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Scientists Accuse National Academy of Sciences of Unscientific Behavior in Promoting Fluoride

For Immediate Release

Scientists and an attorney today accused the National Academy of Sciences of unscientific behavior by promoting fluoride as a "beneficial element." Citing research on fluoride, some from NAS's own publications, Drs. Albert Burgstahler, University of Kansas, Paul Connett, St. Lawrence University, Lennart Krook, Cornell University, and William Hirzy, National Treasury Employees Union at EPA, and New York attorney Paul Beeber said NAS was engaging in "linguistic de-toxification" of fluoride.

Professor Krook linked fluoride with increased risk of hip fractures in the elderly. He said peer reviewed publications showed weaker bones result from drinking fluoridated water. He also discussed several studies showing fluoride causes bone cancer in animals and humans, studies NAS downplays.

Professor Burgstahler pointed out errors in NAS's publication that purports to establish a safe upper limit of exposure to fluoride and expressed concern over bias among the NAS panelists. Burgstahler said NAS has previously cited 13 studies showing fluoride causes bone toxicity below the doses NAS now says are "tolerable."

Dr. Hirzy said EPA treats fluoride as a "protected pollutant." He gave several examples including EPA's drinking water standard, set at a level known to cause adverse effects on teeth, its reliance on NAS rather than its own staff for advice on fluoride risks, and its firing of the senior drinking water toxicologist for refusing to keep quiet about fluoride's ability to cause cancer. He said the professionals' union voted to support citizens fighting fluoridation after union scientists reviewed recent research on fluoride.

Paul Beeber discussed a new report that shows, after a fifty-year trial, no difference in the dental cavities rates in children in fluoridated Newburgh and un-fluoridated Kingston, NY. The report shows children in Newburgh to have about twice the rate of dental fluorosis, the earliest sign of fluoride toxicity, as children in Kingston.

Professor Connett said, "If we add the new evidence of fluoride's damage to the brain and the pineal gland to its carcinogenicity and its known toxicity to teeth, bones, the reproductive and other systems, and consider the ineffectiveness of fluoride in drinking water in preventing dental cavities, it is insane for NAS to promote fluoride as a beneficial element. Fluoride is a very toxic substance, and the less our children get the better."

CONTACT: BILL HIRZY 202-260-4683(V) 202-401-3139(F)

For more background on the press conference that took place and on the speakers, read the press release below:




On Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 9:00 am in the Murrow Room of the National Press Club, a panel of four scientists whose combined years of study of fluoride total nearly a century will present their case against the National Academy of Science's listing of fluoride as a "beneficial element." They will also discuss recent stories on the chemical in the Wall Street Journal and on NBC's "Today" program.

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) intervened with NAS on behalf of the scientists to obtain a response to a year-old letter the researchers had sent on the subject to the Academy. This point will be discussed.

Professors of Chemistry Albert Burgstahler (University of Kansas) and Paul Connett (St. Lawrence University) and Professor Emeritus Lennard Krook (Cornell University) will be joined by Dr. William Hirzy (representing the union of scientists and attorneys at EPA headquarters) and New York attorney Paul Beeber in presenting information showing fluoride is neither an essential nutrient nor a beneficial element, contrary to what the NAS is attempting to establish, and that Americans are now overdosed with that chemical.

Professor Burgstahler, who has been an active researcher on the toxic effects and chemistry of fluoride for over thirty years, will cover in detail the unscientific nature of the NAS' s justification for attempting to anoint fluoride as an "beneficial element." He will explain errors in the NAS's arithmetic and reasoning on the subject and point out the bias of the NAS panel members involved. Professor Connett will present information on the mechanisms of fluoride's toxic effects, including suppression of the activity of the pineal gland, which is responsible for many critical aspects of life such as aging and adaptation to day/night cycles. He will also discuss how fluoride's chemical properties explain much of that substance's toxicity, and the present state of America's over-dosing by fluoride and the role of the American Dental Association in it.

Dr. Hirzy is Senior Vice-president of the union that represents scientists and other professionals at EPA Headquarters1, National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 280, and he will explain why his union members voted to endorse efforts to ban water fluoridation. He will give examples of how fluoride has been treated as a "protected pollutant" by EPA, and explain how the union is trying to change that situation.

Professor Krook will summarize his years of work on the toxicity of fluoride on bone as well as the work of other researchers and epidemiologists who have reported on the bone-weakening effects of fluoride, work that has been virtually ignored by the NAS. His work includes seminal studies of the massive damage to cattle herds in upstate New York by industrial fluoride emissions.

Mr. Beeber will present data published last year on the on-going fluoridation experiment in his state, the (at first secret) fluoridation of Newburg, NY, while nearby Kingston, NY remains unfluoridated. These data show increased signs of toxicity, but no significant dental cavities reduction, in fluoridated Newburg compared to unfluoridated Kingston. He will also note how these data are consistent with similar results in other parts of the world, and make the connection with the large increase in the U.S. of dental fluorosis - an early, visible sign of fluoride toxicity.

Dr. Hirzy is not representing EPA. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of EPA.

Last modified: 22 January 1999

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