Earlier this year, several health professionals and scientists formally asked the American Thyroid Association (ATA) to "demonstrate either scientific integrity and professional ethics" by
- Publish[ing] a position statement opposing the practice of community water ﬂuoridation (CWF) based on its impact on thyroid hormones, interference with glucose and calcium metabolism in susceptible populations, and general capacity for endocrine disruption.
- Send[ing] a copy of that position statement to the National Toxicology Program in North Carolina with a cover letter that reminds them that the impact of hypothyroidism on the developing brain might not be scientiﬁcally categorized as neurotoxic but that medical fact is a distinction without a difference.
Here's more from their lengthy and well-documented communication to the ATA:
We recognize the American Thyroid Association (ATA) as the world’s leading organization ‘devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education, and public health.’ We appreciate the ATA values that include, ‘scientiﬁc inquiry, public service patient advocacy, education, and ethical conduct.’ We are writing because it is time for the ATA, in keeping with its mission and values, to openly advise the American public of what many physicians have been privately advising patients behind closed doors for decades, that drinking ﬂuoridated water is harmful to thyroid health.
We suggest that February 2016 is the time to step forward for several reasons:
- We believe it is unconscionable for this professional association to stand by silently while ﬂuoridation advocates in the American Dental Association, American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue to aggressively market ﬂuoridation as a dental panacea by distorting medical facts and denying recent scientiﬁc studies regarding endocrine disruption.
- We believe that the political lobbying of ﬂuoridationists who are increasingly attempting to mandate ﬂuoridation at the state level, as they have done successfully in over a dozen states already, including California, Connecticut and Arkansas, will invariably increase the burden on those already ill with thyroid and other endocrine disorders, as well as increase their numbers substantially.
- We believe that the examination by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) into the science indicating ﬂuoridated waters are neurotoxic to fetuses and young children, although commendable, may be too limited. We know that exposure to ﬂuoride lowers thyroid function, and that even subclinical hypothyroidism during pregnancy and childhood can and does result in lowered IQ, learning disabilities, and other psychomotor deﬁcits, whether or not ﬂuoride is characterized as “neurotoxic.” We suggest the ATA go on record with this medical fact sooner rather than later. Although the public comment period to the NTP on this topic closed January 8, 2016, we suspect the ATA will be able to provide a comment past that date.
- We believe that the science published in 2014 and 2015 is sufﬁcient on its own to recast artiﬁcial ﬂuoridation as a public harm rather than as a public good. Consistent with science dating back a hundred years, recent science conﬁrms that community water ﬂuoridation is medically inadvisable for thyroid patients and most, if not all, of the population. We are attaching supporting resources to the end of this letter for your convenience.
Image by William Newman, via Flickr