Harvard Scientist Criticizes Wichita Paper’s Whitewash of Fluoride/IQ Study


The following is a press release from the Fluoride Action Network:

A poorly fact-checked article from a Kansas newspaper is being cited by well-funded advocacy organizations across the country to convince decision-makers, physicians and the public to disregard a peer-reviewed Harvard research paper linking fluoride to lower IQ in children, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Harvard scientist, Philippe Grandjean, MD, states the newspaper never “checked their information with the authors, even though statements were attributed to them.”

The Kansas newspaper (the Wichita Eagle) heavily promoted fluoridation on its editorial pages in the buildup to a city referendum in which voters rejected an effort to fluoridate water.

“We believe the newspaper’s bias showed up in news articles that were supposed to be objective and truthful but were not,” says Paul Connett , PhD, FAN Executive Director.

Fluoridation is the unnecessary addition of fluoride chemicals into public water supplies ostensibly to reduce tooth decay.

The Wichita paper’s opening paragraph on the Harvard IQ study declared: “Harvard university scientists say Wichita voters shouldn’t depend on a research study they compiled to decide whether to put fluoride in the city’s drinking water to fight tooth decay.”

This, however, is false. Dr. Philippe Grandjean , the senior scientist on the Harvard team, criticized the Wichita paper for deceptively attributing its own conclusions on fluoridation to the Harvard scientists. Fluoridation’s potential to produce “chemical brain drain,” Grandjean writes, is an issue that “definitely deserves concern.”

Grandjean also takes objection to the Wichita paper’s claim that the Harvard review only looked at studies that used “very high levels of fluoride.” The Wichita paper conveyed this impression by focusing on a single, cherry-picked study (Hu 1989) that was never published, nor even included in the Harvard review.

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