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Re: Evidence & Ethics
No, Bill, you presume wrong - but then, in the world of anti-science activism, presumption is equivalent to proven facts. When I use the phrase “anti-science activists” I am referring specifically to you, CarryAnne and the other activists who continually distort science in an attempt to hijack the democratic process.
Another anti-science activist asked in a recent exchange how an educated professional scientist who held views contrary to the scientific consensus could suddenly morph overnight into an anti-science activist.
My answer applies to your comments by describing the difference between legitimate scientists and health care professionals who have strongly-held views different from the scientific consensus and those who have morphed into anti-science activists.
The first fact is that scientists who hold views different from the scientific consensus are precisely those individuals who are responsible for the evolution of science from trial and error experimentation of humans many thousands of years ago to the society we have today where the lives of most citizens of the world depend on an accurate, scientific understanding of the natural world and the adjustments to that world in areas of health care, agriculture, technology, etc. made possible by that understanding.
Without those pro-science activists we would live in a completely different world. Both pro- and anti-science activists have very strong beliefs that their interpretation of the existing scientific evidence is accurate – even though those beliefs differ from the consensus of the majority of relevant experts.
However, there are several important characteristics that differentiate pro-science activists from anti-science activists.
A) The beliefs of legitimate scientists – including pro-science activists – are modifiable and depend on the evidence. Again, that principle that a scientific consensus will change with sufficient, legitimate, reproducible evidence is the foundation of all scientific progress.
B) The beliefs of anti-science activists are inflexible, and the selection and interpretation of evidence is controlled by those beliefs.
A) The evidence of pro-science activists that conflicts with an accepted scientific consensus is discussed within the relevant scientific community with other experts, and the studies are published in peer-reviewed journals.
~> It is the responsibility of the scientist(s) challenging the consensus to produce and defend relevant, legitimate, reproducible, properly interpreted evidence from well-conducted experiments or observations.
~> If the evidence is legitimate and convincing, the consensus will change – that is the only way science works. If not, again it is the responsibility of the challengers to either provide better, more convincing arguments or evidence to the scientific community so the consensus will change.
~> Pro-science activists will keep fighting within the scientific community to change the consensus until they either succeed with better evidence &/or better interpretations or they will continue to fail.
B) The “evidence” of anti-science activists that conflicts with an accepted scientific consensus has been presented to the experts in the relevant communities, and it has not been of sufficient quality or reproducibility to convince those experts to modify the consensus.
~> At this point, anti-science activists abandon the scientific processes of trying to change the relevant scientific consensus. They take their “evidence” directly into public forums to try and hijack the democratic process.
~> The goal of the anti-science activists is to convince intelligent, caring, well-intentioned members of the public that their anti-science selection and interpretation of the evidence is legitimate, that mainstream science and health organizations (and their members) can’t be trusted to care for or protect their health, that they should join the fight to end a science-based public health measure like community water fluoridation, vaccination – or other agenda topic.
~> These anti-science activists have abandoned scientific protocol, and their goal is to promote their agenda by employing whatever tactics have been proven by scam-artists throughout the ages to be effective at modifying public opinion. Three of the main anti-science tactics, exemplified by your comments and those of CarryAnne, Richard Sauerheber and a few others, are:
1) Disingenuous distortion, misrepresentation and fabrication of the available evidence when presented to the public in hopes that most citizens will not have the training, experience, time or inclination to track the references (or opinions) to their source and personally evaluate the studies, reviews or opinions. Those distortions of evidence as it relates to fluoridation can be found on Ken’s blog, https://openparachute.wordpress.com/fluoridation/, as well as on the websites of major health organizations and others that support fluoridation.
2) Fear sells. If members of the public can be motivated by successful fear-mongering tactics of presenting false and exaggerated claims, scam artists can be extremely successful in peddling their con. Which statement is most likely to capture the public’s attention? Fluoride is a poison that reduces IQ and causes cancer --- or --- Fluoride reduces the risk of dental decay in communities with optimally fluoridated water.
3) Casting doubt on the scientific and health communities. To effectively sell the “Fear Factor” it helps for anti-science activists to claim that scientists and health care professionals who support the scientific consensus: “don't think for themselves or review the research”, are “all puppets of each other” “do not protect the public. They are lemmings, followers, part of a herd, not scientists”, “are either ignorant or willfully blind” are “morally corrupt … doing their part to protect a profitable program that causes misery to millions”. Do these accusations sound familiar?
So, Bill, if you are convinced you have legitimate scientific evidence to support your position, why are you not spending your valuable time presenting your “evidence” to the relevant experts in an all-out effort to change the scientific consensus? Why are you trying to change public opinion instead of the consensus of scientists who can change policy? I can only think of a couple of answers…
For that matter, would you please describe your interpretation of the scientific consensus, and since you have indicated a disinclination in the past to admit the concept of a scientific consensus is real or relevant, please describe any alternative you might have for how scientists and members of the public should determine the most accurate interpretation of decades of very complex scientific evidence?
You have provided your opinion of members of the CDC, ADA, and AAP as I highlighted earlier – as has CarryAnne. Do you apply those same descriptions to all the members of the World Health Organization and the other 100+ organizations that continue to publically recognize the benefits of community water fluoridation or do you have other explanations? I have asked this question a number of times without response.
Do you have any explanations for why only a small handful (about 6?) of alternative health organizations along with various conspiracy groups like INFOWARS [Alex Jones] and Natural News [Mike Adams] support the anti-science, anti-Fluoridation opinions? I have also asked this question without response.
In specific response to your 02-28-2019 12:24 AM comment:
~> The overwhelming evidence supports the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation
~> The “dosage” of fluoride is controlled in the same manner as the safe “dose” of all chemicals/elements in treated drinking water – by the amount of water it is possible to drink without harm. Fluoride ions, unlike many of the other regulated chemicals in water, have been demonstrated by over 70 years of research to be safe and effective at reducing dental decay at about 0.7 ppm.
~> Why do anti-science activists listen to and select/interpret the evidence of only other anti-science activists and ignore any evidence they do not agree with? That “evidence” has been demonstrated to be flawed over and over.
~> Explain and provide proof for your claim, “Fluoridationists violate ethical research”.
~> Fluoridation is no more a violation of freedom of choice than are any other water treatment processes or seat-belt laws, etc. Anyone who dislikes ingesting fluoride ions – or any other residual contaminants – in drinking water are free to find other water sources or remove any contaminants they choose not to ingest.
Re: Stop Fluoridation
No, Bill, we do not agree. Please stop this playing.
We are miles apart because you continue to treat the more sophisticated methodology used by Broadbent et al as if it were the far more naive methodology used by the poor quality Chinese studies comparing areas of endemic fluorosis with other areas. Studies the Connett crowd consider as "ideal" (because they fit their biases) yet they have many flaws and should not be used to make the absolute conclusions you do.
The study did not "compare two sources of fluoride." It investigated a number of possible risk-modifying factors for their influence on IQ at various ages using multiple regression. The two-factor type study you talk about could never have, for example, shown a positive effect of breastfeeding.
You excuse your use of the word "controls" - never used by Broadbent et al and entirely inappropriate for this study - by referring to "most people." You are simply displaying you bais and forced misunderstanding because most sensible people understand statisical analysis would recognise this word is completley inaapropriate.
Again youi dispaly your unwillingess to look at such studies sensibly by refusing to consider that all the objections raised by the Connett crowd were dealt with by Broadbent in their second paper. This showed that whereas they had not considered all other forms of F intake (they did consider some like toothpaste) in their first paper becuase they considered them unlikley to ahve an influence - they did consider them in the second paper and showed they had no influence. (Effectively Hirzy and Connett came to a simiolar ocnclusion, although the data they used was highlky motivated and was not appropriate for New Zealand).
My response to you on "dosage" has been presented several tuimes. I cannot help if your bias prevents you from understanding my response.
The word has no more legitimacy to the discussion of fluoride than it has to the discussion of iodine or selenium intake. Or any other nutrient. Neither of these nutrients should be treated like a highly active drug where intake must be accurately controlled.
Re: Stop Fluoridation
Looks like we agree on much, regarding Broadbent.
The study essentially compared two sources of fluoride (fluoridation and fluoride tablets) with IQ and there were no controls. Bravo. We agree. I use the word controls because most people reading the title and conclusion and study assume Broadbent was comparing fluoridation and no fluoridation with IQ.
And the title and conclusions are misleading, devious, fraudulent, flawed, fake science or misleading. . . take your pick. Typical fluoridationist half truth lies. Same type of flawed reasoning goes with cancer/fluoride studies. Compare two cancers and fluoride. . . no difference between the two cancers but a huge difference in cancer free patients.
Broadbent concludes, "These findings do not support the assertion that fluoride in the context of CWF programs is neurotoxic." I would agree if Broadbent had continued, "when compared with fluoride tablets"
However; Ken, do NOT every simply state that the Broadbent study is evidence fluoridation is not neurotoxic unless you add a phrase such as, compared to excess fluoride from other sources.
I have been hammering at you to consider dosage. As a prescribing doctor, daily I consider mg/Kg body weight to prescribe medications. The same applies to fluoride regardless of the source.
I have never seen your reply to my questions on dosage. You evade the most serious fundamental dispensing questions because once anyone goes down that path they must ethically and scientifically reject additional fluoride supplementation through either fluoridation or tablets .
Bill Osmunson DDS MPH
Re: Evidence & Ethics
When you use the phrase "anti-science" I presume you are refering to fluoridationists.
Why those supporting fluoride would avoid all the science and cherry pick just what supports themselves . . . makes no sense and no good science.
Fluoridationists refuse to talk about dosage, and dosage is the foundation of pharmacology.
Fluoridationists cherry pick the people and studies to do the reviews and fail to be inclusive of all science.
Fluoridationists violate ethical research.
Fluoridationists violate freedom of choice.
Indeed, fluoridationists are anti-science, anti-ethics, and anti-health.
Bill Osmunson DDS MPH
Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action
And the reason the AARP site is a most appropriate place to discuss the bone fluoridation CDC government endorsed program is because the elderly have have been exposed to,substantial amounts of the cumulative toxic substance and are in the most precarious position from chronic exposure. Bone levels can only go so high until preclinical skeletal fluorosis turns into stage II with bone pain and mobility problems. The elderly have been exposed to fluoride long enough.
Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action
And the reason the AARP site is a most appropriate place to discuss the bone fluoridation CDC government endorsed program is because the elderly have elderly have been exposed to,substantial amounts of the cumulative toxic substance and are in the most precarious position from chronic exposure. Bone levels can only go so high until preclinical skeletal fluorosis turns into stage II with bone pain and mobility problems. The elderly have Been exposed to fluoride long enough.
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.
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