NZ experts deplore anti-fluoridation misrepresentation of science

I usually abhor the concept of science by petition. But I have had a gutsful of devoted anti-fluoridationists assuring me that they have scientific and other experts on their side. And the last straw was the attempt by a local supporter of Fluoride Free Hamilton to get the Waikato University Chemistry Department staff to stop discussing the science of fluoridation. He wanted scientists to opt out of discussing science!

So it was nice to see medical, scientific and technical people respond a little to this. The last issue of Hamilton’s free paper Hamilton News included a list of New Zealand experts who disagree with the anti-fluoridationist claims. The list was whipped up in short time and is not restricted to local people.

The supported statment reads:

“The following medical, scientific and technical experts deplore the misrepresentation of science to support the beliefs of the anti-fluoridation lobby.

The true science of water fluoridation has:

SHOWN that drinking water fluoridation reduces the incidence of tooth decay
NOT SHOWN that drinking water fluoridation has any ill-effects on general health”

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Download a sharper version if you wish to check names.

See also:

Similar articles on fluoridation
Making sense of fluoride Facebook page
Fluoridate our water Facebook page
New Zealanders for fluoridation Facebook page

39 responses to “NZ experts deplore anti-fluoridation misrepresentation of science

  1. Kia ora Ken,
    Given the above comment I challenge you to enter a public debate on fluoridation with Dr Paul Connett when he visits this country sometime next year.
    When he presented to the Hastings District Council on an earlier visit to New Zealand the editor of ‘The Bay Buzz’ said it was evident that Connett was more directly and intimately familiar with the scientific research on fluoride efficacy and effects than anyone fronting for the Ministry of Health or the Hawkes Bay DHB and could be billed as the fluoride establishment’s worst nightmare.
    He said Connett dissected the very studies cited by the DHB representatives as the core of their case for fluoridation which in some quoted studies he had peer reviewed. In example after example, he displayed superior knowledge of the details of the studies, their strengths and weaknesses, and their implications. “In short, no flake! No whacko!”
    Connett’s case is that drinking fluoride has either no, or at the very best, the tiniest impact on reducing tooth decay, the scientific evidence of adverse health effects is in fact credible, alarming and mounting and that if the government wants to impose an involuntary medical treatment on the general public, at the very least it should be morally responsible for conducting far more substantial research on the impacts of that treatment.
    In making his case the editor said that Connett carried the day and that if he were a councillor his confidence in the authoritativeness of the NZ fluoride establishment would be shaken.
    The editor also reported that Connett wasn’t long on rhetoric and short on empirical knowledge, with horns, two noses and no teeth. . .”
    Heoi ano
    Ross Forbes

    Like

  2. What is it with people challenging me to debates all the time? They never offer to debate themselves. Or are you an exception, Ross? What about a debate or information meeting in Hamilton before the upcoming referendum?

    These people who keep offering somebody from overseas come across as Walter Mitty characters. One of your mates already offered Connett in an exchange pn Making Sense of Fluoride Facebook page. I accepted and Connett backed out. Well that’s the way he told it – another Walter Mitty.

    I went to a Fluoride free Hamilton meeting today and was told that there would be no questions or comments from the floor. That would be considered a disruption and the offender would be evicted. What a farce – I left straight away – why waste my time at a propaganda meeting.

    So, Ross, why not talk to your Fluoride Free mates about allowing normal discussion (people like me cannot comment on their Facebook pages – we are banned) before you get into a fantasy and make challenges on behalf of overseas people.

    But seriously, Ross, are you interested in participating in a debate/information meeting on the fluoride issue? Are you up for that?

    >

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  3. Given the above comment I challenge you to enter a public debate on fluoridation with Dr Paul Connett when he visits this country sometime next year.

    ‘Cause dats science, right?
    Every kook out there goes for “debates”.
    It’s so much, much easier that doing actual work. Again, the methodology of the science denier goes on display. The creationsts scream for debates, the climate deniers, the HIV deniers etc. All of them just love the idea of a cheap and easy debate.
    Going through the process of peer-review and the research required? Na! Just go for a jolly little debate on the telly or in a church basement somewhere.
    In science, only the work matters. There are no short-cuts.
    The rest is froth.

    Why Richard Dawkins Doesn’t Debate Creationists

    Like

  4. So presumably anyone who disagrees with the merits or otherwise of putting Fluoride in water, whether it be scientific, economic, or a position based on “rights”, is “anti-science”

    This is becoming depressingly familiar

    Like

  5. Why do you think that, Andy?

    A person can be described as anti-science if they maliciously denigrate science, scientists and the scientific method. But the question of putting F in our water supply is not a scientific question – it’s a political one. That is why Hamiltonians are voting on it.

    However, claims that are made around the question with respect to safety and effectiveness are open to scientific scrutiny. And there can be anti-scientific presentations around them.

    Like

  6. I would agree that the issue is primarily political, and there may also be an issue of cost/benefit

    I know a lot of people who are “anti” tampering with water, however illogical that may be,

    Unfortunately, we live in times where there are a multitude of “scares”, very few of which actually warrant any attention, yet people seem quite easily attracted to them

    Like

  7. So presumably anyone who disagrees with the merits or otherwise of putting Fluoride in water, whether it be scientific….

    You built a strawman. You shouldn’t do that.
    Ross doesn’t have case. There’s no science going on here.
    It’s an exercise in disinformation, nothing more.

    If there was a genuine disagreement on a scientific issue then it would be demonstrably different. Some people want engage and that’s great. Others just want to raise the dust by sounding all sciency. It’s not difficult to spot the difference.

    tobacco_papers

    Like

  8. Ah the old “tobacco papers” video. We have seen that quite recently, just like the Primary Sources of Information ones, and the NASA graphics.

    Like

  9. The science may well come out in favour of F in water, but life isn’t driven by science alone

    If it were, we’d have Thorium power everywhere, pest-resistant GMO crops, etc.

    Like

  10. What does the fox say?

    Like

  11. Ah the old “tobacco papers” video. We have seen that quite recently, just like the Primary Sources of Information ones, and the NASA graphics.

    That’s because it’s the same conversation. Only the labels are different.
    The fluoride nutters are no different from the creationists.
    The creationists are no different from the climate deniers.
    The climate deniers are no different from the HIV deniers etc.
    The same playbook is followed.
    The same wool is being pulled down over people’s eyes.

    Science denialism is a common phenomena. Manufacturing a fake controversy in the face of an overwhelming scientific consensus happens all too often. The patterns are predictable.

    The science may well come out in favour of F in water…

    It already has.
    A long, long time ago. Don’t just meekly go along with what some anonymous person on the internet tells you. Find out for yourself.
    No, seriously!
    Do it as an exercise in skeptical thinking.

    Take flouride or smoking cigarettes or the moon landings.
    Someone claims that the jury is still out.
    Either they are representing the situation accurately or… they are just feeding you a line.
    What would you do to figure out that the science has already come out in favour of “x”?
    What would you do to not fall for a cleverly packaged con job?
    What would be…your methodology?

    Your Health vs the Tobacco Industry: A History

    Like

  12. I haven’t looked into the F issue, but there are several countries that have stopped using F in water. Is this because of political or financial constraints, or because they are run by anti science climate denying creationist right wing fundamentalists?

    As you know, I am sceptical of the dangerous AGW threory, because there is no evidence to support it, and the data backs up my position. Therefore I am a crazed mouth foaming creationist Anti science right wing not job.

    Correct?

    What does the fox say?

    Like

  13. Interesting snippet from Wikipedia

    In the United Kingdom, the Green Party refers to fluoride as a poison, claims that water fluoridation violates Article 35 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, is banned by the UK poisons act of 1972, violates Articles 3 and 8 of the Human Rights Act and raises issues under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.[10]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_fluoridation_controversy

    So maybe you are right about the anti-science crazies

    Like

  14. You in bed with the UK Greens, Andy?

    >

    Like

  15. No Ken, I was using the UK Greens as an example of anti-science. After all, they believe in catastrophic globla warming too

    Like

  16. No political party is exempt from anti-science, Andy. Fortunately our Greens, although there are some anti-science elements, do have a better policy on fluoridation. Their policy on climate change is pretty good too. Although I know you prefer either Act or the Conservative party. They seem to be the only ones whose climate change policy is anti-science enough for you.

    Getting bored with Richard Cummings yet. You seem to be his only company at the moment. Enough to drive anyone around the bend.

    >

    Like

  17. Although I know you prefer either Act or the Conservative party

    How do you know that Ken? Do you have a secret portal into my brain?

    By the way Ken, can you show me the evidence for “catastrophic” or “dangerous” climate change in the literature?

    I am sure you are very familiar with this, since you spend a lot of time droning about deniers, and are a devout follower of the scriptures of Lord Mann and his Holy Hockey Stick.

    After all, John Cook of Skeptical Science (a Primary Source of Information, now that they have published papers in the peer-reviewed literature), did a survey that showed 97% of scientists thought that humans were causing some warming. This survey included a lot of sceptics and “denier scientists” too.

    Yet somehow, Obama managed to turn that phrase into 97% of scientists think that humans are warming the planet, and its dangerous

    Who do we trust, the Primary Source of Information at SkS, or the President of the USA (not a Primary Source of Information)

    Primary Sources of Information,Everytime

    NASA are a Primary Sources of Information
    They have a website

    Like

  18. From the same Wiki page, countries that have stopped Fluoridation of water

    Federal Republic of Germany (1952–1971)
    Sweden (1952–1971)
    Netherlands (1953–1976)
    Czechoslovakia (1955–1990)
    German Democratic Republic (1959–1990)
    Soviet Union (1960–1990)
    Finland (1959–1993)
    Japan (1952–1972)

    All anti-science, climate-denying, creationist nut-job countries.

    All of them,

    Like

  19. The issue of fluoridation policies in European and other countries, why they fluoridate milk or salt, or rely on natural F levels has been thoroughly discussed in the Making Sense of Fluoride Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/fluoridewater). You should check it out – you could find a contrarian or denier who is more fun, and full of life, than Richard Cummings.

    However, just for you, I am currently writing an article on the “Fluoridation is banned in Europe” myth. Probably post it today or tomorrow.

    >

    Like

  20. However, just for you, I am currently writing an article on the “Fluoridation is banned in Europe” myth.

    Who said “Fluoridation is banned in Europe”.?

    Not me

    Like

  21. Quite a few people, actually.

    >

    Like

  22. I haven’t looked into the F issue, but there are several countries that have stopped using F in water. Is this because of political or financial constraints, or because they are run by anti science climate denying creationist right wing fundamentalists?

    How would you go about finding out? What would be a reasonable, objective methodology?

    As you know, I am sceptical of the dangerous AGW threory

    No, you’re not “skeptical”.
    If you were a genuine skeptic, you wouldn’t be ranting like this.

    So maybe you are right about the anti-science crazies

    A skeptic would not care what the greens believed in.
    That’s not how you should get your science info.
    Without the science, you have no choice but to go with your feelings.
    Your feelings are not good enough.

    26 — Science vs. the Feelies

    Like

  23. No, you’re not “skeptical”.
    If you were a genuine skeptic, you wouldn’t be ranting like this.

    Who is ranting?
    Not me.
    I didn’t claim that anti-F activists were anti-science creationists.
    I didn’t make the claim that 97% of scientists think that global warming is real and “dangerous”, unlike Obama who made it up
    I didn’t make the claim that NZ had won the America’s Cup, unlike one of your Pro-F commenters the other day.
    I didn’t make the claim that F contravened human rights. The anti-science Green Party of the UK did

    Ranting? Not me.

    What does the fox say?

    Like

  24. Interesting, on the topic of Primary Sources of Information, Wired Magazine finds that Fox sounds suggested by new viral music video, “Fox” may not be that far off

    – “Gering-ding-ding-ding-ringerdingering”
    – “Wa-po-po-po-po-po-pow”
    – “Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho”
    – “Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff”
    – “Chacha-chacha-chacha-chow”
    – “Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow”
    – “A-hee-ahee ha-hee”
    – “A-oo-oo-oo-ooo”

    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/09/what-does-the-fox-say-ylvis/

    Like

  25. How would you go about finding out? What would be a reasonable, objective methodology?

    Cedric, that is a great question, and of course you and I know the answer.
    We use Primary Sources of Information, typically in the form of peer-reviewed papers that I can find in an academic citation index, for example.

    I don’t use secondary sources of information, like the Green Party, Al Gore, President Obama, Greenpeace, the EU and every NGO on the planet

    Oh no, we have higher standards.
    We use Primary Sources of Information

    Take NASA, for example …..

    Like

  26. I didn’t claim that anti-F activists were anti-science creationists.

    Nobody said that. You are creating strawmen. Focus on reality.

    I didn’t make the claim that 97% of scientists…

    If you have a problem with that number then take it up with NASA.
    I’m just the messenger.

    We use Primary…

    No you don’t. You get your information second-hand.
    That’s where the PRATT’s come from.
    My methodology is better.

    I get my information directly from the people that do the work.
    That is, all the scientific communities on the planet.
    All of them.
    No cherry-picking.
    I do it that way because it’s the best way.
    That goes for cancer information, HIV, the moon landings etc.
    It exposes any possible disinformation every single time.
    It’s consistant and it’s reasonable.

    I don’t use secondary sources of information, like the Green Party, Al Gore, President Obama, Greenpeace, the EU and every NGO on the planet

    Exactly. I don’t care about them. They don’t inform me one way or the other.
    They don’t do the work.
    Their endorsement or lack thereof is of no interest to me at all.
    I’m smarter than that.

    You get treated like them because you behave like them. All you have to do is avoid their pitfalls of rationaisation and it would be a whole new situation.

    Like

  27. I didn’t make the claim that 97% of scientists…

    If you have a problem with that number then take it up with NASA.

    What has NASA got to do with it?

    NASA didn’t do a survey that showed 97% of scientists…
    They just quote other people’s work on their website

    In this case they are not a Primary Source of Information
    They are a Secondary Source of Information
    We use Primary Sources

    Every time

    Primary Sources

    Like

  28. You get treated like them because you behave like them

    Who is “them”?

    I am quoting Primary Sources of Information.
    The latest 97% consensus paper was published by John Cook of the University of Queensland.
    Not NASA
    Not CSIRO
    Not NIWA.

    I have higher standards.
    I use Primary Sources of Information
    Not some no name blog
    Not the Daily Mail
    Not some no name ex-vice-resident
    Not some no-name President of the USA

    Primary Sources

    Every time

    Like

  29. What has NASA got to do with it?

    “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities…”

    That’s NASA referencing the following:

    W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107.

    P. T. Doran & M. K. Zimmerman, “Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. 90 Issue 3 (2009), 22; DOI: 10.1029/2009EO030002.

    N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618.

    If you have a problem with that number then take it up with NASA.

    Who is “them”?

    The kooks. I treat you like a kook.
    I treat you like a kook because you have their same methodology.

    This bee in your bonnet about primary sources won’t help you.
    There’s nothing unreasonable about using primary sources of information.
    There’s no better way.

    Like

  30. The primary sources are:


    W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107.

    P. T. Doran & M. K. Zimmerman, “Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. 90 Issue 3 (2009), 22; DOI: 10.1029/2009EO030002.

    N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618.

    Not NASA

    Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities…”

    How much of the warming trends? All of it?
    Even the warming trends from the early 20th C that IPCC referenced Primary Sources are mainly natural?

    Is it dangerous?

    Why did Obama make the claim the 97% of … “and its dangerous”?

    Obama is a kook. He is not referencing the Primary Sources correctly
    None of the Primary Sources said “and its danerous”.
    He made it up, just like creationists, anti-vaxxers and other anti-science kooks.

    Like

  31. By the way, TVNZ just showed a BBC piece featuring Bishop Hill blogger Andrew Montford, taling about “the pause”.

    Maybe time to furiously write letters of complaint?

    Like

  32. Not NASA

    Which is why I explained to you that they referenced it. It’s on the NASA website. If you don’t like it then take it up with NASA. I’m just the messenger.

    How much of the warming trends?

    It’s probably something that you should ask NASA about.
    They have a website.

    Obama is a kook.

    I doubt it. This isn’t about Obama. Let go of your ODS.

    After all your babble, it’s still just you versus NASA and every single scientific commmunity on the planet.
    A kook is as a kook does.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/

    Like

  33. It’s probably something that you should ask NASA about.
    They have a website.

    They have a website.
    So they do.
    Full of Primary Sources of Information

    A veritable treasure trove of data, images, and primary sources, all backed up by nice young American guys wearing blue shirts with NASA logs on them

    It’s tr, I love them too, but sometimes, I can’t get this out of my head.

    What is the meaning of Stonehenge?

    Like

  34. See? Not very funny.
    Making fun of using NASA as a scientific resource doesn’t work very well.
    Sane people have a high regard for NASA.

    It’s still just you versus NASA and every single scientific communtity on the planet. You have nothing in comparison.

    Like

  35. Sane people have a high regard for NASA

    I hold NASA in very high regard.
    They have a website

    Like

  36. Lying won’t help you, Andy.
    It’s you versus NASA and every single scientific community on the planet.

    Like

  37. With the availability of SCIENTIFIC information regarding the dangers and outright stupidity of drinking Fluoridated water, you’d have to be quite a daft imbecile to still think water Fluoridation is a good thing. Scientists (in many cases that term should be used very loosely) are afraid of losing there JOBS if they go against the majority (as is the evident case when it comes to man-made-global-warming). And how many times throughout history has the CONSESUS been proven to be WRONG?!. ALSO… there is a ton of conflict of interest (read: corruption) within these agencies!.

    Like

  38. Mark – could you point to the scientific studies showing people who drink fluoridated water are stupid?

    I put the question back to you – how many times has the consensus position been proving basically wrong as a proportion?

    As for conflict of interest – what do you think of Paul Connett’s position. If he actually accepted the science and admitted that much of what he said was wrong he would lose his job. He and his family get paid to say what they do. Contrast that with scientists working in an institution – they get paid for doing science, not politics. For finding our the answers, not rigidly sticking to preconceived answers. Connett would not last in such a job.

    As for climate change – bit of a give away isn’t it. How do you stand on vaccinations, chemtrails, evolution, etc.?

    Like

  39. We ought to run a sweepstake on how much stupid some people can manage to get into a 100 words.
    Mark must be a contender.

    Like

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