Here is an updated version of my critique of the WHO's unscientific
promotion of fluoridation. The first version is posted at
I have added various details, particularly about the "experts" who are
key to the WHO's fluoride push.
Note also the sham "Green" environmental info website, GreenFacts.
My paper is very long, but I tried to keep my focus on what is going
wrong in the WHO, and there is a lot going wrong!
-- Joe Thornton
The WHO Drinking Water Guidelines and Fluoride
The World Health Organization (WHO) has drawn up new Drinking Water
en/), including guidelines on the level of fluoride.
The WHO record on promoting fluoride is documented in, among other
places, Barry Groves' book "Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves To Death"
(Newleaf, 2001). To put it bluntly, the WHO has been part of the whole
fluoridation fraud since 1958. The current revision of drinking water
guidelines shows that nothing has improved in the WHO as regards
fluoride. There is a serious absence of honesty, scientific standards,
and concern about human health.
We should remind ourselves that...
"There is no evidence that fluoride is an essential nutrient for
humans." (Physicians' Desk Reference)
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has also made it clear that
fluoride is not essential. Here are the last three public statements
the NAS has made on the "essentiality" of ingested fluoride:
"These contradictory results do not justify a classification of
fluorine as an essential element, according to accepted standards."
SOURCE: National Academy of Sciences. (1989). Recommended Dietary
Allowances: 10th Edition. Commission on Life Sciences, National
Research Council, National Academy Press. p. 235.
"Fluoride is no longer considered an essential factor for human growth
SOURCE: National Research Council (1993). Health Effects of Ingested
Fluoride. National Academy Press, Washington DC. p. 30.
"First, let us reassure you with regard to one concern. Nowhere in the
report is it stated that fluoride is an essential nutrient. If any
speaker or panel member at the September 23rd workshop referred to
fluoride as such, they misspoke. As was stated in Recommended Dietary
Allowances 10th Edition, which we published in 1989: 'These
contradictory results do not justify a classification of fluoride as
an essential element, according to accepted standards.' "
SOURCE: Alberts B, Shine K. (1998). Letter from Bruce Alberts,
President, National Academy of Sciences, and Kenneth Shine, President,
Institute of Medicine to Dr. Albert Burgstahler. November 18, 1998.
In 1979 the U.S. FDA required the deletion of all government
references previously classifying fluoride as "essential or probably
essential" (Federal Register, March 16, 1979, pg. 16006).
In other words, nobody needs fluoride -- ever. So, given that fluoride
is a deadly cumulative poison AND is one of the world's most
troublesome industrial pollutants (see www.fluoridealert.org/f-
pollution.htm), you would expect that the WHO would be warning us off
fluoride. But you'd be wrong.
WHO's BIG MISTAKE #1:
The WHO guidelines name fluoride as a "nutrient mineral" and
"essential" for human health. But fluoride is not a nutrient of any
sort. Not only is it not essential, it should be avoided at all costs.
The WHO's error (or deception) reinforces the widespread belief in the
concept of "fluoride-deficient water", a belief that seems to have
infected all the WHO people involved.
Many of WHO's web pages name fluoride as "a nutrient" or "essential".
"Chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, and
selenium are essential elements in human nutrition..."
And in www.who.int/entity/water_sanitation_health/dwq/en/
nutrconsensusrep.pdf we find the statement that fluoride is "known or
suspected to be essential for humans." And: "The optimal drinking
water concentration of fluoride for dental health is generally between
0.5 to 1.0 mg/litre and depends upon volume of consumption and uptake
and exposure from other sources. These values are based on
epidemiological studies conducted over the past 70 years in
communities in many countries with natural and added fluoride in their
drinking water. In this concentration range the maximum caries
preventative effect is achieved while minimizing the levels of dental
It needs to be said that there is NO scientific basis for such an
"optimal" concentration of fluoride. Those so-called epidemiological
studies of the last 70 years do not stand up to scrutiny. (See, for
The WHO document goes on:
"Where the aggregate risk factors for dental caries are low (and are
remaining low) consuming low fluoride water would probably have little
or no impact on dental caries, but to guard against possible net loss
of fluoride from the skeleton, the group felt that consideration
should be given to maintaining a baseline level of 0.1 to 0.3 mg/l."
Now that is dangerous lunacy. Really, it's just a false argument for
universal water fluoridation. Yes, UNIVERSAL. This is the WHO getting
ready to instruct governments all over the world as follows: "Any
public water supplies with fluoride levels below 0.1 mg/l (ranging up
to 0.3 for cooler climates) need to be fluoridated with artificial
fluoride." (That means MOST water supplies in the world.)
Don't have any doubt about it: This is a global project to dose every
human being with unmeasured amounts of toxic waste fluoride (while
dispersing vast amounts of it in the environment). See Christopher
Bryson's exposé "The Fluoride Deception" (Seven Stories Press),
published last year.
In its nutrition guidelines, the WHO gives an "Adequate Intake" (AI)
figure as its recommendation for fluoride. (Note the prior error of
including fluoride in "nutrition guidelines".)
Q. How do they get the AI figure?
A. "When there is insufficient information available to calculate an
EAR (Estimated Average Requirement), an AI value based on
experimentally derived intake levels or approximations of customary
mean nutrient intakes by group or groups of healthy subjects, is used
instead of the traditional RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)."
The WHO report goes on:
"AIs are provided instead of RDAs when there is insufficient
scientific information to estimate requirements. The nutrient intake
of breast-fed infants is usually utilised to set AIs for infants from
0 to 6 months of age, and for infants 7 to 12 months of age the
average intake from human milk plus the additional intake provided by
complementary foods is utilised (WHO/FAO/IAEA 1996; IOM 2002; SCF
Somehow, in the case of fluoride, this practice of utilizing "the
nutrient intake of breast-fed infants" was forgotten about. An infant
fed on formula made up with fluoridated water gets about 100 times as
much fluoride as a breast-fed infant. The WHO's range of AI figures
seems to be chosen to fit artificially fluoridated water.
The WHO's redefining of fluoride as a "nutrient" is truly a "four-
legs-good, two-legs-better" rewriting of reality. By coincidence, the
great fluoridation project was being launched in the U.S. just as
"Animal Farm" was first published in 1945.
(The difference between PRE-fluoridation statements from the U.S.
medical establishment and POST-fluoridation statements is startling.
For example, in 1943, the editorial in the Journal of the American
Medical Association stated: "Fluorides are general protoplasmic
poisons, probably because of their capacity to modify the metabolism
of cells by changing the permeability of the cell membrane and by
inhibiting certain enzyme systems. The exact mechanism of such actions
is obscure." -- JAMA, Sept 18, 1943, Editorial. And in 1944, the
editorial in the Journal of the American Dental Association stated
that "...drinking water containing as little as 1.2 to 3 ppm of
fluorine will cause such developmental disturbances in bones as
osteosclerosis, spondylosis and osteopetrosis, as well as goiter". --
JADA, October 1944, Editorial)
The WHO defines Guideline Values for chemicals in drinking water
according to the following definition:
"A guideline value represents the concentration of a chemical
constituent that does not result in any significant risk to the health
of the consumer over a lifetime of consumption."
In the new Guidelines, the guideline value for fluoride in drinking
water remains at 1.5 mg/litre (the same as 1.5 ppm).
That guideline value is completely outrageous. It must have been
chosen to protect the policy of fluoridation. To put it mildly, the
figure is not protective of human health. That is made clear even in
some of WHO's own recommendations. For example:
"The Guidelines recommend a GV of 1.5 mg/litre on the assumption that
the daily per capita consumption of drinking-water is about 2 litres.
At this level, dental fluorosis may occur in a certain proportion of
the population." (www.who.int/entity/water_sanitation_health/dwq/en/
Dental fluorosis is the first sign of fluoride poisoning. Baroness
Hayman, on behalf of the British Government, stated: "We accept that
dental fluorosis is a manifestation of systemic toxicity." (Hansard,
20 Apr 1999 : WA 158)
When you look over the WHO's history, you see a peculiar logic to
certain statements about fluoride, suggesting that the WHO people are
"covering themselves" against possible claims over health damage. In
their 1971 International Drinking Water Standards, the WHO warned: "In
the assessment of the safety of a water supply with respect to the
fluoride concentration, the total daily fluoride intake by the
individual must be considered."
And in their 1994 monograph: "Dental and public health administrators
should be aware of the total fluoride exposure in the population
before introducing any additional fluoride programme for caries
prevention." (Fluorides and Oral Health, WHO, 1994)
In their current documents we find warnings like this: "In setting
national standards for fluoride or in evaluating the possible health
consequences of exposure to fluoride, it is essential to consider the
intake of water by the population of interest and the intake of
fluoride from other sources (e.g., from food, air and dental
But in the last 35 years, few if any public health officials anywhere
in the world (except possibly India and China) have heeded those
warnings from the WHO. And the WHO shows no concern about that; it
just keeps on pushing fluoride.
So, what is going wrong in the WHO, this organization that is supposed
to protect public health throughout the world? You might say that,
since most of the WHO's funding comes from the U.S., we must expect
them to follow Washington's wishes, that is, fluoridate every human
being as much as possible. (That is still Washington's line, despite
the abovementioned correction on fluoride "essentiality" by the FDA.)
However, we should look further than that -- at the people behind
these WHO statements and recommendations.
WHO's BIG MISTAKE #2:
In drafting the Guidelines, the WHO recruited experts on "nutrient
minerals in drinking water" (see www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/
dwq/nutconsensus/en/). Those experts included four dentists who were
given the task of writing about fluoride in drinking water (even
though fluoride is not a nutrient): Prof Jan Ekstrand, Prof Michael
Lennon, Prof Denis O'Mullane and Dr Helen Whelton.
Leaving aside Ekstrand, who has some right to be regarded as an expert
(see below), it must be said that enlisting authors like that is known
as PUTTING THE FOX IN CHARGE OF THE HENHOUSE.
O'Mullane, Whelton and Lennon are not nutrition experts, nor are they
medical experts. They are not fluoride experts; they are fluoride
promoters. Their professional reputation rests largely on their
association with fluoride -- fluoride as something to be praised,
promoted, and forced on people.
Many of the statements in the WHO documents written by Ekstrand,
Lennon, O'Mullane and Whelton are mind-boggling. For example:
They write about "the need to ensure an appropriate minimum intake of
fluoride to prevent loss from bone".
And this: "In parts [of the UK], such as the South East of England,
dental caries is mainly under control without water fluoridation; in
other regions, such as the North West of England, the prevalence of
dental caries is substantially higher and water fluoridation remains
an important public health objective." (www.who.int/
Lennon (University of Liverpool, and now University of Sheffield) has
been for some years the chairman of the British Fluoridation Society,
a "quango" that promotes fluoridation (and, ridiculously, gets UK
taxpayers' money to do so). Anti-fluoridation campaigners in the UK
can spell out at length why Lennon should not be advising anybody on
fluoride in drinking water. See: www.fluorideaction.org/dsyt-2.htm
A good example of the falsehoods and exaggerations that Lennon
specializes in is found here: www.who.int/oral_health/publications/
Lennon was one of the invited speakers at the "National Fluoridation
Symposium 2005" in Chicago this month, a celebration of 60 years of U.
S. fluoridation, organized by the American Dental Association. It
should of course have been an occasion for shame, not celebration.
Another invitee at the Chicago junket was Poul Erik Petersen, the head
of the WHO's Oral Health Programme.
O'Mullane and Whelton are from University College Cork in Ireland and
are key players in the worldwide fluoridation project.
O'Mullane, speaking about fluoride (or fluoridation), stated:
"It harms nobody and it does a lot of good."
-- Irish Times, Aug 16th, 1999
Whelton told the Irish Times, May 17th, 1999:
"There is no cause for concern at the levels of fluoride people are
getting. There is no reason to remove fluoride from the water." (http:
These were not off-the-cuff remarks; they were made deliberately, to
Ireland's most influential newspaper. Bear in mind that Ireland is the
only democracy with mandatory water fluoridation. 73% of the public
water is fluoridated, and exceedances of the legal limit of 1 mg/l
fluoride are very common. O'Mullane has admitted that 50% of children
in fluoridated areas have dental fluorosis, the first indicator of
There is little evidence that O'Mullane and Whelton are interested in
safe drinking water. Their interest is in promoting the use of
Those statements by O'Mullane and Whelton show an extraordinary
ignorance. Yet the WHO regards them as the world's experts on
fluoride. What is going on in the WHO?
If you need any more convincing that O'Mullane and Whelton are the
wrong people to be devising drinking water standards, please read on.
Then ask yourself: Could anyone really believe that these people would
make an honest assessment of the hazards of fluoride in drinking
Not only is the WHO out of touch, it is out of control. When WHO
officials are asked awkward questions about fluoride, they simply
don't answer. For example, the late Jane Jones, Campaign Director of
the UK National Pure Water Association, put questions to the WHO more
than four years ago. See: www.npwa.freeserve.co.uk/answer.htm
The answers never came. The silence is eloquent. While they say
nothing, we can guess what they mean by their non-answers: "Be a good
girl/boy and take your poison, I mean, medicine, I mean, tooth-
preserving life-enhancing wonder-chemical, and go away and don't
bother us with questions that have been asked so many times before.
Can't you see we have lots of letters after our names and don't
deserve to be bothered by the likes of you ungrateful troublemakers
who probably have vested interests in opposing this outstandingly
successful public health measure?"
This sort of behaviour by the WHO is aped by national governments (e.
g., Ireland, U.S., Australia) and even by EU Commissioners. When
Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom was asked awkward questions
by Irish environmental group Voice, she stonewalled (see www.voice.
buz.org/fluoridation/Open%20Letter.htm). And she is now Commissioner
for Institutions and Communication!
Prof O'Mullane's long-time collaborator, Dr Seamus O'Hickey, declared:
"I don't doubt the sincerity of the anti-fluoridation people but I
think they are being misled by a small number of people who gain
financially from it." (www.anc.org.za/anc/newsbrief/1997/news0531) Dr
O' Hickey is the former chief dental officer for the Irish government
and adviser to the South African fluoridation committee. He is also
the chairman of the "Expert Body" set up by the Irish Minister for
Health in 2002 to implement the recommendations of the notorious,
fraudulent Forum on Fluoridation. (See: www.fluoridesandhealth.ie/
about_us/chairman.html and www.fluoridealert.org/irish.forum-critique.
A WHO press release last year stated:
"While it appears to be less severe in most African countries, the
report [on oral diseases] states that with changing living conditions,
dental caries is expected to increase in many developing countries in
Africa, particularly as a result of the growing consumption of sugars
and inadequate exposure to fluorides."
As if avoiding fluoride could *cause* tooth decay...
Consider the following WHO recommendation, in a Feb 1994 press release
"From the public health standpoint, they [the WHO experts] advocate as
a general rule a strategy of low but regular exposure to fluorides...
This goal is described in the report adopted in Geneva  as
'maintaining a constant, low-level of fluoride in as many mouths as
possible', and when it is attained by adding fluoride to water, salt
or toothpaste, the change in incidence of dental caries in the
population in question soon becomes evident."
That could have been written by O'Mullane and Whelton themselves.
There's a simple term for "maintaining a constant, low-level of
fluoride in as many mouths as possible"; it is MASS POISONING.
Here are recent examples of O'Mullane and Whelton playing down the
seriousness of fluoride poisoning:
"The risk [of fluorosis] is of aesthetic concern primarily during the
period of enamel development of the permanent central incisors,
although this largely appears to be a cosmetic rather than a public-
-- Whelton HP, Ketley CE, McSweeney F, O'Mullane DM. A Review of
Fluorosis in the European Union: Prevalence, Risk Factors and
Aesthetic Issues. Source: Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2004;32
On Irish national radio, O'Mullane was asked whether dental fluorosis
was a problem in Ireland, to which he replied:
"There is evidence that the level of the, what is termed, 'very mild
forms' are increasing slightly. That was one of the reasons why the
forum on water fluoridation recommended certain strategies to make
sure that that rise, which was at a very very low level, it is a very
minor change in the appearance of the enamel, that this would be
controlled." -- Prof Denis O'Mullane, interviewed on the "Future
Tense" programme, RTE Radio 1, Ireland, 24 Sep 2002.
Of course all this irresponsibility would not matter so much if the
WHO did not exercise such an enormous influence on politicians
throughout the world. Politicians generally act as if the WHO is some
ultimate authority. And the fluoridators -- those dentist academics
with many letters after their names, and the spineless public health
officials who collaborate with them -- constantly remind us that they
have the backing of the WHO.
All of this is a fine example of the fluoridation conspiracy in action
-- the conspiracy that is comprehensively described in Christopher
Bryson's book "The Fluoride Deception".
So, what should the WHO Guidelines on fluoride be? It is very simple:
The WHO should act to MINIMIZE exposure to fluoride. That is the only
approach that is compatible with medical, scientific, and ethical
principles. And that is what scientists of principle have been
pointing out for decades. See for example: www.onlineopinion.com.au/
Prof Jan Ekstrand from Sweden may be making a useful contribution to
the WHO Guidelines task, but his input needs to be balanced by other
highly qualified people who understand both the toxicity of fluoride
and the issue of whether fluoride has any application in human
healthcare. Unfortunately such people are absent; instead we get
Michael Lennon, Denis O'Mullane and Helen Whelton.
Ekstrand made the following significant statements (see www.
"Based on this review, we conclude that fluoride intakes of infants
and children have shown a rather steady increase since 1930, are
likely to continue to increase, and will be associated with further
increase in the prevalence of enamel fluorosis unless intervention
measures are instituted." - Fomon SJ, Ekstrand J, Ziegler EE. (2000).
Fluoride intake and prevalence of dental fluorosis: trends in fluoride
intake with special attention to infants. Journal of Public Health
"The prevalence of dental fluorosis in the United States has increased
during the last 30 years, both in communities with fluoridated water
and in communities with nonfluoridated water." - Fomon SJ, Ekstrand J,
Ziegler EE. (2000). Fluoride intake and prevalence of dental
fluorosis: trends in fluoride intake with special attention to
infants. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 60(3):131-9.
"To limit fluoride intake to amounts < 100 ug kg d, it is necessary to
avoid use of fluoridated water as a diluent for powdered infant
formulas..." - Fomon SJ, Ekstrand J. (1999). Fluoride intake by
infants. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 59(4):229-34.
"The studies presented here show that fluoride also has the ability to
affect the cells of the human immune system." - Loftenius A, Andersson
B, Butler JE, Ekstrand J (1999). Fluoride Augments the Mitogenic and
Antigenic Response of Human Blood Lymphocytes in vitro. Caries
Research 1999;33:148-155 (DOI: 10.1159/000016509)
However, some of Ekstrand's work is not reassuring:
There is something very worrying about this study because it is
clearly unethical to give fluoride supplements to infants or children.
In the same vein, you have to wonder about the ethics of the following
study by Ekstrand et al in which volunteers ingested mercury amalgam:
The following study shows he believes in something called "optimal
"Doses of sodium fluoride of about 50 mg a day have long term
beneficial effects on the mineral content of bone and the incidence of
And this is also worrying:
IA2004 IADR Awards & Fellowship Recipients --
E. W. Borrow Memorial Award
Sponsored by the Borrow Foundation
Jan Ekstrand, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
When you consider what the Borrow Dental Milk Foundation has done, you
have to wonder about Ekstrand's wisdom in accepting such an award.
(See www.fluoride-history.de/borrow.htm and www.borrowfoundation.com/)
And, of course, Ekstrand's collaboration with Lennon, O'Mullane and
Whelton calls into question his judgement and his integrity.
Here are further details about Prof Denis O'Mullane and Dr Helen
Prof Denis O'Mullane is Professor of Dentistry in University College
Cork (UCC). Dr Helen Whelton has been O'Mullane's right-hand person in
UCC for many years and has now taken over from him as Director of the
Oral Health Services Research Centre: http://ohsrc.ucc.ie/html/about.
Irish people who have been campaigning to end fluoridation for some
years know only too well that O'Mullane and Whelton are at the core of
the fluoride problem. These arrogant dentists act as if they have a
divine right to decide what is safe water and as if they are the final
arbiters of the fluoride levels Irish people are forced to ingest.
O'Mullane has directed or been involved in ALL research done on the
effects of fluoridation in Ireland. However, none of that research was
looking for health effects other than on the teeth.
O'Mullane stated in the journal Evidence-Based Dentistry (2000, free
"The benefits of fluoride tablet administration are not in question."
An interesting contrast with his statement in 2001:
"It is now well-established that fluoride's primary method of action
is a topical one."
And he added:
"To ensure that fluoride bestows maximum preventive benefit, it is
important to maintain the ambient level of fluoride in saliva and
plaque. Clearly, combining fluoride mouth rinses, fluoride
toothpastes, fluoride tablets, and fluoride gels and varnishes in
patients in either fluoridated or nonfluoridated communities will help
maintain fluoride levels."
For many years O'Mullane allowed his name to be associated with
statements such as the following from the British Nutrition Foundation
(a front for the sugar lobby):
"Water fluoridation is the most effective public health strategy for
(Was available at: www.nutrition.org.uk)
Note the history of the British Nutrition Foundation:
Quoting from their website: "The British Nutrition Foundation was set
up in July 1967... established as an independent organisation to
stimulate research and education in the field of nutrition. Nine food
companies provided a financial guarantee for the venture, of which
Marks & Spencer Ltd, Tate & Lyle Ltd and Unilever PLC are still member
companies today. Other companies that have remained with us from the
start include Cadburys, Sainsbury's and Procter & Gamble. [That's
virtually a roll-call of the big British sweets & confectionery
"... Above all the British Nutrition Foundation remains an impartial
voice in the current nutritional debate." [What a joke!]
And under "Key Facts / Oral Health", we found:
"This is a summary of the findings from the BNF conference on 20
January 1999, which launched the BNF Task Force report Oral Health:
diet and other factors. Speakers were Dr Jack Edelman (Chairman of the
Task Force), Professor Mike Edgar (University of Liverpool), . . . and
Professor Denis O'Mullane (University College Cork). Professor Robert
Pickard, Director-General of the BNF, chaired the meeting."
And there's more:
"The British Nutrition Foundation provides independent [!!??] and
authoritative scientific information on the relationship between food,
nutrition and health."
Talking of Unilever, who make vast profits from sales of high-sugar
foods and drinks as well as fluoride dental products... In the late
1990s, they provided the funding to set up the "Unilever Dental
Faculty", a pro-fluoride website resource for dentists. This website
claimed to offer "independent" and authoritative scientific
information. And, surprise, surprise, it also carried advertising for
Unilever products. But the main man behind the website -- its first
chairman -- was none other than Prof Denis O'Mullane. Fortunately for
his reputation the website is no longer to be found; it used to be
And this study published in the journal Caries Research in 2000: http:
shows that O'Mullane has been collaborating with Unilever more
recently. Two of the authors are from Unilever Dental Research in
One of the key players, along with O'Mullane, in the Forum on
Fluoridation was Dr Wayne Anderson of the Food Safety Authority of
Ireland (www.fsai.ie). Anderson was largely responsible for the
debacle in the Forum over its recommendations for reconstituting
infant formula with fluoridated water (see www.fluoridealert.org/FSAI-
infant.formula.htm and Cf. www.fluoride-journal.com/97-30-2/302-125.
htm). Before all that, Anderson, a specialist in food science, spent
ten years working for Unilever (see www.safefoodonline.com/full_bio.
The Biomed1 project, with funding from the European Union, has been
one aspect of O'Mullane's research activities (was described at www.
ucc.ie/dru/biomed1/partners.html, and see www.ucc.ie/research/ohsrc/
html/staff_director.html). Among others involved with O'Mullane's
research are the abovementioned Dr Seamus O'Hickey (see also below)
and Dr Miriam Wiley who featured with O'Mullane in the Fluoridation
Forum set up by Health Minister Micheal Martin.
O'Mullane has been very actively involved in the International
Association for Dental Research (IADR), which is allied with big
industry. Another of O'Mullane's long-time collaborators, Prof John
Clarkson, head of the Dental School in Trinity College Dublin, was the
President of the IADR for some years and is one of the high priests of
global fluoridation. Clarkson also featured prominently in the
One of O'Mullane's many affiliations is the European Association of
Dental Public Health (EADPH). He ran the show at their annual congress
in Ireland in 2000:
"2000 Cork, Ireland: 13th to 15th September hosted by EADPH Co-
President 2000 and BASCD President, Professor Denis O'Mullane." (www.
O'Mullane is on the Prize Committee of ORCA, the European Organisation
for Caries Research. He is also a past president of the organization.
ORCA's list of Corporate Members is revealing: 3M, The Borrow
Foundation, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Danisco Sweeteners, Johnson & Johnson,
Masterfoods, Procter & Gamble, SaraLee, The Sugar Bureau, Unilever,
Wrigley, etc. (www.orca-caries-research.org/corporate.html)
O'Mullane's influence is enormous, and not just on the dental students
in Cork (one of only two dental schools in the Republic of Ireland).
Those dental students are not taught the truth about fluoride. This is
attested to by the growing number of Irish dentists in the
organization Irish Dentists Opposing Fluoridation (www.idof.net).
O'Mullane was prominent at the IADR conference in South Africa in
1997. This conference seemed to lay the groundwork for the
fluoridation push in South Africa. In the same year, O'Mullane's long-
time associate Dr Seamus O'Hickey (Trinity College Dublin and the
Irish Dept of Health) spent time in South Africa doing fluoridation
propaganda and preparing the report that persuaded the government to
go for mandatory fluoridation.
Over the years, O'Mullane has been collaborating with many of the
best-known fluoride promoters -- among them Clarkson and Prof. Dr.
Thomas Marthaler in Switzerland. O'Mullane and Clarkson have a lot to
do with Ireland remaining the only democracy in the world with
mandatory water fluoridation, while Marthaler has a lot to do with
Switzerland's embracing of fluoride (http://bruha.com/pfpc/html/
Shortly before the Forum on Fluoridation, Clarkson published a paper
(with his colleague Dr Jacinta McLoughlin) entitled "Role of Fluoride
in oral health promotion" in the International Dental Journal (2000)
(www.fdiworldental.org/assets/pdf/commission/97_6_1.pdf). It contained
the following advice:
Fluorosis and infant formulas
The risk of fluorosis resulting from the use of infant
formulas has been reduced considerably as a result of
the action of manufacturers in reducing the amount of
fluoride in these products. However, infant formulas
should still be prepared using non-fluoridated water.
This was good advice for once from Clarkson. However, when the Forum
finished in 2002, Clarkson, O'Mullane, Anderson and the others had no
difficulty in signing up to the Forum's advice which was completely
"Question 3. Should I use fluoridated water to make up my baby's
Answer: Yes. The Forum recommends that parents continue to prepare
baby feeds with boiled tap water and to follow the manufacturers'
Question 4. Is it okay to use bottled water to make up feeds?
Answer: The Forum recommends that you do not use bottled water to make
up your baby's feeds. Bottled water on sale in Ireland may contain
salt which is not recommended for babies."
(was at www.doh.ie/publications/fluoridation/faqpar.html; full report
(Staff Profile of Clarkson: http://ddsh.learnol.net/index.php?
One of the most significant episodes in the history of fluoridation in
Ireland was a session of the Parliamentary Committee on Health and
Children on July 10th, 2003. (See: www.irlgov.ie/oireachtas/
The Committee was inquiring into the Fluoridation Forum which was
controversial. O'Mullane testified:
"I have been measuring the effectiveness of water fluoridation for 32
years; I carry out studies to establish whether water fluoridation
reduces dental decay. All the studies have shown that it does."
However, he and Whelton had previously stated:
"In the last national survey of adult dental health in the Republic of
Ireland [carried out by O'Mullane & Whelton in 1989-90] it was shown
that there was a substantial increase in caries prevalence in subjects
in the age groups 16-25. It was postulated that this increase was due
to the dramatic decline in caries in subjects up to the age of 15
leaving more surfaces at risk." -- O'Mullane, Whelton, 2001 "The Use
Of Combinations Of Caries Preventive Procedures" (www.nidcr.nih.gov/
In the Parliamentary Committee, O'Mullane went on:
"I showed photographs of how things were in the 1960s and I also
demonstrated what we are talking about in regard to fluorosis. It is
a mild alteration in the colour of the teeth. As Professor Clarkson
pointed out, we did not know at the time there would be mild changes
in the colour of teeth. A point was made about the topical effect as
against the systemic effect. There is no doubt that our knowledge of
how fluoride works has altered quite a lot in the last 30, 40 or 50
years. I did not say, Deputy Gormley, that there was no systemic
effect. There is some systemic effect but the topical effect has been
(O'Mullane's unscientific opinion that there is "some systemic effect"
seems to be the justification for the ongoing fluoridation of the
Irish population.) O'Mullane then responded to a question about the
failure to deal with the 50 issues raised by Prof Paul Connett.
Connett had been invited to address the Forum in October 2000 and,
even though all Forum members agreed that the issues were important
and needed to be addressed, the Forum report (which arrived a year
late) managed to avoid mentioning Connett altogether.
"When one looks at the body of the fluoridation report, almost all of
these questions are addressed one way or the other."
No, they're not! Of course, if Connett's questions were addressed in
the report, O'Mullane could simply have compiled a list of the
appropriate page references. That would have entailed just a few hours
work -- if the information was there. But the Connett questions are
not addressed in the report (just like most of the important questions
O'Mullane went on to say:
"A document is now being prepared addressing specifically the 50
questions which will be ready in due course."
In due course! Dr Seamus O'Hickey was employed by the Forum in October
2001 to edit that document -- the responses to Connett's arguments.
The next we heard of O'Hickey was that the Minister for Health had
given him the task of chairing the group of people known as the
"Expert Body" to implement the recommendations of the Forum. That was
more than three years ago. Not one of the recommendations of the Forum
has been implemented.
The latest news is that the famous missing document -- the responses
to Connett's arguments -- has apparently seen the light of day at
last, just a few weeks ago (May 2005)! The website of the Irish
Government's Department of Health & Children has such a document in
pdf format (in two parts) here: www.dohc.ie/issues/dental_research/
No authors, date or publication details are given with the document.
The document is hopelessly unreadable, misleading, full of red
herrings, and thoroughly unhelpful. It is not clear that this is the
"official" response to Connett.
This Dr O'Hickey is the same man who was adviser to the South African
fluoridation committee. One of his arguments, which the South African
government apparently found persuasive, was: "[Fluoridation is]
equitable, in that rich and poor would benefit equally."
O'Mullane stated, in the parliamentary committee: "The spread of decay
in society is not even. It is very much a phenomenon of poverty as
much as of anything else."
That echoes a clumsy pronouncement by O'Hickey's successor as Chief
Dental Officer in Ireland's Dept of Health, Dr Gerard Gavin: "We will
not always need fluoridation but we have large areas of social
deprivation and there is a link with this group and oral ill-health."
-- Irish Independent newspaper 30 Nov 1999. See www.idof.net for more
about Gavin (who has now left the civil service for the private
sector). The specious argument that fluoridation is "needed" for poor
people is also used by senior medical figures in Ireland.
Later in the parliamentary committee session, referring to research on
fluorosis, O'Mullane described himself as "an objective scientist".
That committee record is also notable for several outrageous pro-
fluoride comments from other members of the Fluoridation Forum.
University College Cork: Senior Lecturer in Dental Public Health &
Preventive Dentistry since 1998. Director of the Oral Health Services
Research Centre since 2002.
Whelton is involved in the same things as O'Mullane: the IADR, EAPHD,
and the usual pro-fluoridation research.
Whelton was, for ten years until 2002, the only dentistry
representative on the Health Research Board, the Government agency
that controls health research in Ireland.
The university magazine, UCC's "College Courier", lists some research
grants awarded to O'Mullane and Whelton in 2001/2:
Professor Denis O'Mullane/Dr Helen Whelton, IR£459,857 from the
Eastern Health Board [the health board that purchases all the fluoride
for Irish fluoridation]
Dr Helen Whelton, IR£40,000 from the Health Research Board [of which
Whelton was at that time a member]
Dr Helen Whelton, IR£35,240 from the Health Research Board.
On the Health Research Board web site, we found:
Research Project Grants (General) 2002
"Economic Modelling of Services Utilisation Data and Epidemiological
Data for Oral Health Services"
Dr Helen Whelton
Oral Health Services Research Centre
University Dental School, Cork
Health Research Board of Ireland
Research Programmes Grants Awarded by HRB in 2002
13. Water Fluoridation and Health: The Benefits and Risks of Fluoride
Island of Ireland
(Principal investigator: Professor Denis O'Mullane, University Dental
School and Hospital Cork)
Note: This is what a recent Internet search turned up. O'Mullane and
Whelton have probably received many other grants of public money.
O'Mullane and Whelton have done a lot of research over the years, but,
in 41 years of Irish fluoridation, nobody has every researched the
health effects other than on teeth. This is despite the face that the
fluoridation law (passed in 1960) requires that such research be
O'Mullane/Whelton research invariably comes up with the following
* Fluoride is wonderful.
* Fluorosis is only a "minor, cosmetic problem".
* More research is needed. (Real meaning: More money is needed by
O'Mullane, Whelton and their associates for their "research".)
In the world of O'Mullane & Whelton, every improvement is due to
fluoride and every problem, except "minor, cosmetic" fluorosis, is due
to something else. See, for example, www.rte.ie/news/2003/0613/
O'Mullane & Whelton have recently been applying their "expertise" to,
among other places, Pakistan -- "determining the optimal concentration
of fluoride in drinking water in Pakistan". As if that country didn't
have enough problems. See: www.blackwellpublishing.com/abstract.asp?
Khan AA, Whelton H, O'Mullane D. Determining the optimal concentration
of fluoride in drinking water in Pakistan. Community Dent Oral
Epidemiol 2004; 32: 16672.
Ayyaz A Khan, Helen Whelton, Denis O Mullane, Sharea ljaz.
Decision-making for a National Program of Community Fluoride use in
J Pak Dent Assoc Sep 2002;11(3):155-60.
Community Dentistry, Lahore Medical & Dental College, Lahore
What a sick concept -- "Community Fluoride use"!
The most astonishing part of O'Mullane & Whelton's Pakistan
collaboration is the following paper:
Int Dent J. 2004 Oct;54(5):256-60.
Is the fluoride level in drinking water a gold standard for the
control of dental caries?
Khan AA, Whelton H, O'Mullane D.
Shaikh Zayed Federal Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lahore, Pakistan.
AIM: To obtain baseline knowledge of levels of dental caries in 12-
year-old children residing in areas with varying levels of fluoride in
drinking water in Pakistan; and to observe a dose-response
relationship between the prevalence of dental caries at different
concentrations of fluoride in drinking water.
METHOD: Clinical examination of children and analysis of samples of
RESULTS: The maximum reduction of caries in relation to fluoride
levels in Pakistan was witnessed between the fluoride concentrations
CONCLUSIONS: There are no gold standards for setting up a universal
optimal level of fluoride in drinking water and each country needs to
determine the concentration of fluoride in their drinking water in
accordance with its socio-economic and climatic conditions, dietary
and oral hygiene habits of its population, and local research to
determine how much fluoride is beneficial in the control of caries.
PMID: 15503849 [PubMed - in process]
There is simply no way that those results and conclusions can be
reconciled with O'Mullane & Whelton's statements and actions for the
WHO and for Irish government agencies. And it is clear that their
Pakistan experience has not changed the way O'Mullane & Whelton
operate in Ireland. They (along with three or four other key people)
are keeping the Irish people fluoridated at 1 ppm fluoride in their
Whelton is currently on the board of the Women's Health Council, a
statutory body that advises the Irish Minister for Health on all
aspects of women's health. See www.whc.ie/about/board.html Whelton
was appointed to the WHC by Health Minister Micheal Martin who was
responsible for the infamous Forum on Fluoridation. Martin's Alma
Mater is University College Cork.
Whelton was also last year appointed to the National Task Force on
Obesity by the same Health Minister. Since in the past she has shown
little interest in the effects of sugar consumption, you have to
wonder what she might have to contribute there.
This report in the Irish Examiner newspaper, 22 Nov 2004, shows the
close interplay between Whelton and Martin:
We have already made reference to the 1994 WHO monograph about
"Fluorides and oral health" [The title alone gives the game away!]
WHO Technical Report Series No. 846.
World Health Organization, Geneva.
A new version of this monograph is in the works. The editor is Dr
Deborah Chapman, an environmental scientist from, surprise, surprise,
University College Cork. Yes, the same UCC of O'Mullane, Whelton, and
Martin fame (Micheal Martin, the former Irish health minister who
According to the WHO website, Dr Chapman is the editor of the WHO-
sponsored series of guidebooks on water resources management and has
ensured compatibility on issues such as Water Quality Assessments,
Water Quality Monitoring, Water Pollution Control and Toxic
Cyanobacteria in Water.
For the sake of public health throughout the world, we have to hope
that Dr Chapman doesn't pay too much attention to her dentist
colleagues. But since fluoride has NO positive role in human health,
including oral health, it is clear that Dr Chapman has failed to grasp
The UCC part of the story doesn't end there. There are other UCC
academics who have involved themselves with the global fluoridation
The UCC biochemist Prof Albert Flynn (www.ucc.ie/academic/faculties/
foodfac/flynn.htm) serves on the Scientific Committee of the European
Food Safety Authority (www.efsa.eu.int). One of the opinions they have
published is on fluoride:
www.efsa.eu.int/science/nda/nda_opinions/851_en.html To put it simply,
a lot of what they have written about fluoride is dangerous nonsense.
This committe has issued opinions on Tolerable Upper Intake Levels on
a variety of substances, nutrients in the main, but that ubiquitous
impostor, fluoride, is included --- encouraged no doubt by the
fluoride addicts in Cork.
The substances are Potassium, Iron, Boron, Vanadium, Nickel, Fluoride
and Vitamin C. See the committee's opinion (EFSA-Q-2003-018 Adopted on
22 Feb 2005) on a TUIL for Fluoride: www.efsa.eu.int/science/nda/
It is interesting to note that the 'scientific' opinion begins:
"Fluoride is not essential for human growth and development but is
beneficial in the prevention of dental caries (tooth decay) when
ingested in amounts of about 0.05 mg/kg body weight per day and when
applied topically with dental products such as toothpaste."
The opinion then attempts to justify a TUIL for what the committee
describes elsewhere (the EFSA CONTAM committee) as a contaminant in
the food chain. See EFSA-Q-2003-034, adopted on 22 Sept 2004. That
opinion on fluoride in animal feed, issued by the CONTAMinant
committee, also makes the outrageous unscientific claim:
"Fluorine is considered as an essential element in various animal
species as experimental diets, low in fluorine resulted in growth
retardation, impaired fertility and reduced dental enamel strength in
various animal species, and also in humans."
Clearly, the fluoride deception has infiltrated the EU Food Safety
The following document from the Irish Department of Health shows that
Prof Albert Flynn has recently been collaborating with his UCC
colleagues O'Mullane and Whelton on fluoride promotion:
Prof Flynn is also heavily involved in the aforementioned Food Safety
Authority of Ireland.
Another UCC pro-fluoridation academic is biochemist Prof William
Reville has for many years been writing the weekly science column in
the Irish Times. Using that influential platform he has written
approvingly of fluoridation.
So, that is quite a group: O'Mullane, Whelton, Martin, Chapman, Flynn
and Reville, all exerting influence in the global fluoridation
project. And all from the same little university in the little city of
Another interesting coincidence is that Prof Denis O'Mullane's uncle,
the late Tadhg O'Mullane, was for many years the Chief Chemist of the
Irish Sugar Company (a state company) at its main factory in Thurles
in the south of Ireland. Following that job, Tadhg O'Mullane was, for
26 years from 1961, Professor of Dairy and Food Microbiology in UCC
where he was a very influential figure, including serving as a member
of UCC's Governing Body (of which Whelton is now a member). See
Of course there are many non-UCC "experts" who have worked on the
WHO's fluoride promotion project; their scientific credentials and
records must be called into question. I must point out one
particularly interesting case. This is the British "independent"
environmental consultant John Fawell (www.johnfawell.co.uk) who
"coordinated" the WHO Drinking Water Guidelines, in which task he
collaborated with O'Mullane, Whelton and Lennon. One of the most
disturbing facts about Fawell is that he wrote (or edited) the
Fluoride section of the website www.greenfacts.org. GreenFacts.org is
a sham "environmental information" website set up a few years ago and
funded by the Solvay Group, a giant chemicals and pharmaceuticals
manufacturer with 30,000 employees. Solvay market a big range of
fluoride chemicals and pharmaceuticals. (Most pharmaceutical drugs are
fluorinated to enhance their biochemical activity.) Solvay have an
enormous vested interest in giving fluoride a benign image.
Unsurprisingly, the information about fluoride on that website (see
www.greenfacts.org/fluoride/about-fluoride.htm) is presented so that
fluoride is shown in a good light.
GreenFacts bases its fluoride information on a report by IPCS (the
International Programme on Chemical Safety, a joint venture of the UN,
ILO and WHO) entitled "Environmental Health Criteria for Fluorides"
(EHC 227). GreenFacts pretends that everything from the IPCS is gospel
truth (it isn't) and that it represents scientific consensus on
fluoride (it doesn't -- see www.fluoridealert.org/health/, www.
fluoride-journal.com/ and www.jpands.org/vol10no2/kauffman.pdf).
GreenFacts' bias is also shown in its list of links: they ignore,
among others, the Fluoride Action Network (www.fluorideaction.net) and
Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children (http://bruha.com/pfpc/)
GreenFacts' claim that it is "an independent non-advocacy non-profit
organization" is a deception.
Not unrelated to GreenFacts is www.eurofluor.org, the website of the
main European fluoride producers. There, as you would expect, the lies
about fluoride are more barefaced: for example, their statement that
"there is no doubt that controlled levels of ingested fluoride are
many times more effective [against caries] than any topical
application." (See page under Applications/ Consumer Products.)
One last question:
How can intelligent people fail to understand the simplest of facts?
Fluoride is not a nutrient; it is a poison. Tooth decay is caused by
sugar, and nothing else!
= = = = = =
-- Joe Thornton, July 2005