Sunday, February 14, 2016

Arkansas Fluoridation Study Fraudulent?

In 2011,  Arkansas enacted a state-wide law requiring fluoridation, which some say was enacted to over-ride those Arkansas cities which voted repeatedly against fluoridation. The new law was sold, in part, with an Arkansas Morrilton/Perry County study which was said to prove  that children in fluoridated Morrilton  have less cavities than children in non-fluoridated Perry County.  It's repeated by many pro-fluoridation groups as fact. The problem is the study doesn't seem to exist. 

Repeated  requests  to the Arkansas Department of health, Dr. Lynn Mouden, who spearheaded the ill-advised fluoridation mandate law,  the Pew Foundation which financed the effort, and others haven't unearthed the alleged study.

However, when the Pew Foundation apparently asked for the evidence, they and I were sent what appears below from the Arkansas Department of Health.  The "study" begins on page 12.

It's actually a compilation of incomplete and possibly selective data that has so many easily identifiable flaws to render it junk-science.
For example:

1) There is no indication of age just of school grade.  Children generally lose teeth in kindergarten. Yet, some kindergartners are missing permanent teeth due to decay which begs the question “how old were the examinees?”

2)  Dr. Mouden reported  that this data is especially “compelling because the screenings involved virtually every kindergarten child in the area.” However, it’s odd that so many kindergarten classes had a very small number of children, e.g. 6 – 12 children in Ann Watson Elementary School’s Kindergarten classes; 4 – 9 children in Casa Elementary  Kindergarten classes. There is no explanation for this.  Were they small classes, children unavailable for examination, or was there a high refusal rate?  This information is usually provided in tooth decay studies.

3) The data isn’t presented by socio-economic-status (SES).  Poverty is strongly  linked to more tooth decay whether water is fluoridated or not.  Tooth decay studies usually put students in at least two SES categories (those who do and don’t get free lunch)  and studies usually also report by race since minorities also have the most tooth decay, according to government reports.   Morrilton, which Dr. Mouden says has less tooth decay because it is fluoridated, also is a higher income area than the schools chosen in Perryville which doesn’t make this a legitimate comparison study at all.

4) I’ve never heard of schools asking to be part of a study.  Dr. Mouden wrote, “In October of 2002, all kindergarten students from the City of Morrilton also received a dental screening at the request of the school.” 

5)  There are several pages detailing Perryville; but only one chart on Morrilton which  puts children in 7 undefined groups with no identifying details. 

6)  Despite being fluoridated, Morrilton’s children’s primary teeth don’t look so good either:

71% of group 3 had caries
64% of group 2 had caries
59% of group 7 had caries
56% of group 2 had caries

Several non-fluoridated Perryville Kindergarten classes have lower rates than the above.

I am left to assume this massaged data was used solely to pass the Arkansas state-wide fluoridation mandate. It's clear, scientific integrity was not an objective.

Neither Dr. Mouden nor Rhonda Sledge who conducted the "study" have replied to my requests for an explanation.

If the below doesn't work for you, try this link