Taking Truth to Power - Fluoride

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by rge, May 21, 2003.

  1. rge

    rge New Member

    INTERNATIONAL FLUORIDE INFORMATION NETWORK

    IFIN BULLETIN: IFIN # 756: Taking Truth to Power

    April 13, 2003

    Dear All,

    I was honored a couple of weeks ago to be invited by the US EPA to participate in a one on one debate on fluoridation to be held in Washington DC on May 6. However, those responsible for finding an opponent are experiencing difficulties finding someone. Now if this was a prize fight or a chess match, fluoridation opponents would be awarded the title by default. Normally, those who lack the confidence lose the prize. But not in the fluoridation battle. They keep declining challenges to an open public debate, and they keep getting away with it. Only rarely do the press smell a rat (or a chicken) in these refusals. Only a few journalists and editors stop to wonder what it means for those who so vociferously defend a practice in "private" but cannot do so in public.

    For those who take the time to read the literature it is quite obvious why the promoters do not defend this issue.

    First, the notion of putting industrial grade toxic chemicals into the drinking water (of which the most common have never been tested toxicologically and have never been approved as medication by the FDA), in violation of the individual's right to informed consent, to secure a benefit which the largest surveys indicate only saves a clinically and statistically insignificant six tenths of one tooth surface out of 128 tooth surfaces in a child's mouth (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990), while at the same time damaging the enamel of between 30 and 50% (Hellier et al, 1997 and McDonagh et al, 2000) of children and accumulating over a lifetime in the bones and in the pineal gland (Luke, 2001), and which has been associated with the greater uptake of environmental lead into children's blood (Masters and Coplan, 1999, 2000) is so utterly preposterous that no one in their right mind would go out on a public platform and defend the practice against ANYONE who has studied the literature.

    Second, they are in charge. They have the support of the most powerful government in the world. As Dr. Brian Martin has made clear in his excellent book, "Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: the Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate" (SUNY Press, Albany NY,1990), this issue is not propagated by scientific information but by power. And we all know, power corrupts. In this case it has corrupted the health agencies we look to defend us from disease. In particular, it has corrupted the CDC . This agency which is cited all over the world for its incredible statement that fluoridation is one of the top ten medical achievements of the twentieth century (MMWR, October 22, 1999) was 6 years out of date on the health literature it cited to defend such a view. Furthermore, the CDC claim that the reduction in tooth decay in 12 year olds is directly related to the percentage of the US population drinking fluoridated water, can be seen to be clearly erroneous to anyone who has inspected WHO figures available online, which demonstrate similar or greater declines in 12-year olds, over the same period, in countries which have never fluoridated their water. Knowing how readily available such dental figures are, one has to suppose either enormous incompetence on the behalf of the CDC authors, or outright fraudulent intent. Be that as it may how can any impartial observer accept that those claiming fluoridation as one of the top ten medical achievements of the twentieth century, cannot find any person in their ranks to defend the practice in public?

    The number one task of opponents is to find a way to take truth to power. This US EPA debate invitation is one of our greatest opportunities to do just that. Hopefully, the proponents will be sufficiently embarassed to defend their position. But failing this we must let everyone in the press and in the corridors of power in Washington know that the proponents failed this challenge. We must make this visible.

    In the letter below from Dr. William Hirzy, Vice-President of the US EPA Union which represents professionals at their Washington DC headquaters, to a congressional aide, spells out the significance of this event. I urge our readers to use all their imagination and energy to get this message to anyone they know in Washington, DC - in politics - in the press corps -in environmental and other organizations. Don't let them get away with it this time! It's time for the proponents to put up or shut up. They have the time, they have the budget, they have the experts to make their case in spades. They have no excuses, except that they don't have a credible defence.

    Paul Connett.

    p.s. You can access your Congressional representative's email addresses and telephone numbers online at -(web address deleted)


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To a Congressional aide.

    Subject: Social Science and the Resistance to Water Fluoridation

    The title of this message is also the title of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Forum session at 3:30-5:00 p.m. on May 6 in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C.

    Roberta Baskin, a nationally known television newswoman, will moderate the session.

    As yet, EPA has not been able to find someone, in government or not, to answer in a public forum the criticisms of those who resist the practice of adding fluoride in one form or another to public water supplies.

    Though EPA took responsibility for obtaining someone to speak on the defense side, this has not yet happened. It is possible - perhaps not probable - that this exchange of opposing views could be cancelled if this situation is not changed.

    It is imperative that this Science Forum session go forward in the interest of informing government, in the broadest sense, of the rationales for opposing or promoting water fluoridation. When government is able fully to inform itself of citizens' views and the reasons for them, then under our system of government the most acceptable policies should be adopted. Such an exchange of information between the government and the governed is this session.

    The setting for this exchange is across the street fromThe National Press Club. It is twelve blocks from the U.S. Capitol - and closer than that to Congressional staff offices. The White House's staff offices are four blocks down the street. Interesting people are right in the neighborhood.

    This is a pivotal moment in the history of fluoridation, and there is a way for you to influence what it brings.

    What you can do is disseminate news about the potential loss of this session to everyone you know who is interested in how this turns out.

    The news must include an urgent request for them to ask their Congressional delegations to ask EPA how the search for a defender is going, and to tell EPA that the Congressional office will do all it can to help find someone to defend fluoridation, and that they fully expect the Science Forum Session to proceed as scheduled.

    An articulate spokesperson for those who resist fluoridation was agreed to by EPA and the Agency's Headquarters professionals union, National Treasury Employees Union Chapter 280, co-sponsors of the session. (There is time for only one speaker on each side in a 1.5 hour session.) The opponent is Professor Paul Connett of the Chemistry Department of St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York. Professor Connett led a Canton citizens group that succeeded in blocking fluoridation of the local water supply. He has studied other environmental problems, including dioxin and incineration, and around the globe he is a highly sought after speaker on them as well as on fluoride.

    Again, spread the word for Congress to make sure EPA and the union are able to put on this Science Forum session. Feel free to use any portion of this message in yours to friends, allies and Congress.

    It is important to show how well government can function when citizens, the Civil Service, the Congress and the Executive work in tandem for the good of the people.

    Bill Hirzy
    Senior Vice-President
    NTEU Chapter 280

    ========================

    Ronald Eheman
    Fluoride Poisoning Support Group
    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2003]
  2. rge

    rge New Member

    INTERNATIONAL FLUORIDE INFORMATION NETWORK

    IFIN BULLETIN: IFIN #778: Impressions from May 6.

    May 10, 2003

    Dear All,

    Several people have asked me for my impressions of the May 6 US EPA
    Science Forum where the pro-fluoridation forces nationwide were
    unable to field anyone to defend the practice of water fluoridation
    in an open public debate.

    First, it was fantastic that we had an overflow audience to witness
    this debacle of the pro-fluoridation lobby. The audience included at
    least 8 congressional aides, members of the press and some important
    environmental organizations as well as many professionals from the
    EPA.

    Second, it was great to switch from the frame of mind that we
    had "failed to persuade the opposition to debate", to the more
    positive realization that "fluoridation promoters nationwide have
    lost this issue by default". I hope people will bring this to the
    attention to the political leadership in every community that
    practices fluoridation. They have to be told that they are practicing
    something which promoters cannot defend when challenged.

    Third, I was greatly relieved that I was able to get across most of
    the important arguments in my opening 20 minute presentation and the
    15 minute summary at the end. There was a tricky moment at the
    beginning when the technicians had trouble getting my power point
    presentation to work (this is the first time I have ever used power
    point, thanks to the effort of one of my SLU students Ashley
    Sullivan) but it eventually went forward without a hitch. Some of you
    might be interested to have a copy of a statement on which my closing
    summary was based. I have printed this below, with some contact
    details if you would like to share it with anyone.

    Fourth, it was important to hear from an EPA spokesperson that the
    EPA feels new evidence on fluoride's toxicity, which has emerged
    since the 1993 NRC Review was published, needs to be examined. This
    spokesperson urged the audience on several occasions to make sure
    that any concerns we have should be communicated to the National
    Academy of Sciences which announced in April a panel to examine this
    new evidence. Many of us have been very pessimistic that any pro-
    fluoridation government would ever appoint a panel which would
    examine this issue comprehensively and honestly. Most reviews in the
    past have been self-fulfilling prophesies, rubber stamping the status
    quo. However, this one is going to be extremely visible. We all must
    make sure that the NAS knows that their reputation is on the line. We
    must demand INTEGRITY. They must be told emphatically how important
    it is to have one scientific body in this country which is capable of
    reaching an independent judgment. This is not just important for the
    fluoridation debate, but for any controversial issue which pertains
    to public health. Right now the panel is heavily weighted to those
    known to be pro-fluoridation. The chairman (John Doull, MD) is
    actually a member of the American Council for Science and Health (
    ACSH) an industry funded group which is actively pro-fluoridation.
    According to Dr.Edward Ohanian of the US EPA, the NAS provides
    opportunity for feedback on this project through their web site
    -deleted. The project name is "Toxiolcogic
    Risk of Fluoride in Drinking Water" Project number BEST-K-02-05-A.
    May I recommend that those concerned about this write in and simply
    request that this panel be balanced and that the chairperson should
    not have taken an active position on the fluoridation debate.

    Finally, it was great to have so many of our colleagues in the
    audience (Gerhard Bedding, Bob Carton, Myron Coplan, David Kennedy,
    Lynne Landes, Deb Moore, Jim Presley, students from Ohio Univeristy
    in Athens and of course, the indefatigable Bill Hirzy and his
    colleagues from the EPA Union) to offer their moral and verbal
    support at question time. It was also great to know how many people
    around the country - and in other countries - were rooting for our
    side. Thanks to you all.

    Paul Connett.


    Those Promoting Fluoridation Have a Formidable Task.

    1) They have to persuade us that using the public water supply to
    deliver medication is acceptable. This is a highly unusual practice.
    Apart from one short experiment with iodide (which unlike fluoride is
    a known essential nutrient) this has never been done before or since.
    The vast majority of countries in the world don't fluoridate their
    water supply.

    2) They have to persuade us that it is acceptable to use industrial
    grade chemicals for this purpose, as opposed to pharmaceutical grade.

    3) They have to persuade us that it is aceptable to use a chemical
    (Hexafluorosilicic acid) which acording to the US EPA has never been
    subjected to long term animal testing. All the testing has ben done
    on pharmaceutical or analytical grade sodium fluoride.

    4) They have to persaude us that the practice significantly reduces
    dental decay in children.

    5) They have to persuade us that it is safe. Which in this context
    means that it is safe:

    a) for bottle fed babies to consume fluoride at 100 times the levels
    normally found in mothers' milk (0.01
    ppm, according to IOM, 1997).

    b) for everyone, regardless of their health status. Public health
    policy should protect the most vulnerable
    not just the average person.

    c) to consume fluoride at 1 ppm in our water every day for a whole
    lifetime, even though
    approximately 50% we ingest accumulates in our bones.

    d) to consume the fluoride in the water in addition to the fluoride
    in processed foods and beverages made with
    fluoridated water, dental products and all other sources we are
    exposed to on a daily basis (1.6 - 6.6 mg
    per day in a fluoridated community according to DHHS, 1991).

    6) They have to persuade us that this program is so important and the
    risks so minimal that it justifies the government's decision to
    override the individual's right to "informed consent" to medication -
    a cornerstone of modern medical ethics.

    The promoters of fluoridation cannot do this and that is why they
    refuse to debate this issue on a public platform. That is why they
    are not here today. They know that Fluoridation is:

    Unethical
    Unnecessary
    Inequitable
    Inefficient
    Ineffective
    Unsafe
    Unscientifically promoted, and
    A massive distraction from the real causes of dental decay.

    Dr. Paul Connett,
    Professor of Chemistry,
    St. lawrence University,
    Canton, NY 13617.
    315-229-5853 (office)
    315-379-9200 (home)
    315-229-7421 (fax).
    ______________________________________________________________________
    ________
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