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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 41 of 1,356

Bill, you say "I'm sure Randy and Ken are not intentionally trying to promote harm to the public, they simply get confused with so much information and fail to look at the big picture of all the evidence. . . such as desired dosage."

Kind of you - but are you willing to show confidence in your claim of our "confusion?"

I will be writing a critique of this paper and post it in the next few days. I offer you equal space as a right of reply to critique my critique and justify your claim " this study does show harm from fluoridated water."

You could start by explaining how a nonsignificant difference in mean IQ of +0.5 (in favour of fluoridated water) between subjects from fluoridated and fluoridated areas shows harm!

I invite you to join a proper scientific exchange on the merits of this paper.

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 42 of 1,356

Bill, you do realise the publication of an editors note on the paper is extremely unusual. This indicates to me a huge dispute on publication - perhaps most or all referee's arguing against publication. The comment in the note from  Julian Poulkton-King from Monash health who says "this should not have been published without further exploration" supports this suggestion.

Unusually at this stage, the paper has been roundly condemned by independent experts contacted by the UK Science Media Centre - (see expert reaction to study looking at maternal exposure to fluoride and IQ in children). For example. Prof Thom Bradley comments:

 

"In summary, it is not correct to imply that the data here show evidence of a link between maternal fluoride exposure and IQ. The average change in IQ is not statistically significant.”

 

I will be writing my own analysis and critique of the paper. Fortunately, the authors include their data in the figures which enables an independent statistical analysis to overcome their deficiency in not presenting the full results of their own analysis. (Simple reporting of p-values can be very misleading).

 

My initial look shows absolutely no difference in IQ of offspring from fluoridated (mean IQ 108.8) and unfluoridated (mean IQ = 108.3) areas.

 

Prof Baguley also commented on the unorthodox statistical approach ("This is an example of subgroup analysis – which is frowned upon in these kinds of studies because it is nearly always possible to identify some subgroup which shows an effect if the data are noisy. Here the data are very noisy "). Others have criticised the statistical analysis because the data was not normally distributed and should have been transformed.

However, even with the analysis used the "apparently" significant relationship (low p-values which are often misleading) can explain only 1.3% (between IQ of male offspring and maternal urinary F) or 0.3% (child IQ with maternal fluoride uptake) of the variance in IQ. Considering this, and the faulty statistical methods use, I have no hesitation at this stage of concluding the results are meaningless. Which, of course, won't stop anti-fluoride campaigners from touting the study as "brilliant science" - simple confirmation bias.

I hope the journal editors will allow this study to be debated in the journal - it is disappointing that they refer only to debate "in the public arena." Proper scientific peer review should take place after publication - but I know from experience journal editors often prevent this and authors attempt to ignore scientific critiques.

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 43 of 1,356

CarryAnne,

 

Yes, you are correct. 

 

Randy is probably very smart in some things, but fails to have a global view of problems and gets confused. 

 

Fluoridation has many streams of evidence to consider.   These streams of evidence appear to have become confusing to him. 

 

The latest fluoride lowering IQ study by Green et al 2019, is rather powerful, with dosages of fluoride similar from all sources except fluoridated water. 

 

In effect, this study does show harm from fluoridated water. 

 

I'm sure Randy and Ken are not intentionally trying to promote harm to the public, they simply get confused with so much information and fail to look at the big picture of all the evidence. . . such as desired dosage.

 

Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

 

 

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 44 of 1,356

CarryAnne,

 

The Editor's note in the JAMA Pediatrics is well said:

 

"This decision to publish this article was not easy.1 Given the nature of the findings and their potential implications, we subjected it to additional scrutiny for its methods and the presentation of its findings. The mission of the journal is to ensure that child health is optimized by bringing the best available evidence to the fore .Publishing it serves as testament to the fact that JAMAPediatrics is committed to
disseminating the best science based entirely on the rigor of the methods and the soundness of the hypotheses tested, regardless of how contentious the results maybe. That said, scientific inquiry is an iterative process. It is rare that a single study provides definitive evidence. This study is neither the first, nor will it be the last, to test the association between prenatal fluoride exposure and cognitive development. We hope that purveyors and consumers of these findings are mindful of that as the implications of this study are debated in the public arena."

 

With over 50 human studies reporting harm to the developing brain, the Green et al 2019 study is certainly not the first, nor it will be the last. 

 

The question proponents must ponder is, "What are the chances more research will reverse the 50 studies reporting harm?"

 

We can fix teeth, but we can't fix brains.

 

Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

 

 

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 45 of 1,356

“The effects of this study are comparable to the effects of lead… I would advise them (pregnant women) to drink bottled water or filtered water...” - Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH and JAMA Pediatrics editor on “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada" (August 19, 2019)

 

The JAMA Pediatrics podcast on August 19, 2019 was ostensibly about the high-quality study published that day that added to the scientific evidence that prenatal exposure to even low doses of fluoride in 'optimally' fluoridated North American communities by educated white women living in urban settings results in a significant reduction in the IQ of their offspring. However, perhaps even more interesting is that these two medical doctors certified in public health medicine admitted that they struggled with the decision to publish this NIH sponsored science even after submitting it to an extended, repeated and scrupulous peer review and statistical analysis because they had been taught in medical school to ignore and disparage anyone or any science that claimed anything negative about fluoridation policy

 

Sadly, fluoridationist organizations wasted no time in following their script that both defends the policy and attacks the science, willfully blind to the evidence in front of them. Call it willful blindness, cognitive dissonance, agnotoloty or uncertainty bias, but whatever you call it recognize that the scientific evidence proves that fluoridation policy is a womb to tomb public harm policy.  

 

 

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Gish Gallop

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Message 46 of 1,356

I recently posted a comment describing a common tactic of anti-science activists, Circular Debating Technique (08-17-2019 09:11 AM).

 

Another very common tactic of anti-science activists is Gish Gallop, “a technique used during debating that focuses on overwhelming an opponent with as many arguments as possible, without regard for accuracy or strength of the arguments. The term was coined by Eugenie Scott and named after the creationist Duane Gish, who used the technique frequently against proponents of evolution.” (Wikipedia)  “By using a quantity of arguments as a quality itself, a Gish Gallop tries to create the illusion of authority and weight of evidence. It is effectively style over substance."
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop
https://effectiviology.com/gish-gallop/
http://blogs.bu.edu/pbokulic/2013/11/18/gish-gallop-fallacy-of-the-day/
https://skepticalscience.com/climate-Gish-Gallop-of-epic-proportions.html

 

GishGallop2a..png

 

Various Cancer Claims are excellent examples of both Gish Gallop and Circular Debating Technique used by fluoridation opponents in this discussion.

 

Earlier in this discussion Bill Osmunson dumped over 16,000 words into the exchange in an apparent attempt to support his claim that drinking optimally fluoridated water is a significant risk factor for causing cancer. 

 

Bill Osmunson’s Gish Gallop references to fluoride and cancer:
Randy, Lets talk science rather concensus.  Remember, the masses can be wrong.  Marketing can change public opinion.  The next few posts will be just a touch on one aspect of fluoride, carcinogenicity.” (09-04-2018 02:04 PM), “Randy, Let’s look at some studies.” (09-04-2018 02:05 PM), (09-04-2018 02:07 PM), (09-04-2018 04:11 PM), (09-04-2018 04:12 PM), (09-04-2018 04:47 PM), (09-04-2018 04:57 PM), (09-04-2018 05:02 PM), (09-04-2018 05:03 PM), (09-04-2018 05:05 PM), (09-04-2018 05:06 PM), (09-05-2018 04:12 PM), (09-05-2018 04:14 PM), (09-05-2018 04:18 PM), “This forum only accepts 20,000 charactors, so I cannot post all the fluoride cancer studies.  Here are some, in response to your claim, ‘Fluoride is NOT a carcinogen’” (07-11-2018 06:26 PM)

 

That is one of the most remarkable examples of Gish Gallop I have ever seen, and other fluoridation opponents have also contributed their opinions.

 

If any of the anti-fluoridation interpretations of the evidence were legitimate, why do none of the major cancer organizations list community water fluoridation as a cancer risk?  Do the activists have a better understanding of the evidence than the relevant experts?  Why would anyone trust the opinions of passionate activists who have no legitimate evidence to support their opinions and change the conclusions of the experts, but who continue to dump tons of irrelevant studies into public discussions.

 

These are the actual conclusions of some relevant Cancer Organizations:

National Cancer Institute – Fluoridated Water: “More recent population-based studies using cancer registry data found no evidence of an association between fluoride in drinking water and the risk of osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma.”
https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/fluoridated-water-fact-sheet

 

American Cancer Society - Water Fluoridation and Cancer Risk: “The general consensus among the reviews done to date is that there is no strong evidence of a link between water fluoridation and cancer” and “More recent studies have compared the rates of osteosarcoma in areas with higher versus lower levels of fluoridation in Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States. These studies have not found an increased risk of osteosarcoma in areas of water fluoridation.”
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/water-fluoridation-and-cancer-risk.html

 

Canadian Cancer Society – Fluoride: “Based on current evidence, CCS believes it is unlikely that adding fluoride to water raises the risk of cancer, including osteosarcoma, in humans. At the same time, we know that there are many benefits to water fluoridation, especially for people who have less access to dental care. We will continue to watch this area of research and update our information as we learn more.”
https://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/make-informed-decisions/know-yo...

 

Cancer Council Western Australia - Cancer myth: Fluoride and cancer: “Fluoridation is considered by many to be a major public health achievement of the 20th century. The addition of fluoride to drinking water has led to a significant reduction in dental caries. There is no consistent evidence that fluoride in drinking water increases the risk of cancer. The weight of the current evidence supports the view that there is no link between water fluoridation and osteosarcoma.”
https://www.cancerwa.asn.au/resources/cancermyths/fluoride-cancer-myth/

 

Cancer Council NSW: "Fluoride in tap water does not cause cancer."
https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/86052/cancer-information/general-information-cancer-information/can...


Cancer Society, New Zealand: “One hazard that has been mentioned is that children drinking fluoridated water are at higher risk of developing an extremely rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma.  At this time there is no evidence that this is true.”
https://cancernz.org.nz/assets/Reduce-your-cancer-risk/Risks-in-your-environment/FluorideOsteosarcom...

 

National Cancer Control Programme – Water Fluoridation and effects on health: “In conclusion, all systematic reviews to date have found no association between fluoridation of drinking water at the recommended levels and risk of cancer or bone fracture. The effects of fluoride on health and related matters are kept under constant review. In addition, the Expert Body on Fluorides and Health in Ireland is of the opinion that water fluoridation significantly benefits dental health.”
https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/5/cancer/pubs/reports/water-fluoridation-and-effects-on-health-...

 

National Health Service, UK – Fluoride “Overall, these reviews found that water fluoridation appears to contribute to reduced tooth decay levels and doesn't seem to be associated with any significant health risks.”
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fluoride/

 

Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) 2011 report, Critical review of any new evidence on the hazard profile, health effects, and human exposure to fluoride and the fluoridating

agents of drinking water:  “SCHER agrees that epidemiological studies do not indicate a clear link between fluoride in drinking water, and osteosarcoma and cancer in general. There is no evidence from animal studies to support the link, thus fluoride cannot be classified as carcinogenic.”

 

Also the 2016 World Health Organization report, Fluoride and Oral Health report concluded, “On the basis of recent published reviews and peer reviewed publications there is no evidence that fluoride levels in drinking water at concentrations aimed at controlling dental caries is associated with increased risk of osteocarcoma or any other kind of bone cancer in humans.”  Nor was drinking optimally fluoridated water linked to any other forms of cancer.  In fact, one of the studies reviewed (Public Health England, 2014), “found a lower rate of kidney stones and bladder cancer in fluoridated areas than non-fluoridated areas”.
https://www.who.int/oral_health/publications/fluroide-oral-health/en/

 

A Healthline discussion with references:
https://www.healthline.com/health/fluoride-cancer#the-research

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 47 of 1,356

Bill, You wrote:

 

You even mocked me for not being willing to debate you on your forum.  I chose dosage and sent you my first statement.  You claimed computer problems and then went silent on the issue.  Why?  You have no answer. 

 

You have gone silent here again.”

 

 

I do not appreciate your misrepresentation of the situation or your attempt to imply I am avoiding any exchange. For this reason, I will quote from our emails and I apologise the length.

These emails followed my offer of an open uncensored exchange on my blog along the lines of the one I had with Paul Connett in 2013/14. You accepted my offer and on April 5 this year I got a document with your email saying:


“Here you go, attached.  Graphs did not cut and paste below.

 

Bill

 

Excess Fluoride Exposure—Streams of Evidence

April, 2019“

I responded the same day with:

Thanks for this Bill.

 

“I will aim to start this exchange early next week (Weekends are not a good time for hits). I should be able to extract the images from the pdf.

Do you have a reference list to go with this that could go at the end of the article?”

I set out to make the necessary conversions to unformatted text required on the blog but had some difficulties and emailed you 2 days later (April 7) saying:


“Hi Bill,

 

Do you have a word version of this?

I am having trouble removing the formatting when converting the pdf so a word or text version would help.

Also, have you got a reference or citation list yet – preferably with links.”

 

You replied the next day (April 8):

“Working on it.

Bill”

 

And then later

 

“**bleep** computers.  I also had problems and I'm moving and swamped.  I did add some references.  Can you get it off of this attachment?

 

Bill"

 

On April 10 I replied:

“Bill,

I think I can just copy and paste from the pdf and I have extracted the figures. But have not yet been able to extract a reference list from what you gave me.

But now my computer is now playing silly buggers and it is undergoing a long term scan – probably not complete until tomorrow (when I have my great grandson for our weekly play date so won’t be doing any computer work).

It would help if you could extract the references and give me a list, preferably linked, that I can add to the end of the article.

Regards
Ken“


Then my computer packed up. It was taking a while to repair (both hard drives were wiped) so I contacted you a few days later (April 15):


“Hi Bill.

My computer is being repaired. Learned yesterday that both hard drives have been wiped. I do have a backup but it will take time to reinstall all the programmes and recover the data.

 

So anything you can do to insert the references and links will help.

 

Don’t know when I will get the computer back. They may well find other problems.

 

Regards

 

Ken Perrott”

 

You responded on April 17

 


“Sorry about computer problems.  

 

I’ll see what I can do.   How do you want references inserted?  Footnotes is what I provided.  Do u want web links instead?”

 

I cannot, at this time, find any of our other correspondence on this specific issue.

However, I had given up hunting down your references (yes proper citations and links are normal – out of respect to readers and to you discussion partner. How can one check what the referenced article says without proper citation?).

There was also the problem of a figure which had not been prepared properly for this particular exchange (Obviously used elsewhere).

But I certainly understood the ball was in your court to correct the article (as it should be) and in no way was I withdrawing from the exchange.

As I explained the other day I am interested in critiquing the dental fluorosis argument – specifically the Neurath paper you rely on in your article – so I am keen for the exchange to go ahead.

I hope this clarifies the situation for other readers. I repeat I do not appreciate the misrepresentation you have indulged in, Bill, or the resort to abusive terms. These should not be used in a scientific exchange – another reason why I think the Open Parachute blog is the best place for such an exchange.

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 48 of 1,356

Ken,

 

For months you have been silent on dosage.

 

You even mocked me for not being willing to debate you on your forum.  I chose dosage and sent you my first statement.  You claimed computer problems and then went silent on the issue.  Why?  You have no answer.  

 

You have gone silent here again.

 

The most fundamental question any scientists would ask for any substance for any purpose is, "how much?"   Yet you refuse to answer.

 

Clearly, you do not have an answer.  You are totally blind to dosage.  Have you not even thought about total dosage desired from all sources?  Not to treat water, but to treat humans, prevent dental caries.

 

How can I pop your fake science mythology by forcing, begging, pleading with you to consider the most fundamental question, "how much?"   "What dosage of fluoride ingested prevents dental caries?"   

 

Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 49 of 1,356

Yes, Ross. The three organisers turned up but no one else did.

If you talk to politicians they are well aware of the way activists bombard them with rubbish - this whole process is quite unproductive for anti-fluoride activity. Even local body politicians, who are far more gullible, have been turned off by this bombardment and have been pleading with the government to remove the issue from their responsibilities.

You may believe the democratic process is quaint - but it is fundamental in our society. I think it is worse than "quaint" for you to think that democratic expressions must be "forced" from people. To my mind such a characterisation is obscene.

And, no, democratic expression does not rely on "scientific principles or medical ethics" - it relies on the predominant values in the community. That is why I believe such democratic decisions should stand - even when I disagree with the result scientifically, ethically (and no one should vote on science - that relies on facts) or politically. After all, there have been extremely few elections I have been involved in which have resulted in the decision I favored - but to me, the majority decisions are far more important than my own.

I am glad you accept the scientific basis supporting our understanding of man-made climate change - but your description of it as a crisis is not supported to the same degree by any means. The science supporting the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of community water fluoridation is far more certain.

You claim that "There are viable oral health alternatives to CWF which have been demonstrated in several countries, including New Zealand, that are safer, more effective, with broader societal coverage and immensely more economical." I would certainly be interested in your presentation of them and the evidence for them so that a proper comparison could be made. Interesting you neglect to do that and I certainly can't think of what you mean.

In the end, health experts have the respoosnbibilty of introducing policies that they consider effective, safe and economical - and also acceptable to the community. I believe that is happening. To a large extent, the range of health actions that are used are complementary and there is no need the put all one's eggs in one basket.

I have already explained my activity on this question - as on my explaining of the science behind climate change and evolution. My critique of religious apologists who justify misrepresentation and distortion of science. Scientific principles never have a use-by date and should always be defended. If you understood that, then you would see what I am doing and your contribution to discussion here would be science-based instead of relying on activist ideology and unsupported attacks on science. Evidence and scientific understanding are the sorts of things I prefer to engage with.

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 50 of 1,356

With reference to a presentation by Paul Connett to the New Zealand Parliament last year KenP asserts that no one turned up. However, one of his own blog postings (06/03/2018) records correctly that three Members of Parliament attended.
KenP’s quaint reliance on democratic process to resolve a public health issue involving uncontrolled medical treatment with a neurotoxin by way of a community water supply stands in stark contrast to his self-proclaimed scientific integrity.
In his own city 24,635 citizens determined that 11,768 fellow citizens were forced against their expressed wishes to receive fluoridated water through their household taps. Where are scientific principles or medical ethics here?
There is no doubt about the science under-pinning the escalating climate crisis but there is sufficient science-based growing concern about the total bodily effects of ingested fluoride for an ultra-precautionary approach to be taken on CWF.
There are viable oral health alternatives to CWF which have been demonstrated in several countries, including New Zealand, that are safer, more effective, with broader societal coverage and immensely more economical so I keep wondering why KenP devotes so much of his discretionary research time to bolstering a medical intervention that is well past its use-by date.

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