The committee wishes to thank the many people who provided information to the committee, including Kenneth Bart, National Vaccine Program; Philip Berry, Berry & Berry; Thomas P. Bleck, Rush Memorial Hospital; Dean A. Blumberg, University of California, Los Angeles; E. Borst-Eilers, The Health Council of The Netherlands; James D. Cherry, University of California, Los Angeles; Richard V. Colan, pediatric neurologist; Harris L. Coulter, Center for Empirical Medicine; George Curlin, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Marie Valdes Dapena, University of Miami; Darryl DeVivo, Neurological Institute; Charles A. Dinarello, Tufts University School of Medicine; Mr. and Mrs. Donny Epps, Athens, Georgia; Barbara Loe Fisher, Dissatisfied Parents Together; Kay A. Fox, Chronic Rubella Viremia Support; Ronald Gabriel, University of California, Los Angeles; James L. Gale, University of Washington; Mark Geier, medical/ legal consultant; Marjorie Grant, Determined Parents to Stop Hurting Our Tots; Rajesh K. Gupta, Visiting Fellow, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Stephen C. Hadler, Centers for Disease Control; Joanne M. Hatem, York Gastroenterology; Rosemary Havill, Health Resources and Services Administration; Carole A. Heilman, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Erik L. Hewlett, University of Virginia School of Medicine; Alan R. Hinman, Centers for Disease Control; Ulla Hoikkala, Embassy of Finland; Michael R. Hugo, Schlichtmann, Conway, Crowley & Hugo; David L. Klein, National Institute of Allergy and Infec-
Although fluoride advocates have claimed for years that the safety of fluoride in dentistry is exhaustively documented and “beyond debate,” the Chairman of the National Research Council’s (NRC) comprehensive fluoride review, Dr. John Doull, recently stated that: “when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began.”
Sometimes, putative medical adverse effects are regarded as controversial and generate heated discussions in society and lawsuits against drug manufacturers. One example is the recent controversy as to whether autism was linked to the MMR vaccine (or by thiomersal , a mercury -based preservative used in some vaccines ). No link has been found in several large studies, and despite removal of thimerosal from vaccines a decade ago the rate of autism has not decreased as would be expected if it had been the causative agent.