Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research

Mark Atkin (“Science and legal advisor” for FFNZ) and Mary Byrne (“National Co-ordinator and media contact” for FFNZ) promote their “magic” fluoride free water.

These activists have a really weird understanding of science and the nature of scientific research. How’s this for press releases from the NZ Fluoride Free Science and Legal Advisor, Mark Atkin:

1: Rubbishing a planned review of the published science around fluoridation by Sir Peter Gluckman (the Prime Minister’s Chief Science advisor) and the NZ Royal society. Mark declares the review is “totally one-sided” and that Gluckman admits this (see Secret Fluoridation Review Totally One-Sided Admits Chair)!

And what is Atkin’s “evidence” for that? Well Gluckman did say:

“this is just straightforward scientists reviewing what’s in the peer reviewed literature about what we know about the safety and efficacy of fluoride in water. It is reviewing the scientific literature.”

And Atkin chose to distort that to mean:

This “‘review’ of water fluoridation will only look at research that supports fluoridationists’ belief in ‘the safety and efficacy of fluoride in water’, says Sir Peter Gluckman, co-chair of this thereby-admitted ‘kangaroo review’.
It is no wonder that scientific studies showing water fluoridation is neither safe nor effective have not been sought for this bogus ‘review’.”

Mark Atkin seems to have a serious comprehension problem.

2: Claiming Waikato University is commissioning research to obtain  predetermined conclusions.

The same day Atkin produced another press release (see Predetermined ‘research’ outcome commissioned by Waikato Uni). He certainlychurns out press releases even if their quality leaves a lot to be desired.

The specific project Atkins is upset about plans to look in detail at:

“nearly 1700 publicly accessible submissions to the Hamilton City Council on the initial decision to remove flouride from Hamilton’s city water supply with a view to tracing interests and other links to private interests and public lobbying groups.”

Rather than making assumptions about the outcome, the research is aimed at establishing if there were links and their extent. The title of the project is “Public Integrity and Participatory Democracy: Hamilton
City Council’s Water Fluoridation Decision.” Surely it is in all our interests to determined how effective our participatory democracy works at the local body level.

Given that the anti-fluoridation activists often claim our democratic processes are distorted by groups like the District Health Boards I would have thought they would welcome this research. Mind you, they may prefer to leave that particular claim unchecked by objective analysis and actually be far more scared of what an objective analysis of the process reveals about their own manipulation and links to private commercial interests and lobby groups.

Isn’t that weird. A “science advisor” who interprets a scientific review “about the safety and efficacy of fluoride in water” to mean that “scientific studies showing water fluoridation is neither safe nor effective” will be excluded! And that research aimed at tracing interests and links of submitters to commercial and lobby groups will only produce a results claiming the links exist without considering any evidence.

Perhaps this is the way Mark Atkin thinks scientific investigations should happen. Perhaps this is the way the “world fluoridation experts” he idolizes, like Paul Connett and Declan Waugh, carry out their “investigations.”

But it is certainly not the way genuine scientific investigations are done.

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4 responses to “Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research

  1. One of the biggest problems with antifluoridationists and their little groups such as FAN and its puppet, FANNZ, is that they are accountable to no one but themselves. Thus they can and do disseminate a constant barrage of misinformation with no concern about recriminations. When you have people with no integrity to whom lying is an acceptable means to an end, as so many antifluoridationists seem to me to be, who have little or no restrictions on what they can say, it creates a sense of confusion, doubt, and chaos, where there really is none. This accounts for the few successes that antifluoridationists have had, to the detriment of the health and well-being of the communities in which they have occurred.

    Fluoridation proponents, on the other hand, tend to be those individuals, professionals, and organizations which are indeed held accountable, by their sense of responsibility, their governing boards, governments, legalities, general public, and the mass media, among other things. They have integrity and reputations which they must maintain by remaining as truthful, honest, and accurate as they possibly can, or they will lose the trust and credibility on which is based their careers, and/or their reasons for existence.

    Thankfully, the majority of those in decision-making positions, and/or those citizens voting in referenda, understand this difference. They realize, to the consternation of antifluoridationists, that honesty, integrity, and accuracy count. In matters that directly impact the health of themselves, their families, friends, and constituencies, these characteristics are paramount.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  2. I cannot agree with your judgement here. I’ve read four peer reviewed papers showing harmful effects of fluoridation. Nor can I agree with Prime ministers science advisor’s conclusion that Fluoridation is safe, since it’s been “proven” to be harmful by some at least as-serious-as-him scientists. scientists “proving” it is safe and scientists proving it is harmful. The problem is complex.

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  3. Peter, care to share with us the 4 peer reviewed papers you refer to? I always like to check such claims and determine the specifics of the claimed harmful effects.

    The problem is definitely complex and unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation and distortion of the published science. At least with the current review I can check each of the 220 citations.

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  4. Yes, Peter, properly cite the 4 papers you claim to show harmful effects, along with your “proof” of harm.

    There is nothing complex here. Valid science clearly supports water fluoridation. As clearly demonstrated by antifluoridationist objections to the results of this latest review, antifluoridationists object on the basis of personal ideology, not science. Thus, no matter how much valid science is presented to them, as long as it disagrees with that ideology, as it always will, this science will be rejected by antifluoridationists.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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