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MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
By MALCOLM REID, GLASGOW EVENING TIMES, TUESDAY, JUNE 29TH, 1993.
There are more infant deaths in fluoridated Birmingham than in any other English city. The facts are figures are frightening. For the sake of Strathclyde's babies ...
BOTTLE-FED babies In Strathclyde could be In grave medical danger if the Region puts fluoride in the water supply. For world exports today warned that they could be overexposed to EIGHT times the recommended dose of the chemical. And it has been revealed that Birmingham, where the water is fluoridated, has the WORST Infant mortality rate in England. One leading expert has described the public health measure as 'CRIMINAL'. On the eve of the crucial Region vote on fluoridation, the Evening Times presents damning evidence from around the world on the potentially hazardous effects of putting the chemical in the water supplies of towns and cities. Most worrying is the fact that the most vulnerable section of the community are our infants. If Strathclyde votes yes, the water supplies in the Health Board areas of Greater Glasgow, Ayrshire and Arran, Lanarkshire and Argyll and Clyde will add fluoride to the water supplies. Those in favour of the move claim it helps prevent dental decay. Our investigations over the past eight months suggest that the potential risks to health from its use tar outweigh any benefits. For the sake of the community, and in particular our children, we implore the council ... VOTE NO!
BIRMINGHAM may have the highest infant mortality rate In England because of water fluoridation, according to one of the world's most distinguished scientists.
Professor Albert Schatz, discoverer of the miracle antibiotic streptomycin, claims: "I would be very surprised if there wasn't a connection."
And he attacked the principle of fluoridation, saying: "It is criminal to implement a so-called public health measure which kills certain people."
Processor Schatz, whose remarkable medical find provided the world's first effective treatment against tuberculosis, bases his judgment on a detailed study he carried out into infant mortality in fluoridated Chilean cities.
His remarks - endorsed by other eminent scientists around the world - came as it was revealed that Birmingham babies are among the most likely in England to die before the age of one.
And the professor spoke as international warnings were sounded on the dangers of giving babies infant formula made with fluoridated water.
It has now been revealed that babies fed in this way - including those to Birmingham - could be ingesting up to EIGHT times the World Health Organisation recommended maximum dose for infants.
The figures - from the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys - reveal that fluoridated inner Birmingham babies are almost THREE times as likely to die in the first year of life as their counterparts in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, the area with the lowest English infant death rate.
Scottish Office figures also show that Scotland's four major non-fluoridated urban populations have dramatically less baby deaths than the English Midlands city.
CENTRAL Birmingham babies under a year old are 65% more likely to die than those in Glasgow.
Birmingham may have the highest infant mortality rate in England because of water fluoridation. Babies given infant formula made with fluoridated water could be ingesting up to EIGHT times the World Health organisation recommended maximum dose for infants.
Said Processor Schatz, who in 1976 was awarded France's highest distinction for meritorious service to humanity, the Grand Prix Humanitaire: "Artificial fluoridation of drinking water may well dwarf the thalidomide tragedy, which was dramatic because it produced crippled children who are living testimonials to what that drug has done."
"Many victims of artificial fluoridation, on the other hand, die quietly during the first year of their lives, or at a later age under conditions where their deaths are attributed to some other cause."
And the brilliant scientist, a world expert in soil chemistry and former senior processor at Philadelphia's Temple University, added: "Because artificial fluoridation causes deaths among individuals who are for ore reason or another more sensitive to fluoride toxicity than the total population taken as a whole, the controversy over whether it does or does not reduce caries is purely academic."
"It is criminal to implement a so-called public health measure which kills certain people, even if it does reduce tooth decay in some of the survivors. The evidence is that it merely delays decay."
Prof. Albert Schatz
He added: "Fluoridation is invalid in theory, ineffective in practice and dangerous to the health of consumers."
As a result of Professor Schatz's studies in Chile, fluoridation was terminated throughout the entire South American country in 1977, 24 years after it had been started.
The city of Curico had been fluoridated to a level of one part per million - the concentration proposed for Strathclyde - while La Serena and San Fernando had rates of 0.67ppm and 0.0ppm respectively.
Professor Schatz found that infant mortality rates in Curico were 69% greater than those in San Fernando and La Serena.
His findings have been backed up by data from other parts of the world.
Top American PhD biochemist, Dr John Yiamouyiannis compared 10 fluoridated USA cities with 10 non-fluoridated ones.
Schatz had found that poverty and poor diet increased infant susceptibility to fluoride poisoning in Chile, and Yiamouyiannis' findings - which he divided into statistics for both whites and non-whites appear to corroborate this.
Between 1950 and 1969, the infant mortality rate per 1000 five births for non-whites in the non-fluoridated cities fell by 9.03. In the fluoridated cities the drop was only 1.93.
For whites - regarded in the States as better nourished than non-whites - the non-fluoridated city rate fell by 5.22, while the fluoridated decrease was only 3.33.
Said Dr Yiamouyiannis: "I would say this would tend to support other data suggesting a fluoride link with infant mortality."
Dr. John Yiamouyianis
"If fluoride didn't have something to do with Birmingham's very high rate, it would be a highly coincidental result", he added.
"Illinois, which is more than 90% fluoridated, has the highest infant mortality rate in America among non-white children."
"Even a well-educated profluoridationist would admit that if fluoride were to have toxic effects, it would probably occur more predominantly in malnourished children than in well nourished children, as is true of any poison"
America is the most fluoridated country in the world, and a 1988 report by the Children's Defence Fund revealed that more American babies die in their first year of life than almost anywhere in the Western world - despite the fact the USA spends far more on health care per capita than any other nation.
Professor Albert Burgstahler, a Harvard PhD and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Kansas, said: "Kansas City, Missouri, was fluoridated in 1981. After as fifth full year of fluoridation, its infant mortality rate had increased by 36%."
Prof. Albert Burgstahler
And Glen Walker, chairman of the Freedom from Fluoridation Federation of Australia, pointed out that Hobart - the longest fluoridated city in Australasia - has the highest Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rate in the continent.
At its peak, to 1974, its SIDS rate was nearly SIX times higher that of non-fluoridated Melbourne. Canberra, fluoridated at the same time as Hobart - 1964 - has the continent's second highest SIDS rate.
Why babies are at risk.
THE international medical community has been galvanised by the sudden realisation that babies are the most vulnerable targets tot highly toxic fluoride.
In Australia earlier this month, the dental health committee of the country's National Health and Medical Research Council ordered that the fluoride content of bottle feed formulas be urgently reviewed because of fears it might harm babies.
If fluoridated water was used to make up infant formulas, the committee warned, it would DOUBLE the fluoride content of the formula. It also advised against the over-use of fluoride supplements for children.
Earlier this year in Canada, the British Columbia College of Dental Surgeons declared that fluoride should NOT be recommended for children under three.
The World Health Organisation recommended daily dose from birth to two years is a quarter of a milligram.
Said Glasgow University molecular biologist Dr Walter Dietrich-Goetz: "If babies drink 1.5 litres of fluoridated infant formula a day, they will ingest six times the recommended dose."
Dr Walter Dietrich-Goetz
Glen Walker in Australia expanded on that "The powder can also contain approximately one part per million of fluoride."
"Mix that with fluoridated mater and it means babies are ingesting two parts per million of fluoride."
"The World Health Organisation recommendation - expressed in parts per million - is 0.25ppm."That means they're getting EIGHT times as much fluoride than they should in their bottled feeding.
"It's a very serious matter that newborn babies start their lives off being poisoned."
More about Glen Walker
Professor Arvid Carlsson, the Swedish government's adviser on pharmacology, has warned that massive over-doses of fluoride in babies may affect the development of the brain and lead to learning difficulties.
Prof. Arvid Carlsson
Why the fluoride lobby is running scared.
Why do fluoride's proponents continue to dismiss the mounting volume of evidence suggesting its dangers and ineffectiveness in tackling dental decay?
Professor Schatz suggested: "Firstly, many are not familiar with the position of the opponents. They are convinced we don't have a valid position."
"The reason they are convinced is that they haven't studied the legitimate scientific literature opposing fluoridation."
"And the reason they haven't studied it is they accept as authoritative the pronouncements, claims and position of their predecessors and those presently promoting fluoridation."
"The terms of our evidence are inconceivable to them. And so they accept what they get from so-called authoritative sources like the American Dental Association, as valid."
"The other reason is that many of them have taken a position in favour of fluoridation with the best of intentions."
"And they have profited from it. They have received promotions, achieved positions of responsibility and financial security, and can't reverse their position and admit now: 'I was wrong, I am wrong."
"They have published profusely, are considered reputable authorities and their egos will not permit them to admit now that then are wrong."
"The higher up in their professions these people are, the more unlikely it is they can admit they were wrong."
"But there's another factor. They are not individuals, but a group of people - a bureaucracy."
"These people are dependant on one another for further promotions, for recommendations and in many other respects."
"So that if even one of them begins to question the validity of the position he has taken, it's not only a matter of his saying. 'I am sorry. I realise I am wrong."
"Because what he is also saying to his colleagues - even if that is all he says - is that you too are wrong."
He added: "The burden is on them to justify their claims that fluoride is both safe and effective. Unfortunately, they don't assume that burden. They just pontificate."
"And so we have to assume the burden that is rightfully theirs and disprove them. In other words, they're taking the position that because we're opposed to fluoridation, we are guilty and it is up to us to prove that we're innocent."