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Re: Evidence & Ethics
CarryAnne – It is interesting that you did not explain why you misrepresented your “adjusted citation” I highlighted, but that is typical of the way anti-science activists “bend” the evidence in an attempt to support their inflexible beliefs.
Those adjustments and misrepresentation of the actual scientific evidence is the reason the alleged “scientific citations” in your “2018 open letter to professionals, politiicans and public” have not been able to convince nearly all members of the scientific and health communities that anti-science activists have anything of value to contribute to the ethical or scientific discussions of health-related issues. All of the alleged evidence will have significant limitations (and/or outright misrepresentation) which may not easily be recognized by the politicians and members of the public to whom the “open letter” is addressed.
When anti-science activists present their “evidence” (which has been rejected by most scientists and health experts) to the public, it will typically have one or more of the following characteristics: 1) The study will have nothing to do with drinking optimally fluoridated water (OFW); 2) The study will deal with exposure to fluoride ions at far higher levels than found in OFW; 3) Actual conclusions have been deliberately distorted, misused &/or misstated to fit anti-F propaganda; 4) Conclusions will only be suggestion of a possible correlation without proper adjustment for other potential causes, and they are proof of nothing; 5) The study will be unrepeatable; 6) the study will be demonstrably flawed &/or 7) The claim will be a complete fabrication.
That is why Ken has requested that you engage in a discussion of specific claims instead of trying to respond to a dump-load of hundreds of irrelevant &/or misrepresented citations.
It is easy to provide a list of citations that support a specific position. For example this is a list of 33 reviews and studies published since 1999 that support the scientific consensus that community water fluoridation (CWF) is a safe and effective public health measure.
This list includes the 2016 World Health Organization report: Fluoride and Oral Health:
—> Studies from many different countries over the past 60 years are remarkably consistent in demonstrating substantial reductions in caries prevalence as a result of water ﬂuoridation. One hundred and thirteen studies into the effectiveness of artiﬁcial water ﬂuoridation in 23 countries conducted before 1990, recorded a modal percent caries reduction of 40 to 50% in primary teeth and 50 to 60% in permanent.
—> More recently, systematic reviews summarizing these extensive databases have conﬁrmed that water ﬂuoridation substantially reduces the prevalence and incidence of dental caries in primary and permanent teeth. Although percent caries reductions recorded have been slightly lower in 59 post-1990 studies compared with the pre-1990 studies, the reductions are still substantial.
—> The question of possible adverse general health effects caused by exposure to ﬂuorides taken in optimal concentrations throughout life has been the object of thorough medical investigations which have failed to show any impairment of general health.
This link provides over 200 citations of studies that support the scientific consensus that CWF is safe and beneficial:
The difference in the citations that CarryAnne provides and those I provide is that the overwhelming majority of science and health experts and professionals agree with the interpretation of the studies that support the scientific consensus that CWF is a safe and effective public health measure.
In contrast, no recognized science or health organization in the world agrees with the interpretation of the anti-science activists that CWF is a dangerous and ineffective public health initiative to poison innocent members of communities worldwide.
As always, CarryAnne includes a bunch of opinions in her comments from other individuals (Vyvyan Howard, A. Martín-Pardillos et al. (mixed results study which had absolutely nothing to do with drinking optimally fluoridated water), Brian Bienkowski, and Verena Romero et al. (an opinion piece), to support her opinions.
Also, you never responded to my suggestion that you might be interested in contacting another very active anti-science activist, Karen Spencer, who spends considerable time on the Internet fighting against the scientific consensus and constructing threatening letters to health organizations like the American Thyroid Association referenced in my previous reply “suggesting” they stop supporting fluoridation or face a lawsuit. I am sure she has absolutely no relationship to you, but your stories – publically provided by both of you – are very similar to each other, so you might want to consider reaching out since you might be interested in her lack of concern for public health and employment of disingenuous anti-science tactics.
CarryAnne 07-07-2018 04:49 PM
My Story (summarized):
- As a pregnant woman, I almost lost my child when my city began fluoridation.
- As a young woman, I experienced rashes, arthritis and gastrointestinal conditions that were untreatable.
- As a senior, I experienced chronic kidney pain and a liver crisis that scared me into abandoning my water filter in favor of no-low fluoride bottled water.
- Bottom Line: Now in my 60s, my arthritis of decades duration, as well as my chronic allergic cough, dry gums, IBS, nerve pain, etc., have all disappeared - and they did so in less than two weeks of my switch to no-low fluoride water. No more kidney pain and no more liver episodes, either.
Karen Spencer, Gloucester MA
As to my involvement as an activist, it is personal.
- The city started ﬂuoridating July 1, 1981 during my pregnancy. I became seriously ill during my second pregnancy in 1981 and almost lost my child.
- My illness continued after I gave birth. It was marked by rashes, hives, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems resulting in drastic weight loss.
- In 2014, my “chronic Lyme” hobbled me and I was having kidney and liver problems.
- Nine days after being assiduously strict in my avoidance of ﬂuoride, even using spring water to brush my teeth, my arthritis of 23 years disappeared. My kidney and liver trouble also disappeared. Even my painfully dry gums cleared up.
Re: Evidence & Ethics
And whichever person on the NRC panel who decided to put in that last sentence completely contradicts findings in the rest of the Report. Notably, consumption of 1 ppm fluoride water chronically causes 1) elevated parathyroid hormone levels to compensate for the adverse effects of fluoride in converting bone to a different crystal structure where fluoride is not biochemically reversible after incorporation, and 2) elevates calcitonin levels to help build replacement bone that is compromised by fluoride intrusion, and 3) elevates thyroid stimulating hormone to counter the effect of fluoride on the thyroid, all to help maintain normal physiology during the fluoride insult.
So including the statement that there is no evidence that a population would be harmed by fluoride levels typical from fluoridation is an example of too many cooks spoiling the broth, and it is understandable why the false sentence was intentionally avoided for clarity.
Either you describe the actual hard data, the science, or you give opinions as done by whoever included that sentence in the NRC Report.
Fluoridationists on this site go with the opinion. Those who know the truth go with facts and data, the science.
Evidence & Ethics
“There are studies that show that osteoporosis, thinning of the bones, is higher in fluoridated communities and that when you get towards the end of your life the rate of hip fractures is measured to be twice as high in fluoridated townships in America than non-fluoridated ones.” - Dr Vyvyan Howard, toxo-pathologist at the University of Ulster Coleraine (2013)
Thanks, RandyJ for the excerpts of some of my AARP comments. Let me elaborate on this one you pulled with additional commentary:
“Some existing data indicate that subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These populations include the elderly, people with osteoporosis, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and/or protein, and people with kidney problems. [the sentences left out] For most of these populations, there are very limited data to support or refute increased susceptibility to fluoride. Additionally, there are no data to suggest that exposure to typical fluoride drinking water levels would result in adverse effects in these potentially susceptible populations.” (Page 162-163) https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp11.pdf
Since that 2003 statement above, considerable science has been published that supports the increased susceptibility to adverse effects from fluoride for vulnerable populations who include the very young, seniors, pregnant and those with immune or inflammatory disease which includes arthritis and most kidney disease.
Click here for over a hundred scientific citations attached to a 2018 open letter to professionals, politicians and public signed by leadership in a cross section of organizations. Those references are organized by year and mostly published after 2003.
Here are just a couple of comments of note supporting the observation that low dose concentrations of fluoride in 'optimally fluoridated' communities poses a hazard to all consumers with an increased risk to vulnerable populations. Fluoridation undoubtedly harms millions of consumers.
2014: "....the WHO's recommended concentrations in drinking water become nephrotoxic to CKD rats, thereby aggravating renal disease and making media vascular calcification significant." - A. Martín-Pardillos et al. in Toxicology
2018: “We are putting this in our water and aren’t sure of what each person’s exposure is... There is a growing concern in the public health community… This is a compound that is shown to affect the thyroid, there is no disagreement with that in the medical community.” - Brian Bienkowski in Environmental Health News
Re: Evidence & Ethics
Ken – Thank you for all of your recent comments highlighting the tactics of anti-science activists and requesting they stop their Gish galloping and actually discuss the “evidence” they claim to have instead of copy-pasting snippets of anti-science propaganda. I appreciate your continuing exposure of the way
I agree, in principle, with your statement, “my attitude to democratic processes … is simply a matter of democracy for resolution of differences based on values or ethical issues.” I don’t see any good alternative to a democracy, where citizens at least have some oversight over those who govern them – only extremely bad options like anarchy, monarchy, a totalitarian dictatorship, etc. where citizens have no control or oversight. However, the democratic process has significant limitations when the citizens (&/or the government officials they have elected) make their ethical or value based decisions and cast their votes on important issues based on complex scientific evidence they do not understand.
The democratic process is compromised even further when it is hijacked by anti-science activists who claim to have legitimate evidence supporting their anti-consensus beliefs. However, they do not use this alleged “evidence” and work within the scientific community to change the consensus – they go directly to the public and try to hijack the democratic process by using a variety of disingenuous tactics to scare well-meaning citizens into accepting their beliefs and voting for their agendas.
As you have patiently pointed out in your comments, if the anti-science activists would agree to actually discuss the strengths and weakness of all the available evidence fairly and in context, members of the public would have a fair chance at understanding some of the science underlying their decisions and actually making informed decisions. Of course if they actually understood the scientific evidence, the majority of citizens would reach the same conclusions as the overwhelming majority of scientists and health professionals in the world who do understand the science and continue to accept the scientific consensus that fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure for reducing dental decay and protecting health.
Anti-science activists have yet to come up with a rational explanation for why virtually all major science and health organizations in the world continue to publically recognize the benefits of community water fluoridation (CWF) and no such organizations accept the anti-science alternatives as legitimate. The detailed explanations I have seen from CarryAnne and Bill Osmunson (referenced below) are nothing more than personal opinions designed to spread distrust of mainstream science and health organizations. However, they clearly highlight the disdain for the science and health communities exhibited by anti-science activists.
Neither CarryAnne nor Bill Osmunson has answered my questions asking each of them whether their descriptions of the EPA, ADA, CDC and AAP apply only to those specific organizations referenced or whether they would also accuse members of the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the Australian Department of Health, The New Zealand Ministry of Health, Health Canada, and all the other 100+ organizations that support CWF of “willful blindness”, of being “morally corrupt” and “ignorant”, of acting to knowingly and willingly “ protect a profitable program that causes misery to millions”, that they “don't think for themselves or review the research” and “They do not protect the public. They are lemmings, followers, part of a herd, not scientists”. These are libelous accusations, but they have not provided a logical, rational reason why there is nearly universal support of CWF in the science and health communities and no such support for the anti-science beliefs.
Bottom Line: Anti-science activists do not play by the rules of impartial, fair-minded scientific discourse – they can’t. They have taken advantage of the fact that “a lie can travel halfway around the world – particularly when powered by fabricated fear – while the truth is still putting on its shoes”
The comments below highlight how anti-science activists attempt to discredit mainstream scientific and health organizations so their opinions might be seen to have some legitimacy. The links might not lead to the exact page, but they should land close to the time/date noted.
Example of CarryAnne’s assessment of the ADA and EPA:
(08-22-2018 06:59 AM) “Willful blindness and financial benefit affect both organizations [ADA and EPA] and individuals and are eminently rational rationales for refusal to change, although also morally corrupt”
and ”vested interests are doing their part to protect a profitable program that causes misery to millions”
and ”Agnotology: Culturally induced ignorance or willful blindness, particularly the promotion of misleading scientific data and anecdotes by a biased group”
(08-19-2018 01:05 PM) “I don't believe most dentists intentionally support fluoridation for this purpose [big bucks earned from treating dental fluorosis]. Most are either ignorant or willfully blind. Others are either cowed into silence per my previous comments or are indeed sociopaths motivated by power, prestige and paychecks”
(07-25-2018 11:30 PM) “the malignant medical myth of fluoridation persists because not only is there a profitable business model built on fluoridation, fluoridation promotion is profitable to many advocates”
(07-03-2018 07:35 AM) “I have it on good authority that they [American Thyroid Association] don't want to provoke a political storm with other groups - cowards.”
You provided a link to a 2016 “petition” to the American Thyroid Association prepared by anti-F activist, KSpencer, that exposes the anti-F tactics. The petition “suggests” the ATA “Publish a position statement opposing the practice of community water ﬂuoridation…” and provides a not-so-subtile suggestion of potential consequences of ignoring the petition, “In closing, given the ﬂuoridation lawsuit pending in Peel, Ontario … and other anticipated American lawsuits yet to be ﬁled, we suggest that the ATA leadership and directors should be prepared to demonstrate their scientiﬁc integrity and professional ethics. We suggest the ATA speak for themselves…”
Example of Bill Osmunson’s assessment of the CDC, ADA and AAP
(08-19-2018 02:18 AM) “The CDC simply reacts to the ADA and they don't think for themselves or review the research.“
(08-19-2018 07:15 PM) “CDC, ADA and proponents of fluoridation think fluoride is a magic element unaffected by other chemicals, everyone benefits and everyone needs more and no one is at risk. That kind of simplistic thinking might be good for first grade, but not science.”
(07-09-2018 09:09 PM) the “CDC references the ADA and AAP, and the ADA and AAP reference each other and the CDC. Circular referencing.”
and “All the so called "scientific" organizations were all puppets of each other with fluoridation. None reviewed the science.”
and “Johnny, the credibility of those so called "scientific" organizations [CDC, ADA, AAP] has been seriously tarnished. They do not protect the public. They are lemmings, followers, part of a herd, not scientists. ”
and “They were silent because they never looked at the science.”,
and “Yes, they are the best in their field and experts, but not in fluoridation“,
and "Joining the herd is much easier than spending the time to critically evaluate the science and stand on the science rather than endorsements/popular opinion."
Of course, the same arguments could be made, with far better credibility, to explain the endorsements and support of the anti-F opinions by the few alternative health organizations that regularly support various anti-science agendas.
In addition to vilifying the scientific and health communities, as noted, another common tactic of anti-science activists is to extract out-of-context content from studies in an effort to manufacture “evidence” they believe will support their inflexible, extremely biased interpretation of issues. The tactic: Extracting out of context content from published papers, which may appear to support their position, when the actual when the actual study design or conclusions don’t. anti-science activists not only cherry pick the studies they believe support their opinions (whether the study has anything to do with optimally fluoridated water or not), they cherry pick and present specific sentences out-of-context or cite studies completely irrelevant to in ongoing efforts to frighten the public.
CarryAnne provides a perfect example of this tactic as discussed by Ken’s references to her non-stop quoting of content without any attempt at context or discussing obvious issues. For example, she posted a quote from the US Public Health Service on 09-13-2018 03:44 PM & 08-27-2018 07:12 PM .
This provides an excellent example to expose and highlight the disingenuous, fear-mongering tactic regularly employed by anti-science activists to peddle their propaganda. It also helps explain how anti-science activists can come up with what appear to be long lists of references that appear to support their anti-science opinions – yet those opinions are dismissed by the majority of relevant scientists.
In this example, her quote included everything in the paragraph from the US Public Health Service review EXCEPT the last two sentences, which she conveniently scrubbed out – and which actually support the scientific consensus that fluoridation does not cause adverse health effects. Here is the actual quote in context.
“Some existing data indicate that subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These populations include the elderly, people with osteoporosis, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and/or protein, and people with kidney problems. [the sentences left out] For most of these populations, there are very limited data to support or refute increased susceptibility to fluoride. Additionally, there are no data to suggest that exposure to typical fluoride drinking water levels would result in adverse effects in these potentially susceptible populations.” (Page 162-163)
This example also clearly demonstrates why anti-science activists have not been able to change any relevant scientific consensus. Unlike members of the public –– most of whom don’t have the training and experience to track each anti-claim to its source and understand the context –– actual scientists and health professionals can identify the erroneous claims of anti-science activists for what they are – “carefully adjusted (or fabricated) evidence” employed in their fear-mongering campaigns.
Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action
Saliva F is 24 hrs a day continuous. And it is there mostly because the largest percent of F in the blood is from F'd water consumption (NRC).
F accunulates in bone of adults in F"d water areas to thousands of mg/kg long before F'd toothpaste,was widely used. Also the Dean studues,in the,30's reported,substantial dental fluorosis in 1 ppm fluoride water areas., long before,F toothpaste,was ever thought of.
Re: Evidence & Ethics
Yes, Richard, sometimes the majority does not prevail. That is wrong, but it happens. It happened in my city when the council ignored a referendum and several opinion polls they had commissioned to follow the non-scientific claims of an ideologically motivated group - with help from the Connett crowd.
But, sometimes democracy has to be fought for. That is what happened in our community and the people, in the end, won.
But local body politics is pathetic. Driven by all sorts of egos, commercial interests, and political infighting.
I think we have discussed the issue of the fluoride concentration of saliva. You ignore completely that this is determined by things like the F content of food and beverages or water - directly. As well as by regular toothbrushing.
You are relying on a figure for freshly excreted saliva and ignoring completely the direct effects of food, beverage, and toothpaste.
As for dental fluorosis of concern. Research shows this to be due to ingested fluoride, mainly from toothpaste and not from fluoridated water.
Re: Stop Fluoridation
Bill, you confuse the issue when you say of Broadbent's study - "Most of the subjects (if they were drinking the public water) were on fluoride supplements." From the figures, you then cite this is patently untrue.
But the basic problem in your approach is that you do not understand that this is a multivariate study - not a simplistic bivariate study of the sort reported in the poor quality Chinese studies you rely on which compared two villages - one in an area of endemic fluorosis and one not.
Put simply - there are no "controls" - there are treatments." - multiple "treatments."
Yes, the overlap of treatments influence the confidence intervals of the result of the multiple regression. This is inevitable. That I why I have said that the main flaw is that the size of the CIs influences the sensitivity of the detection. Or, in other words, the IQ effect (which you assume without evidence occurs) is so small that it is not detected by the regression analysis.
One can drive that argument to infinitely small effects, as for example with the Swedish study which had very large sample numbers.
You assume that only the residents of the nonfluoridated area (and then all the residents of that area) received supplements. The numbers show that is patently untrue and again you completely ignore the results of the statistical analysis which teases this sort of theing out in the size of the resultoing CIs.
The fact that you keep talking about "controls" shows your lack of understanding. You do not understand that this was not like the studies with what Broadbent et al refer to as "simplistic methodological design" that you put so much faith in.
Search through the paper and you will see Broadbent do not use the noun "control" in the way you do.
You go on to claim that Broadbent ignored other sources of F intake. The authors responded to this claim in the paper replying to the critique form the Connett crowd. (By the way, I wish that, in your consideration of this study, you would actually refer to both papers. The fact that you don't often means you are attempting to break through open doors - arguing a point the authors have already dealt with).
It is interesting that Connett and Hirzy seem to give up on the supplement argument to instead argue, vias motivated reasoning and poorly-based calculation, that the major F intake in fluoridated communities does not from the water but from other sources. They effectively say that scientific investigation of communities like New Zeland would not pick up a fluoridation effect on IQ.
Of course, this is wild speculation on their part (and partially explains why they could not get their paper published in a reputable journal so had to fall back on "Fluoride." And I think they do not believe it themselves - if they did they would stop campaigning against community water fluoridation but instead would campaign against all the other sources of fluoride which the had argued were more important.
Broadbent 2015, "Community Water Fluoridation and Intelligence: Prospective Study in New Zealand."
Consider Table 1.
CWF = 891 cohorts.
Never lived in CWF = 99 controls.
Fluoride tablets = 139 participants.
Stick with me Ken, this is something that for years you have failed to grasp about the Broadbent study.
Seldom do doctors prescribe fluoride in fluoridated communities. Double dose is not recommended. Therefore, we can assume, most of the 139 on pills were in the "Never lived in CWF" group of 99.
Slow down, calm down, read that again. The purpose of a doctor prescribing fluoride tablets is because the patient is not on fluoridated water. Therefore, from a clinician's point of view, most of the 139 on fluoride tablets were part of the 99 non-CWF controls. Broadbent does not address this huge problem which makes the study incapable of determinging an IQ difference.
The methods state, " Residence in a CWF area, use of fluoride dentifrice and intake of 0.5-milligram fluoride tablets were assessed in early life (prior to age 5 years); we assessed IQ repeatedly between ages 7 to 13 years and at age 38 years."
Keep in mind:
"In childhood, no statistically significant difference in IQ existed between participants who had or had not resided in areas with CWF, used fluoride toothpaste, or used fluoride tablets, both before (Table 1) and after (Table 2) adjusting for potential confounding variables."
Apparently, IF fluoride affects IQ, the source of fluoride did not appear to make a difference.
Breastfeeding showed higher IQ irrespective of 0.3 or 1.0 fluoride in water or fluoride supplements.
Did the cohorts actually drink the water or bottled water? No mention.
In other studies, water district claims for fluoridation of each house were not accurate by about 10%. Did the cohorts actually drink the water and how much water? Broadbent says, "A limitation is that we did not ask how much water study members drank. Individual water-intake level was not directly measured, meaning that the CWF exposure variable is an ecological one."
What percentage of fluoride exposure comes from public water? "Other sources of fluoride are also important in assessment of total intake. Prior to age 5 years, water intake is thought to account for less than half of total fluoride intake among children."
Ken, digest the statistics. The study is comparing about half the fluoride exposure for CWF.
Broadbent states: "Dietary fluoride was not considered, although we did consider exposure to fluoride from dentifrices and fluoride tablets."
Urban/rural was not considered, although most without CWF were in satellite suburbs.
Broadbent did not report the calcium or other mineral concentrations in the water which also affects dental caries.
Broadbent had no controls and compared fluoridation exposure with fluoride tablet exposure.
Bill Osmunson DDS MPH
Re: Evidence & Ethics
But the majority does not prevail. Citizens in San Diego voted twice in two separate elections (before I got involved) to ban fluoridation chemicals from their water supply. And yet the city council ignored that and fluoridated anyway.
The entire L.A. basin is fluoridated even though hundreds of people came to protest at the time designated for public input by the water disrrict. Only one person favored it, the man who wrote the CA fluoridation mandate against the statutes of the Safe Drinking Water Act..
When it comes to fluoridation, money talks, Democracy and truth have nothing to do with it.
For example fluoride in salive in a fluoridated city is only 0.016 ppm, completely useless in affecting calcium phosphate preciptation and the structure of teeth enamel, at 96,000 times less concentrated than in fluoridated toothpaste.. It;'s a scam that makes money for cities and in CA muich of the money comes from Delta Dental who never reimburses a member with more funds than what the member pays into it in the first place The extra money is given to cities to fluoridate. For San Diego it was First Five money from collected tobacco taxes that was supposed to be used for childrens' health programs. Again, money talks, and Democracy and truth walk.
Dental fluorosis is now endemic in the U.S. because of water fluoridation. it is not because of toothpaste fluoride in most cases, as claimed recently by the CDC who are protecting their longheld view that fluoridation is harmless. The original observations were reported by Dean in the 1930's that water fluoride at 1 ppm was causing substantial dental fluorosis in kids at the time, long before fluoridated toothpaste was ever invented.
If I tell you the data on Broadbent, you will not spend the time to read the study again and evaluate the the flaws.
How many cohorts were subjects on fluoridated water?
How many were controls?
How many of the controls were on fluoride supplements?
What was the difference in the polution in the water between the two areas?
My point is,
Most of the subjects (if they were drinking the public water) were on fluoride supplements dispensed as fluoridation.
Most of the controls were on fluoride supplements dispensed as pills/liquid (if they took the pills).
The difference in dosage of fluoride between the two groups was too small to detect IQ loss.
This is probably the 4th time in the last few years I have repeated that the Broadbent study was incapable of determining IQ loss and is certainly not evidence ingesting fluoride is safe. . . Broadbent compared two sources of fluoride and found both to be about the same.
Bill Osmunson DDS MPH
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