Consumer Health Digest #16-05

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
January 31, 2016

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

Pro-fluoridation group activated. Fluoridation activists have launched the American Fluoridation Society, which plans to debunk myths, clarify the evidence behind fluoridation's safety and benefits, and provide testimony and technical assistance to state and local communities seeking to start fluoridation or defend it against attacks. [Pro-fluoridation group targets 'inaccurate' information surfacing in U.S. communities. Dentistry IQ, January 2016] In a videotaped interview, the group's president, pediatric dentist Johnny Johnson, D.D.S., describes how he became involved and why his group is needed to counter the malicious attacks fluoridation is facing. The AFS Web site is currently undergoing revision but should be back online soon.

Long-term study of fluorosis published. Australian researchers have published the results of a study in which children noted to have mild or very mild fluorosis in 2003 and 2004 were re-evaluated 7-9 years later. The study found that these conditions had a tendency to diminish with time and had no negative effect on the participants' perception of their oral health. [Do LG and others. Natural history and long-term impact of dental fluorosis: a prospective cohort study. Medical Journal of Australia 204:25.e1, 2016] Dental fluorosis is an alteration of dental enamel caused by ingestion of more than the optimal amount of fluoride during tooth development. This study supports the prevailing view of the scientific community that fluorosis when mild or very mild is barely visible and poses no physical or cosmetic problem whatsoever. [Barrett S, Baratz RS. Fluorosis: Much ado about nothing. Dental Watch, Feb 1, 2016]

Frontline report blasts dietary supplement industry. Frontline, The New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation have co-produced a 55-minute video report that examines problems in the marketing and regulation of vitamins, herbals, and other supplement products. The report spotlights (a) contaminated products that have caused severe harm, (b) irresponsible promotion, (c) regulatory weaknesses, and (d) industry denialists. [Supplements and Safety. Frontline, Jan 19, 2016]

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This page was posted on January 31, 2016.