For those new to this debate over the fluoridation of water supplies (mandatory or otherwise), it may surprise you to learn that most of the so-called ‘conspiracy theory’ talk comes from the pro-fluoridation lobby, not anti-fluoridation campaigners concerned with presenting the ethical and scientific case against fluoridation.
In fact, the scientific opponents of fluoridation repeatedly reject conspiracy theories regarding the practice (e.g. Connett, Beck & Micklem 2010, p. 85, p. 256), instead choosing to focus their energy on discussing the primary literature and issues such as informed consent to treatment.
However, this does not stop proponents of fluoridation lumping all opponents into the conspiracy theorist category. Sure, there are still plenty of whackos out there who insist on peddling the baseless ‘Nazi’ argument and so forth, but the real question is why do those who promote fluoridation avoid debates (apart from some rare exceptions) with the scientific opponents fluoridation, choosing instead to default to the general conspiracy smear?
The main answer is, this is the easiest option for proponents who cannot answer the tough questions, although the simplistic default conspiracy smear is becoming laughable to increasingly informed members of the public who – like the scientific opponents of fluoridation – refuse to lower themselves to baseless conspiracy theorising.
One favourite tactic of the pro-fluoridation lobby and their media lackeys is to deliberately mix fact with conspiracy, hoping that the public will automatically accept the ‘conspiracy’ label without further investigation. Here is a recent example of this tactic, in relation to fluoridation chemicals:
“Public water fluoridation is really just a secret way for chemical companies to dump the dangerous byproducts of phosphate mines into the environment” (Richmond 2014).
Notice how the conspiracy connotation (see original article) has been deliberately inserted to lull the reader into believing that anyone claiming that phosphate byproducts are being added to water supplies, must be some kind of nut job? What are the plain facts, without the connotation?:
– Are phosphate industry byproducts dangerous to the environment? Yes, that’s why there are restrictions on industry, obliging them to capture these dangerous byproducts before they enter the environment and cause damage.
– Are these byproducts then used to fluoridate public water supplies? Yes, they are. Not even the chemical companies themselves deny this fact, as extensively documented here. For example, this is what one Australian producer of fluoridation chemicals openly states on its own website: “Fluorosilicic acid is a co-product of CSBP’s superphosphate manufacturing process. Fluorosilicic acid is used to fluoridate drinking water” (CSBP n.d.). However, if an anti-fluoridation campaigner were to state this as a fact in a public arena, they would automatically be labeled a ‘conspiracy theorist.’
– Is it financially advantageous for these companies to sell their byproducts to water suppliers to fluoridate public water supplies? Well of course it is. Just like any company in a market capitalist system, profits are legally and openly accrued via the sale of a product to a consumer of that product. In this case, the product(s) are fluoridation chemicals.
So, where is the conspiracy theory? These are just plain facts. However, with the media’s crude preemptive conspiracy theory association with these facts, the proverbial water is quite cunningly being muddied to favour the proponents of fluoridation.
What can you do about all this?
Keep calmly and rationally presenting the scientific and ethical case against fluoridation, and stay away from actual conspiracy theorising (unless you have solid evidence for a genuine conspiracy taking place). Those whom you are trying to convince to support your case will soon realise that you are not the one constantly bringing ‘conspiracies’ into the debate, but that your pro-fluoridation detractors are. It will quickly be noticed that the proponents of fluoridation are doing so because they are unable to defeat your case in any comprehensive, rational manner, and instead are retreating to childish attacks. This can only work, over time, in your favour.