GENRE: Email letter
TO: Kelly Cernetich – Staff Writer – The Altoona Mirror, Tyrone
AUTHOR: Daniel Z
DATE SENT: Sun, Apr 21, 2013 at 4:59 PM
TITLE: Attn. Kelly – Re. Fluoride issue splits Tyrone (April 21, 2013)
STATUS: No response.
UPDATES: Please place any updates into the COMMENTS section below
You write, “There is a lot of thoroughly researched scientific evidence on fluoridation’s side… The CDC named water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”
In response, I direct your attention to the following:
“To all intents and purposes the OHD is an adjunct of the ADA. Most members of the public and the media know little of this background, so when the CDC makes pronouncements about the “safety and effectiveness” of fluoridation, journalists and officials take it at face value. Not a day goes by without someone in the world citing the CDC’s statement that fluoridation is “One of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th Century” (CDC, 1999). Those that cite this probably have no idea how incredibly poor the analysis was that supported this statement. The report was not externally peer reviewed, was six years out of date on health studies and the graphical evidence it offered to support the effectiveness of fluoridation was laughable and easily refuted by examining the WHO data base.”
“Proponents of fluoridation have made a number of claims that have been effective with an ill-informed public. However, when those claims are examined carefully, they are found to have little merit. Although opponents have pointed out the weaknesses and fallacies in some of these “chestnuts” over the many years of this debate, they continue to crop up. Let’s take a look at them […] When proponents are asked to produce just one study (a primary study, not a governmental review) that has convinced them that fluoridation is safe, they are seldom able to do so. Apparently, they have taken such assurances from others at face value, without reading the literature for themselves. The fact is, it is almost impossible to prove conclusively that a substance has no ill effects. A careful and properly controlled study may show that, under the conditions and limitations of the investigation, no harm is apparent. A hundred such studies may permit a considerable degree of confidence—but in the case of fluoridation, very few studies have even been attempted. As fluoride accumulates progressively in the skeleton and probably the pineal gland, studies need to extend over a lifetime. In chapter 22, we listed the many health concerns that simply have not been investigated in fluoridated countries. Meanwhile, fluoride at moderate to high doses can cause serious health problems, leaving little or no margin of safety for people drinking fluoridated water (see chapter 20).”
Were you aware of the existence of the book, The Case Against Fluoride by Dr. Paul Connett, Dr. James Beck, Dr. Spedding Micklem (ISBN: 9781603582872, Chelsea Green, 2010), prior to the composition of your most recent article? If you were aware of this book, did you take the time to read it cover to cover? If not, why not? And if so, please provide your detailed assessment of this text – explaining your confidence in all this apparent “thorough research” to which you refer.
I am assuming that, as a Journalist covering the fluoridation issue, you will endeavor toindependently and extensively examine both sides of the debate. For this reason, I will expect that – if you have not yet read ISBN: 9781603582872 – you will immediately make efforts to do so. If and when you do so, I would like to know if you will continue claiming, “There is a lot of thoroughly researched scientific evidence on fluoridation’s side,” or will you make some key clarifications for your readers that this matter is not so ‘black and white’?
In a 2010 book review, Professor CV Howard writes, “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.” Do you disagree with Professor Howard’s assessment? If so, please outline your case in more detail, with supporting citations.
If you refer to the right sidebar of my website ( http://danielzalec.wordpress.com/ ), under the section “Recommended,” you will find some additional material that you may wish to explore. I suggest, in particular, the Murdock Theatre URL as a start.
Daniel Z, BA, MA