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What About the Report From the National Research Council?

Anti-fluoride activists are talking a lot about a report done by the National Research Council (NRC) a few years ago. Supposedly, this report contains "new" information that highlights the "dangers" of community water fluoridation.

That would be news if it were true. However, they are misrepresenting both the report and some recommendations which are being made by a few of the report's authors. The report actually deals with how much naturally-occurring fluoride should be allowed in water before steps are taken to remove it. The current limit is 4 times the amount that is used for community water fluoridation.

What about recommendations to lower fluoride levels being made by "the report's authors?"

You notice that they usually say these recommendations are being made by "the report's authors" and not that the report makes those recommendations. In an effort to be absolutely fair, the National Research Council invited 3 panelists who disagree with water fluoridation to participate in writing the report. These individuals had the opportunity to make their best anti-fluoride case to the other 9 panel members. Their recommendations were rejected by the majority of scientists on the panel. Since the report came out, these 3 individuals have made many presentations advancing their point of view. While nobody disagrees with their right to make these presentations, anti-fluoride zealots are trying to confuse their individual opinions with the findings of the NRC report by saying that "authors of the NRC report reject fluoride" even though the report says no such thing.

The NRC report was actually requested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help them in their periodic review of the safety of fluoride. To date, the EPA has not changed its regulations with respect to the amount of naturally-occurring fluoride in groundwater. They have made absolutely no recommendations regarding changes in community water fluoridation.

Here is what the CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (a branch of the U.S. Public Health Service) - has to say about the NRC report: "The findings of the NRC report are consistent with the CDC's assessment that water is safe and healthy at the levels used for water fluoridation (0.7-1.2 mg/L). CDC reviews the latest scientific literature on an ongoing basis and maintains an active national community water fluoridation quality assurance program. CDC promotes research on the topic of fluoride and its effect on the public's health. CDC's recommendation remains the same - that community water fluoridation is safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. Water fluoridation should be continued in communities currently fluoridating and extended to those without fluoridation." http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/nrc_report.htm

We can see that this is just another case of smoke and mirrors that antifluoride activists are using to try to scare you into supporting their view.


“The fact is that I started out as somewhat skeptical and cautious about fluoridation. But then I became a firm believer as proof was assembled by scientists that fluoridation of a water supply will reduce the production of tooth cavities (our most prevalent disease) by 60%, and, just as important, that no disease or defect is caused by this procedure. What particularly allayed my early doubts about adding a chemical to public water supplies was learning that fluoride has always occurred naturally in water supplies.” Dr. Benjamin Spock
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