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Controversial study links fluoride in water to lower IQ

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A study published Monday links exposure to fluoridated tap water during pregnancy to lower IQ scores in infants, but several outside experts expressed concern over its methodology and questioned its findings.

Fluoride has been added to community water supplies in industrial countries to prevent tooth decay since the 1950s.

Very high levels of the mineral have been found to be toxic to the brain, though the concentrations seen in fluoridated tap water are generally deemed safe.

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“We realized that there were major questions about the safety of fluoride, especially for pregnant women and young children,” Christine Till at Canada’s York University, senior author of the paper published in JAMA Pediatrics, told AFP.

“We know that decisions need to be based on evidence, and we had no evidence on whether fluoride in pregnancy was safe, and regardless of the outcome, that knowledge was really critical.”

The study looked at 601 mother-child pairs across six Canadian cities, with 41 percent living in communities supplied with fluoridated municipal water.

The researchers said fluoridated water is supplied to around two-thirds of US residents, just over a third of Canadian residents and three percent in Europe.

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After controlling for other toxins in their analysis, they found an increase in concentration of fluoride in pregnant mother’s urine of one milligram a liter was associated with a 4.5-point lower IQ score in boys — but not girls — at age three or four.

When estimating the daily maternal fluoride intake instead of fluoride in urine, they found a one milligram increase in intake was associated with a deficit of 3.7 IQ points for both boys and girls.

Anticipating controversy, JAMA Pediatrics took the unusual step of issuing an Editor’s Note that said the decision to publish the article was “not easy.”

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“Given the nature of the findings and their potential implications, we subjected it to additional scrutiny for its methods and the presentation of its findings.”

But experts in fields ranging from statistics to toxicology to neuroscience expressed serious reservations.

“The key words in the paper are ‘higher levels.'” said Oliver Jones, Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry, RMIT University.

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“The authors state that an increase of one milligram per liter (1 mg/L) increase in fluoride was associated with a 4.49 point lower IQ score but fluoride intake appears to have been below 1 mg/L for most people in the study, even for those with fluoridated water.”

Stuart Ritchie, a psychologist at King’s College London, added that it was “inconsistent” that the first analysis only found a significant result for boys not girls while the second analysis found an overall effect with no sex differences.

“I think the findings here are pretty weak and borderline,” he said. “They might be interesting as part of a larger set of studies on this question, but alone they shouldn’t move the needle much at all on the question of the safety of fluoride.”

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New documents reveal the military has paid Trump’s Scotland resort more than $180,000

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Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. military has spent more than $180,000 at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland while service members have been stopped at the Glasgow Prestwick airport, according to a Pentagon letter sent to the House Oversight Committee.

Politico first reported on and published the letter on Wednesday.

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Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’

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Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.

In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

"I too was the subject of false allegations, but unlike Justice Kavanaugh and others who have suffered the ire of the left, I filed suit against my accusers and their conspirators," Moore said. "For over two years, I have not seen nor been able to question any of those who went on national television tol tell their false stories just 32 days before the election in December 2017, and ironically I have been sued for defamation for merely denying their false and malicious accusations."

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Trump says ‘many options’ on Iran response

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US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has "many options" in addition to military strikes against Iran and that details of newly announced sanctions will come within 48 hours.

Asked by reporters about a possible US attack on Iran, Trump said "there are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that."

He explained that by "ultimate option" he meant "war."

Trump said that the specifics of sanctions he announced earlier would be made public "over the next 48 hours."

US ally Saudi Arabia says Iran was behind a missile or drone attack setting ablaze major oil facilities last weekend.

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