Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fraud is now the biggest enemy of Science.

Despite fifty years of water fluoridation the authorities in New Zealand (NZ) and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) have never actually measured the fluoride intake in diet or beverages by using tap water in the preperation of foods.

In NZ, the 1987/88 Dietary intake assessment suggested that the dietary fluoride intake for adults living in Dunedin NZ (Fluoridated drinking water) was 0.7 mg per day. Subsequently the 1990/91 NZ dietary intake study suggested that the mean adult intake was 3.0 mg per day. In the only RoI study ever conducted by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and published in 2011, the mean intake for an Irish Adult was reported to be just 1.88 to 2.09 mg per day.

In each of these latter studies only non fluoridated deionized water was used in the preperation of foods. In contrast a strickly controlled dietary study conducted in 1970 in Illinois USA, where drinking water fluoride levels were comparable to NZ and the RoI; ranging from 0.95- 1.05 mg/L, the authors determined that the daily fluoride intake from foods and beverages was 4.36 mg per day.

In the latter study, by Spencer et al (1970- J Nutrition 1970; 100: 1415-1424) the authors actually measured the fluoride balances in subjects, as well as the fluoride content in foods and beverages. In other words they measured the excretion of fluoride in bodily fluids and solids. The authors reported that the higher fluoride intakes were due to use of fluoridated water in the preperation of foods. Another US study by Osis et al (J. Nutr. 104:1313–1318) also demonstrated that using fluoridated water to prepare foods doubled the fluoride intake of individuals.

Now, the thing is, that in 1970s, per capita tea consumption in NZ and Ireland was almost 20 times (2000 per cent) higher than the USA. However, in these strickly controlled US studies, tea was not part of their daily diet so the contribution of tea to fluoride intake was not accounted for. It is important to be aware that since water fluoridation began NO study has ever been conducted in NZ or the RoI to measure fluoride retentiion or excretion levels in adults. It is also important to be aware that the European Food Safety Authority (2013) determined that the Adequate Intake (AI) of fluoride from all sources for a healthy adult female and male aged 18 years and over is 2.9 mg/day and 3.4 mg/day respectively.

Evidence would therefore strongly suggest that daily fluoride intakes for adults in both NZ and Ireland far exceed the recommended intakes, which means they are suffering from chronic fluoride intoxication.

The consequences of scientific fraud vary based on the severity of the fraud, the level of notice it receives, and how long it goes undetected. For fluoride intoxication the consequences can be long term and wide ranging.  Scientific misconduct is the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in professional scientific research. According to the Swedish defination, scientific misconduct is the "Intention[al] distortion of the research process by fabrication of data, text, hypothesis, or methods from another researcher's manuscript form or publication; or distortion of the research process in other ways."

Notably, the NZ and Irish Authorities have managed to manipulate results by ONLY using non fluoridated water in the preperation of foods and beverages and presenting these incorrect results as accurate estimations of dietary fluoride intake. They are basically deliberately misinforming consumers to protect State policies regardless of the long term health effects on the population.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Open letter to Dr Pamela Byrne CEO Food Safety Authority of Ireland and Dr Leo Varadkar Minister for Health

Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO Food Safety Authority of Ireland and Dr Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health

In 2013, I wrote to the CEO of the FSAI and the Minister for Health addressing inaccuracies and scientific irregularities in the total diet survey published by the FSAI in 2010. My concerns specifically addressed how the data on fluoride content in tea products, as well as other beverages such as beers and stouts sold in Ireland where incorrect and significantly under-represented the fluoride concentration, and thus, exposure of consumers to dietary sources of fluoride.

In my previous communications with the FSAI, I forwarded literature specific to risk assessments of fluoride intake from tea undertaken internationally. However, as noted, per capita tea consumption is Ireland is the highest in the world, therefore, the risk of chronic fluoride intoxication is significantly higher in the Republic of Ireland compared to other tea consuming nations. This is particularly the case as drinking water is artificially fluoridated in the RoI, a policy that is not supported in the vast majority of countries internationally. 

Three years ago the FSAI informed me that a second dietary intake study was to be completed in 2013. In undertaking this assessment, the FSAI informed me that they would address my concerns regarding previous methodologies undertaken by the FSAI and in which the fluoride content in tea products, beverages and foods prepared with fluoridated public water supplies would be examined.

As of April 2016, the results of this assessment have yet to be published. In the interim, due primarily to concerns regarding the long term health implications of chronic fluoride intake and lack of available data on fluoride content in Irish tea products, I undertook along with Professor Hardy Limeback, Professor William Potter, and Dr Mike Godfrey, a risk assessment measuring the fluoride content in 54 black tea products for sale in the RoI. This study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 259; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030259].  We have undertaken a similar study for tea products in New Zealand, which is currently being peer reviewed for publication. The findings of this study further support the observations and conclusions of our original study specific to Ireland.

It has recently come to my attention that the FSAI have examined our study on fluoride intake from tea in the RoI and suggested that the intakes of tea examined in our study overestimate the contribution of tea to fluoride intakes in the Irish population. The opinion of the FSAI is based on data on tea consumption from the Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance (IUNA) national dietary surveys. The FSAI noted that the IUNA assessment measured tea consumption in age groups from 1 to 90 years.  The FSAI should be aware, that the IUNA 2001 study did not measure tea consumption in persons 1-90 years of age. It had a statistical number of 1379 persons and only asked people aged 18-64yrs, excluding the highest tea consumers in Ireland who are the elderly. It did also not include pregnant women.

The IUNA study reported that among the age group 18-64yrs, ninety one percent of the sample drank tea with an average daily consumption of 619 ml. However, it should be noted that the IUNA study was undertaken over a 7 day period and did not differentiate whether individuals drank tea from a mug or cup. Moreover, the study did not disclose what season the survey was undertaken. International studies have shown that since the 1980s tea is predominantly consumed in mugs by individuals in western countries. A mug size is substantially larger in volume compared to a cup. In addition, hot beverages such as tea are consumed in greater quantities in the period September to May, when temperatures are colder than the summer months.  From the case studies of habitual tea drinkers I have documented in the RoI, I have personally met numerous individuals who consume up to ten mugs of tea daily. In almost every instance, these individuals reported suffering from multiple morbidity of chronic diseases including chronic pain, diabetes or hypothyroidism.

Moreover, in comparison to the IUNA study, the Australian dietary study of 2008, based on a sample size of over 13,000 subjects reported that the mean consumption of tea for males aged 30-49years was 1004 ml and 1090ml for males aged 50-69years. For females the figures were 984 and 1018 mls respectively. Considering that Ireland has a 3 fold higher per capita consumption of tea than Australia, and the statistically higher quality of the Australian study, this suggests that data on tea consumption in Ireland as noted by the IUNA study is inaccurate. 

In our study, four scenarios were examined, consumption of 250 mL (about 1 cup) per day, 1 litre per day (4 cups or 3 mugs of tea per day), 1.5 L per day (6 cups or 4 mugs per day) and a reasonable maximum intake of 3.8 L per day (15 cups or 10 mugs per day). Based on the available evidence, for the FSAI to suggest that the intakes examined in our study overestimate the contribution of tea to fluoride intake is not based on any rigorous science based assessment or evaluation and is therefore flawed. 

The principal function of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland is to take all reasonable steps to ensure that food consumed, produced, distributed or marketed in the State meets the highest standards of food safety and to ensure that food complies with legal requirements. As noted in our study, the fluoride content in tea products for sale in Ireland do not comply with the requirements of the General Food law Regulation. Moreover, in preparing tea infusions with fluoridated water the risk of cumulative toxic effects increases for consumers. In addition, as noted in our study, evidence suggests that there is a large subgroup of the population particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of chronic fluoride intake due to low iodine intake, malnutrition, Vitamin D deficiency, calcium deficiency and diabetes prevalence.

In conclusion, the FSAI are responsible for putting consumer interests first and foremost. Thus, there is an urgent need for the FSAI to protect public health and consumer interests using the latest and best scientific advice available. Failure to act raises a significant danger to public health. In the current context, the delays in completion of the studies which were to be completed in 2013 are inexcusable and the consequences of this inaction is contributing to the high prevalence of chronic disease in our population. 

Yours sincerely
Declan Waugh
EnviroManagement Services

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Scientists highlight fluoride health risks in the Republic of Ireland.

A new scientific study on fluoride exposure is the first to establish excessive fluoride levels in tea products for sale in Ireland and provides the strongest evidence to date that the total dietary fluoride intake in the general population can readily exceed the levels known to cause chronic fluoride intoxication. That’s the main finding of the paper published this month in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 

The study is authored by an international team of researchers lead by Irish scientist Declan Waugh of Enviro Management Services. The study, the first of its kind to be undertaken in Ireland, assessed human exposure to fluoride from the consumption of tea by measuring the fluoride content in tea infusions from 54 different black tea products sold in Ireland. The fluoride content in tea infusions was found to range from 1.6 to 6.1 mg/L. The study found that all of the black teas had fluoride concentrations exceeding the maximum enforceable level in drinking water while also exceeding the maximum permitted level requiring labelling and safety precautions for bottled mineral water under European regulations.
“These findings are important because the European Food Safety Authority previously reported that drinking  just 2 cups of tea per day prepared with fluoridated water, in addition to other dietary sources of fluoride can provide almost twice the recommended intake for adults.” said lead author Declan Waugh. “Drinking water has been artificially fluoridated in Ireland since the 1960s on the premise that the population had inadequate intake of fluoride in their diet for the prevention of dental caries “ he added, “what we’ve shown is that the Republic of Ireland has one of the highest fluoride intakes in the world due to our high consumption of tea, which is six times the global average”.  

The study highlights that when Health Authorities implemented water fluoridation in Ireland no risk assessment was undertaken to establish the populations dietary fluoride intake from food sources, including tea. “Public health policy should not be based on assumptions” said Mr. Waugh “the results of our study demonstrate that the decision to fluoridate public water supplies in Ireland was a misguided political decision based on poor reasoning and a lack of scientific knowledge.”

Dr. William Potter, one of the four authors of the study and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry explained the results by pointing our that, “in countries with large water fluoridation programmes, such as the Republic of Ireland, fluoridated water is used in food processing and in making beverages such as tea, thus, raising the fluoride content of the foods above that of products consumed in countries without water fluoridation. This is particularly important in Ireland due to the culture of tea drinking, yet the significance of this has largely been ignored to date.  Our study found that based on normal tea consumption intakes alone, that there is a high risk of chronic fluoride intoxication among the population in Ireland.”

Previous studies have already highlighted that in countries where tea drinking is common that water fluoridation is both unnecessary and possibly harmful. You cannot control the dose of fluoride exposure on an individual level when you artificially fluoridate the public drinking water supply due to the wide range of other dietary sources available, particularly tea, fish and fluoridated medications” said co-author Dr. Hardy Limeback, Professor Emeritus and former head of preventive dentistry at the University of Toronto. “Our research demonstrates that when you include the contribution of tea to daily fluoride intake it is evident that excessive fluoride exposure is commonplace in Ireland. More importantly, the effect of fluoridation of drinking water is that it has resulted in compounding safety factors associated with uncontrolled exposure and contributed to excessive accumulation of fluoride in the general population.”

The researchers highlighted that the consequences of excessive fluoride intake will vary from one individual to another. "For me, as a medical physician, one needs to know the nutritional and health status of individuals when considering fluoride exposure. The dose by which fluoride can affect individuals is dependent on many factors” said co author Dr. Mike Godfrey MD. “For example, individuals with diabetes with reduced kidney function, as well as individuals with iodine, calcium or vitamin D deficiency have a much lower tolerance to fluoride. In Ireland, almost 10% of the general  population are estimated to have diabetes and deficiencies in iodine, calcium and Vit D are commonplace, which places the Irish population at particularly high risk to the toxic effects of fluoride.”
The study also looked at potential health risks associated with excessive fluoride intake and reported that excess intake has been found to contribute to neurotoxicity, endocrine dysfunction, musculoskeletal disease, chronic pain, kidney and liver toxicity, cardiovascular disease and abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias. Cardiac arrhythmias can be serious and lead to sudden unexpected death. The study found that the burden of many of these diseases is high in Ireland and that excess fluoride intake may play a large part in contributing to the burden of these diseases among the population.

Authors: Waugh DT, Potter W, Limeback H and Godfrey M.
Source: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2016, 13(3), 259; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030259