Fluoride debate – I get email

address-angry-customer-email-200x200From time to time I get personal email from readers who are upset by articles. I don’t know why they bother – surely it would be more effective to put their arguments in the comments section which are read by others and have more effect. I am certainly not going to get into one-to-one discussions with such correspondents.

As you might expect, emails from irate opponents of fluoridation are not a novelty. However, this one I received today from Bill illustrates some illusions about the debate that need correcting.

Dear Ken,

Paul has a PhD in chemistry but you appear to think he has just been released from a home for mentally disturbed people. The fact that you reference Slott shows clearly that your mental faculties need a bit of repair work. Slott would not recognise a rational argument if it jumped up and bit him! I have met Paul a few times in the last couple of decades and have no doubts about his rationality. No doubt, from your perspective, that makes my mental apparatus a wee bit suspect by your standards. The longer you carry on this very lop sided discussion with your doubtful arguments, the more anti-fluoride people will disregard your types of arguments.

Read the evidence! There is plenty of it and the scientific literature does not support your position.

Best Wishes

Bill

 So Bill, here are a few points.

  1: Why this obsession with mental issues? No, I do not think Paul “has just been released from a home for mentally disturbed people.” Whatever gave you that idea? I certainly wouldn’t be participating in a public exchange with someone I thought has such mental issues. And you are the one raising questions about your own “mental apparatus” – not me.

2: Apparently my use of links to information passed on by Steve Slott is “clear” evidence my own mental facilities need repair! Well that is a very crude attempt to divert attention away from the information contained in those links, isn’t it? Steve appears to be a mine of information on this issue and I think many readers appreciate this.

3: Paul’s PhD in chemistry is of course relevant to our exchange. So is my PhD in chemistry. We do in fact have similar academic qualifications and research background. We are both since retired. Consequently this is an exchange between equals – at least in an approximate sense.

4: Yes there is plenty of scientific literature on this subject and plenty of evidence to consider. You may have noticed that in fact we are referring to this literature and evidence.

5: You claim the literature does not supports my position. Well you are entitled to your view but it would be nice of you to back it up with some sort of evidence. What about you contributing to the ongoing discussion with some comments where you can lay out your arguments with the supporting evidence? Like other people here are doing. It is proving to be a very worthwhile exercise and I am certainly learning from many of the comments.

Bill, you seem to want us to stop this exchange of views and information on the fluoridation issue. I can assure you I see no reason to stop. I enjoy these sort of exchanges and I think the information coming out of it could be useful to others.


Anyone wanting to follow the debate and/or check back over previous articles in the debate can find the list of articles at Fluoride Debate.

See also:

Similar articles on fluoridation
Making sense of fluoride Facebook page

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8 responses to “Fluoride debate – I get email

  1. This letter writer appears to want to continue this disussion with me by private email.

    I don’t do that – so I have just included his email here as a comment. I urge him to cease the private emails and continue his discussion here:


    Dear Ken,
    Thank you for your few points of response to my email. I will postpone my response to these until I have got a few things off my chest. I looked you up on the internet and found that you were described as a chemist, a dental surgeon and a retired person from Agresearch Hamilton. You claimed that you were a PhD in chemistry and were now retired. Since you were listed among other medical and dental people in the list of people who objected to the stopping of fluoridation in Hamilton, I assume that you had been a dental surgeon – you will no doubt correct me if I am wrong though the Agresearch reference implies that I am! If I am right, then you cannot claim approximation of qualifications to Paul Connett since all his adult life, having obtained a PhD in chemistry, he taught at a New York university until his retirement. Perhaps you will enlighten us as to your experience that allows you to claim that you are an expert on fluoride? I will only quote one factual example that destroys the pro-fluoride arguments. All the American toothpaste packaging contains a warning to contact a poison center (note the American spelling) if the contents are swallowed. If you do not believe that warning, you may well believe that it is not the fluoride that is considered dangerous.
    Now to your points. I will ignore your point one. In point two, you again claim that Slott knows what he is talking about. I doubt that your assertion that Slott is a mine of information which many readers appreciate is true. I have already covered point three and await your response. Yes – Paul had covered point four adequately. I am doubtful about your contribution. I have not done as you suggested in point five because I wanted to contact you not everyone on the internet. Though, while checking your credentials, I found your response to Connett on the internet. For thirty years I have studied the fluoride arguments. I was president of the Pure Water Association for a time and have every copy of the Fluoride journal since its inception. John Colquhoun was a good friend of mine until his untimely death. In his sixties, he obtained a PhD on fluoridation.
    It is clear that during world war two, the fluoride arguments were raised because of the Manhattan project. This was understandable because such misinformation is common in wartime. The tragedy is that the dental people in the USA took the subject up and, to this day, are still pursuing it, when most of the remainder of the world has either stopped the practice or never started.

    Best Wishes

    Bill Wilson

  2. I’ve found Steven Slott’s contributions helpful and enlightening.

  3. Goodness me! So, it’s implied that Steven Slott is not a reliable source, that research & teaching at a uni somehow trumps research & teaching at a CRI (although your correspondent may not realise that CRI staff may, for example, be co-supervisors of higher-degree students), and that teh ebil nuclear industry is somehow involved.

    Like Richard, I’ve enjoyed learning from Steven’s comments here.

  4. Bill wrote: ” All the American toothpaste packaging contains a warning to contact a poison center (note the American spelling) if the contents are swallowed. If you do not believe that warning, you may well believe that it is not the fluoride that is considered dangerous.”

    Bill, you may find that there are similar warning texts on boxes of vitamin pills. Even chemical compunds we need to live, such as many vitamins, can be dangerous in large amounts. Toothpaste contains roughly 1000 times more fluoride than tap water in the U.S., and it also contains other chemicals that are not meant to be swallowed.

  5. Now to your points. I will ignore your point one.(…)I have already covered point three and await your response. Yes – Paul had covered point four adequately. I am doubtful about your contribution. I have not done as you suggested in point five…

    Comedy that writes itself.
    Communication with Bill seems…pointless.
    (Bada-dum-ting)
    Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

  6. As you say Cedric – pointless. But I am afraid Bill is a bit of a stalker as he still sends me emails. Must look into how I can block him.

  7. Oh.
    Creepy. Very creepy.

  8. Paul Melters, you are welcome to join the discussion here or to make relevant comments on the articles. However, I will not allow personal attacks on, abuse of or harassment of other commenters. Therefore I am moderating you comments and the current one well not be allowed.

    This subject does seem to bring out the worst in commenters, trolls and spammers. So we have agreed to moderate the discussion quite strictly to prevent it becoming counter productive.

    I look forward to future constructive comments.

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