Dr. Joseph Mercola
May 26, 2018
- Fluoride Action Network (FAN) is among a coalition of environmental, medical and health groups suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban artificial water fluoridation
- FAN has recently won two major legal victories, defeating efforts by the EPA to dismiss the case and limit the evidence that can be considered
- Fluoride is an endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to thyroid disease, impaired memory, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder and lowered IQ in children
- A long-term study sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found a correlation between fluoride exposure in utero and subsequent reductions in cognitive function
- As the level of fluoride increased, IQ decreased — across the full range of exposures — which means there’s no level at which there is no detrimental effect on cognition; it’s only a matter of degree
Since 1945, it’s been claimed that adding fluoride to drinking water is a safe and effective way to improve the public’s dental health. Since then, many have bought into this fallacy hook, line and sinker, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
One of the reasons why it’s so important to eliminate water fluoridation is because this chemical is very difficult to remove. You can remove some or a significant amount using distillation, reverse osmosis and special filtration media, but the vast majority of water filters that people have access to will not remove fluoride. So, you might filter your water, thinking you’ve purified it, but you haven’t eliminated fluoride.
This is particularly problematic for low-income parents of small children, who need to use fluoride-free water for mixing baby formula. Fluoridated water contains 250 times more fluoride than mother’s milk, significantly raising the child’s risk of fluorosis and other health problems, including developmental and neurological problems.
Michael Connett, an attorney specializing in toxic tort practice, is the son of Paul Connett, Ph.D., toxicologist, environmental chemist and the founder and former director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) — an organization that has fought to remove toxic fluoride from the water supply across the world. Over the past 18 years, FAN has facilitated the removal of fluoride from the water supplies of hundreds of communities in North America, Canada and Europe.
In the featured Newsbud video report, Paul and Michael discuss the known dangers of fluoride, and how FAN is now taking on government by suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to end the deliberate addition of fluoride to drinking water in the U.S.
Water Fluoridation Jeopardizes Public Health
Scientific investigations have revealed fluoride is an endocrine-disrupting chemical,1 and have linked it to the rising prevalence of thyroid disease,2 which in turn can contribute to obesity, heart disease, depression and other health problems. In fact, in the ‘50s and ‘60s, fluoride was used as a drug to lower thyroid activity in patients with overactive thyroid.
Even more importantly, fluoride has been identified as a developmental neurotoxin that impacts short-term and working memory, and contributes to rising rates of attention-deficit hyperactive disorder3 and lowered IQ in children.4 Many of these studies have found harm at levels within the range, or precariously close to, the levels millions of American children receive on a regular basis. In all, there are more than 300 animal and human studies demonstrating fluoride can cause:5
- Brain damage, especially when coupled with iodine deficiency or excessive levels of aluminum
- Reduced IQ
- Impaired ability to learn and remember
- Neurobehavioral deficits such as impaired visual-spatial organization
- Impaired fetal brain development
Government Study Confirms IQ Loss Following Prenatal Exposure
This evidence includes a long-term multimillion-dollar study6,7,8,9 sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which was published last year. This study found a correlation between fluoride exposure in utero and subsequent reductions in cognitive function at the ages of 4 and 6 through 12.
The authors, hailing from several universities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, followed over 300 mother-child pairs in Mexico City for 12 years. The urine levels of the pregnant women in the study (0.5 to 1.5 mg/Liter), were basically identical to those found in pregnant women in the U.S. (0.6 to 1.5 mg/L). The mean level of fluoride in the urine of the mothers included in the study was 0.9 mg/L.
At these levels the authors reported a staggering loss of five to six IQ points. (From the low end of that range to the high end is a difference of 1 mg/L, which is what caused the five to six IQ-point difference in the children of the study mothers.) More specifically, each 0.5 mg/L increase in fluoride over 0.8 mg/L in the mother’s urine was associated with a 2.5-point reduction in IQ and a 3.15-point reduction in general cognitive index scores in the child, leading the authors to conclude that:
“… higher prenatal fluoride exposure, in the general range of exposures reported for other general population samples of pregnant women and nonpregnant adults, was associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring at age 4 and 6-12 y[ears].”
According to lead author Howard Hu, founding dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, this is one of the largest, longest and most rigorously executed studies on fluoride and neurodevelopment ever conducted. While Mexico does not fluoridate drinking water, Mexicans are still exposed to many other sources of fluoride, including naturally-occurring fluoride in water, fluoridated salt, dental products, supplements, pesticides and tea.
Importantly, the researchers found that prenatal exposure was far more influential with respect to cognitive function than subsequent fluoride exposure during childhood. As noted by Hu, “The fetal system tends to be more sensitive to environmental toxicants than once the child is born,” and this study supports that view.
FAN Sues EPA
In November 2016, FAN along with Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Moms Against Fluoridation and several individual mothers, filed a petition10 calling on the EPA to exercise its authority to prohibit the deliberate addition of fluoridation chemicals to public drinking water under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The EPA issued its response11 February 27, 2017, stating that the petition had failed to present “a scientifically defensible basis” to conclude that anyone had in fact suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of fluoride exposure. In response, FAN and its coalition partners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, legally challenging the EPA’s denial of their petition.
Importantly, it will be a “de novo” proceeding, meaning the court cannot simply defer to the EPA but must independently evaluate the scientific evidence presented. So far, FAN has won two important court battles:
- December 21, 2017, United States District Judge Edward M. Chen denied the EPA’s motion12 to dismiss the case.
- February 7, 2018, Chen denied the EPA’s motion to limit the scope of discovery.13 The agency was basically trying to prohibit the coalition’s attorneys from obtaining internal EPA documents and prohibit coalition experts from relying on studies published after our petition was submitted in November 2016. This includes the landmark U.S. government-funded study14,15 mentioned earlier, which was published in September 2017.
Why the 2017 NIEHS Study Is so Important for This Case
The 2017 NIEHS study is really important for this case because it demonstrates that the IQ loss that can be anticipated from fluoride exposure at current levels is quite significant. In short, a child of a mother drinking water with 1 part per million (ppm) of fluoride can be predicted to have an IQ that is five to six points16 lower than a child born to a mother who drank fluoride-free water.
Another really important finding is the fact that there was no threshold below which fluoride did not affect IQ. In a nutshell, this means that as the level of fluoride in urine increased, IQ decreased — across the entire range of exposures, from lowest to highest. This in turn means there’s no level at which there will not be some kind of detrimental effect on cognition — it’s just a matter of degree. The study explains this as follows:
“The smooth plot of the association between GCI [editor’s note: IQ test at age 4] and maternal prenatal urinary fluoride from an adjusted GAM model [editor’s note: a model that corrects for extraneous factors] suggested a linear relation over the exposure distribution (Figure 2).”
Another important point is that they measured fluoride in urine, which is a far more accurate indicator of total fluoride intake than simply measuring the concentration of fluoride in drinking water and then calculating how much water is being consumed. When drinking water is the dominant source of fluoride, then fluoride concentrations in urine and water are typically about the same.
Hence, a mean urine fluoride level of 0.9 mg/L implies these women were ingesting the same amount of fluoride as women drinking water with a fluoride level of 0.9 mg/L — just 0.2 mg/L above the currently recommended level for drinking water in the U.S. When you factor in the range of fluoride exposures in the study, the exposure is likely very close to the range found in many fluoridated areas of the U.S.
They also controlled for a wide range of factors — including lead, mercury, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol use and pregnancy-related problems — that could potentially skew the results or produce a false effect. Importantly, the researchers were able to largely rule out the influence of these confounding factors.
The Many Ways in Which Fluoride Harms Children’s Brain Function
As mentioned, there are now hundreds of studies showing fluoride damages brain function, in a variety of different ways. Among the proposed mechanisms of harm, studies have shown fluoride can:17
|Interfere with basic functions of nerve cells in the brain||Reduce nicotinic acetylcholine receptors||Reduce lipid content in the brain|
|Damage the pineal gland through fluoride accumulation||Impair antioxidant defense systems||Damage the hippocampus|
|Damage purkinje cells||Increase uptake of aluminum, which has neurotoxic effects||Encourage formation of beta-amyloid plaques (the classic brain abnormality in Alzheimer’s disease)|
|Exacerbate lesions induced by iodine deficiency||Increase manganese absorption, which has also been linked lower IQ in children||Impair thyroid function, which can also affect brain development|
Fluoride Exposure Not Limited to Fluoridated Water
In April 2015, the U.S. government admitted the “optimal” level of fluoride recommended since 1962 had been excessive, causing over 40 percent of American teens to develop dental fluorosis, a clearly visible sign of fluoride overexposure. As a result of these findings, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lowered its recommended level of fluoride in drinking water from an upper limit of 1.2 mg/L to 0.7 mg/L.18
However, even if 0.7 mg/L lowers incidence of dental fluorosis, the 2017 NIEHS study clearly shows this level still poses significant risks — and a completely unnecessary one at that. It’s important to realize that fluoride exposure is not limited to fluoridated water or even dental products. Many foods and beverages also contain high levels of fluoride.
In the featured interview, Michael Connett addresses some of the most prominent yet hidden sources, which include white grape juice and white wine, thanks to the use of cryolite, a fluoride-based pesticide. Grapes grown with cryolite can produce wine with fluoride levels that are higher than that found in fluoridated water. Ditto for grape juice. Many teas also contain fluoride, and the fluoride content is directly proportional to the age of the plant, so to minimize your fluoride exposure from tea, select white tea.
* Paranoid psychosis
* Hypomanic and manic symptoms, amphetamine-like psychosis
* Activation of psychotic symptoms
* Toxic psychosis
* Visual hallucinations
* Auditory hallucinations
* Can surpass LSD in producing bizarre experiences
* Effects pathological thought processes
* Extreme withdrawal
* Terrified affect
* Started screaming
* Since Ritalin is considered an amphetamine-type drug, expect amphetamine-like effects
* Psychic dependence
* High-abuse potential DEA Schedule II Drug
* Decreased REM sleep
* When used with antidepressants one may see dangerous reactions including hypertension, seizures and hypothermia
* Brain damage may be seen with amphetamine abuse.
by Jon Rappoport
May 9, 2017
The drug was approved, by the FDA, for public use in 1993, to treat schizophrenia, a “mental disorder” for which there is no defining diagnostic test. No blood test, no saliva test, no brain scan, no genetic assay.
In 2006, the FDA approved Risperdal to treat “irritability” in autistic children. There is no defining diagnostic test for autism. The neurological damage involved can come from any cause—especially vaccines. But of course, all public health agencies deny this fact.
In 2007, the FDA approved Risperdal to treat bipolar disorder in children between the ages of 10 and 17. Bipolar is another “mental disorder” for which there is no defining diagnostic test.
Risperdal was approved to treat three conditions, which are diagnosed by casually observing a patient’s behavior and comparing it to a menu of behaviors called schizophrenia, bipolar, and autism.
If the drug had no adverse effects, that would be one thing; but it has devastating effects. Tardive dyskinesia, a permanent “movement disorder” that signals brain damage. Suicide. Gynecomastia—boys grow female breasts.
Before I go on, NOTE: Rapid withdrawing from psychiatric drugs can have disastrous effects. See Dr. Peter Breggin on this subject.
Now let’s get to the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal’s manufacturer:
2012: J&J fined $1.2 billion for hiding adverse effects of the drug. Decision overturned on appeal.
2012: J&J paid out $181 million for actively promoting off-label uses for Risperdal. Doctors are permitted to prescribe a drug for unapproved uses, but drug companies cannot legally promote or urge doctors to wander into that off-label territory.
2015-2016: There are at least 1500 suits against J&J for causing boys to grow female breasts. Thus far, three verdicts have been decided in favor of the boys, for $1.75 million, $2.5 million, and $70 million.
The story of Risperdal expands and explodes when we consider the marketing effort behind it. Basically, the hustle involved claims that the drug could be used to treat a wide array of so-called disorders in children.
I will now quote extensively from a classic article written at madinamerica.com, by Paula J Caplan, PhD. The title of her article (10/30/2015) is “Diagnosisgate: A Major Media Blackout Mystery”:
“Until their identities are widely exposed, and their motives are known, the full story of the [Risperdal] harm will never be known. It is astonishing that despite six stories in the major media – including a recent, groundbreaking Huffington Post series – and the filing of numerous lawsuits, the names and conduct of the culprits have consistently been omitted.”
“The story that has been called ‘Diagnosisgate’ starts in 1995, when the man widely considered the world’s most important psychiatrist split a payoff of nearly one million dollars with two colleagues in exchange for doing two patently unethical and illegal things that created the groundwork for a major drug company to market falsely one of the most dangerous psychoactive drugs [Risperdal].”
“Part one: In return for almost half a million dollars, they ignored what was known about the drug [Risperdal] in order to manufacture a practice guideline holding up that drug as the best drug among two whole classes of related drugs for treating people who were classified as ‘schizophrenic,’ the other drugs being marketed by other drug companies. This created what is widely considered the ‘standard of care,’ the treatment that therapists are supposed to follow and that they can use in the knowledge that they are well protected from lawsuits if they follow it and their patients are harmed. The very foundation of the guideline, that it was about ‘Schizophrenia,’ is illegitimate, because – though this will surprise many people – that category has been shown to be unscientifically created and indeed has been called a wastebasket for a wide variety of feelings and behavior, many of which are caused by psychiatric drugs.”
“Part two: After the triumvirate received a bonus of $65,000 for creating the guideline [‘treat schizophrenia with Risperdal’] speedily, their top psychiatrist wrote to the same drug company, announcing that the three had constituted themselves as an entity that was prepared, in return for about another half million dollars, to create a marketing plan for the drug. The details included finding ‘key opinion leaders’ (KOLs), who were prominent professionals in powerful positions – such as heads of state mental health or prison systems – and having them teach the Continuing Education courses that professionals are required to take, the ultimate message of those courses being that that particular drug [Risperdal] was the best one to prescribe. Another section of their marketing plan was to have a great many articles published in what are considered scientific or medical journals, all concluding that that drug was effective and should be prescribed.”
“It is not clear whether the three psychiatrists were directly involved in choosing the content of the journal articles, but the plan to produce such articles was carried out, leading to publication of pieces recommending use of the drug [Risperdal] to treat not only Schizophrenia but also Childhood Onset Schizophrenia, Schizo-affective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adults, Mania, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder other than Autism, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Psychosis, Aggression Agitation, Dementia, below average IQ, and disruptive behavior. Thus, a staggering array of psychiatric categories – many of which are as scientifically sketchy as Schizophrenia – was used to promote the drug. This massive marketing campaign proceeded despite the many major negative effects of Risperdal, including drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, dry mouth, increased saliva production, increased appetite, weight gain, stomach pain, anxiety, agitation, restlessness, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, decreased sexual interest or ability, vision problems, muscle or joint pain, dry or discolored skin, difficulty urinating, muscle stiffness, confusion, fast or irregular pulse, sweating, unusual and uncontrollable movements of face or body, faintness, seizures, Parkinsonian symptoms such as slow movements or shuffling walk, rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, gynecomastia in male children, painful erection of penis lasting for hours…and death.”
“Who are the characters in this mystery? Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, is the drug company, and Risperdal is the drug in question. The marketing term for Risperdal and similar drugs is ‘anti-psychotic,’ but the accurate term is ‘neuroleptic,’ reflecting the mechanism of suppressing the brain’s activity as a powerful tranquilizer. Dr. David Rothman, who wrote the expert witness report for one of the lawsuits about the marketing of Risperdal, revealed after scrupulous examination of vast numbers of internal emails between Janssen staff and the representative of the three psychiatrists, is a specialist in medical ethics and the Bernard Schoenberg Professor of Social Medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, the medical school of Columbia University. He is also director of the Center for the Study of Science and Medicine at Columbia and at the time of writing his expert witness report was president of the Institute on Medicine as a Profession. Rothman stated in his report that the [treatment] guidelines [for Risperdal] were constructed ‘in disregard of professional medical ethics and principles of conflict of interest,’ and that they ‘subverted scientific integrity, appearing to be a purely scientific venture when it was at its core, a marketing venture for Risperdal’.”
“The psychiatrist who spearheaded these [Risperdal marketing] efforts is Dr. Allen Frances, who the year before teaming with Janssen oversaw the publication of the fourth volume of the ‘Bible’ of hundreds of categories of mental illness, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, sales of which topped $100 million as a result of marketing by the lobby group called the American Psychiatric Association, which published it. By virtue of this position, he has been called the world’s most important psychiatrist. At the time, he was also Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University. The two psychiatrists who with Frances shared the nearly $1 million in payments from Janssen are Dr. John P. Docherty, who was then Professor and Vice Chairman of Psychiatry at Cornell University at the time, and Dr. David A. Kahn, who was Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University.”
“Now back to the mystery: Despite five individual stories in major media outlets in 2011, 2012, and 2014 about two huge Risperdal court cases filed by the state of Texas and joined by many other states, neither a single writer of any of these stories nor even the papers filed for the court cases named Frances, Docherty, or Kahn or described the fundamental roles played by their Practice Guideline and their marketing plan in the scandal. The mystery is deepened, because the authors of the media stories and the court documents did name and describe the roles of some of the KOLs [key opinion leaders], who assuredly were guilty of unethical conduct but whose participation was conceived of by Frances and his colleagues. And some of those who reaped huge financial profits from Risperdal’s false marketing – most notably Harvard University’s Dr. Joseph Biederman, who created an empire based on claims that ‘Bipolar Disorder in Children’ had been woefully underdiagnosed and untreated – have been royally outed for the enormous sums they earned. But even respected investigative journalist Steve Brill, who recently completed a unique, 15-part story of the Risperdal scandal for Huffington Post, and who described in detail many of its players and some of the patients who suffered terrible harm from the drug and who elegantly described the way that Janssen covered up data about some of the harm, left out the essential roles the Frances triumvirate played. Activist Vera Sharav of the Alliance for Human Research Protection published an online article about the Rothman Report and included the names of Frances and those two colleagues, her article was apparently picked up by only two or three bloggers and none of the major media reporters who read what she posts.”
There is more. Much more. I suggest you read Caplan’s entire article. In a half-sane world, she would have been awarded the highest possible honors for her work.
Risperdal. The long and winding trail. The severe damage. The hustle, the con. The crimes.
The lack of criminal prosecutions.
Brought to you by high authorities in the psychiatric profession and their allies.
A public revolt against the drugs and the pushers is necessary to stem the tide of poisoning.
(Note: for the links to the sources for this story, click here.)