Fluoride a wolf in sheep’s clothing

This week Byron Shire’s deputy mayor Cr Diane Woods will be preparing a report to revisit that old skeleton in the closet: water fluoridation. According to the Sydney Morning Herald (September 5) Cr Woods would like to consult pro-fluoride ‘experts’ who are ‘more than willing’ to work with her as she feels that Council’s decision to reject fluoridation was biased.

I would like the people of Byron Shire to read one very important essay from Dr Paul Connett, professor of chemistry, a leading world expert on the subject of fluoridation. The entire writing can be found in the link provided below.  Quote is as follows:

‘When it comes to controversies surrounding toxic chemicals, invested [sic] interests traditionally do their very best to discount animal studies and quibble with epidemiological findings. In the past, political pressures have led government agencies to drag their feet on regulating asbestos, benzene, DDT, PCBs, tetraethyl lead, tobacco and dioxins. With fluoridation we have had a 50-year delay.

‘Unfortunately, because government officials have put so much of their credibility on the line defending fluoridation, and because of the huge liabilities waiting in the wings if they admit that fluoridation has caused an increase in hip fracture, arthritis, bone cancer, brain disorders or thyroid problems, it will be very difficult for them to speak honestly and openly about the issue. But they must, not only to protect millions of people from unnecessary harm, but to protect the notion that, at its core, public health policy must be based on sound science not political pressure. They have a tool with which to do this: it’s called the precautionary principle. Simply put, this says: if in doubt leave it out. This is what most European countries have done and their children’s teeth have not suffered, while their public’s trust has been strengthened.

‘It is like a question from a Kafka play. Just how much doubt is needed on just one of the health concerns identified above to override a benefit, which, when quantified in the largest survey ever conducted in the US, amounts to less than one tooth surface (out of 128) in a child’s mouth?

‘For those who would call for further studies, we say fine. Take the fluoride out of the water first and then conduct all the studies you want. This folly must end without further delay.’

The rest of the essay is equally informative referenced and well grounded in medicine and science.

Here in Australia we are a portion of less than four per cent of the world to fluoridate its communities. The World Health Organization has released data on dental research done around the world and found little to no difference in young people’s teeth from non-fluoridated countries compared with fluoridated countries, yet here in Australia the pro parties are saying there are significant differences.

Most countries can’t justify mass medication as it goes against human rights. Most countries simply don’t buy the notion that swallowing fluoride is beneficial.

Proponents of fluoride in Australia claim this will save people money on dentistry, but what is the real cost we are paying to have this toxic waste distributed into out domestic waterways, and who are we paying to do so? What is the long-term environmental impact of putting these elements into the water?  I am not convinced, along with thousands of anti-fluoride people, that these questions can and have been answered.

If the government is really concerned about our children’s teeth then where are the dental nurses visiting schools? It must be costing a fortune to truck and distribute this stuff around the nation.

No, something here is not right; I personally don’t want to be medicated for a condition I don’t even have.  Say goodbye to your fresh organic produce from our much-loved farmers markets. If fluoride goes in we will be drinking, eating and bathing in the watered-down waste of the super-phosphate and aluminium industries – which is ironic as that is precisely the product that organic growers and producers (which are plentiful in our region) are avoiding. Once it goes in it gets into everything, our bodies, food our produce, skin, waterways soils etc.

There are hundreds of scientific reviews worldwide highlighting the dangers of fluoridation, yet in Australia we look to corporate organisations that dismiss these studies and keep telling us it’s some kind of oral-health elixir!

It’s like saying Nature got it wrong and we have come up with the solution. Anti-fluoride advocates have worked unpaid and long and hard across Australia since it was first introduced to Tasmania in the 1950s. We have been subject to ridicule and ignored. The history of fluoridation has been shadowy from the start. I believe we have some valid reasons to be very concerned by this practice of forced medication.

Professor Paul Connet offers 50 reasons in his essay. On this webpage he also cites reasons why most countries find it inappropriate to force-medicate their citizens.


Matthew Sansom, Byron Bay

8 responses to “Fluoride a wolf in sheep’s clothing”

  1. Sol Ibrahim says:

    Visit the St Lawrence University website and you will read that it is ranked as a ‘liberal arts college’, and is described as an “A-plus School for B Students.” – Of the few chemistry faculty staff, Dr Paul Connett is not listed. Rather than quoting the claims of one academic who’s qualifications and area of expertise are not known, I suggest going to the World Health Organisation, or published works from prestigious medical journals and research Universities.

    • richard whitling says:

      Good one Sol. Pathetic effort at web searching. Apparently Professor Connett retired in 2006 after 23 years at St Lawrence Uni specialising in chemistry and toxicology. But you would dismiss him as “unknown”. Try your search again Sol and please be better informed when the debate arises at council again.

    • Ailsa Boyden says:

      Dr Paul Connett is an Emeritus Professor at the St Lawrence University, Canton, New York. In other words, he has retired; hence the reason he won’t be listed as a current staff member.

  2. Bulldog says:

    Yes Yes Yes, Well it would appear that when Sol & Vince Kean & I shouldn’t forget Jon get together in columns they become masters of the universe all knowing & all ex school teachers just so right to tell you how to raise your child, doesn’t matter about the long term effects of fluoridation, Why don’t they open their eyes & look at how many european countries DON’T fluoridate their drinking water & why & then come back & tell us why we should fluoridate ours,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  3. Veronica Guy says:

    Matthew – you quote extensively from Connett. My brother debated him by proxy in 2011 and gave a good account of the reasons that fluoride needs to be added to community reticulated water supplies.

    Connett is a lecture circuit whore. His career in retirement is running the Fluoride Action Network as CEO, and touring the world giving diatribes against the fluoridation establishment to anyone who will listen. He has perfected an elegant mixture of eloquence and effrontery, and the anti-fluoride lobby and alternative woo wooers love him because he is able to cast a veneer of scientific respectability over their ravings (you know, good cop, bad cop…).

    Connett’s name pops up on the internet because he tours the world – who pays him? He is retired after all; academic pensions are not grand; my father’s certainly wasn’t and he was Dean of Science. It doesn’t make Connett eminently respectable. He is only an emeritus professor (that means retired with respect) and a bit of a scientific fringe dweller really.

    As Orac says in Scienceblogs, his pseudoscience Spider senses started tingling when he looked at Connett’s web page. See Scienceblogs here if you don’t know it:

    It is not that Connett is an ‘unknown’; he is known throughout the real world as a poseur. Carl Sagan was referring to people like Connett when he wrote about about honing your Baloney Detection Kit in The Demon Haunted World.

    So please, Matthew don’t quote charlatans as though they are saints. They aren’t. They are usually self-promoters.

    You say – ‘There are hundreds of scientific reviews worldwide highlighting the dangers of fluoridation’. Really? I don’t think so. There is quasi-science and there is science. I know my choice of literature.

    You also say that ‘It’s like saying Nature got it wrong and we have come up with the solution.’ Maybe you should look at and quantify the first world average diet before you make such a strange statement. And learn a bit about evolution and genetics at the same time. Nothing is ever wrong; our interpretation makes it so.

    In your final paragraph you say ‘Professor Paul Connet offers 50 reasons in his essay. On this webpage he also cites reasons why most countries find it inappropriate to force-medicate their citizens.’

    You neglect to add that of European countries that have discontinued fluoridation, most have have opted for fluoridated salt as an alternative vehicle, and of course you can’t double up with both exposures – that would be an invitation for dental fluorosis. Other countries, particularly in Eastern Europe, don’t use either fluoridate salt or water, but have comprehensive dental health schemes in which fluoride is applied directly to the teeth by government dentists in the form of fluoride varnishes and gels (it’s been described as a form of dentist welfare). Remember that tax regimes in Europe are very high. Socialised medicine is paid for with these high taxes. Australia likes to think it is taxed at as low as possible a rate. It will probably not increase taxes to pay for socialised medicine and dentistry – electorally unpopular. So the best alternative is what is proposed by the Public Health authorities.

    Fairness in reporting is essential if there is no hidden agenda to propound. The anti-fluoride lobby seems to have this agenda that does nothing to include the community. What it does is promote anti-community in favour of individualism and that can well be to the detriment of community health.

    There are times when it is appropriate to rail against authority and there are times when one needs to develop a sense of proportion.

    • richard whitling says:

      Let me get this straight, Veronica – One cannot be an expert if one gives seminars/information that you disagree with (these people must be either quasi-scientific, a scientific fringe-dweller, a charlatan, a lecture whore, or a poseur). Further one must inform about their financial status or their view must be discounted. Hence, the only view left is your one side to the issue, Veronica (how convenient). Oh, and of course, anyone who disagrees with you must be in favour of individualism to the detriment of the community.

    • Ailsa Boyden says:

      Where did your brother debate Dr Connett by ‘proxy’? Was it as a faceless person online? Or in some properly moderated public arena?

  4. Matthew Sansom says:

    It all gets a little unbelievable for many when It’s revealed that Fluoride comes as a waste product from big industries and is a highly corrosive active toxin with Co-contaminants (yes I hear too much of anything can kill you).
    It’s a pity this is the origin of the product, as you may understand breeds concern. Most people would be horrified to know it is not pharmaceutical grade medicine. And may expert scientists have been cast to the fringe for speaking out against it.
    Nobody has any major concern over anything else being added to water and there is quite a list, softners, clarifying agents anti-bacterial etc. But when it comes to Fluoride we find an enormous debate.

    According to ( 41% of American children now have dental Fluorosis. Veneers and dental procedures to remedy this are costing families thousands, most can’t afford.

    ‘Those opposed to water fluoridation categorically accept people’s rights to treat their children’s teeth with fluoride. It is available in 99% of all toothpastes and can also be applied as a gel or varnish by a dentist. What we object to is this mass medical treatment of everybody, regardless of the dosage, choice or need. There is ample evidence both clinical and anecdotal that fluoride has the capacity to be very harmful, especially to those who are particularly sensitive to it. Fluorine is the single most reactive element in the Periodic Table.
    Fluoride accumulates in the bones and tissues, only 50% being excreted. Patients with kidney disease are at much greater risk of fluoride poisoning because of the reduced capacity of their kidneys to excrete fluoride. Those with hyperthyroidism are similarly blighted as fluoride displaces iodine. We have people who must avoid all exposure to fluoride as it makes them painfully ill. When they avoid it by installing rainwater tanks or moving out of a fluoridated environment, they are fine.
    Water fluoridation has been rejected by 97% of the population of Europe on various grounds, especially that of the right of people to choose their medical treatment, ‘informed consent’. Fluoride is a medical treatment, and the EU has ruled that fluoride is a drug. Other reasons to reject this ‘one size fits all’ treatment is that it is costly, wasteful (less than 1.0% is actually drunk), ineffective (statistics show that dental disease is diminishing just as fast in fluoridated as in non-fluoridated areas) and unethical.
    There is a fluoride conspiracy. However it is one conducted by some misguided dentists and state health departments (with much greater access to the media than their opponents) to force their wishes on others, despite the evidence that it may be harmful.’

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