Catalyst (8 August 2013): Optimised Transcript

8 Comments

Original Transcript:

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3821248.htm

Optimised Transcript:

Ruben Meerman
This innocuous-looking glass of water has been hailed as one of the greatest health initiatives of the 20th century.

Dr Michael Foley
Everybody who has a tooth in their head will benefit from water fluoridation.

Dr Denis Ingham
It is very effective, and has been very effective in reducing tooth decay.

Journalist
These apples are being attacked by some of the best teeth in Australia.

NARRATION
Yass, in country New South Wales, was one of the first towns in Australia to fluoridate its water supply.

Journalist
It’s won wide notoriety for the pioneering part it’s played in fluoridation in Australia.

NARRATION
And now around 90% of us are covered. But, for decades, adding fluoride to the water was highly controversial. And in Queensland it still is.

Stephen Bennett
The amount of people with a passion for and against fluoride far outweighs anything outrageous a politician can do.

Ruben Meerman
We now have more than 50 years of research data on the subject. So what does the science say? Should we be adding fluoride to our water supplies?

NARRATION
In federated Australia, the decision to add fluoride to water is left to the States. I grew up in Queensland, here in Bundaberg. Dr Ingham was our family dentist.

Ruben Meerman
Dr Ingham!

Dr Denis Ingham
Ruben.

Ruben Meerman
Lovely to see you.

Dr Denis Ingham
And you.

Ruben Meerman
I’m here to see if you could check out my teeth, see how all the fillings are looking after all these years.

Dr Denis Ingham
Good.

NARRATION
Up until 2007, Townsville was the only place in all of Queensland that had fluoridated water. In other States, all major population areas were covered.

Dr Denis Ingham
You’ve got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight fillings there.

Ruben Meerman
That’s a lot.

Dr Denis Ingham
That’s a lot. Maybe in a fluoridated area, if you had fluoride in the water supply, your curious experience would have been lower.

Ruben Meerman
I might have been better off, you think, if I’d been in Townsville, perhaps?

Dr Denis Ingham
Uh… yes, for sure.

NARRATION
In a 1996 study, the teeth of children in fluoridated Townsville were compared with those in unfluoridated Brisbane, and the difference was clear.

Dr Michael Foley
On average, there was about 45% less decay in the Townsville children than what there was in the Brisbane children. There was a massive difference. If somebody could reduce heart disease or cancer or something like that by 45%, they’d get a Nobel Prize for it.

Dr Michael Foley
Let’s sit you back and I’ll have a quick look.

NARRATION
The evidence that fluoride improves dental health extends to adults too.

Dr Michael Foley
The National Survey of Adult Oral Health was done back in 2004, 2006. Adults in fluoridated areas had significantly better teeth than adults in non-fluoridated areas.

NARRATION
So it’s clear that water fluoridation works. But, how exactly? Teeth are the hardest substance in the body, primarily made up of a mineral called ‘hydroxylapatite’. Fluoride, either in water or toothpaste, gets absorbed into the tooth enamel and forms a new, stronger mineral called ‘fluorapatite’.

Dr Michael Foley
And that stronger mineral is then more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay. Remember Mrs Marsh used to talk about, ‘It gets in like liquid gets into this chalk’?

Mrs Marsh
It gets right into teeth, like this liquid gets into chalk.

Boy
To make teeth really tough.

Dr Michael Foley
Well, she was right. It strengthens the enamel, makes it much, much more resistant to acid. With fluoridated water, of course, you get both – you get the systemic benefit for little kiddies, and you get the much greater topical effect. You’re always getting a little bit of a top-up. It’s like a little fluoride treatment lots and lots of times during the day to make your teeth stronger.

NARRATION
Traditionally, the Queensland State Government has left the decision to add fluoride to local councils. This changed in 2008, when Anna Bligh’s government made fluoridation mandatory across the State. But, before it could be fully implemented, the newly elected Campbell Newman government overturned the legislation, handing the decision-making power back to the councils.

Dr Michael Foley
I’m not going to criticise the government, but the decision and the legislation was not based on the health of Queenslanders – and, as a health professional, that disturbs me.

NARRATION
Citing financial concerns along with community pressure, more than a dozen councils have pulled the plug on fluoridation.

Ruben Meerman
Including my home town of Bundaberg.

Mal Forman
When I was elected as mayor, I made a commitment to the public and my people that I would not support the fluoridation of our city. I’m not convinced that’s the way to go.

Stephen Bennett
We all know that there’s a few consistent things that came through. But overwhelmingly they did have the issue of fluoride being seen as a poison.

Merilyn Haines
This is a Schedule 6 poison. Uses – as an insecticide, particularly for roaches and ants.

NARRATION
Merilyn Haines is a member of the anti-fluoride lobby.

Merilyn Haines
They can use it either for killing insects or fluoridation of drinking water.

NARRATION
Talking to people on the streets of my home town, it’s clear the poison message has been very effective.

Ruben Meerman
What’s the scary thing about having it in the water, or what’s your concern?

Woman 1
It’s chemicals.

Woman 2
We don’t like it.

Man 1
It’s just a poison.

Woman 3
Fluoride’s good topically for your teeth, but ingested it’s actually a poison.

Ruben Meerman
Ah, you’re a New South Welshman.

Man 2
Damn right. It’s the best thing they’ve ever done.

Woman 4
‘Cause it’s a poisonous chemical, so I just don’t believe in it.

NARRATION
But toxicologist Michael Moore strongly disagrees with the line taken by the anti-fluoride lobby.

Professor Michael Moore
It’s really very emotive language that’s used. It goes back to one of the fundamental precepts of toxicology – the dose makes the poison. You take a lot of it, you get poisoned. If you take the right amount, it keeps you well. Have too little, you’ve got a problem.

NARRATION
So getting the dose right with water fluoridation is critical, just as it is when you treat water with chloride. But because fluoride is perceived only as a poison, people are concerned it only has adverse health effects.

Ruben Meerman
What are these risks they claim?

Dr Michael Foley
You name the disease, they claim it. I’ve seen diabetes, dementia, cancer, particularly osteosarcoma, kidney disease, IQ, different tumours

Man
Fluoride is not good for you.

Ruben Meerman
These health concerns are not new. So what is the latest science on the adverse health effects? Is there cause for concern?

NARRATION
In 2011, Harvard University researchers looked at the selected link between bone cancer and water fluoridation.

Professor Michael Moore
The Harvard study was an excellent one, trying to see whether there was any relationship between the presence of fluoride in bone next to an osteosarcoma and the development of the cancer, and they could find no association whatsoever. It was a very, very thorough review, large number of subjects, a highly credible bit of work.

NARRATION
In 2007, Australia’s top research body, the National Health and Medical Research Council, released a major report on water fluoridation.

Professor Michael Moore
They reviewed 5,500 papers, and, on the basis of the papers of the highest quality, concluded that there was no association between fluoridation and illness. When you’re looking at it from the position of a research scientist, it’s very hard to understand the objections that people place in the presence of fluoride in water supplies. There are so many studies saying that it’s safe when it’s used properly.

NARRATION
But that’s the problem. Local councillors usually aren’t scientists, and, by their own admission, don’t feel qualified to make these decisions.

Mal Forman
It’s not up to us to be doing and dealing with health issues because it’s not our department. And, being not a medical person or a scientist, we can only go on what people put on their labels and what people tell us, and go from there.

Dr Michael Foley
Just put a little bit of fluoride on a couple of those…

Dr Michael Foley
It’s like decisions on vaccinations or speed limits or bicycle helmets or smoking. Major health decisions like that are best made at State and Federal level.

NARRATION
And across most of the country, that’s the case – but not in Queensland.

Ruben Meerman
What do you think about fluoride in drinking water?

Man
Don’t need it.

Ruben Meerman
Ah! You don’t, do you?

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Author: AFA Mildura

Administrator, Anti-Fluoridation Association of Mildura

8 thoughts on “Catalyst (8 August 2013): Optimised Transcript

  1. Informed and aware people so sick of the corporate whores Mainstream Media who wouldn’t tell the truth about water fluoridation/pollution if their lives depended on it – well actually it does – the dangerously corrosive hazardous waste pollutants S6/S7 Corrosive 8 poisons and co-contaminants (known as water fluoridation) does cumulative harm to our health, our pets health and our environment.

    The slick users of propaganda from the Fluoridation Cartel wouldn’t know truth and integrity if it hit them between the eyes – these hazardous waste pollutants fluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides & co-contaminants are in the water supplies, hence contaminating our food chain and we have to bathe in it – it is the hazardous waste from phosphate fertilizer industries S6/S7 Corrosive 8 poisons. The ‘fluoride’ in toothpastes is S5 poison, (which S5 poison labels were deviously removed by Australian Government) so let these Fluoride Fanatics buy their own fluoridated toothpastes, fluoride treatments etc., and do not allow them to have the political power and control to dump this hazardous waste pollutants into our water supplies known as water fluoridation (hence contaminating our entire food chain also.)

    Australia wide in dental crisis after widespread fluoridation Australia wide for decades first commencing Beaconsfield Tasmania in 1953 and USA also in dental crisis after up to 67 years of water fluoridation/pollution first commencing Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1945 (also in dental crisis). It’s a no-brainer – dangerously corrosive hazardous waste pollutants & co-contaminants have no place being dumped in the peoples’ water supplies & hence also contaminating entire food chain. All State Gov’s. & Federal Gov. (& Councils) must cease water fluoridation (pollution) immediately & irrevocably.

    INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE IN SOCIETY Science Society Sustainability
    NO TO FLUORIDATION – 
DENTAL DISEASE INCREASES SIX‐FOLD BY FLUORIDATION http://www.i-sis.org.uk/NotoFluoridation.php

    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 of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc., from phosphate fertiliser industries (known as water fluoridation, plus also added is aluminium sulphate) into our drinking water supplies and hence also contaminating our food chain & using the populations’ kidneys as hazardous waste disposal/filtration units.

  2. Such a one-sided program targeting mainly Queenslanders who have rejected water fluoridation.
    Note the scientific facts of the pro-fluoride lobbyists, with us poor Queenslanders comparatively seen as poison paranoid ‘one-liners’.
    What the heck is Mrs Marsh doing portraying water fluoridation “like this liquid gets into chalk”. Gee, if it was real fluoride, the poor kid’d be having a bad case of fluorisis. Sh*t, if he swallowed the stuff …..D.O.A”.
    Very nasty business ABC!!!

  3. So much for the journalistic integrity at the ABC that we came to rely on. Catalyst has slipped. A lot. Say no more.

  4. Reblogged this on Australian Safe Water Letter Archive (ASWLA) and commented:
    The REBUTTAL the public have been waiting for – Click on all blue hyperlinks, read thoroughly.
    Then, please SHARE WIDELY (social media sites, email lists, etc).

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