The National Toxicology Program (NTP) on Wednesday released a draft report linking prenatal and childhood fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children, after public health officials tried for almost a year to block its publication.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially blocked the NTP from releasing the report, according to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The NTP, an interagency program run by HHS that researches and reports on environmental toxins, conducted a six-year systematic review to assess scientific studies on fluoride exposure and potential neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects in humans.
The report, containing a monograph and a meta-analysis, went through two rounds of peer review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Comments from reviewers and HHS and NTP’s responses also were included in the report released Wednesday.
According to its website, the NTP “removed the hazardous classification of fluoride” in response to comments in the peer-review process. Yet, the report states:
“Our meta-analysis confirms results of previous meta-analyses and extends them by including newer, more precise studies with individual-level exposure measures.
“The data support a consistent inverse association between fluoride exposure and children’s IQ …
“The results were robust to stratifications by risk of bias, gender, age group, outcome assessment, study location, exposure timing, and exposure type (including both drinking water and urinary fluoride).”
“These findings fly in the face of the empty, unscientific claims U.S. health officials have propagated for years, namely that water fluoridation is safe and beneficial,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Children’s Health Defense chairman and chief litigation counsel. “It’s past time to eliminate this neurotoxin from our water supply.”
The controversial report will play a key role in determining the outcome of a lawsuit brought in 2017 by several nonprofits against the EPA to end fluoridation of drinking water, plaintiffs’ attorney Michael Connett told The Defender.
“We had to fight hard to have this report even made public,” Connett said. “They [CDC and HHS] buried this. If they had gotten their way, this report would have never even seen the light of day,” Connett said.
Since the trial began in 2020, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen has been waiting for the NTP to complete a systematic review of fluoride’s neurotoxicity before ruling on the case.
Groups like the American Dental Association publicly pressured the NTP to “exclude any neurotoxin claims” from the reports.
Connett said during the trial, the EPA repeatedly claimed that the plaintiffs’ allegations about toxicity could not be verified because there was no “systematic review.”
The documents released Wednesday fill that gap….