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Friday, February 07, 2020

Fluoridation: A 75-Year-Old Blunder



January 25, 2020 -- Seventy-five years ago, dentists convinced government officials to experiment on every Grand Rapids, Michigan, resident without individual informed-consent to prove that (not if) dosing the municipal water supply with untested sodium-fluoride chemicals would decay-proof children’s developing teeth. The experiment failed; but it spread across the country anyway.

Today, tooth decay is an epidemic among Grand Rapids' children.

"The typical child that comes in to us between 3 to 8, 9 years old and they could have anywhere from 3 to 20 cavities," said Dr. Darren Riopelle of Smile One who sees it first hand as a pediatric dentist. "It's a disease. If it's one tooth, it spreads to all the other teeth," reported WZZM

Last year more than 3,000 children in the Grand Rapids area had full mouth rehabilitation surgery under general anesthesia, they reported.

Planned to last 15 years, the 1945 Grand Rapids/Muskegon study ended prematurely after 6 ½ years.  Teeth of most children born into the experiment hadn’t even erupted yet. Muskegon, the planned non-fluoridated comparison city began fluoridating its water in 1951; thereby, negating the experiment. Fluoridationists changed the intent of the study,  further politicizing the experiment, by claiming water fluoridation reduced tooth decay in Grand Rapids by 65% in the 6 1/2 year experiment but failed to share the evidence that rates declined in non-fluoridated Muskegon concurrently.

Additional flaws are detailed In the book “Fluoridation - Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials.”

An American Dental Association (ADA) news release admits, “many communities did not wait for the studies to be completed before starting their own fluoridation efforts.  By 1950, [fluoridation] had the full support of the ADA.”  Pressured by some Wisconsin dentists, the US Public Health Service recommended fluoridation in 1950, first; then the ADA and the American Medical Association followed.   All without safety evidence.

Grand Rapids citizens’ health was untested. But Newburgh NY’s healthy schoolchildren were examined in another 1945 human fluoridation experiment, also cut short prematurely. Newburgh school-kids suffered more bone defects, anemia and earlier female menstruation after 10 years (Journal of the American Dental Association, 1956). These findings were dismissed.

Pre-schoolers, adults and brain effects weren't examined.  Now 400 studies point to fluoride's neurological effects.

In 1951, those Wisconsin dentists strategized (“Proceedings 4th annual conference of state dental directors”) on how to sell fluoridation using  misinformation and misdirection e.g. “We have told the public it works, so we can’t go back on that.” And “those research people, they can’t get over their feeling that you have to have test tube and animal research before you start applying it to human beings.”

Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, promoted fluoridation, consulting on strategy for the National Institute of Dental Research. “Selling fluoride was child’s play,” Bernays told the author of The Fluoride Deception. Bernays said citizens trust medical authority so he indoctinated doctors to believe in fluoridation without providing valid science and they, in turn, would and did pass that information to their patients, media and legislators - who failed to fact-check.  Modern day fluoridation PR flacks do the same. 

“Rational voices of opposition were suppressed from the start, reported Chemical & Engineering News in 1988. Science justified those fears. Fluoride isn’t a nutrient or required for healthy teeth, as early fluoridationists theorized and has serious side effects, rendering fluoridation unnecessary and harmful.

Valid criticism persists today, i.e. Legal Scholar Rita Barnett-Rose; Historian Catherine Carstairs, Phd; Social Scientist Brian Martin PhD; investigative reporters in Scientific AmericanNewsweek and ABC-TV.

Harvard Public Health Magazine reported in 2016 that "The [highly respected] Cochrane report also concluded that early scientific investigations on water fluoridation (most were conducted before 1975) were deeply flawed. “We had concerns about the methods used, or the reporting of the results, in … 97 percent of the studies,” the authors noted. 

Likewise, Dr. John Doull, toxicologist and chairman of the 2006 National Research Council's Fluoride Panel which reviewed fluoride toxicological studies told an investigative journalists writing for Scientific American:

     “What the committee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many years—for too long, really—and now we need to take a fresh look. In the scientific community, people tend to think this is settled. I mean, when the U.S. surgeon general comes out and says this is one of the 10 greatest achievements of the 20th century, that’s a hard hurdle to get over. But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. In the face of ignorance, controversy is rampant.”

Even earlier than that, a  National Institutes of Health (NIH) panel convened to evaluate tooth decay research and reported in  2001


"... the (NIH) panel was disappointed in the overall quality of the clinical data that it reviewed.  According to the panel, far too many studies were small, poorly described, or otherwise methodologically flawed" (over 560 studies evaluated fluoride use).

It seems not much as changed, The Journal of the American Dental Association just reported in 2020 that  abstracts published in dental journals don't always correctly reflect the actual research.

"Approximately one-third of the 75 RCT [Randomized Controlled Trials - the gold standard in research] abstracts published in high-impact dental journals in 2015 with nonsignificant outcomes presented with some form of spin, irrespective of funding type and journal impact factor."

Dental and other groups are celebrating fluoridation, ignoring strong fluoride/brain links,100 years of damning fluoride/kidney  thyroid research and evidence that cavity experience and inequities increased in the last 20 years despite widespread fluoridation contributing to US children’s fluoride-damaged teeth (fluorosis)

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