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UK Against Fluoridation

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Doug Cross response: Misrepresenting fluoridation in Parliament:

Misrepresenting fluoridation in Parliament:

Does Lord Prior's response to Earl Baldwin settle the question of Public Health England's reliability as a reliable source of science?

So – in response to Earl Balwin's challenge to the Written Answers provided by Earl Howe, Lord Prior of Brampton admits that they contained 'an error'. He now offers clarification of the misleading fluorosis issues contained in Earl Howe's Answer, but to do so relies on our old adversary, Public Health England, and its deplorable pseudoscientific Fluoridation Monitoring Report. So all is now clear and well, then
Emphatically not! I have written at length about that notorious pro-fluoridation propaganda, following considerable analysis of the data on which it relied. Focussing here simply on the fluorosis issue, here is what I recently published, in a peer-reviewed Journal, on precisely this issue. You will see that PHE deliberately misrepresented the research community's findings (and not solely those of McGrady et al) over how much young people are concerned over fluorosis. Perversely, it has adopted a much more obvious form of fluorosis (greater than TF 3) than is recognised by the strangely ignored York Review as the threshold for 'fluorosis of aesthetic concern', an issue that clearly irritated Earl Baldwin.
PHE simply manipulates public perceptions of the meaning of this study by blatant statistical fiddling of the figures. Their entire Report is riddled with what would, in less controversial circumstances, perhaps be regarded as errors. But here they are so pervasive and consistently biassed in favour of fluoridation that such misrepresentation must be regarded as deliberate, intended to deceive Councillors and others with little access to independent statistical expertise than that which it employs itself. (This is itself an issue that requires scrutiny.)
Such misrepresentation provides the dental profession with yet more spurious support for its enthusiasm for fluoridati 'cosmetic' treatment for which it has the lucrative monopoly. A recent assessment of what constitutes fraud, by the Association of Chief Police Officers, might be seen as having criminal implications for the profession and any, such as PHE, who might be regarded as accessories.
Below is an extract from my recent paper, 'An unhealthy obsession with fluoride.' that deals specifically with the misrepresentation of the importance of fluorosis to the public, so casually dismissed by PHE as described in the 'explanation' offered by Lord Prior. (All statements are fully referenced, and the sources can be found in my original article, in the copy posted on Researchgate)
Extracts from Cross D (2015) An unhealthy obsession with fluoride. Nanotechnology Perceptions 11: 169-185. November 2015.

13. Sweetening the pill: fluorosis makes your teeth look better!
The extent to which the condition (dental fluorosis) is evident is measured on the Thylstrup-Fejerskov Index (TFI), with a TFI of zero representing none and TFI 9 the worst. A number of authors have reported that children find the appearance of teeth with a fluorosis index of TF2 and greater increasingly unacceptable; this is what the York Review referred to as “dental fluorosis of aesthetic concern”. [ . . . ] Councils are becoming increasingly concerned at the risks of dental fluorosis caused by fluoridation, so [in its 2014 Review] PHE goes to extraordinary lengths to try to dismiss its significance. Ignoring all other sources including, notably, the York Review, it relies on a single study by McGrady et al. noting that “As fluorosis severity increases (TFI 2 or greater), the rating of images (and perhaps the level of acceptance) declines”. But in an attempt not merely to downplay the problem but to actually present this adverse effect as a preferred condition compared with normal teeth, PHE notes that “there was a trend for teeth with fluorosis to be ranked more favourably in the fluoridated community; for TF 1 and TF 2 this preference was significant (P < 0.001)”. Other authors have found to the contrary, but even if it were true this could reflect a raised level of tolerance to very low level fluorosis where it is more prevalent, through habituation.
But in misdirecting its readers, PHE selects a more extreme level of severity of fluorosis. In its 2014 publication it adopts a TFI of 4 (“mild to moderate” fluorosis) as the level at which it suggests may give rise to reasonable concern*, noting that in the McGrady study “the prevalence of TF scores greater than 3 was less than 1% in both areas” (present author’s emphasis). In fact, PHE also manipulates and miscalculates the original data (Table 4 of its 2012 report ) effectively concealing a tenfold greater prevalence of fluorosis of TFI>2 in fluoridated Newcastle-upon-Tyne than in unfluoridated Manchester. (* - my emphasis here)
15 Conclusions
The tactics employed to engineer consent to fluoridation are dependent on propaganda constructed from evidence obtained by selection bias and misrepresentation, and could be regarded as scientific fraud. But this raises the question of whether they might also constitute a more specific criminal act, that of obtaining financial advantage through deception.
A recent analysis of fraud within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), commissioned by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), seems to imply that it might. Adopting the victim-centric approach, it notes that “Fraud is the obtaining of financial advantage or causing of loss by implicit or explicit deception; it is the mechanism through which the fraudster gains an unlawful advantage or causes unlawful loss”. In including “causing of loss” as a consequence of fraud, this emphasises the need to protect the vulnerable victims of deceit, even if they do not experience a direct financial loss at the time of the fraudulent action. A lifetime’s treatment of dental fluorosis can cost a very substantial sum to a person afflicted by it.

Doug Cross


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