Editorial board: In defense of pro-fluoridation extremism

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The latest round of pro-fluoridation garbage: http://trib.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-board-in-defense-of-fluoridation/article_7b6ee68c-5272-5e10-aa80-14979bc98280.html

Let’s take a closer look, shall we…

When an idea earns acclaim as one of the 10 greatest achievements of its time and is subsequently endorsed by legions of professionals and confirmed by one study after another, the general public can scarcely contain its enthusiasm for said idea, right?

“Endorsements do not represent scientific evidence. Many of those promoting fluoridation rely heavily on a list of endorsements. However, the U.S. PHS first endorsed fluoridation in 1950, before one single trial had been completed and before any significant health studies had been published. Many other endorsements swiftly followed with little evidence of any scientific rational for doing so. The continued use of these endorsements has more to do with political science than medical science” (1). As for the studies supposedly supporting fluoridation, we only need to take into consideration the conclusions of the York Review to see that this notion is severely flawed. The Review’s authors categorically stated, “We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide” (2).

Well, no, apparently not. The city of Sheridan’s attempt to fluoridate the municipal water supply is being stonewalled by Clean Water Sheridan, a determined group of holdouts who base their claim on a vote held more than half a century ago.

Clean Water Sheridan is certainly not alone. They are joined by most of the Western world (3) and many other communities in the US (4). Hence, many of the great cities of the world do not fluoridate their drinking water (5).

It pains us to have to rebut the utter fiction that Clean Water Sheridan espouses. Because we must, however, we will start with the notion that fluoride poisons drinking water. Then we will address the specific case of Sheridan.

You may think you are rebutting the claims, but you are doing a very poor job so far.

The very name of the group insinuates that adding fluoride makes water unclean, which is an absolutely baseless assertion. This renewed push for fluoridation in Sheridan reopens the annals of Cold War history and hysteria. In the decades since the absurd alarmism of the Red Scare and the John Birch Society, the anti-fluoride conspiracies have become no less outlandish.

There is certainly nothing “clean” about the chemicals used to fluoridate water (6), and as for the history of hysteria from non-credible whackos, this may be true of small segments, but it is only dug up when pro-fluoridationists cannot counter the arguments presented by the growing movement of well-informed citizens and professionals against fluoridation (7) (8). In fact, some of the earliest opponents of fluoridation were highly credible biochemists (9), and for very good reasons that are becoming more evident over time (10) (11).

In certain quarters, fluoridation is viewed with deep-rooted suspicion. It is even paired with the similarly disproved allegations of “chemtrails” to feed the fantasy that the government is deviously plotting to poison the citizenry.

It is common for the extremists of the pro-fluoridation movement to associate informed fluoride opposition with conspiracy theories, so they don’t have to properly address the key arguments against fluoridation (12).

We could understand the susceptibility to such quackery if we lived in an unscientific society with no understanding of the realities of public health. But in a country that has an unmatched infrastructure for providing sound medical information from coast to coast, fluoridation should need no defender. Its benefits ought to speak for themselves.

Perhaps the benefits should speak for themselves, if we all lived in the fantasy world of pro-fluoridation whackoism – but in reality – the evidence of “benefit” is shoddy at best (13) (14) (15).

Fluoride is an ion of fluorine. In its elemental form, fluorine is indeed highly toxic. Soluble fluorides have some toxicity as well. Yet in appropriate doses, fluoride strengthens teeth and wards off tooth decay in human beings. That’s why fluoride is added to toothpaste.

Fluoride added to toothpaste is applied topically and then discarded, not swallowed, as happens when fluoride is added to drinking water. Pro-fluoridation extremists take great pleasure from confusing the issues of topical vs systemic fluoride (16) (17).

The widespread introduction of fluoridated water beginning in the late 1940s is now hailed as one of the 10 greatest health achievements of the 20th century.

“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”. 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” (18). It is always comical when this “10 greatest” crap (19) is extracted from the intellectual fluoridation sludge by butt-sniffing reporters and editors, desperate to appease their fluoridation puppet masters.

Among the great contradictions in medicine is the fact that a substance can be both poisonous and beneficial. Some toxins that are potent enough to kill are also potent enough to heal. The difference is in the dosage. When administered by qualified professionals, the proper dose of an otherwise terrible poison can seemingly work miracles.

This is true. Take Warfarin for example (20). However, when fluoride chemicals are added to drinking water to treat the human body, they are not being administered and overseen by qualified medical professionals, and no one is controlling the direct dose via drinking water (21), nor the total daily exposure (22) (23).

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the world, and it can prove a major hindrance to childhood development. Youngsters who spend schooldays suffering through the pain of cavities and dental abscesses are hardly in optimal physical condition to learn and succeed in the classroom. For a minuscule cost, fluoridation offers families of all social and economic circumstances the gift of healthy teeth.

Actually, “the evidence about reducing inequalities in dental health [is] of poor quality, contradictory and unreliable” (24).

Sheridan started fluoridating its water in 1950, making it one of the first cities in the country to do so. But in 1953, a referendum was held, and voters said no to fluoridation by a ratio of almost 3-to-1, to the detriment of their own teeth. After abandoning its fluoridation program following that election, Sheridan now wants to revive it.

Food for thought: “Sweden rejected fluoridation in the 1970s… Our children have not suffered greater tooth decay, as World Health Organization figures attest, and in turn our citizens have not borne the other hazards fluoride may cause” (25).

The city says the 1953 ballot measure was merely an advisory vote that did not obligate Sheridan to end fluoridation. Clean Water Sheridan doesn’t see it that way. Even if that position has merit, we think that an election result from the time of the Eisenhower administration has been rendered obsolete. The voters in that distant election were the voice of 1953 Sheridan, not 2014 Sheridan. Times and circumstances have changed.

Yes, that’s correct. We now have the benefit of hindsight to put the fluoridation fraud in its proper historical context (26).

Clean Water Sheridan has dropped its plans to sue, opting for a signature drive instead. “We’re treading water right now,” group member Erin Adams said. What an apt choice of expressions. We hope this idea is sunk, never to resurface again.

In your dreams! (27) (28).

Author: AFA Mildura

Administrator, Anti-Fluoridation Association of Mildura

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