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Letters to the Editor Issue 160

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 160 - July 2009

Reader's Comment: Choosing Health – Preventing and Reversing Cellular Malfunction

by Raymond Francis  

I found the article extremely interesting as it reflects my own thoughts on the subject. The enormous stumbling block is in the title – Choosing Health.  I have worked as an Aromatherapist and Nutritional Adviser for 14 years, and the big step for a lot of clients is to choose health over their present situation. 

Making small differences to lifestyle can be a major problem for them, although others embrace change and then reap the benefits. My approach has been for clients to make a small adjustment in their lifestyle between visits, and this has worked in many cases. However there will always be those who see it as their right to abuse their bodies and expect someone else to deal with the fallout.  This attitude can be witnessed in other areas of life also. However for those who are receptive and see the enormous sense in looking after the bodies we have, this book is a Godsend.

Catherine M Crawford MIFA LLSA ABFE

No Evidence of Mobile Phone Health Risks, But Scientists Urge Caution

There is still no convincing evidence that mobile phones cause any health effects, according to a review published in Emerging Health Threats Journal ( ). But the authors, Florence Samkange-Zeeb and Maria Blettner from Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany, stop short of saying that risks can be ruled out, and debate continues over whether regulators should apply the so-called 'precautionary principle' until conclusive evidence becomes available.

The precautionary principle means taking steps to avoid possible harm, in the absence of clear evidence either way. One way of applying it could be to put the onus on telecommunications companies to prove that no health risks exist.

The review examines studies of mobile phone use and finds that most show no significant link to brain cancer or other health effects. However, the authors point out that less is known about long-term effects, and that usage and exposure patterns are changing as the technology develops. "Little is known about possible adverse effects of mobile phone use on children, especially effects that might appear later in life," they write.

This uncertainty is still a cause of concern for some scientists, who call for precautions to be taken until the risks are better understood. In an associated feature, Anita Makri reports on the conflicting views among scientists over how cautious governments should be in regulating the technology. There is no consensus over appropriate regulation and experts believe that "when it comes to policy, each group tends to pick the interpretation that suits their interests."

While many researchers have found no risk associated with mobile phone use, others say the available evidence points to a slightly increased risk of brain cancer, and are concerned about long-term effects, especially in children.

In the middle ground are scientists who agree that the evidence of health risks is unconvincing, but who still urge caution, saying that the possibility of harmful health effects cannot yet be eliminated. The controversy looks set to continue, according to Robert Goble, Research Professor at Clark University in Massachusetts, USA. "I think it prudent to prepare for the possibility that the uncertainties will not be resolved any time soon," he suggests. "That will require developing practical approaches to 'coping with uncertainty'."


About the Authors

Florence Samkange-Zeeb and Maria Blettner are based at the Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany,
where Blettner is Director.

Anita Makri is News and Reviews Editor at Emerging Health Threats Forum. She holds Masters degrees in Public Health from the George Washington University, and in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University.

Further Information

Tom Hopkinson, Executive Editor Emerging Health Threats, Tel: 020 7251 0012

Petition To Gather 1 Million Voices Against The Codex Alimentarius

From Loren Brown

Dear Friends,

If you wish to have the liberty to go on buying and eating the supplements and foods you consider to be best and healthiest for you, if you want to have a choice to send your children to an alternative school, if you don't want the EU to decide about your way of living .... please read below, and sign the petition. Plus pass the info on to as many as possible!
... This is a petition to gather 1 million voices against the Codex Alimentarius, a law that will be imposed in December 2009, if we don't do anything against it.

This law states that:
  • All biological ('organic') food must be irradiated;
  • Genetically modified products don't have to be named in ingredient lists, neither in the ingredient lists of biological (organic)products;
  • Nearly all of the homeopathic remedies will be taken from the market;
  • All healing herbs will be illegal;
  • Most of the alternative forms of therapy and healing will be illegal;
  • Alternative kindergartens and schools (like Waldorf-schools...) will be illegal.
The ELIANT campaign together with other campaigns is collecting a million signatures in order to file a protest against this law at the European court of justice.

A number of signatures above one million will enable us to do something on a European level.

At this moment we still need at least 260,371 signatures to reach our goal... yours could be the One.... 

Thank you for your support!

Further Information

More information and online signing at 


Chris Gupta

US EPA and Europe Recognize Toxicity of Fluoride: Human and Animal Cancer Evidence Prompts Review of Fluoride

California EPA Committee Designates Fluoride as Priority for Review for Public Warnings about Risk of Cancer to Consumers

Over protests by the lobbyists for the American Dental Association and the Personal Care Products Council who oppose further evaluation of fluoride as cancer-causing, the State's Qualified Experts that comprise the Carcinogen Identification Committee, as advisors to California EPA's Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), never-the-less established fluoride and its salts as meriting the highest priority they can recommend for further review toward including fluorides on a Prop 65 list of chemicals for which warnings for risks of cancer, birth defects, and reproductive toxicity are to be publicly posted.

Citing the passage of two pre-screenings that acknowledged the existence of animal and human cancer evidence, as well as widespread exposure, this recommendation places fluoride and its salts as one of the first of 38 chemicals that also passed at least one of the tests to be newly prioritized for Hazard Identification materials preparation.

This hazard identification process is similar to a risk assessment performed to establish a scientific point of safety for lifetime ingestion that is ordered by the Safe Drinking Water Act for chemicals in the water, with the exception that this process will evaluate fluorides from all exposures and restricts the assessment to only the risks of cancer, rather than all adverse heath effects.

Proposition 65 was enacted by voters of California in 1986 to assure that warnings of cancer, birth defects, and reproductive risks are publicly noticed so that consumers and workers are informed of the presence of such chemicals in the posted location, or of their inclusion in products, so that individuals may better control exposures and protections for themselves.

Prop 65 warnings are commonly seen at gas stations and dry cleaning establishments for environmental exposures to the chemicals present, and bars and restaurants that serve alcohol for products that may be ingested and cause birth defects or reproductive harm.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), another fluoride compound, was also separately recommended for the highest priority review.

PFOAs, while technically referring to a class of surfactants, are most commonly recognized by laypersons for their non-stick and non-penetration qualities, which are the basis and sister-chemicals of such products as Scotchgard, Teflon and GoreTex. Some of these products are now to be phased out of production, and restricted in future production, despite their high profitability.

Ranging from water and oil repellants, to non-stain carpets and couches, to waxed paper, this chemical class is listed as used in aircraft production processes, electronic products, personal care products, and thought to be essential in the automotive, chemical, medical, packaging and building/construction industries. Dupont, the primary producer of PFOAs, opposed the recommendation for priority review.

Chemicals that received a lower priority ranking are not expected to receive a timely review.

A summary of the chemical prioritizations can now be accessed here:  

The Comment on Fluoride and Its Salts produced by Kathleen Thiessen, PhD, of SENES Oak Ridge, Center for Risk Analysis, on behalf of IAOMT can be accessed on OEHHA;s web site:  


Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, Jeff Green


International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT)
David Kennedy DDS, Fluoride Information Officer

The implications of the European Court of Justice decision on the regulation of 'functional drinks' with regard to the practice of water fluoridation:  

"The ruling must be applied to fluoridated water. It establishes that
  • Fluoridated water, as a 'near-water drink containing added minerals', is a functional food with recognisable pharmaceutical properties. As such, it must be regulated as a medicinal product;
  • In the absence of a relevant medicinal marketing authorization for its supply to the public, fluoridation of public water supplies in the UK and Ireland must stop immediately;
  • All plans to further expand fluoridation in the UK must be suspended, pending mandatory review of its efficacy and safety and a decision on the propriety of awarding it a marketing authorization as a medicinal product;
  • Fluoridated water must not be used in the preparation of any food for retail or wholesale purposes in the UK or Ireland;
  • Irrespective of any possible future award of a marketing authorization, no UK or Irish food manufacturer using fluoridated water in the preparation of their products may export them to any other EC country;
  • No food manufacturer in external states practicing water fluoridation may export their products to any EC country if they use it to prepare their products.
This decision of the Court is binding on all EC member states, and is immediately enforceable in the national legislation of member states."

The complete ruling can be read here.  


Chris Gupta

Research Coordinator – People for Safe Drinking Water

Dr Kathleen Thiessen
Co-author US National Research Council 2006 Review of Fluorides in Drinking Water to the California EPA's Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)


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