Friday, December 16, 2005

How Dentists Manipulate Legislators to Win Fluoridation Battles

Ignoring the democratic process and discouraging a healthy dialogue, California fluoridationists worked secretly, quickly and dishonestly to pass a 1995 California fluoridation law, that forces most California communities to add fluoride into their water supplies, whether Californians want it or not, according to “The Fluoride Victory,” published in the Journal of the California Dental Association.(1)

California Assemblywoman Jackie Speier, working with the California Dental Association (CDA), sponsored a fluoridation bill, eventually signed into law, forcing all California water companies, with 10,000 service connections, to add nonessential fluoride chemicals into the drinking water to prevent tooth decay, without constituent or local governing body approval, discussion or vote.
“To make the most of the element of surprise, it was decided that Speier would wait until the last possible moment to introduce her fluoridation bill,” writes author Joanne Boyd.

“’We pretty much knew we’d catch (the anti-fluoridation faction) by surprise because it wasn’t well known outside of the dental community what was going on,' said Liz Snow, assistant director of CDA’s Government Relations (lobbying) Office. ‘But we didn’t want to give the other side any more time to mobilize than absolutely necessary,’” writes Boyd.

William Keese, CDA Director of Government Relations, a lobbyist, received many compliments from other lobbyists on the campaign.

“I wouldn’t say we pulled a rabbit out of a hat, but it was a coup. We worked hard at getting prepared and using the element of surprise to our advantage. We moved fast and did it in one year," Boyd quotes Keese as saying.

Many of the nation’s most familiar pro-fluoride lobbiests, were involved in the California battle including zealous fluoridationist, dentist Michael Easley brought in from Kentucky, at the time. (By the way, tooth decay doubled in Kentucky after water fluoridation (2)).

To the antifluoridation folks, Easley brags, I'm Public Enemy Number 1. (3) Easley travels world-wide touting one issue, fluoridation. Easley used taxpayer money to create a biased, document about fluoridation containing factual errors.(12)

Intending to insult anti-fluoridationists, Boyd quotes lobbiest Snow as saying, “’When you’re a single-issue person – when that issue pops up, regardless of where it is – that’s where you go,’ Snow said. They remind me of Deadheads. Anywhere the Grateful Dead would go, there would be the same group of followers.” Snow’s criticism more aptly fits Easley or the national lobbiests provided by the country-wide dentists’ union, the American Dental Association (ADA), which could be named the American Fluoridation Association.

Unlike pro-fluoridation special-interest groups, fluoridation opponents use their own time, their own money, usually to protect their own drinking water and have actually studied the issue. There are different opponents in every town.

On the other hand, the ADA, went all out to support the 1995 California fluoridation bill, assisting in spokesperson training, legislative testimony and providing literature to distribute, reports Boyd.

With decades of commercials, advertisements and organized dentistry’s web of support, influence and money working against them, and during the OJ trial, Californians opposed to fluoridation hardly had a chance to voice dissent.

The California campaign is a "blueprint" for oranized dentistry to push fluoridation across the USA. This despite evidence fluoridation fails to reduce tooth decay by the same dentists who told the California legislature the opposite.

In fact, out-of-town pro-fluoride troops are on the ground, thirty strong armed with grant money, in Joplin Missouri, right now, spreading the gospel according to Organized Dentistry(13)forcing the good people of Joplin to organize, raise money and fight their own representatives to keep their water fluoride-free (13a).

Kansas City, MO, is already fluorided, yet 31% of small children have severe tooth decay (15). A Springfield newspaper reports similar dire decay problems, not from lack of fluoride, the water is fluoridated (16); but from lack of dental care.

Fluoridation fails Missouri children, already 82% fluoridated (See: Black Holes Swallow Community

Back to California.

Untrained to diagnose fluoride’s adverse effects, California fluoridationist and dentist “Howard Pollick, …, likened the anti-fluoride activists to the Flat Earth Society. ‘Ever since science proved that the earth is round, there’s been a Flat Earth Society whose members refuse to acknowledge a scientific truth,”’ Writes Boyd in “The Fluoride Victory.”

Pollick should join the Flat Earth Society – in fact – he should be their President because he doesn’t even believe his own research.

According to Pollick and colleagues, "It that fluoridation of drinking water does not have a strong protective effect against early childhood caries (ECC)," was reported in the Winter 2003 Journal of Public Health Dentistry(4).

Howard Pollick, DDS, is a clinical professor with the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, and co-chairman of the California Fluoridation Task Force.

Pollick's team studied 2,520 California preschool children as part of the “California Oral Health Needs Assessment of Children Study” which helped convinced California legislators to mandate fluoridation statewide in 1995(5).

A majority of Asian-American children that Pollick and his research team studied, lived in areas with fluoridated water; yet they suffered with the highest prevalence and the greatest amount of cavities.

"...the primary sampling units were selected on the basis of fluoridation status: three were fluoridated urban regions, two were rural (nonfluoridated),and five were non-fluoridated urban regions," they report. "Our analysis did not appear to be affected by whether or not children lived in an area with fluoridated water," reports Pollick et al.

Pollick reports in the "International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health" that infant forumula made with optimally fluoridated water might create brown and pitted permanent teeth(17). We wonder if Pollick, turned fluoridation lobbiest in Arkansas, informs elected bodies that, if they fluoridate their water supplies, they must provide bottled fluoride-free water for infant consumption.

Many studies show children's teeth will grow in stained if fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water.(18)

On 9/2/04 Pollick presented selective pro-fluoridation information to two committees of the Arkansas legislature, instigating a state-wide fluoridation law, telling legislators to disbelieve anti-fluoridationists because they use the internet. Unfortunately, for Pollick, we use his own words to contradict what he tells legislators in private. I guess that's why he doesn't recommend the internet.

Organized dentistry gets an A+ for political savvy; but an F for fluoride science. Legislators assume organized dentistry does their fluoride homework; but they don't. Fluoridating dentists are like wind-up dolls programmed to say one thing. Even if they wanted to, they can't say anything negative about fluoride or their owners would put them out of busines.

Fluoride opposition is based on sound science – not back-door political activism. Unfortunately, we don’t have the money, influence and network they do. We only have the truth.
People who get paid to promote fluoridation:

-- Dental directors in almost every state with offices, budgets, staffs and traveling expenses, most of whom aren’t passionate about fluoridation – just doing their job.

-- An army of uniformed U.S. Centers for Disease Control dentists, based in Atlanta, Georgia, who took up the front row, at taxpayer expense, in a Suffolk County, New York, legislative fluoridation meeting. The Suffolk County legislature still voted down fluoridation.

-- National Institutes of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) dentists. The NIDCR displays a magnified image of a fluoride crystal on their website’s logo as a reminder that this institute was born on the back of fluoridation. Millions of dollars are meted out to dental researchers to study fluoride’s tooth effects – but not fluoride’s bodily effects.

-- Public-health-dentists and dental professors in Universities and dental schools who sometimes require entire classes of dental students take up space and alloted time before governing bodies in local fluoridation battles to essentially silence residents opposed to fluoridation.

-- The U.S. Surgeon General who reports a dental health epidemic in the U.S. despite almost five decades of water fluoridation reaching about 2/3 of Americans and vitually 100% through the food and beverage supply.

At their disposal is a web of dentists across the U.S. too willing to follow Organized Dentistry’s instructions to lobby their legislator-patients and instigate fluoridation whenever they can, making it appear to be a local initiative. They are offered strategy materials, videos, power point presentations and a half day continuing education program entitled “Get the Drop on Community Water Fluoridation!”

Don’t expect the research community to speak on your behalf. Some who did lost their jobs, grant money and reputations such as Phyllis Mullenix, PhD, once a rising star in the research community until she discovered fluoride could pass into the brain causing mental deficits.
Instead of ordering up more studies to prove or disprove her findings, organized dentistry destroyed the messenger and ignored her findings(9) which have never been successfully refuted scientifically. However, research from China bolsters her findings.

Dr. William Marcus exposed the government’s downgrading of bone cancer in lab animals exposed to fluoride in a study by the National Toxicology Program (9a). Marcus was fired, then re-hired under the whistleblowers act with back pay; but the scientific research showing fluoride induces bone cancer in rats has never been corrected.(10)

Canadian researchers aren’t encouraged to speak out either when they disagree (11).

Timid, fearful or greedy dental researchers usually conclude "more study needed" when they unexpectedly find negative fluoride data.

The fluoridators still strategically avoid debates because they know their information doesn’t stand up to objective scrutiny.

Organized dentistry’s tactic now is to work behind the scenes forming “dental health committees” presenting one-sided, sometimes wrong, information, to local children’s, health and church groups, and the media, convincing them that fluoridation is safe, effective and cheap while insulting and denigrating those opposed or as Easley call us, “fluorophobes.” They effectively indoctrinate trusting people to love them and hate us. They are masters of manipulation.

Susan Allen, Florida's Fluoridation Coordinator wrote in a 1990 memo to St. Petersburg's Director of Inner City Governmental Relations, "There are several tactical strategies that seem to promote (fluoridation) success; the 1st being - Keep a low profile: the least amount of publicity the better.

2. Approach community officials individually. Better yet, convince someone they know and respect to convince them ...'

4. Avoid a referendum. The statistics are that 3 out of 4 fluoridation referenda fail."
It’s incredible that fluoridation opponents win any fluoridation battles against this huge fluoridating machine. But we do (8) because the evidence speaks for itself. We just present it.
Despite fluoridation since 1954, 2/3 of elementary schoolchildren and about 1/3 of San Francisco preschoolers, had cavities, according to a 1996/97 survey that also reveals cavity prevalence in fluoridated San Francisco is similar to the rest of California, mostly non-fluoridated at the time of the survey. (6)

Yet San Francisco reportedly will spend $2,500,000 on a new or updated fluoridation facility
(7). At the same time San Francisco sells non-fluoridated bottled water and brags that their Mayor and Water Department employees drink the bottled water - fluoride-free.

And that’s politics!


(1) “The Fluoride Victory,” by Joanne Boyd, January 1997 cover story in the Journal of the California Dental Association, Vol 25, No. 1

(4) "The Association of Early Childhood Caries and Race/Ethnicity among California Preschool Children, by Shiboski, Gansky, Ramos-Gomez, Ngo, Isman, Pollick, Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Winter 2003, pages 38-46


(9) Excerpt from “The Fluoride Deception,” by Christopher Bryson about Phyllis Mullenix (scroll down)

(12) OralHealth/Fluoride/documents/calprojt.doc

(17)"Water Fluoridation and the Environment: Current Perspective in the United States," Howard F. Pollick, BDS, MPH, Internationa Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Jun/Sep, 2004.


1 comment:

Surviving Fluoride said...

As both a "subscriber" in my rss feeds, and a FB follower, I thank you for this excellent material. You bring out some excellent points. I saw this in action in NH this January in the House, the dental lobby basically encapsulated a committee looking into studying IF we should so much as require warning labeling for parents of infants, on water bills. "Nip it in the bud". very efficient.
Do you know of a regional list of Anti-fluoridation dentists? I'd like to make a point of patronizing one. Thanks, "Surviving Fluoride" (blogspot)