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Letter, Feb. 27, 2014

Too much fluoride; Dow’s profit thirst

Re: Federal farm bill

 

The federal Farm Bill recently signed into law by President Obama contains a provision that overrides a ruling by the EPA to phase-out the toxic fumigant sulfuryl fluoride because it leaves unsafe levels of fluoride residue on food.

The aggregate dose that children receive from these residues along with the fluoride from other sources, including fluoridated water and dental products, exceeds the EPA’s safe reference dose for fluoride “especially in the case of infants and children” which is why the EPA started the processing of phasing sulfuryl fluoride out.

Lobbyists for Dow AgroSciences and the National Pest Management Association worked to get a provision into the Farm Bill to reverse EPA’s recommendation to phase-out sulfuryl fluoride. This not only undermines the credibility of the EPA Pesticide division but also delivers a critical blow to the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), which was designed by Congress to provide stronger protections for infants and children from pesticides.

Of the developed nations, only the U.S. and Australia apply this fumigant directly to food. The rest of the world has shown that sulfuryl fluoride is not necessary for the safe storage and handling of our food supply, given the availability of other methods.

Our kids are already getting far too much fluoride as evidenced by the fact that 41 percent of American adolescents have some form of dental fluorosis, a telltale sign that they have experienced the early signs of fluoride poisoning.

Making matters even worse is a recent meta-analysis by Harvard scientists that reported that 26 of 27 studies investigating the relationship between IQ and elevated fluoride in water have found a reduction of IQ, with an average drop of 7 IQ points.

The idea that we are taking these risks to satisfy Dow’s thirst for profit is both intolerable socially, and highly shortsighted from an economic and public health perspective.

With the increased exposure to fluoride that this Dow crafted congressional vote will bring it is more urgent than ever that we end water fluoridation wherever this outdated practice is still in force. Go to www.FluorideAlert.org and watch the 10 Facts on fluoridation.

Jay Burkhart

Sheridan


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