FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK
FAN Bulletin 1022: Quotes of the year: a request
December 21, 2008
QUOTES OF THE YEAR.
Here is a fun request. What is your favorite (i.e. most memorable) quote of the year: either from an opponent of fluoridation or a proponent? My favorite comes from Dr. Peter Cooney, the Chief Dental officer of Canada, who said in Dryden, Ontario on April 1, 2008:
"I have walked around your town today, and I didn't see anyone
growing horns and you have been fluoridated for years"
As you know I was very involved with the "consultation process" on the proposal to fluoridate Southampton and some adjacent towns in Hampshire, UK. That included participation in three public "Question Times" on Oct 20, Nov 18 and Dec 3. One of the ironies of this whole process is that it was videotaped and the organizers said several times that these videos were going to be used to document all the questions raised by the public, but they never indicated that they would use the videos to review the panelists' answers! Am I being too sensitive here?
I also slogged away for 4 solid days to get in a written submission against fluoridation. The document is 70 pages long and available at http://fluoridealert.org/connett.sha.2008.pdf. I have no illusions that this effort will make much of a dent in the Strategic Health Authority's determination to fluoridate Southampton. They made this pretty clear in the atrocious glossy propaganda they distributed - at taxpayers' expense - and a postcard "Healthier teeth on tap" that was mailed to everyone. On this postcard citizens were asked to put their name to this statement: "I support fluoridation as a safe and effective method of reducing high levels of dental decay for children and adults." No alternative statement was offered - just a place for other comments at the bottom of the card. Some citizens might have spotted that this option was available to record a no vote, but many would not have realized that this was an option. Many would have sent in a "yes" vote, because of the card's superficial look of authority and many who might have sent in a "no" vote, if the opportunity to do so was equally available, would not have done so based on this postcard. Clever. This is British taxpayers' money at work. Fair play?
Any way so that my effort was not a complete and utter waste of time I am hoping that my submission will be helpful to citizens not only in Southampton as they fight politically to overturn a "done deal" but citizens elsewhere in other ways. One way is to offer to you a list of questions which could be used in any jurisdiction proposing fluoridation (or with modification in a community which is reconsidering an existing policy, which many are doing). I have printed out this list of questions below.
As of 3 pm today, we have raised $2515 towards our Super Angel's matching challenge to raise $2000 by Tuesday Dec 23. So we did it, with two days to spare! Thank you everybody. And a huge thank you again to our second super angel: people just love to see their donations doubled like this.
Our current total (which includes our Super Angel's $2000) is $19,154 from 132 donors. We are a long way from our goal of $80,000 by midnight Dec 31, but we still have 10 days to go. Realistically we will probably have to settle for half this, and hope that we can make up the rest with donations throughout the year. Or fundraising for special projects.
Making a secure tax-deductible donation online is very easy and quick to do. Simply click here. If you prefer, you can send a check, in US$, payable to FAN to: Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton NY 13617.
Key Questions for cross-examining promoters of fluoridation
1) How convincing is the evidence that this community is confronted with a dental crisis which would warrant this kind of intervention?
2) How convincing is the evidence that swallowing fluoride reduces dental decay?
3) Is swallowing fluoride the best way of protecting the tooth enamel? Are there more appropriate delivery systems?
4) Have other communities demonstrated alternative methods of fighting tooth decay which do not involve forcing a practice on people who may not want it?
5) Are children in this community already exceeding the "optimal dose" of fluoride as hypothesized by early promoters of fluoridation? This can be gauged by current dental fluorosis incidence. If over 10% of children have dental fluorosis, then by the promoters' own hypothesis the community is already getting enough fluoride from other sources.
6) If ingested fluoride is necessary to protect children's teeth can you explain why it is that the level of fluoride is so low in mothers' milk (0.004 ppm)? Did evolution screw up on the infant's nutritional requirements?
7) What is the evidence that has convinced you that this program can be applied without causing any damage to the health of citizens, especially infants and young children, other than an increase in the incidence of dental fluorosis?
8) What is the evidence that has convinced you that a bottle fed infant will suffer no damage to its growing tissues when exposed to fluids containing fluoride at levels 250 times higher than the level in mothers milk (1 ppm versus 0.004 ppm)?
9) What is the evidence that has convinced you that fluoride can damage the growing tooth cells (by some systemic mechanism) without damaging any other tissue in the child's developing body?
10) What is the evidence that has convinced you that no one in the community is particularly sensitive or vulnerable to fluoride's known toxic effects?
11) Do you dispute the fact that fluoride - given in a sufficient dose - can cause a whole range of health effects from the very mild to the very serious? Do you dispute the fact that this has been demonstrated in hundreds of studies from India, China and other countries and communities which are exposed to high levels of natural fluoride in their water?
12) Please present a discussion of what is meant by "Margin of safety" for a toxic substance or "therapeutic index" for a pharmaceutical substance.
13) In your view is there an adequate margin of safety between the doses or levels reported to cause adverse effects in the National Research Council (NRC, 2006) report, "Fluoride in Drinking Water" and the doses that people are likely to receive drinking fluoridated water (together with fluoride from other sources like dental products, pesticides etc) sufficient to protect everyone in your community?
14) There have now been 23 studies from 4 different countries (Iran, India, Mexico and China) which demonstrate a possible linkage between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ in children. What evidence has convinced you that all 23 studies can be safely ignored.
15) What peer-reviewed and PRIMARY published studies can you cite which have examined a possible relationship between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ in fluoridated communities and convinced you that this is not a problem?
16) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have examined a possible relationship between fluoride exposure and lowered thyroid function (including sub-clinical hypothyroidism) in fluoridated communities and convinced you that this is not a problem?
17) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have compared the levels of fluoride in the pineal glands of people living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities and convinced you that this is not a problem?
18) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have examined a possible relationship between a) fluoride exposure and melatonin levels and b) fluoride exposure and an earlier onset of puberty among children in fluoridated communities and and convinced you that this is not a problem?
19) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have examined a possible relationship between fluoride exposure and bone fractures in children in fluoridated communities and convinced you that this is not a problem?
20) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have examined a possible relationship between fluoride exposure and arthritis in fluoridated communities and convinced you that this is not a problem?
21) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which has convinced you that lifelong consumption of fluoridated water along with other sources of fluoride will not weaken the bones of the elderly and cause an increased rate of hip fractures, in fluoridated communities?
22) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have examined a possible relationship between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma in fluoridated communities, and convinced you that this is not a problem?
23) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have used the severity of dental fluorisis as a biomarker for epidemiological studies on children in fluoridated communities?
24) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have surveyed the population in the UK or any other fluoridated country, in a comprehensive fashion for the level of fluoride in their bones as a function of age, fluoridation status and other variables?
25) What peer-reviewed and published PRIMARY studies can you cite which have surveyed the population in any other fluoridated country, in a comprehensive fashion for the level of fluoride in their urine, as a function of age, diet, fluoridation status and other variables?
26) Are you satisfied that over the 60 year history of fluoridation that sufficient effort has been made by the governments, which promote this practice, to investigate possible health effects (in tissues other than the teeth) in fluoridated communities?
27) Are any health studies being planned for the communities to be fluoridated?
28) Will any compensation be given to children who develop very mild, mild, moderate or severe dental fluorosis in fluoridated communities? Will they be provided with free treatment for these conditions if desired?
29) If citizens complain of reversible symptoms, which elsewhere have been identified as being caused by fluoride (i.e. they cease when the source of fluoride is removed), will any steps be taken to investigate the matter scientifically?
30) Please discuss what you understand by the Precautionary Principle. Do you believe that in the context of the current scientific uncertainties about fluoridation's effectiveness and safety, and the availability of alternatives, that fluoridation is consistent with the Precautionary Principle?
31) Normally governments only use their police power to enforce medication on people when they are dealing with a life threatening contagious disease. Do you believe that this is the situation which confronts this community with respect to current dental decay levels?
32) Bearing in mind your responses to all of the above, are you convinced that the evidence of benefit from this practice is so strong, and the evidence of harm so weak, that it merits the application of governmental police power to force this practice on your citizens regardless of their views on the matter?
33) Could you summarize the evidence that has convinced you that there are no extra problems associated with using hexafluorosilicic acid (an industrial waste product) as a fluoridating chemical as opposed to pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride?
34) If you are convinced that children's teeth in this community will benefit from ingesting fluoridated water please compare these two delivery systems: 1) adding contaminated hexafluorosilicic acid to the public water supply and 2) making fluoridated bottled water available in local supermarkets and chemists, and free for families of low income.
35) Are you prepared to do the whole community what an individual doctor is not allowed to do his or her individual patients: i.e. override the individual's right to informed consent to medication?