Fluoride & Bone Cancer: Is Harvard Professor Hiding a Link?




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Published on Mar 10, 2007

Did a Harvard dental professor, who moonlights as a consultant to Colgate, suppress evidence linking fluoride to bone cancer in children? A study done by a PhD candidate at Harvard Medical School was hidden away in their library until someone from the Environmental Working Group and the Fluoride Action Network discovered a copy in 2001. It's conclusions were startling.

It is entirely possible that Dr. Douglass may have suppressed the PhD thesis conclusions of Dr. Elise Bassin, at that time a PhD candidate at Harvard Medical School of Dentistry, whose paper and data suggests a very strong link between fluoridation and Osteosarcoma in boys. Bassin has not given interviews concerning her research since the paper's publication, but continues to stand behind her work in that study.

At the time of the Bassin study release, Douglass promised he would research and publish another paper showing that there was no connection between cancer and fluoridated water.

Because of his connections as a consultant with Colgate Corporation, a company that manufactures and strongly promotes dental products based on fluoride content, Harvard University conducted an in-house investigation to determine if Douglass had displayed any conflict of interest by suppressing his student's information. Of course, Harvard found no problem with their own professor's actions (in-house investigations are comparable to the fox guarding the henhouse). Douglass has since retired from the University.

UPDATE: 28 July 2011 - Dr. Douglas had promised to release a research paper showing no connection between fluoride and cancer before he retired from Harvard. Apparently, Douglas has now published his paper after more than a decade. We at the Fluoride Action Network will be updating our presentations to reflect the content of that paper. Meanwhile, the news announcement can be seen at:

Proponents of fluoridation were quickly alerted to the release of this paper as the American Dental Association released a news article in support of Douglass' paper and of fluoridation today, despite the fact that the study's contents have just been released.

29 July 2011 - After reading the paper by Dr. Chester Douglas, et al, representatives of the Fluoride Action Network have discovered the following:

It wasn't just Colgate that paid Chester Douglass. According to the Acknowledgements section of the osteosarcoma/fluoride study, Douglass "has written reviews of the literature for several companies that sell, reimburse for, or do research on preventive dentistry products, most notably GlaxoSmithKline, Colgate-Palmolive, Dentsply, Quintile, Delta Dental Plans, and the United States Public health Service (USPHS)." All of these organizations spend millions of dollars to promote fluoridation throughout the U. S., and continually ignore scientific evidence that is contrary to their promotion. This places considerable conflict of interest on the new study and its conclusions.

C Hayes (co-author) "has done limited consulting with Procter & Gamble."

The osteosarcoma/fluoride manuscript is based on a dissertation submitted to the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DrPH in the Department of Epidemiology (F M Kim).

More to come -


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