If fluoridation was as good as they say it is
FEBRUARY 1, 2013
Breaking News: Two more communities in the State of Queensland, Australia have rejected water fluoridation despite strong opposition from public health officials. This week we learned that both the city of Cairns and the Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council voted to end fluoridation. The Cairns City Council made the decision because they correctly felt that fluoridation was "involuntary medication" of the residents. The Doomadgee Council stated that is was "determined that the addition of fluoride was not in the best interests of the community in the local government area of Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council.” (Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council Public Notice, The North West Star, 1/31/13).
The Fluoridation Failure
A week ago promoters of fluoridation celebrated the 68th anniversary of the beginning of fluoridation (25th January, 1945) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rather than just blindly celebrating this outdated practice promoters would be more convincing if they debated the issue in public with leading scientific opponents of fluoridation like Paul Connett, PhD, Director of the Fluoride Action Network. It has now been 25 days since Dr. William Maas, former director of the Oral Health Division of the CDC, and now spokesperson for the Pew Charitable Trust was challenged to debate Connett, but as of today there has been no word. Meanwhile, Dr. Maas has no problem insulting Dr. Connett in his one-way communications.
Professor Connett today, had this message for Dr. Maas, "Hey, Bill either put up or shut up. If you have the confidence to insult me then you should have the confidence to debate me in public."
Paul also wrote the following analysis of the fluoridation failure of the past 68 years, with the suggestion that campaigners share this information with local decision-makers and the media by email and by reading it at public hearings:
If fluoridating the public water supply was as good as the promoters say it is, then after 68 years...
- The majority of countries would be doing it – but they aren’t. 97% of European countries do not fluoridate their water.
- There would be a clear difference in tooth decay between countries that do and those that don’t – but there isn’t.
- There would be randomized clinical trials that demonstrate its safety and effectiveness - but there aren’t.
- The US Food and Drug Administration would have approved fluoride for ingestion – but it hasn’t.
- The public water supply would have been used to deliver other drugs –but since fluoridation began this has not been done.
- The promoters would gladly agree to publicly debate leading scientific opponents of fluoridation – but they very rarely do.
- Promoters would not have to use insulting ad hominem attacks on opponents–but they do.
- The promoters would not have to intimidate the members of their own professional bodies to toe the party line – but they do.
- The promoters would not have to spend millions of dollars on public relations outfits and lobbyists to win their case for them behind closed doors – but they do.
- Rather than force through mandatory fluoridation bills at the state level promoters would encourage communities to freely vote on the matter - but they don’t.
- The promoters would cite scientific studies to prove their case rather than relying on second hand endorsements and biased review panels –but they seldom do.
- The promoters would have performed studies of their own to check the findings of researchers who have found harm in countries with moderate to high natural levels of fluoride in their water - but they don’t.
- The promoters would have resolved every question about safety – but they haven’t.
- The promoters would have carefully tracked the levels of fluoride in the blood, urine and bones of people living in fluoridated communities - but they haven’t.
- The promoters would have checked scientifically the many anecdotal reports that certain individuals are particularly sensitive to fluoride’s toxic effects – but they won’t.
- The promoters would have used the severity of dental fluorosis as a biomarker for epidemiological studies to investigate potential harm to children - but they haven’t.
- The promoters would accept liabilities for any harm caused by fluoridation, including payment for treating dental fluorosis, which now impacts at least 42% of American adolescents - but they don’t.
There is no doubt that the vast majority of people that promote fluoridation truly believe in this practice. But public health policy must be based upon more than a belief system. It must be rigorously defended using the best science available. Not one single health question should be left unresolved. However, after 68 years the promoters have not rigorously proved either fluoridation’s safety or effectiveness. Key studies have simply not been done. The absence of study is not the same as the absence of harm. In fact there is now a wealth of evidence to suggest that fluoridation is neither safe nor effective (see The Case Against Fluoride by Connett, Beck and Micklem (Chelsea Green, 2010).
This is what Professor John Doull, chairman of the National Research Council panel that reviewed EPA’s safe drinking water standards, said in 2008:
“What the committee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many years—for too long really—and now we need to take a fresh look . . . In the scientific community people tend to think this is settled… But 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. (Scientific American, Jan, 2008).
Moreover, the public water supply should never have been used to deliver medicine. Once added to the water you cannot control the dose, you cannot control who gets the medicine and it violates the individual’s right to informed consent to medicine. Medical professionals should be ashamed to support such a crude and unethical practice.
Fluoridation should never have started and it should be ended without further delay. It is particularly urgent that we do so now. More and more scientific evidence points to harm (NRC, 2006) including 36 studies that have found an association between lower IQs and exposure to fluoride, with several at doses close to those experienced in fluoridated communities. We need to protect future generations of children. It is reckless to expose the developing tissues of babies (including their bones, brains and endocrine systems) to levels of fluoride that are approximately 200 times the levels in mothers milk.
Those individuals who want fluoride are not deprived of this substance should fluoridation be halted. They can use fluoridated toothpaste. This actually makes more sense because most promoters now concede that the predominant benefit of fluoride is TOPICAL not systemic (CDC, 1999). In other words if fluoride works at all it works on the outside of the tooth not from inside the body. Thus there is no need to expose the whole body to a known toxic substance for a lifetime with every glass of water drunk. And there is no rational reason to force people to drink it when they don’t want to do so.
This practice is well past it due date. It’s time to stop.
Director of the Fluoride Action Network.
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