Anti-fluoride activists define kangaroo court as “independent”

A kangaroo court is a mock or illegal court that is set up in violation of established legal procedure

The international anti-fluoride movement seems somewhat pre-occupied with thew situation in New Zealand.  In the last few months they have unleashed their “big guns” to attack two publications from local scientific researchers.  First was their attempt to discredit the paper Broadbent, J. M., Thomson, W. M., Ramrakha, S., Moffitt, T. E., Zeng, J., Foster Page, L. A., & Poulton, R. (2014). Community Water Fluoridation and Intelligence: Prospective Study in New Zealand. American Journal of Public Health. Now they have produced an International Peer Review of the  review Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence. This was commissioned by Sir Peter Gluckman, the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and Sir David Skegg, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand at the request of Auckland City on behalf of several local Councils.

Fluoride Free NZ pretends that the Royal Society Review “was sent out for review by five independent international experts” and a press release from their astroturf organisation the NZ Fluoridation Information Service repeats the independent claim (see NZ fluoridation report trashed by international reviewers).

Well let’s have a look. How independent are the authors of the critique?

An “independent” peer review?

I don’t think so. Here are the authors – chosen by the anti-fluoride movement, of course – together with affiliations and a little history

Kathleen Theissen, Environmental Risk Scientists. I don’t know what the affiliation “environment Risk Scientists,” is. Perhaps a consultancy. However, she is still listed as an affiliate on the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis web site. Theissen was one of the minority* anti-fluoride members on the National Research Council Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water which produced the NRC reviewFluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.” She frequently writes articles and submissions opposing community water fluoridation

Chris Neurath, Research Director, American Environmental Health Studies Project. Neurath is also the “Research Director,” of Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN). The American Environmental Health Studies Project is really just the Fluoride Action Network in drag with a couple of other similar organisations tied in.

Hardy Limeback, Head of Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto. Limeback was also an anti-fluoride minority member of the  National Research Council Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water which produced the NRC review Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.” He is also an anti-fluoride activist who writes often on the issue and a member of the Advisory Board of Paul Connett’s Fluoride Alert Network.


James Beck, a co-author together with Paul Connett of the anti-fluoridation book The Case against Fluoride.

Spedding Micklem, also a co-author together with Paul Connett of the anti-fluoridation book The Case against Fluoride.

So, definitely not independent

This is a serious distortion of the truth by Fluoride Free NZ because they have continual described the authors of the Royal Society Review as not independent. They wrote, for example (see Fluoridation review ‘Dirty Science’ – Fluoride Free NZ):

“The NZ “expert panel” included only people who were already known to be ardently in favour of fluoridation and not one single person who is known to be opposed, or even someone neutral. It was therefore already a foregone conclusion.”

So, I can only conclude that these people define “independent” to mean that they agree with them – they have an anti-fluoride political stance. And they define anyone whose scientific work produces an objectively determine conclusion favourable to the consensus understanding of the effectiveness and safety of community water fluoridation as not independent!

I can only repeat, how do these hypocritical people sleep straight in their bed’s at night.

How valid are their criticisms

OK, so these people are not independent – but how valid are their criticisms. That is another issue. I am preparing a detailed analysis of the claims made in this critique and will post it in the next few days. So, watch this space.

*Three of the 12 members of the committee expressed disagreement with some fo the committee’s conclusions.

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29 responses to “Anti-fluoride activists define kangaroo court as “independent”

  1. Lol. Ken you are a deceiver. You never call for any physical testing or call for testing of side effects. Instead you use sophistry and endless rehashing of “reviews” but never any actual research. The Gluckamn review is very embarrassing for science in NZ. Looks like NZ is lowest on scientific integrity. The NRC 2006 had a more balanced panel. The Aussies called for submissions but in NZ it was done in secret. I’m afraid the Emperor has no clothes. You never address any science that shows harm in a scientific manner. Your first reaction is- how do I defend my confirmation bias. I don’t even think you know the meaning of the word science.


  2. Shane, very noticeable that you completely avoid the subject of my post – the hypocrisy of anti-fluoride propagandists claiming the authors of their critique are “independent.”

    Seems such hypocrisy does not worry you?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are quick to cite the 2006 NRC paper as a balanced panel. All they had to do was decide on fluoride levels. There were 3 avowed opponents to fluoridation on the 12 member panel of the 2006 NRC Study. The three anti’s goal was to get the MCLG for fluoride reduced to 0. They did not succeed.
    The report came out in March 2006 that concluded at 4 ppm or above there were only 3 concerns:
    1) 10% of kids would get severe dental fluorosis (drops to 0 % at 2 ppm).
    Drinking water at a fluoride concentration of 4 ppm or above over a lifetime:
    2) Increased risk of skeletal fluorosis
    3) Increased risk for bone fractures.
    The 3 opponents signed off on the final document, but they continue to do the anti-fluoride circuit claiming that fluoridation at optimal levels causes all kinds of “ugly things”.
    And this your “balanced” panel
    On March 22, 2013, Dr. John Doull sent this E-mail to Matt Jacob of the PEW Foundation:
    “Dear Matt, In response to your question, I do not believe there is any valid scientific reason for fearing adverse health conditions from the consumption of water fluoridated at the optimal level. I also feel that there is no reason why Kansas City residents should avoid drinking the fluoridated water that is provided by the community water system. Sincerely, John Doull, M.D., PhD, Chair of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council 2006 Committee report on Fluoride in Drinking Water.


  4. “You never call for any physical testing or call for testing of side effects.” OK then, Shane – how would you suggest that this be done?


  5. ““You never call for any physical testing or call for testing of side effects.” OK then, Shane – how would you suggest that this be done?”

    Perhaps we could look at why after fluoridation kicked in in Birmimgham they no longer beat unfluoridated Manchester at football. Also why South Canterbury stopped providing All Black players after fluoridation. Why unfluoridated Taieri did the best at rugby this year in Dunedin, and why unfluoridated Canterbury /Tasman are doing so well at rugby.


  6. And that is a scientific controlled test for side effects?, That would be right for the anti fluoride/vaccine group


  7. Hardly ever do you get a scientific paper quoted by the activists that has not been misquoted/has nothing to do with the subject /deals with high fluoride levels, or a paper that has been superceded by more recent research,
    So your physical testing model posted would be about right, you missed out chemtrails


  8. @alison, ask for fluoride to be included with the iodine urine test in the NZ dietary survey, and check up on what fluoride does to iodine for low iodine uptake. Note iodophors are no longer used to clean milk machinery and people are eating less iodised salt. Iodine is important for many things including apoptosis against cancer.


  9. Ken I suggest you can equally be accused of hypocrisy.
    An “independent” peer review? Not when the authors are chosen by the pro-fluoride movement, of course.


  10. Trevor, I am glad you admit the behaviour of the local anti-fluoride propagandists, through their astroturf organisation, is hypocritical.

    However, your attempt to claim this about the “pro-fluoride” movement is itself hypocritical. Which authors have been chosen by which “pro-fluoride” movement? Surely you are not going to conflate a scientific body with a biased political activist organisation? Nor should you conflate scientists who are attempting a balanced review of the literature as equivalent to political activists?

    If you are then you don’t understand how to investigate anything.



  11. @Ken “Surely you are not going to conflate a scientific body with a biased political activist organisation?” Could you explain why the RS Review commented on Chinese studies which did not control for arsenic &c, and which may or may not have compared very high fluoride areas with low, but did not comment on a series which did exclude arsenic and other traces?
    Could you explain why they included the Ireland study when the fluoridated Irish Republic advises infants up to 2 years not to use toothpaste and therefore do not remove the protective coating from the teeth, that coating which protects from food acids?


  12. Brian Sandle (why are you hiding behind a false name of soundhill1), this article is about the hypocrisy of describing a group of anti-fluoride activists as independent. Why are you not discussing that?

    As for your questions about the reasons for specific sections in the Royal Society Review, I suggest you take it up with the Royal Society rather than me. I was not involved in that review so can’t give you any answers to your questions about motives at all.

    Now do you have anything to contribute to our discussion on the hypocrisy demonstrated by these anti-fluoride propagandists?



  13. @Ken, I am not hiding. The system said I had to have a log in. But if I were I don’t think you should have exposed me.
    My point is that the RS Review, by excluding those considerations, especially the first, makes it self look just like an activist.


  14. I think it is dishonest to hide behind false names and it seems to be very common with anti-fluoride activatists who comment here. When there is no justifiable reason for it I think it tends to encourage a certain lack of honesty.

    I don’t think you have any reason to avoid using your name – you have done so here in the past.

    As for you claims that the Royal Society is an activist organisation – well you are going to have to provide specific evidence for that. The fact that their review of the scientific literature on fluoridation does not conform to your personal bias is not evidence.


  15. My name has appeared on Facebook in the past, not on this group. Ken I note that you have referred previously to the study which the RS Review has not referenced. You accepted the trace mineral control as valid, and suggested, I think, that fluoridosis could be causing reduced IQ because of suffering. So you thought it to be a significant study. So I suggest that the fact that the RS Review did not makes it look as if they had difficulty commenting on it. It does not fit their case, I suggest.



  16. When I saw that article last night, I was thoroughly entertained! This “New Zealand Fluoridation Information Service” proclaiming itself to be an independent organization of some sort……..hilarious! Then the claim that the NZ report had been sent out for “independent” review……even more hilarious!! And then, the coup de gras……drum roll……surprise!! surprise!!!……the “independent” review “trashed” the report!!! I’m guessing that this article was written prior to the “independent” review so that it could be issued as quickly as possible once the “independent” review was completed.

    I gotta admit, Connett, the self anointed “Premier International Authority on Fluoride” , and his merry band of cartoon characters are a constant source of laughter and entertainment. Thanks, guys! You make life far less boring!

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  17. Oh!! I forgot! That study that Hirzy and Carton did that found all this evidence of cancer caused by HFA? You know, the one that EPA reviewers found a 70-fold error, that, when corrected showed Hirzy’s and Carton’s data to demonstrate the opposite of what the Dynamic Duo had concluded that it did? Well, some guy interviewed Thiessen before the EPA reviewers found Hirzy’s error and sent him back to third grade math class. Here’s her learned opinion on that study:

    “Experts not involved with Hirzy’s study agreed with its findings.”

    “I think this is a reasonable study, and that they haven’t inflated anything,” said Kathleen Thiessen, a senior scientist at SENES Oak Ridge Inc., a health and environmental risk assessment company.”


    I guess the third grade math teacher excused Thiessen from class long enough for her to give an “independent” review of the NZ paper.

    Here’s what I don’t understand, though……how come Aarvid Carlsson, the Nobel Laureate, whose quote on fluoridation appears in thousands of antifluoridationist comments per day, wasn’t a part of this “independent” review?

    And, I can understand why Pinocchio was not asked to be a part of this “independent” review….his nose would have grown waaaay too long. But, what about Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny? Were they too busy to review it?

    “The Three Stooges”? Oh, wait, they aren’t alive anymore. That explains their absence.

    And, will this “independent” review be published in the “independent” journal “Fluoride”?

    Really….these are all questions that need to be answered here.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  18. @Chris “And that is a scientific controlled test for side effects?” Alison had asked in response to Shane ““You never call for any physical testing or call for testing of side effects.” OK then, Shane – how would you suggest that this be done?”

    I gave a suggestion. The “side effect” suggested as reduced rugby performance. The RS Report acknowledges that they are dealing with epidemiology. It is different from the “scientific controlled test” you refer to where you double blind administer drug/placebo. To progress beyond epidemiology somewhat I have suggested extending the NZ dietary survey to include a fluoride urine test with the urine iodide test they do. Then perhaps follow players.
    Fluoride is thought to interfere with the thyroid/iodine metabolism. Since the thyroid is related to energy production it is worth considering as a cause of rugby performance.


  19. Shane, soundhill, etc

    Fluoride ions have been present in groundwater since the beginning of time. Humans have been ingesting this ion, in the same concentration range as exists in fluoridated water, all during this time. The public health initiative of water fluoridation has been in effect for the past 69 years. This initiative is the most studied, prodded, searched, discussed, twisted and squeezed to find any possible adverse effect that could conceivably, in any manner whatsoever, be attached to it….than any other such initiative in history.

    What exactly is it that you guys believe needs further testing, and do you honestly believe, with a straight face, that there is any amount of testing of fluoride, any method of testing of fluoride, any quality of testing of fluoride, any testers of fluoride, or any result of testing of fluoride that would ever, within the span of the next ten million years, be satisfactory to antifluoridationists unless it provided whatever conclusions they so desperately seek?

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  20. Brian, I find it significant that you are attempting to divert from the subject of this post – the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the local anti-fluoride propagandists. Have you absolutely nothing to say on that? Do you condone it?

    Surely this is fundamental to the issue – why try to confuse the details when the “peer reviewers” are clearly so dishonest?


  21. As usual with the anti fluoride/vaccine lot they make a lot of noise and pepper there so called research with phases like “I have suggested” To who?
    “Fluoride is thought to interfere” By whom? No papers quoted to back up the fairy tales, because there is none. If there was any qualitry work done on this the antis would have it all over the net by now and you would have quoted it in CAPS
    Maybe this will help from a well qualified endocrinologist.

    “There is no convincing evidence that fluoride
    produces true goitres with epithelial hyperplasia in experimental animals.
    There are some reports based on casual observationsthat fluoride is
    goitrogenic in man. On the other hand, several good studies with
    adequate exposed and control populations failed to detect any
    goitrogenic effect of fluoride in man. It is noteworthy in particular that
    fluoride does not potentiate the consequences of iodine deficiency in
    populations with a borderline or low iodine intake.Published data failed
    to support the view that fluoride, in doses recommended for caries
    prevention, adversely affects the thyroid.”

    Dr. Janet Silverstein currently serves as
    Program Director for the Pediatric Endocrine
    Fellowship at Shands at UF and Division
    Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology at UF. In her
    years of experience she has held and holds
    many titles including director, chief, program
    director, professor, medical director, associate
    chief, and associate professor, to name a few.
    She probably knows a little bit more about the thyroid than Connet and his band of idiots


  22. Ken, it would have been better if you had ruled Alison out of topic on her request to Shane rather than waiting till I answer her. I find that sort of thing happens so much in debates. An off-topic point liked is not ruled out but reply stuff to it which is not liked is said to be off-topic.

    Are you sayihg that any reviewer should never have professed a pro-fluoridation or anti-fuoridation leaning?


  23. No, of course not Brian. But the crowd described as “independent” by Mark Atkin who runs the astroturf group are mostly directly connected with a political activist organisation – Connett’s Fluoride Alert. The use if the term independent is clearly dishonest in this case.

    That is not to say their critique is useless. I will be posting my analysis of this in a few days and will try to be objective (I do actually agree with one of Theissen’s criticisms). So I am not rejecting their critique out of hand – just pointing out that Mark, his NZ Fluoridation Information Service and Mary’s Fluoride Free NZ are deliberately dishonest to describe the authors of this document as “independent.” Their motives for this are obvious.

    In scientific circles the term “independent” is not often used as more reliance is put on objectivity, evidence and proper peer review. There is usually a requirement for authors to declare any commercial or political interest. (I notice, for example, that one of the authors of the Royal Society review did declare that fact in a blog article about the review recently – see But, sensibly, their writings should be judged in how well the conform to the scientific ethos.

    What do you think about the “honesty” of the groups describing these reviewers as “independent?” That is the issue of the post.



  24. Fluoridation opponents are difficult to understand, at least for me, anyway. In general they seem to not understand what constitutes honesty, or accuracy . There seems to be a prevailing sense that loose, or mis-, interpretations of facts and data are fine, that it’s okay to fudge here and there to whatever degree necessary, and that the ends fully justify the means. They simply don’t see anything wrong with misrepresenting a group such Limeback, Thiessen, Neurath, etc. as being independent and objective, or stating that the purpose of their NZ Fluoride Information Service is to provide unbiased information on fluoridation. They can’t seem to understand why anyone else would see anything wrong with this sort of misrepresentation, unless such people are corrupt and/or liars with evil intentions. They honestly seem to believe this.

    So many times I will see the same comments posted by the same people, comments which have been clearly and repeatedly exposed as being false, yet which they keep posting on one site after another. So many times I will be termed a liar, with there being absolutely no evidence to support that accusation, and no attempt to produce any. Most times these accusations arise from those who have made one false statement after another, clearly evident on the same page, yet to which they seem to be oblivious. To me, that is simply blatant dishonesty. To them, I really don’t know. In many cases I’m not so sure it’s as much dishonesty as it is self-delusion.

    The real problem, however, is not with the ones who are dishonest/delusional, but with decision-makers who, for whatever reasons, either don’t understand what is happening, or simply buy into what they are being told, as “another side” to the issue of fluoridation. There are, of course, no “sides” to the issue, only the peer-reviewed science and the facts supported by this science. When leaders and/or media fail to understand this, and think in terms of there being two “equal” sides, chaos results, truth and accuracy get discarded, and the circus is on. The result is a detriment to the health and well-being of entire populations.

    The solution, I guess, is to keep doing as you’re doing, Ken. Educate the leaders and the media as to the fallacies of fluoridation opposition, the tactics that opponents utilize, and the lack of honesty and integrity that so characterizes the vast majority of these activist factions.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  25. Ken, I think by “independent,” they mean independent of the government.

    The Scots are voting for independence from UK. Many of them may not like to support UK hawkish international policy for example.

    Governments are becoming ever more influenced by revolving door/corporatocracy/oligarchy.

    As regards here, central government gives over fluoridation decisions to local councils. The councils have asked Royal Society/ Prime Minister’s Science Advisor for a report. Is it fair to assume that there will be no political agenda?

    I appreciate that you will put work into analysis.


  26. Chris, at the risk of continuing this off-topic material do you have a copy of that 1984 study? More recent stuff gives that the longer term picture in rats shows a switch from initial thyroid stimulus to suppression by fluoride.


  27. The councils have asked Royal Society/ Prime Minister’s Science Advisor for a report. Is it fair to assume that there will be no political agenda?</i?

    Here we go again

    the spooky conspiracy bogey man.

    How tiresome.


  28. @ichard: “Here we go again
    the spooky conspiracy bogey man”
    Why spooky?


  29. I think that “spooky” comment deserves a reprimand for being off-topic? Yes/no? Should we start another thread for the boring “here we go.”? In New Zealand the parliamentary election is coming up in a week. All sorts of agendas are being canvassed, the right to smack children, to run binding referenda which would not have a compulsory vote and would only need better than half of a few voters, nowhere near half the population. The battle for the environment vs the immediate economy, the battle to get back public funding for advanced education to stop us having to import trained people so much. The battle agaiinst chlldren going to school without eating first. The battle for housing. And there is so much talk about how great we have been doing and what we have been spending.

    There is the move to shift education to privately run charter schools which may pay untrained teachers a lot and if the school fails financially the state has to mop up the loss of building &c. The take over in the health area is happening like TV programs promoting prostate cancer screening when a recent parliamentary paper cautions damage/benefit. Look on TV at all the wars and normality of killing, as if people are just catlle. It is spooky I suppose.

    The TPPA is coming up with its investor state dispute clauses. The “economic benefit” to NZ is really a massive amount to a few corporates in NZ.

    We have been enticed to put so much into few commodity fields or production. Dairy farmers are likely to be losing their farms with the recent large drop in milk prices, losing them to large corporates. I think there could be conspiracy to swing markets. We know it is done for currency trading. And we have no FTT to discourage it.

    In NZ we normally get a swing away from exploitive government wqhen enough people are feeling the pinch enough that propaganda cannot persuade them how great everything is any more. Then as they get back on their feet they get caught again.

    So some people do what they can to retain freedom. As I said the Scots are voting on pulling out of the UK. I suppose some propaganda over there will be labelling the separatists as spooked.

    Ken has called those seeking freedom from fluoridation as dishonest in their choice of the “independent” word. You call them spooked. In my feeling and in others possibly it is like you laughing at people to bring about conformity which is spooky, and so probably gives them greater force in their resistance if it does not break them down.


    Liked by 1 person

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