UPDATE: Medical Officer of Health’s Comments are FALSE and MISLEADING

On our last blog post of November 19th we shared what our local Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Heimann, said on the AM800 CKLW Lynn Martin program as to the product hydrofluorosilicic acid.  Dr. Heimann admitted that the product was not regulated by Health Canada.  He went on to say:

The products which are used in Ontario are regulated under the Fluoridation Act of 1990 and the Safe Water Drinking Act.”

But is this true?  This is the leading authority advising our Windsor Council and Windsor Utilities Commission regarding artificial water fluoridation. Should Council and WUC rely solely on the Public Health Unit when making decisions to medicate the water supply of all citizens? Is Dr. Heimann’s endorsement of artificial water fluoridation based on science or opinion?  Our water began being medicated at the request of  the Health Unit alone – without consultation or consent of the citizens of Windsor.

We heard Dr. Heimann claim that fluoride was naturally occurring but the product used in artificial water fluoridation, hydrofluorosilicic acid, is man-made industrial waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry – definitely not the naturally occurring calcium fluoride.

Can we trust the opinion and endorsements coming from Dr. Heimann and the Health Unit?

Carole Clinch, founder and research coordinator of People For Safe Drinking Water  filed a formal complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario regarding False and Misleading Statements made by Dr. Heimann on the AM800 Lynn Martin program regarding artificial water fluoridation.

Clinch states in her formal complaint with respect to Dr. Heimann’s comments on AM800 CKLW Lynn Martin show on Nov 2, 2011, when asked “The products that are used have been regulated and approved by Health Canada?”:

Dr. Heimann’s statement

Health Canada doesn’t specifically have a regulatory requirement for this particular product. The products which are used in Ontario are regulated under the Fluoridation Act of 1990 and the Safe Water Drinking Act.”

Dr. Heimann knows, or should know, that Health Canada is required to regulate and approve all products used for medical treatment, which use health claims, under the Food and Drugs Act and its associated regulations.

Dr. Heimann knows, or should know, that the products used for artificial water fluoridation are not specifically regulated under either the Fluoridation Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act.

 A quick look at the Fluoridation Act  will demonstrate that there is absolutely no reference made to the actual products used in artificial water fluoridation (Hexafluorosilic acid or Sodium silicofluoride). The only reference to fluoride products is “fluoride ions”.

 An examination of the Safe Drinking Water Act (please consult a lawyer and confirm for yourself) will demonstrate that the actual products trucked to your drinking water facility are not regulated by the Ontario government under this legislation.

 The following are statements from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment which clarify the situation: “MOE has no jurisdiction over the manufacture or sale of drinking water treatment chemicals.” Source: June 11, 2007 email correspondence written by Mirek Tybinkowski, M.Eng., P.Eng, Water & Wastewater Specialist, Safe Drinking Water Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

 “The MOE’s only authority lies in ensuring (in the approval and inspection processes) that fluoridation equipment is appropriately installed, operated and monitored.” Source: Feb 18, 2009 email correspondence written by Mirek Tybinkowski, M.Eng., P.Eng, Water & Wastewater Specialist, Safe Drinking Water Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

Dr. Heimann’s Statement

Artificial water fluoridation is “safe and effective”

 The scientific/legal determination of safety is based on 2 types of research: 1. Animal studies (toxicology studies)  2. Human studies (randomized, controlled clinical trials are the gold standard)

The actual fluoride products used in artificial water fluoridation (silicofluorides Na2SiF6, H2SiF6) have neither the required animal studies nor the required human studies to demonstrate safety. Until 2010 there were NO TOXICOLOGY STUDIES available which examined the long-term use of these products. There are now available two (2) recently published toxicological studies 1,2 demonstrating health harm from the long-term use of these products.

The actual fluoride products used in artificial water fluoridation (silicofluorides Na2SiF6, H2SiF6) is used as a “medical treatment to prevent disease” according to Health Canada, for a “special health purpose,” according to the Supreme Court of Canada, yet it has never been regulated or approved by Health Canada. All other fluoride products used for dental care are regulated under the Food and Drugs Act. (see above for citations)

In the absence of any studies demonstrating safety, but the availability of 2 recent toxicology studies (see footnotes 1 and 2 and discussion below) showing health harm, the claims that these products are “safe” are not based on well-established scientific protocols designed to protect public safety.

In the absence of any studies demonstrating safety, the claims that these products are “safe” are not based on legal definitions and requirements designed to protect public safety.

A formal complaint was filed with the Auditor General of Canada on May 26, 2011 regarding the unregulated fluoride products used in artificial water fluoridation. Executive Summary available from: http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/Canada_Request_for_Audit_2011_Executive_Summary.pdf

Due diligence

The performance of due diligence before lending your profession’s credibility (or your provincial office authority) to your statements would have revealed the facts noted herein.

It should be noted that under the Physician Services Agreement ratified in October 2008, Medical Officer of Health in Ontario make between $252,037.50 and $294,937.50 per year. In comparison, the annual capita income for citizens in Windsor-Essex county in 2007 was $30,900 according to the Windsor-Essex quick fact sheet 

Implications for misleading council and the public:

  • It is insulting to council members who work so hard to serve the public interest;
  • It is insulting to the taxpayers who pay the salaries of individuals or organizations who present this misinformation.

There 2 possible explanations for why individuals or organizations distribute False and Misleading information:

  1. Individuals/organizations do not have sufficient expertise on this issue, as implied by their position of authority; OR
  2. Individuals/organizations are intentionally misleading the public.

The content of this letter puts into question Dr. Heimann’s advice and opinions as being based on factual evidence.

Perhaps you were simply unaware of the facts contradicting your statements, or your testimony may have been intended as opinion, rather than a factual representation, for which you certainly have the right of expression.

I cordially request that Dr. Heimann make a public statement on the AM 800 CKLW, the Lynn Martin Show, that his opinions were not based on the facts available.

Yours truly,

Carole Clinch

Citations

1. Leite GAS, Sawan GMM, Teofilo JM, Port IM, Sousa FB, Gerlach RF. Exposure to lead exacerbates dental fluorosis. Archives of Oral Biology 2011, doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2010.12.011

2. Sawan RM, Leite GA, Saraiva MC, Barbosa F, Tanus-Santos JE, Gerlach RF. Fluoride increases lead concentrations in whole blood and in calcified tissues from lead-exposed rats. Toxicology 2010;271(1-2):21-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20188782

Further, Clinch was able to get confirmation directly from the Ministry of Environment that the claims made by Dr. Heimann were indeed FALSE:

Dear Ms. Clinch,

1. Are the products which are used in Ontario for artificial water fluoridation (Hexafluorosilicic acid and Sodium silicofluorde) regulated specifically under the Fluoridation Act of 1990?
Answer: The Fluoridation Act (1990) does not regulate products used for artificial water fluoridation.

2. Are the products which are used in Ontario for artificial water fluoridation (Hexafluorosilicic acid and Sodium silicofluoride) regulated specifically by the Ministry of the Environment under the Safe Water Drinking Act of Ontario?
Answer: The products used for artificial water fluoridation are not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (2002).

3. Does the Ministry of the Environment have any jurisdiction over the manufacture and sale of products used as a medical treatment?                                                                                                                                                Answer: No. The manufacture and sale of products used for medical treatment do not fall within the scope of the Ministry of the Environment’s mandate.

Thank you for your email.
Steve Klose
Director, Standards Development Branch
Ministry of the Environment
40 St. Clair Ave. W. 7th floor
Toronto, Ontario

Who can council trust if they can’t trust the Public Health Unit?

What information should Windsor Utilities Commission rely on when deciding whether to medicate the water supply of its customers?

We will soon find out when the Windsor Utilities Commission releases its report on artificial water fluoridation.

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  1. #1 by Andrea on December 1, 2011 - 1:17 am

    Did anyone submit this to the radio host so that the host can make an on-air correction of the false statements that were made?

  2. #2 by Fluoride Free Windsor on December 1, 2011 - 1:23 am

    Andrea – thank you for your reply. Yes, most certainly! When the formal complaint about the false and misleading comments was made the radio host was also contacted. As to an on-air correction, we’re still waiting for that 🙂

  3. #3 by Vicki P. on January 10, 2012 - 2:28 am

    I heard this broadcast and took exception to Dr. Heimann’s misleading comments about fluoride being a naturally occurring element. I promptly e-mailed Ms Martin requesing that the doctor clarify if the naturally occurring form and the articfical additive were the same thing before his on-air stint was over. The question was not addressed before the program concluded, much to my disappointment.

  1. Believe one who has proved it. Believe an expert. « Fluoride Free Windsor

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