by Christof Lehmann, NSNBC
The Israeli government officially banned the fluoridation of public water supplies which has been mandated in 1974. The official ban came into effect on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, following a 2013 decision of Israel’s Supreme Court which cited “health concerns” as reason to prohibit water fluoridation in 2014.
The Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling followed a petition lodged by Izzun Hoser, the Association for Health Education and Yaacov Gurman in November 2012. The petitioners demanded that Israel’s Ministry of Health should order the cessation of water fluoridation because it presented dangers to the public health while its alleged benefits when ingested had shown not to hold true.
Israel’s Minister of Health Yael German responded to the Supreme Court ruling in April 2013 by approving a new regulation that removed the 1974 fluoridation mandate.
Facing at times slanderous criticism from largely industry-funded pro-fluoridation lobbies, she issued a statement stressing that:
“It must be known that fluoridation can cause harm to the health of the chronically ill (including) people who suffer from thyroid problems”.
Water fluoridation is still practiced in communities in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and a minority of European countries. In fact, more people in the United States consume fluoridated drinking water than the rest of the world’s population together.
Independent studies show that the use of fluoride does limit tooth decay while fluoride has a prophylactic effect when it is applied topically, for example with tooth paste.
The ingestion of fluoride, on the other hand, does not limit tooth decay but is correlated to a cohort of severe adverse health effects ranging from dental fluorosis to skeletal fluorosis, neurodevelopmental damages, and a cohort of other adverse health effects.
In March 2014 the renown scientific journal “The Lancet”, published an epidemiological study by Philippe Grandjean MD from the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Philip Landrigan MD, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai, New York.
The study concluded that industrial chemicals, including fluoride, that injure the developing brain, are among the known causes for the epidemic rise in the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.
European experts and public health experts, worldwide, repeatedly expressed that they are puzzled about water fluoridation in the USA, many of them are suggesting serious ethical flaws and incestuous relationships between US Dental Associations, regulatory agencies, and industry.
In 1975 German lawmakers rejected a heavily industry-sponsored, Europe-wide pro-fluoridation campaign, describing the practice as inefficient, irresponsible, and unnecessary.
In 1976, Dutch lawmakers banned fluoridation and amended the Dutch constitution to ascertain that the practice “could not ever be introduced again”.
In 1977, Danish law-makers rejected industry-funded pressure. The lawmakers in the Danish capital Copenhagen stressed that there were no adequate studies about the effect of long-term exposure to fluoride available.
During the 1970s-80s, the Scandinavian countries Sweden, Norway and Finland (Suomi) all banned fluoridation, stressing that there were no sufficient data about the long-term health and environmental effects of the practice available.
Today, most European countries don’t fluoridate their citizens’ drinking water. Lawmakers in the few remaining countries which still practice fluoridation are met by growing popular and professional demands to put an end to the practice.
It is also noteworthy that populations in certain regions in India, such as Odisha, which have a high content of natural fluoride in their soil are suffering severe adverse health effects and that both local governments and the central government spend millions on removing fluoride from the drinking water to assure the health of the population in affected regions.