Attn. Minister Plibersek: A point-by-point response to your ABC comments (December 11, 2012)

GENRE: Email to (ALP) politician, Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek

TITLE: Attn. Minister Plibersek: A point-by-point response to your ABC comments (December 11, 2012)

AUTHOR: Daniel Z

DATE WRITTEN: 12th December, 2012

STATUS: Awaiting response, as of 24th December, 2012

UPDATES: Any updates should be posted in the comments section below.

FURTHER READING: ISBN: 9781603582872 The Case Against Fluoride (Connett, Beck & Micklem)

Attn. Tanya Plibersek, Federal Health Minister, Australia

Cc. Paul Connett, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Environmental Chemistry/Toxicology, St. Lawrence University

Re. Tanya Plibersek’s comments in –

Dear Minister Plibersek,

I am writing in reply to your recent comments, as cited in the ABC piece linked above. I believe you have been poorly advised on the issue of water fluoridation; in particular, state-enforced water fluoridation. I feel it is my duty to share some information with you, of which you may not currently be aware. Below, I offer a brief point-by-point response to each of your assertions. I strongly suggest that you click on each URL I have provided (listed by topic at the bottom of this email), so you can at least get the proverbial ‘other side’ of the story. In doing so, perhaps you may even become convinced, that you have indeed been misled by your advisers on this issue.

You will have noticed that I have Cced in Professor Paul Connett. I have done so in order to give you the opportunity (if you have any questions, after reading my responses below) to seek further information, and/or advice from a qualified scientist. Professor Connett has spent the past 16 years studying the primary fluoridation literature. In 2010, with two other scientists, he co-authored ‘The Case Against Fluoride’ [ ISBN: 9781603582872 – ], which contains over 80 pages of references. Simply hit the ‘Reply to All’ feature on your email program, if you wish to contact Professor Connett.

If I have made any egregious errors in my responses to your statements, I’m sure Professor Connett will correct them for me:

TANYA PLIBERSEK: “Essentially what the Government is doing is shoving this responsibility onto councils and I think that this is an issue that really is much better dealt with at a state level.”

DZ RESPONSE: By supporting a state-enforced policy of injecting industrial-grade fluoridation chemicals into public water supplies – with the express purpose of systemically treating the human body for a disease – is mass medication and a violation of medical ethics, by any standard. The state is doing to everyone what an individual doctor can do to no-one, without informed consent. You may believe the term ‘mass medication’ sounds ‘conspiratorial’, or ‘extreme’; however, this is an accurate, perfectly reasonable description, when one considers the intent of the treatment, combined with the delivery mechanism (and lack of dosage control/monitoring). [See: 1. Mass Medication, Medical Ethics, Fluoridation Chemicals]

TANYA PLIBERSEK: “It’s an important health measure, it’s important to prevent dental decay that there’s fluoride in the water.”

DZ RESPONSE: The evidence for a direct correlation between artificially fluoridated water, and any significant reduction in tooth decay rates, is very weak. Furthermore, the assumption that fluoride’s alleged enormous ‘benefits’ come from systemic ingestion of fluoridated water, is incorrect. If fluoride works to benefit teeth, it does so topically, not systemically. Thus, drinking fluoridated water to prevent tooth decay is as logical as drinking sunscreen to prevent sunburn. To add to these common misconceptions of ‘benefit,’ the fact is that prior to the artificial fluoridation of water, decay rates were already coming down in industrialised countries; and currently, non-fluoridated developed nations around the world, in Europe for example, have just as good, if not better, dental health than is seen in fluoridated nations. [See: 2. Weak Evidence, Topical vs Systemic, Decay Trends, Who Fluoridates?]

TANYA PLIBERSEK: “Look I think it’s Dr Google leading people astray again. You can find all sorts of nutty things on the internet about, you know, the harmful effects of this or that and people should be very, very careful what they believe when they’re reading it from these sorts of sources.”

DZ RESPONSE: As for your statement about information available via the Internet, I will respond with a quote: “No one denies that plenty of rubbish appears on the Internet. But just because a published study can be found using the Internet does not invalidate it. In fact, scientists now do much of their reading of the scientific literature online. The Fluoride Action Network maintains a Health Effects Database on its Web site, which provides citations, excerpts, abstracts, and in some cases complete pdf files of many published studies. Proponents would do well to read some of these papers, rather than trying to dismiss them because they are available online.” [See: 3. Internet Sources]

TANYA PLIBERSEK: “If you ask doctors and scientists like the National Health and Medical Research Council, like the World Health Organization, like the Australian Medical Association and they have looked at the science and they have considered it and they have discussed it and they are able to say this is safe and it’s important to protect our teeth.”

DZ RESPONSE: Your statement indicates a high degree of faith in these reviews and these organisations, whilst you demonstrate no independent thought, nor provide evidence that you have done any independent research on these matters. As a Federal Health Minister, you should be doing so. Many highly qualified scientists and other professionals have examined the types of reviews you mention, and found them to be lacking in terms of adequately proving the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation. For example, the NHMRC report (2007) has at least six fundamental identifiable flaws (the most obvious one being a preoccupation with teeth), which have been pointed out by independent scientists. Unfortunately, this report’s ‘findings’ are generally non-critically repeated by those who aggressively promote fluoridation, such as the AMA, ADA and many others. Their blind faith in the ‘prestige’ of such ‘authorities’ as the NHMRC, is similar to yours. Other reviews, such as the York Review (2000), are frequently misused. Did you know that the UK’s Centre for Reviews as Dissemination – in relation to the York Review – stated in 2003, “we were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide”? Did you know that in 2006, the US National Research Council released the most comprehensive review ever, and that the Chairman of the NRC report – along with multiple Panel Members – have since expressed grave concerns regarding margin of safety? I bet your advisers have not told you these things. Another thing I bet you have not been told, is that the WHO recommends that a total fluoride dose estimate be undertaken before a community is fluoridated. With non-negotiable, state-mandated fluoridation policy, this advice is ignored by default. [See: 4. Reports & Reviews]

TANYA PLIBERSEK: “In 2002, the Victorian Government estimated that the 25 years of fluoridation that they had in their water supply had saved the Victorian community nearly $1 billion in avoided dental costs.”

DZ RESPONSE: Hold your horses, Minister. The Victorian Government has not offered any good quality, reliable, unbiased scientific evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness of water fluoridation [See: 2.a]; therefore, any cost-saving analysis is, by implication, flawed and unreliable. If it’s not working, as claimed, it cannot be saving costs, as claimed (logically, the former must precede the latter). A common tactic of fluoridation promoters is to perpetuate the notion of the ‘cost-effectiveness’ of fluoridation, whilst claiming it reduces inequalities in dental health. They like to make statements such as, “for every dollar spent on fluoridation, $38 dollars is saved in dental costs.” These are catchy for public relations purposes, but remain unimpressive to many independent researchers. As for reductions in inequalities, according to the 2003 CRD statement[See: 4.g], “the evidence [world-wide] about reducing inequalities in dental health was of poor quality, contradictory and unreliable.” [See: 5. Misleading ‘Cost-Effectiveness’ Figures]

TANYA PLIBERSEK: “It makes a huge difference. There will be dentists who tell you that they can tell someone who grew up in Queensland because of the state of their teeth as adults.”

DZ RESPONSE: Such anecdotal evidence [of ‘benefit’] is not supported by the wide-scale scientific DMFT data. Furthermore, do these dentists you meet also mention how much dental fluorosis they treat? Do they tell you that dental fluorosis is the most reliable biomarker (used as an index of exposure) of toxic systemic over-exposure to fluoride? Have you entertained the possibility that a poison, which travels right through a child’s body to ultimately damage their tooth-forming cells, may also be causing other harm within the body? Are these dentists aware that a baby in a fluoridated community, whose formula is prepared using tap water, may be receiving up to 250 times the level of fluoride found in mothers’ milk? Have you considered that there may be an important reason why the female breast evolved to keep fluoride away from the developing infant? [See: 6. Dental Fluorosis, Infant Exposure]

DZ SOURCES (by topic):

1. Mass Medication, Medical Ethics, Fluoridation Chemicals

a. General overview –

b. Refer to, ‘Fluoridation is unethical because’ –

c. Various professional views on the ethics of fluoridation (dvd code) –

d. ‘Fluoridation is not ethical’ (public presentation) –

e. ‘Fluoridation is a poor medical practice’ (public presentation) –

f. Limeback on informed consent (article) –

g. Limeback on informed consent (interview) –

h. AMA on informed consent –

i. Refer to, Claim #1, Chlorination vs Fluoridation –

j. Overview of fluoridation chemicals –

k. ‘Where do fluoridation chemicals come from?’ (dvd extract) –

l. An overview of Australian chemicals (dvd extract) –

m. Incitec Pivot Hydrofluorosilicic Acid/Fluorosilicic acid information –

n. Incitec Pivot Hydrofluorosilicic Acid/Fluorosilicic acid MSDS (S7 poison) –

o. Hydramet statement on Hydrofluorosilicic Acid/Fluorosilicic acid –

p. SUSDP S7 poisons overview –

q. Refer to, p. 8: Health Department clarification of chemicals used –

r. Limeback’s concerns about chemicals used (article) –

s. Limeback’s concerns about chemicals used (interview) –

t. EPA Union’s concerns about chemicals used –

2. Weak Evidence, Topical vs Systemic, Decay Trends, Who Fluoridates?

a. ‘The evidence of benefit is very weak’ (public presentation) –

b. Modern fluoridation studies demonstrate insignificant ‘benefit,’ if any –

c. Effects of water fluoridation “cannot be measured” –

d. Decay rates were falling prior to artificial fluoridation –

e. International decay data comparisons –

f. Flawed systemic ‘benefit’ theory –

g. ‘Which Countries Fluoridate Their Water?’ (dvd extract)

3. Internet Sources

a. Refer to, ‘Claim #24’ (book extract) –

b. Comprehensive scholarly research database –

c. Harvard scientists cite FAN’s IQ study translations –

4. Reports & Reviews

a. Main flaws of the NHMRC report (2007) –

b. Preoccupation with teeth (press conference) –

c. Refer to, #46) ‘Review panels hand-picked to deliver a pro-fluoridation result’ –

d. Use of endorsements and tame reviews –

e. Health Canada panel report critique (press conference) –

f. ‘A Critique of the York Review’ –

g. CRD (2003), ‘What the ‘York Review’ on the fluoridation of drinking water really found’ –

h. NRC (2006), Panel Members’ statements –

i. NRC (2006), Relevance to fluoridation –

j. NRC (2006), Thiessen interview –

k. NRC (2006), Limeback makes some key clarifications (professional presentation) –

l. NRC (2006), Overview of the significance of the NRC report (2011 public presentation) –

m. NRC (2006), Overview of the significance of the NRC report (2008 public presentation) –

n. WHO recommendation –

5. Misleading ‘Cost-Effectiveness’ Figures

a. Refer to, ‘Claim #12’ (book extract) –

6. Dental Fluorosis, Infant Exposure

a. Dental fluorosis as index of exposure –

b. Refer to, ‘Fluorosis Is Not “Just” a Cosmetic Effect’ –

c. Refer to, ‘The Great Fluoridation Gamble’ –

d. ‘Are kids being overdosed on fluoride?’ (dvd extract) –

e. Mothers’ milk ‘flawed’? (dvd extract) –

f. Level of fluoride in mothers’ milk (interview) –

g. Impact of developmental toxins on fetal and infant health (interview) –

h. Infant exposure overview page –

Minister, in this email, I have provided you with every opportunity to learn more about the fluoridation issue; beyond the ‘spin’ offered by your bureaucratic Health Department advisers; beyond the tooth-obsessed dental lobby. The best advice I can give you right now is to email Professor Connett with an open mind – or at the very least, read his book.

However, Minister, I must remind you of one key thing: I have given you the benefit of the doubt today; along with the chance to redeem your erroneous statements. I decided to place the blame for your inaccurate statements, as archived in the ABC piece (December 11, 2012), squarely on the shoulders of the pro-fluoridation lobbyists that dominate the Health Departments of Australia.

You are not a scientist, so you trust others to give you good advice, which you can then act upon with the best interests of the public foremost in your mind. Unfortunately, on the issue of fluoridation, you have been well and truly misled; you should be outraged at this fact.

I will leave you, now, with the following words as a parting Christmas gift:

“After reading this book [ ISBN: 9781603582872 ], one is left with the strong impression that water fluoridation is an idea that is well past its ‘sell by date’ and that it should be rapidly phased out. What is now clear is that, if proposed today, fluoridation of drinking water to prevent tooth decay would stand virtually no chance of being adopted, given the current status of scientific knowledge The good news is that, unlike many other forms of pollution, fluoride will leave no persistent legacy if adding fluoride to drinking water is stopped. Nobody will die, nobody can really complain, and, if only a portion of the evidence presented in this book were to be sustained in the long term, then many thousands would benefit.” [ ]

These words were written by Professor Vyvyan Howard, MB, ChB, PhD, MRCPath, FRCPath, of the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ulster. I hope you will remember these words well, the next time you do a fluoridation interview for ABC or any other media outlet; the next time someone tells you that fluoridation is “so essential,” that is must be forced by government without the informed consent of the public.


Daniel Z, BA, MA



Update sent: Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Dear Minister,

I missed a link in my Sources section. Here it is:

2. Weak Evidence, Topical vs Systemic, Decay Trends, Who Fluoridates?

g. ‘Which Countries Fluoridate Their Water?’ (dvd extract) –

Please forgive my oversight.



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