Trimming John Timmer



According to John Timmer’s Bio, “John is Ars Technica’s science editor. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. John has done over a decade’s worth of research in genetics and developmental biology at places like Cornell Medical College and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center” (1). This alone fails to impress, since John’s views on fluoridation are grossly simplistic and misleading (2). In light of this, we shall draw some inspiration from the words of Dr. Lawrence Krauss (3) and challenge John’s assertions on fluoridation, no matter how smart he may wish his readers to believe he is.

Rebuttal of Timmer’s Claims

Claim #1

“The treatment of drinking water with trace amounts of fluorine has a clear, positive effect in preventing tooth decay… The campaign against fluoridation put up a website that said (contrary to evidence) that fluoridation doesn’t actually work.”

Rebuttal of Claim #1

When the University of York, for instance, examined the evidence on water fluoridation, the research team were surprised by its general weakness. In their own words, “Given the level of interest surrounding the issue of public water fluoridation, it is surprising to find that little high quality research has been undertaken” (4). Three years later they reiterated, “We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide” (5). In 2007, an article appeared in the British Medical Journal, noting that “the [York] reviewers were surprised by the poor quality of the evidence and the uncertainty surrounding the beneficial and adverse effects of fluoridation” (6). Building on this acknowledgement, in 2012, a leading public health researcher from the University of Western Australia wrote in the journal Public Health Ethics, “It would appear that the effectiveness of artificial water fluoridation in the 21st century is at best questionable” (7). Even the leading opponents of fluoridation have expressed surprise at the poor quality of the supposed “evidence” for the “benefits” of water fluoridation, and have accordingly offered public critiques to draw attention to this fact (8-9).

Claim #2

“It [the anti-FL campaign] also plays a bit on chemophobia, calling the treatment an “industrial byproduct” and focusing on the tiny amounts of trace contaminants that come with fluorine.”

Rebuttal of Claim #2

To cite the aforementioned Public Health Ethics paper, “The fluosilicic acid brands used in artificially fluoridating Australian water supplies are known to be contaminated with lead, arsenic and mercury—major public health hazards for which no safe level exists.” On these and other grounds the author concludes, “there is insufficient ethical justification for artificial water fluoridation in Australia” (7). The Journal of Hazardous Materials confirms that this chemical is indeed a “waste material” of the phosphate fertiliser industry (10). In 2006, the National Research Council called for studies to determine “which fluoride chemicals can cause hypersensitivity” in certain individuals (11). Therefore, it is a scientifically-valid position that certain fluoridation chemicals may pose unique risks to human health.

Claim #3

“The evidence in favor of fluoridation’s benefits is so strong that the CDC has named it one of the greatest public health accomplishments of the past century.”

Rebuttal of Claim #3

“Not a day goes by without someone in the world citing the CDC’s statement that fluoridation is “One of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th Century” (CDC, 1999). Those that cite this probably have no idea how incredibly poor the analysis was that supported this statement. The report was not externally peer reviewed, was six years out of date on health studies and the graphical evidence it offered to support the effectiveness of fluoridation was laughable and easily refuted” (12). The fact is that the CDC’s Oral Health Division has no independent expert oversight enforced upon it, yet it has a huge stake in promoting water fluoridation (13).

Summary & Verdict


John Timmer proudly flaunts his scientific credentials, yet he withholds key information from his readers in an attempt to undermine the concerns expressed by opponents of fluoridation. He obviously requires a biochemistry lesson in fluoride toxicity (14).


Timmer should be vigorously challenged on his claims, and his tactics should be thoroughly exposed. His qualifications provide no legitimate defence for poor journalism.


(1) John Timmer Bio
(2) John Timmer Article, May 23, 2013
(3) “There is no one whose views are not subject to question”: a), b)
(4) York Review (2000), Executive Summary
(5) Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (2003)
(6) Cheng et al. (2007)
(7) Awofeso (2012)
(8) Connett (2012)
(9) Connett, Beck & Micklem (2010)
(10) Sarawade et al. (2010)
(11) NRC (2006)
(12) Clarifications on the CDC’s Oral Health Division
(13) OHD’s promotion of fluoridation
(14) Mullenix (2009)

Further Research

A Response to Pro-Fluoridation Claims
Fluoridation Chemicals
Weak Evidence for Benefit
NRC Research Recommendations

Author: AFA Mildura

Administrator, Anti-Fluoridation Association of Mildura

9 thoughts on “Trimming John Timmer

  1. Pingback: Beck Defends Calgary, Again | Research Blog

  2. Many thanks for sharing this very good webpage.

  3. Good on you for exposing this charlatan. Your summary and verdict are spot on.

  4. Addition to:-
    Another Example of the Disgrace and Incestuous Fluoridation Dictatorship:-
    Australian Fluoridation Dictatorship/Fraud

    Queensland Fluoridation Committee – Queensland Water Fluoridation Act 2008  – Act No. 12 of 2008  Page 43       Part 7     Queensland Fluoridation  Committee

With regard to the hazardous waste poisoning aka ‘water fluoridation’ of the population of Queensland, I and countless others, still can scarcely believe how the Fluoridation Propaganda Machine continues to get away with it for decades; and the shocking massive political power and clout of the ADA, AMA and their interests to continue to enforce their agenda of water fluoridation/pollution which is chronically poisoning the population and our environment, the Queensland Fluoridation Committee comprises:-


The Chief Health Officer and the Chief Dental Officer and 6 persons (the appointed members) appointed by the Minister  ie 1 nominated by Australian Medical Association, 1 nominated by Australian Dental Association, 1 by Local Government Association of Queensland with expertise in local government matters, 1 person with expertise in Water Engineering, 1 person with expertise in Chemistry or chemical Analysis and 1 person with knowledge and experience in an area relevant to the Committee’s functions and all evidence of harm from world experts continues to be covered up/ignored.

    The number of informed and aware people, groups and organisations vehemently opposed to forced or unforced hazardous waste poisoning of our drinking water supplies (aka ‘water fluoridation’ ) and hence the contamination of our entire food chain, these same ‘pro-fluoridationists’ and their powerful ties, continue to get away with this chronic poisoning of the population. The Government of Queensland and all Australian Governments have failed all duty of care and ethics and are negligent in failing to protect the health and safety of the population in favour of ‘The Fluoridation Fraud’ / ‘The Fluoridation Machine’/Web of Deception.

  5. He is regurgitating the same old lies from The Fluoridation Cartel that all those do with financial interests in the disposal of it AND EFFECTS of these dangerously corrosive hazardous waste pollutants & co – contaminants known as ‘water fluoridation chemicals’ – he should be truly ashamed.

    Buying to keep their Dirty Agendas:-
    Wall Street Journal says Dentists Are Big Political Players and do all they can to preserve their monopoly.” Huge donations to secure their political agendas.
    They boasted the largest single health-care PAC in 2008, gave nearly $13 million to state and local politicians in 2010, raising the question: What do dentists want? Alicia Mundy has details on The News Hub. Photo: Reuters.!4ADDACA4-8F50-43D4-B694-D541A38FBF3A
    Dental Crisis in America – After 67 years of water fluoridation foisted upon Americans by the American Dental Association and its constituents groups, a Dental Crisis exists in America.  Senator Sanders introduced legislation to remedy this situation which is endorsed by 37 groups but not the ADA because it includes funding for Dental Therapists which would infringe upon dentists lucrative monopoly.  The ADA prefers fluoridation because it doesn’t stop tooth decay and doesn’t hurt their bottom line.  In fact, dentists are making lots of money covering up fluoride-stained teeth with expensive veneers because American children are now over-fluoridated with up to 60% affected with dental fluorosis – white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth. Veneers cost about $1,000.00 a tooth.
    For some Americans, dental care means a sturdy chair, a fluoride swish, and a free toothbrush. But for one in three Americans, it’s a nightmare, including astronomical bills, crippling credit card debt, panicked visits to the emergency room, and life-threatening disease. 
These hardships are chronicled in a new Frontline documentary, Dollars and Dentists, which airs tonight on PBS stations. Frontline correspondent Miles O’Brien takes us behind the scenes of the documentary that explores America’s broken dental system. Frontline is produced by our partner WGBH. You can find when “Dollars and Dentists” is airing on your local PBS station here.

    Another Example of the Disgrace and Incestuous Fluoridation Dictatorship:-
    Australian Fluoridation Dictatorship/Fraud
    The ADA asked for $200,000 and received $220,000 from Bligh’s Health Minister, Stephen Robertson to promote ‘fluoridation’ and their pals at the AMA sent a letter to Dr. Jeannette young, Chief Health Officer Queensland Health extract from FOI :-

    “The AMA believes the ‘strategic approach’ referred to in your letter must be for Government to mandate water fluoridation throughout the State.  The approach to encourage individual councils to adopt fluoridation of their own volition has failed.”

    These letters from ADA and AMA form part of this Report and can be accessed on the link

    Click to access report-water-fluoridation-pollution-must-end-diane-drayton-buckland-independent-researcher-14th-january-2013.pdf

    referred to page 88/89.

    This is shocking but typical of the dirty dealings in a dirty rotten business. Some view this allegedly, as tantamount to ‘conspiring’ to ‘mandate’ ‘water fluoridation’ and ‘water fluoridation/pollution’ must be banned now and for all time.

    Dentists have Controlled CDC’s Water Fluoridation Stance for over 35 Years…
    Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that since the 1970’s, the dental health professionals in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have completely controlled the agency’s stance supporting water fluoridation.  No CDC toxicologists, minority health professionals, experts in diabetes, or others outside the Oral Health Division had any input into the agency’s position.
    The documents have drawn attention once again to the CDC’s and EPA’s fluoride safety statements, which appear at odds with current scientific knowledge.
    According to the Fluoride Action Network: “Law firms are now reviewing old and new documents believed to highlight a pattern of attempts to curtail discussions on fluoride toxicity and downplay the importance of professionals personally reviewing scientific reports about fluorides.”

    Extract: 2 Policy
. 2.1 Water Fluoridation The Australian Dental Association recommends :
    2.1.5 That Governments must adopt water fluoridation as part of Health Policy and actively promote its introduction, where it is feasible, as a public health measure.

    WHO GAVE THE ADA (& AMA) THE POLITICAL POWER TO CHRONICALLY POISON A NATION??  With decades of water fluoridation/pollution and we are in dental crisis, why do you think the ADA & their associates continue with this fraud and have so much political power and clout? Follow the Money.


    We The People, put these few named experts hereunder (there are so many more) who do have integrity, honor, decency and genuine care and concern for the health and safety of our entire population, pets, environment, waterways, rivers and oceans to wipe The Floor with Mr. Tinny – oh that should be Timmer and all those belonging to the Fluoridation Cartel:-

    These are some of the most highly respected:-
    Dennis Stevenson, a former Parliamentarian and Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly ‘Fluoridation Inquiry’ (1989-91). The majority of inquiry members would not report the scientific, medical, dental and court evidence received in worldwide submissions proving that fluoridation causes disease, deaths, tooth decay and is useless and environmentally destructive. Dennis put this evidence in a 177 page Dissenting Report, part of this major government report, but longer than the 131 page section which attempted to suppress the evidence.

    For over 100 years, science and medicine have understood the poisonous nature of fluoride. In the 1930’s and 40’s, giant US companies, e.g. ALCOA, were sued for millions of dollars due to toxic fluoride waste escaping from factory smokestacks killing crops and livestock. ALCOA’s owners (Mellon) figured that if people could be persuaded fluoride isn’t poisonous but is good for teeth, profits could be protected. So, to introduce water fluoridation, they hired the brilliant ‘father of propaganda’ Edward L. Bernays. Joined later by other fluoride polluting industries (e.g. nuclear) and the multi-billion dollar sugar, toothpaste, confectionary and soft drink industries, they became strong financial supporters of dental associations that promoted fluoridation. One such support group, the Dental Health Education & Research Foundation (DHERF) was founded in Australia in 1962. Its Governors, Members and donors comprised key representatives from Coca-Cola, CSR, Kelloggs, Colgate-Palmolive, Wrigleys, Arnotts, Scanlens, Cadbury Schweppes, etc. 
The following 12 points require no expertise in fluoride toxicity, just common sense:….

    “EPA has more than enough evidence to shut down fluoridation right now.” (Dr. Robert Carton)
     “Fluoridation,” says former EPA senior scientist Robert J. Carton, PhD, “presents unacceptable risks to public health, and the government cannot prove its claims of safety. When this man talks of fluoridation dangers, it is time to listen. I am pleased to present the following exclusive interview, in edited form, with this outspoken EPA dissenter.
    Dr. Carton has considerable experience as a risk assessment manager for the US Environmental Protection Agency, investigating asbestos, arsenic, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorobutadiene, and, of course, cancer incidence. Then, for ten years, Dr. Carton was with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland. He was Chief of Environmental Compliance, responsible for environmental compliance of the Army’s medical research with the National Environmental Policy Act. He also managed the preparation of environmental assessments of biological and chemical defense laboratories throughout the U.S.. Diametrically opposite of the raving, fictional general in Dr. Strangelove, Bob Carton is the real deal: he has a B.A. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Environmental Science, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Rutgers University.
    Dr. Carton in Fluoridegate   – The Film – USA EPA shredded evidence of harm and fired Dr. Carton attempting to silence him      
    From 1997 Auckland New Zealand, Chief Dental Officer Dr. John Colquhoun
    Concerning the oft-repeated observation that fluoridation has enjoyed overwhelming scientific endorsement, one should remember that even strongly supported theories have eventually been revised or replaced. From the outset, distinguished and reputable scientists opposed fluoridation, in spite of considerable intimidation and pressure [68, 69].

    Most of the world has rejected fluoridation. Only America where it originated, and countries under strong American influence persist in the practice. Denmark banned fluoridation when its National Agency for Environmental Protection, after consulting the widest possible range of scientific sources, pointed out that the long-term effects of low fluoride intakes on certain groups in the population (for example, persons with reduced kidney function), were insufficiently known [70]. Sweden also rejected fluoridation on the recommendation of a special Fluoride Commission, which included among its reasons that: “The combined and long-term environmental effects of fluoride are insufficiently known” [71]. Holland banned fluoridation after a group of medical practitioners presented evidence that it caused reversible neuromuscular and gastrointestinal harm to some individuals in the population [72].

    Environmental scientists, as well as many others, tend to doubt fluoridation. In the United States, scientists employed by the Environmental Protection Agency have publicly disavowed support for their employer’s pro-fluoridation policies [73]. The orthodox medical establishment, rather weak or even ignorant on environmental issues, persist in their support, as do most dentists, who tend to be almost fanatical about the subject. In English- speaking countries, unfortunately, the medical profession and its allied pharmaceutical lobby (the people who sell fluoride) seem to have more political influence than environmentalists.

    Learn more:

    “In point of fact, fluorine causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster, than any other chemical.” Dr. Dean Burk, PhD, former chief of cytochemistry at the U.S. National Cancer Institute for thirty years.


    To quote Dr. Phillip R.N. Sutton, Formerly Academic Associate and Senior Research Fellow, Department Oral Medicine and Surgery, Dental School, University of Melbourne, Author of The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation (1996):

    “We are all affected by this potentially dangerous fraud: The convincing of Governments and people generally that it is ethical, safe and beneficial to medicate, compulsorily, many millions of people throughout their lives with small but uncontrollable doses of a cumulative and very toxic substance because of the notion that it reduces the prevalence of dental decay. All this, although neither its safety nor any scientifically-proved reduction in the number of decayed teeth has been demonstrated.”

    GLEN S. R. WALKER, F.I.M.F., E.M.E.C.S., M.A.E.S., was Chairman of the Freedom From Fluoridation Federation of Australia, and of the Anti-Fluoridation Association of Victoria (now Australia).
    For thirty years Glen Walker was the inspiration behind The Australian Fluoridation News.
    An Australian Example of Fluoridation Dictatorship    

    2007   The Australian Fluoridation News – Is there a case of Government Fraud? 

    Australian Fluoridation News – Glen Walker – Extensive Information                         


    Fluoridegate  – The Film   USA EPA shredded evidence of harm and fired Chief Scientist/Toxicologist in an attempt to silence him

    Dr. William Marcus, Ph.D, Environmental Protection Agency Scientist, Food & Water Journal, Summer 1998″Fluoride is a carcinogen by any standard we use. I believe EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, & other effects.”,%201943,%20Editorial


    The Case Against Fluoride How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Power Politics That Keep It there by Paul Connett, Phd, James Beck, MD, PhD, H.S. Micklem, DPhil

    Quote from Albert W. Burgstahler, Phd., Professor Emeritus Of Chemistry, The University Of Kansas, Editor, Fluoride Research

    It is my hope that this book The Case Against Fluoride How Hazardous Waste Ended Up In Our Drinking Water And The Bad Science And Powerful Politics That Keep It There by Paul Connett, PhD, James Beck, MD, PhD, H.S. Micklem, DPhil, will enable good science to prevail over dogma on this issue. This is important not only to end a significant health threat to fluoridated populations but also because it is critical for a civil society to be informed by honest science. This change can occur only if enough people – especially new generations of scientists, doctors and dentists – want it to happen.


    The only answer EVER was to provide access to affordable dental health care services for all the population, not the disposal of hazardous waste pollutants and co-contaminants into our drinking water supplies and hence also the contamination of our food chain and using the populations’ kidneys as hazardous waste disposal/filtration units.  Stop this chronic poisoning of the population, pets and environment immediately.

    This is absolutely obscene that The Fluoridation Fraud has been allowed to continue by successive State and Federal Governments.
    End the Fluoridation Fraud/Fluoridation Dictatorship now and ban water fluoridation urgently and  irrevocably for all time.

  6. FANTASTIC WORK! ALL people with ‘credentials’ cannot ‘rest’ on their bits of paper. They must continually be held to account. This ‘John Timmer’ is a complete ass. He must now, prove he can proved a rebuttal worthy of his remaining credible to his ‘credentials’. Shame on him.

  7. Pingback: Trimming John Timmer | Australian Safe Water Letter Archive (ASWLA)

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