics and Komarek’s research, please explain why the DH has chosen to ignore the serious implications of fluoride causing a delay in children’s dental development?

2c. Since fluoride is a developmental neurotoxin, please also explain why the DH has failed to acknowledge that delayed eruption of teeth also indicates a disruption to other physical development.

3a. Is the DH aware that the US Government's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that the concentration of fluoride in public drinking water be reduced to 0.7ppm?

3b. If the DH is aware, what steps has the DH taken to follow suite?

3c. If no steps have been taken, why not?

4a. Is the DH aware that the reason why the CDC has recommended a reduction in concentration of fluoride is because more than 40% of people born after water fluoridation began in the US have dental fluorosis? Instead of regarding dental fluorosis as being a cosmetic issue, the CDC has acknowledged that dental fluorosis is undesirable and has accordingly recommended a reduction in the concentration of fluoride. In the past few years, the Republic of Ireland and Hong Kong have reduced the concentration of fluoride because of the widespread incidence of dental fluorosis.

4b. Why has the DH not told the Secretary of State that a downward variation in fluoride concentration is advisable?

5a. Why has the DH refused to acknowledge several pieces of research (mainly from China) which indicate a reduction in intelligence in communities where drinking water contains natural calcium fluoride? (Note that the Newcastle University research by Maguire et al, 2005, Bioavailability of Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Human Experimental Study, J. Dent RES 2005:84; 989, concluded that both artificial and natural fluoride are equally bio-available.)

5b. Even if the DH chooses to dismiss the validity of Chinese research, please explain why the DH has failed to apply the Precautionary Principle.

6a. Fluoride crosses the placenta so that the unborn child is poisoned with a developmental neurotoxin. Please explain why the DH recommends that pregnant women refrain from alcohol and cigarettes prior to and during pregnancy but has failed to advise them to refrain from drinking, eating and absorbing fluoride.

I look forward to receiving a full reply and hope that you will observe the statutory 20 working days condition.

Yours faithfully,

Joy Warren

Department of Health

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Joy Warren left an annotation ()

It will take me some time to analyse the reply and a comparison table needs to be created to see if the Dept of Health has ducked any of the issues raised.

The refutation by ARCPOH (which it had been rumoured to have been published) is now in my possession and that is easier to analyse qualitatively. Three observations:
(1) The excuse of a syntax error is a convenient way of glossing over the existence of a data set showing the normal eruption times of teeth as were occurring in Queensland in 2003-04.
(2) We can only conclude that the 'fluoridated dataset' is now being claimed as being accurate. So are the number of fluoridated erupted teeth at varying ages normal or abnormal?
(3) The 'error' was not spotted until 2011 and after public disclosure. Why was the error not removed prior to disclosure? If such an error really existed, how can it have been unnoticed when the data was sent to the Aussie DH. ARCPOH is used to manipulating large data sets and anything sent to the Aussie Gov. would have been double-checked before release. A re-examination of the data prior to releasing it under the FoI provisions must have warned ARCPOH and the DH that there was something in the data that they dare not publish and that's why they evaded the FoI. And yet, the data was finally released unaltered with the 'error' still in situ. We'll never know why the data was not 'normalised' prior to its final release. Then, and only then, was it denied by the King Toothfairy - the 'boss'. Professor Spencer's statement "The error was subsequently corrected ..." does not contribute meaningfully to pinpointing the date on which the 'error' was detected. Moreover, the existence of an 'error' has come far too late for this particular fairy story to be believed. However, perhaps they're hoping that this will be a case of "history being written by the winners" even though this particular history has had to go into a 2nd edition with material revisions and a new dust jacket!

That fluoride disrupts dentition is a well-known fact but has never been officially researched (well - not until ARCPOH collected and published and allowed us briefly to compare eruption data).

It gets worse - in some cases, fluoride can even prevent the shedding of deciduous teeth and the development of secondary teeth so that a child retains milk teeth into adulthood. Disruption of normal dental development is a fact that our Department of Health is very knee to deny.

Dear Department of Health,

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your reply (reference DE00000643306) to my query on health monitoring of fluoridated populations. Your reply raises several concerns:-

1. Commencement of health monitoring
You seem to be conflating the issues of health monitoring and health reporting. They are two separate activities with the latter depending on the former. Monitoring the effects on health of fluoride exposure in fluoridated communities should have started at least 18 months ago but it hasn’t. According to your reply “guidance” has not yet been issued despite the Chief Dental Officer giving assurances in 2008 that it would be issued that year.

Various “excuses” have been made for the delay (“needing expert epidemiological advice; an imminent general election; a consultation with academic experts” to name but a few) which all add up to a failure to implement government policy and statutory responsibilities. Who is to be held responsible for this failure?

2. “Accessible source of [health] data”
Your reply makes reference to health monitoring being based on using an “accessible source of data”. There is irrefutable scientific evidence that fluoride exposure affects brain, kidney and thyroid functions, can be a causative factor in the onset of cancer, and also causes dental fluorosis with no detectable threshold. What currently available “accessible source of data” will provide information on these health effects?

3. Since there is definitely no up-to-date and accessible source of [health] data, for example, on the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis, and since DF is a "manifestation of systemic toxicity" (to quote Baroness Hayman - Hansard 2014/99 : WA158), please indicate when this simple monitoring will physically take place in schools in fluoridated regions and sub-regions.

Yours faithfully

Joy Warren

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Trevor Allport left an annotation ()

It seems the DoH have successfully avoided answering most of the questions again.

Also, I got the same pathetic excuse for the fluoridated teeth eruption data myself and have emailed the professor asking the same questions that Joy Warren has asked. Namely, WHY was this data not 'corrected' when it was accumulated. The data would have been cause for concern and if there was an error in that data, it certainly would have been found AT THE TIME.

I have also requested the portion of code in which the 'syntax error' was alleged to have occurred. I would very much like to peruse it.

I think the DoH are running scared on this one. Or rather the powers that are pulling the strings of the DoH.

Joy Warren left an annotation ()

My reply to the DH's reply re. health monitoring was unfortunately sent tagged to this FoI. Readers should ignore the health monitoring request above which is now attached to the correct FoI response on Health Monitoring.

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