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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Mungo: right on politics, wrong on fluoride

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He may know his politics, but he hasn’t looked closely at the science of fluoridated water. There is virtually no science behind it, and what there is doesn’t support the myth that fluoride is good for us.

I may not know politics like Mungo, but as a Boston-trained physician, specialising in preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins, with six years as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service, the founder of the first wellness centre in the US (1975), and published in the American Journal of Public Health, The New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, I believe I can assess the science (or lack thereof) more accurately than Mungo has.

Fluoridation was actually grandfathered during the same era that doctors were advertising Camels, irradiating children’s thymuses with X-rays, and lobotomising those with mental illness.

No hard research was ever done and I challenge him to show me any science behind his statement, ‘the evidence was, after all, overwhelming: huge improvements in children’s teeth at a minimal cost with negligible, if not non-existent, side effects’. The improvements in children’s teeth were across the board in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

His most grievous error is that he, like so many others, have it backwards. The burden of proof of the effectiveness of any intervention lies with its proponents. This has never been accomplished with fluoridated water.

What’s backwards is that untainted-water proponents are not required to prove that it’s dangerous (although this is being done because of the negligence of the authorities pushing fluoride).

Evidence of the dodgy ‘science’:

1. NSW Health’s November 2013 report, distributed to Council last month, asks on page 11: ‘Do randomised controlled trials support the fluoridation of the water supply? A: … Although there are no randomised controlled trials of fluoridation of the water supply.’

They then proceed to compare it to topical fluoride treatments. This comparison is not scientifically sound. Topical treatment does not begin to compare to systemic dosing via water – they are two entirely different mechanisms. By their own admission, there is no science to show fluoridated water’s effectiveness.

2. 97 per cent of western Europe does not fluoridate and their decay rates are comparable to fluoridated countries.

3. A 2012 Harvard University meta-analysis of about two dozen studies in a peer-reviewed US federal journal (Environmental Health Perspective) showed that fluoride exposure at only modestly raised levels significantly decreases the IQ of the children exposed to it.

4. Studies to prove fluoride is not harmful are prohibitively expensive because controlling for all the variables is close to impossible. That’s why there are none to speak of. That, coupled with the absence of solid evidence that fluoride is even effective, should put the issue to rest, except that it seems to threaten people’s worldview that our government is actually looking out for our best interests. Hence the necessity for people to stand up for themselves against the onslaught of vested interests in the status quo.

America, the most fluoride-fooled country, is waking up to the illusion. The largest city in Oregon voted to end fluoridation last July, with many other smaller cities doing the same, including Wichita.

Let’s get rational and focus on the real issues – excessive sugar in children’s diets, inadequate affordable dental care, and poor dental hygiene. Medicating a population cannot replace personal responsibility.

John W Travis, Byron Bay, Adjunct Professor, Wellness Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne

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