The farce of a “sciency” anti-fluoride report

F network

Click for a larger image

I came up with the image above after a quick glance at a “report” promoted by the local Fluoride Free groups and Paul Connett’s Fluoride Alert organisation. (Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report). It illustrates the incestuous network of authors and “peer reviewers” involved in producing the “report.” I have also illustrated connections of these people to a number of anti fluoride organisations and 2 publications.

The first column lists the authors in red, and their claimed peer reviewers in green. The third column lists the anti-fluoride organisations and several publications these people are connected to.

The middle column lists some other people who are also connected to these organisations and publications. I have already reviewed Kathleen Theissen’s article (see Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”) and will get around to reviewing the other 2 articles (by H.S. Miclen and Stan Litras) later.

Meanwhile, lets just consider the connections between these authors, “peer reviewers” and anti-fluoride organisations.

Taking in each other’s laundry

Most of these names are familiar to anyone who has followed the anti-fluoride movement. That fact in itself shows how this report can in no way be seen as “expert,” “independent” or at all credible. Some details on the illustrated people, organisations and publications.

NRC Review minority: There were several disagreements on the 12 member panel which produce the 2006 NRC report “Fluoride in drinking water. A scientific review of EPA’s standards” because 3 members were anti-fluoride. They were Robert Issacson, Hardy Limeback and Kathleen Theissen. Hardy Limeback is involved in several anti-fluoride activist groups.

Kathleen Theissen appears not to be organisationally involved but regularly makes anti-fluoridation submissions when the issue is debated.

UPDATE: Steve Slott has reminded me of this example of Theissen’s lack of credibility as a peer reviewer of fluoridation-related papers:

“In July 2013, Douglas Main, that freelance reporter and bastion of “objectivity”, interviewed Thiessen to get her opinion on Hirzy’s study on which he based his petition to the EPA.

From the article:

“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.”

When the EPA reviewers looked at Hirzy’s study they found that he had made a 70-fold miscalculation in his study. When corrected for that error, the EPA reviewers found that Hirzy’s data actually demonstrated the exact opposite of what he had concluded.

Seems Thiessen either didn’t bother to read Hirzy”s study prior to commenting on it, or she overlooked his glaring error, too.”

Fluoride/ISFR: The International Society for Fluoride Reasearch (ISFR) publishes the journal Fluoride and organises regular conferences. They provide an avenue for authors to publish anti-fluoride articles, and generally poor quality research from areas where endemic fluorosis is common which may not be acceptable in the normal scientific journal.

The Society is based in New Zealand and is registered here as a charity. Bruce Spittle is the treasurer and journal managing editor.

FTRC/Second look: The anti-fluoride organisation and web site Second Look as set up the Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative (FTRC). It appears to be a weak attempt to provide a front “scientific institute” for anti-fluoride activists who want to present themselves as scientific experts.

This reminds me of the creationist Biologic Institute set up by the intelligent design creationists at the Discovery Institute. Actually, the Intelligent Design “pretend” scientific journal Bio-complexity also reminds me of the anti-fluoride journal Fluoride.

The FTRC lists the following staff:

  • Russell Blaylock, M.D., FTRC Medical Director
  • Hardy Limeback, Ph.D., D.D.S, FTRC Principle Investigator
  • Phyllis J. Mullenix, PhD., FTRC Research Program Director
  • Aliss Terpstra, RNCP, FTRC Research Coordinator

So far they claim to have sponsored (financed?) 2 research papers only by Phyllis Mullinex. Have a read of them and make up your own mind about their quality.

Case Against Fluoride: This is Paul Connett’s book The Case against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There. It is usually treated as a holy scripture in the anti-fluoridation movement. His co-authors were H. S. Micklen and James Beck.

Connett is very proud of this book and relies on it to support his claim to be a “world expert” on fluoridation.

Fluorine in Medicine: This is the sole scientific paper that Paul Connett can claim authorship (actually co-authorship) to:

Strunecká, A. ., & Patočka, J.; Connett, P. (2004). Fluorine in medicine. Journal of Applied Biomedicine, 2, 141–150.

The senior author Anna Strunecká is also part of the anti-fluoride network illustrated above. I am personally very suspicious of the quality of the journal which published this paper – anti-fluoride people have a history of placing poor quality papers in suspect journals purely to attain some sort of scientific credibility. DonQuixoteJune2011

FIND: The Fluoride Information Network for Dentists is one of the local Fluoride Free’s astroturf organisations claiming about 8 members but only Stan Litras is active. Stan uses his FIND hat for his anti-fluoride press releases – such as the one promoting the “report” considered here.

NZ Tour of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Sorry, can’t help thinking of these two when the upcoming NZ tour of Paul Connett and Bill Hirzy is mentioned. They do seem to be charging local fluoridation windmills with meetings in Taupo and Auckland.

William Hirzy: He is Paul Connett’s wingman on the Don Quixote & Sancho Panza Tour. Unlike Paul’s sole co-authorship he actually has 2 published scientific papers related to fluoridation where he appears as senior author. (See Comparison of hydrofluorosilicic acid and pharmaceutical sodium fluoride as fluoridating agents—A cost–benefit analysis and Corrigendum to “Comparison of hydrofluorosilicic acid and pharmaceutical sodium fluoride as fluoridating agents—A cost–benefit analysis” [Environ. Sci. Policy 29 (2013) 81–86]“)

The “credibility” of his “expertise” on the subject is shown by the fact his second paper was necessary to correct the huge arithmetic mistake he made in the first paper!

Perhaps you can see why the Connett/Hirzy act brings Done Quixote and Sancho Panza to my mind.

Conclusion

The “report” is discredited even before addressing the arguments presented – simply because of the well-known anti-fluoride stance of all the authors and “peer-reviewers.” The diagrammatic network shows just how incestuous the “report” is. It is simply an attempt to put a “sciency” face on their political stand and their attack on the Royal Society Review.

As a scientific presentation it is a farce.

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50 responses to “The farce of a “sciency” anti-fluoride report

  1. . . . and the Gluckman report was so balanced and inclusive? I think not . . . :{

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  2. So Ken hasn’t even read the report properly and is attacking the messengers instead.

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  3. Shane – you didnt read my post, did you? I quote:

    “I have already reviewed Kathleen Theissen’s article (see Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”) and will get around to reviewing the other 2 articles (by H.S. Miclen and Stan Litras) later.”

    Yes I have read the material – and will comment on 2 of the articles soon. However, my analysis of Kathleen Tiessen’s article (and Chris Neurath’s which was in the original draft) is at Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”. You are welcome to read and comment on it there.

    So, something for you to go on with and look forward to. I know you enjoy may analyses of this sort of material.🙂

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  4. Oh, this is truly comical. It’s like Laurel and Hardy being peer-reviewed by the Keystone Kops. Well, you gotta given them some slack, Ken. When there are only a small handful of fluoride opponents in the world who have any semblance of respect attached to their names, they have to constantly be recycled and trotted out as the “lots of scientists that oppose fluoridation”.

    Here’s an example of Thiessen’s credibility. In July 2013, Douglas Main, that freelance reporter and bastion of “objectivity”, interviewed Thiessen to get her opinion on Hirzy’s study on which he based his petitition to the EPA.

    From the article:
    “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.”

    —–http://news.yahoo.com/arsenic-drinking-water-costly-change-could-lower-levels-103332699.html

    When the EPA reviewers looked at Hirzy’s study they found that he had made a 70-fold miscalculation in his study. When corrected for that error, the EPA reviewers found that Hirzy’s data actually demonstrated the exact opposite of what he had concluded.

    Seems Thiessen either didn’t bother to read Hirzy”s study prior to commenting on it, or she overlooked his glaring error, too.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Murray Thomson

    In that “report”, Stan Litras accuses Martin Lee and Peter Dennison of “cherrypicking” the evidence by using just Canterbury and Wellington data in their 2004 paper. If he actually knew what he was talking about, he would be aware that, at that time, those were the only two services collecting electronic unit record data on children, thus allowing multivariate analysis. No other service in the country was doing it then. Perhaps he does know and is being disingenuous…

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  6. Thanks for the reminder Steve. I am afraid I was suffering some early seasonal fatigue and missed that. I will update the article and diagram to bring that fact out – it is important as the Fluoride Free people are relying on her skills as a peer reviewer.

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  7. Thanks for that Murray – useful informatiuon.

    I suspect Stan was not familiar with the term “cherrypicking” until critics of some of his early writings pointed out that is what he was doing with the MoH data.

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  8. Gluckman and Skegg made a whopper underestimating the lowered IQ calling it 0.45 when it is actually 7 IQ points. A massive glaring error. I’m afraid they’ve lost all credibility.

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  9. Here is a task for your, Shane.

    Please quote the section from the Royal Soceity Report you refer to (you have read it haven’t you? :-)) Then quite the section of the Choi at al (2012) it refers to.

    Then explain the statistical and mathematical aspects of both statements explaining why you use the term whopper.

    Of cours if you redo not do this soon I will have to assume you actually don’t understand the issues and cannot understand either ice statements.

    Look forward to a rapid response in your next comment.

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  10. Now, Shane, getting back to the content of my article and away from your attempted diversion. It appears you have just had to accept my statement that the FF report is a farce prepared by an incestuous group ain’t-fluoride activists while regularly Take in each other’s laundry.

    Why else would you attempt to divert attention away from the conetent of my article?

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  11. In an ideal world, antifluoridationists would be reasonable people truly interested in protecting the public against what they believe to be dangers to the health and well-being of that public. They would be intelligent enough to understand the limitations of their knowledge, understand that they do not know more than highly educated and experienced healthcare experts, and open to learning the facts. When presented with the reasons why their beliefs were erroneous, instead of scurrying around to fabricate their own set of “facts”, they would explore and verify the validity of those reasons, and then begin to understand that it is their beliefs that are in error, not the facts. They would accept that the facts are not the product of conspiracy and corruption, but are simply the facts supported by valid evidence. They may still oppose fluoridation, but willing to admit that this opposition is ideology driven, not anything grounded in science.

    However…….

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  12. Hello Murray Thomson,

    Could you please advise where the Otago Dental School Researchers receive their funding from?

    Thanks

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  13. Hi Murray Thomson,

    The 2009 Oral Health Survey includes this statement:

    “It is important to note that it was not one of the objectives of the 2009 NZOHS to compare the oral health status of people by fluoridation status, and therefore the survey cannot be considered a fluoridation study as such. The following results are for a snapshot in time and constitute an ecological analysis based on current place of residence. As such, they do not take into consideration lifetime exposure to fluoridated and nonfluoridated water supplies. Individuals who currently live in fluoridated areas may have spent time in non-fluoridated areas, and the reverse is also true. Furthermore, there may be other confounding facts that have not been taken into consideration.” Our Oral Health Page 167

    Given the above statement in Oral Health report do you believe that it was disingenuous for DHBs to use the 40% tooth decay reduction figure from the 2009 Oral Health Survey for the difference between fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas?

    As you will be aware this was a key plank of the 2013 referendum’s in Whakatane, Hastings and Hamilton.

    Thanks,
    Kane

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  14. Kane, it is interesting that anti-fluoride propagandists like you and Stan Litras will opportunistically use information form the Oral Health Survey and then comdem anyone else who quotes it honestly.

    What is you comment on the way Stan has dishonestly cherry-picked information from that survey – the graphic on dmft for adults?

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  15. Murray Thomson

    Otago Dental School researchers obtain research funding from a variety of sources, including the Health Research Council, the Ministry of Health, the NZDA Research Foundation, the Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust, Lottery Health, etc – this is all competed for in the public domain (and funding sources are acknowledged on any paper which is published). Contrast this with the mysteriously well-funded anti-fluoride lobby…. perhaps someone might like to enlighten us on their sources of funding and how funding is obtained?

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  16. Good question, Murray. Probably the most blatant conflict of interest is Paul Connett’s “Fluoride Action Network”. In contrast to healthcare organizations which support water fluoridation as but one aspect of overall science and healthcare concerns they view as beneficial, “FAN” exists solely to oppose water fluoridation. It’s entire income and very existence is completely dependent on its ability to keep the fluoride issue alive and create “controversy” over fluoridation where none exists. Without this issue, “FAN” would presumably cease to exist, its $150k yearly budget dried up, income for Connett and his family gone, and whatever travel expenses “FAN” may fund for Connett’s travels all over the US, Australia, NZ, Europe, and wherever else he elects to travel supposedly for purposes of opposing fluoridation, gone as well.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  17. Hi Murray Thomson,

    Can you please explain why in your own study also mentioned in the review. It claimed in the summary that decay was halved by water fluoridation, but stated in the paper that they found no difference based on fluoridation status.

    Thanks,
    Kane

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  18. Hi Murray Thomson,

    Do you concede that the NZ Review’s claim of “a shift of less than one IQ point” in the 27 studies reviewed by Choi et al (2012) was incorrect and in reality, the average lowering of IQ was in fact 6.9 IQ points?

    Thanks,
    Kane

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  19. Kane

    Do you concede that the 27 Chinese studies reviewed by Choi, et al, were so seriously flawed that Choi and Grandjean were led to issue a statement that distanced these studies from comparison with fluoridated water in the United States? Do you concede that these 27 studies were so seriously flawed that nothing of any significance could be concluded from them?

    If not, let me refresh your memory with some of the problems noted by Choi, et al. In their Harvard Review of these studies.

    From:
    ——Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic
    Review and Meta-Analysis
    Anna L. Choi, Guifan Sun, Ying Zhang, Philippe Grandjean

    From page 4 Conclusion:

    “The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment. Future research should include detailed individual-level information on prenatal exposure, neurobehavioral performance, and covariates for adjustment.”

    Note: HIGH fluoride exposure. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, an extremely LOW concentration.

    Page 9

    “Six of the 34 studies identified were excluded due to missing information on the number of subjects or the mean and variance of the outcome (see Figure 1 for a study selection flow chart and Supplemental Material, Table S1 for additional information on studies that were excluded from the analysis). ”

    Page 13

    “Children who lived in areas with high fluoride exposure had lower IQ scores than those who lived in low exposure or control areas.”

    Once again, note: HIGH fluoride exposure. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, an extremely LOW concentration, exactly in the range of the control groups in this study.

    Page 13-14

    “While most reports were fairly brief and complete information on covariates was not available, the results tended to support the potential for fluoride-mediated developmental neurotoxicity at relatively high levels of exposure in some studies.”

    Incomplete information on covariates (controls). Relatively HIGH levels of fluoride. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, an extremely LOW concentration.

    Page 15

    “The present study cannot be used to derive an exposure limit, as the actual exposures of the individual children are not known. Misclassification of children in both high- and low-exposure groups may have occurred if the children were drinking water from other sources (e.g., at school or in the field).”

    Page 15-16

    “Still, each of the articles reviewed had deficiencies, in some cases rather serious, which limit the conclusions that can be drawn. However, most deficiencies relate to the reporting, where key information was missing. The fact that some aspects of the study were not reported limits the extent to which the available reports allow a firm conclusion. Some methodological
    limitations were also noted. Most studies were cross-sectional, but this study design would seem appropriate in a stable population where water supplies and fluoride concentrations have remained unchanged for many years. The current water-fluoride level likely also reflects past developmental exposures. In regard to the outcomes, the inverse association persisted between studies using different intelligence tests, although most studies did not report age adjustment of the cognitive test scores.”

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  20. Kane, the section of the Royal Society Report dealing with neurotoxicity actually says:

    Setting aside the methodological failings of these studies, Choi et al. determined that the standardised weighted mean difference in IQ scores between “exposed” and reference populations was only -0.45. The authors themselves note that this difference is so small that it “may be within the measurement error of IQ testing”.[172]

    What do you find wrong with that?

    After all, this is what Choi et al (2012) actually said:

    “The estimated decrease in average IQ associated with fluoride exposure based on our analysis may seem small and may be within the measurement error of IQ testing.”

    Also, I find it interesting that you are carefully avoiding any comment on my post. I presume you cannot find anything wrong with it so wish to avoid it?

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  21. Kane, what are your comments on Choi et al (2014) where there own measurements did not find a relationship between water F and IQ deficits?

    I would also be interested in your comments on the possible role of severe dental fluorosis as being the real determining factor in their measurements – see Severe dental fluorosis the real cause of IQ deficits?.

    After all, the review and study by Choi et al refer to areas of endemic fluorosis – not to CWF.

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  22. What do you find wrong with that?…
    …Kane, what are your comments on…
    …I would also be interested in your comments on…

    Hmm,no disrespect Ken as I know you are making a point about Kane’s obfuscation, but really, who the hell cares what “Kane” has to say about anything.

    Better the intelligent, rational approach of heeding the position statements re fluoridation from CDC, Surgeon General, Royal Society, WHO, and every single medical, dental and scientific community in the world.

    They are quite clear.

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  23. I know Richard.

    It’s just that it is hard to find anyone who will defend the Fluoride Free message consistently and rationally.

    Kane has obvious limitations – but he is one of the leading lights in the NZ Fluoride Free movement so you would think he should be able to front up with a proper message.

    At least here his comments are recorded and stay recorded. On face book he usually deletes his comments as his ridiculousness becomes obvious.

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  24. Murray Thomson

    Can you be clearer about which review and which study, for a start?

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  25. Hi Murray,

    The Review is the NZ Fluoridation Review by the Royal Society and the OPMCSA. You were a panel member.

    I’d like to hear your response to the comments made about your 2005 study that was in the Internationally Peer reviewed critique.

    The study I am referring to is: Mackay, T.D. and W.M. Thomson, Enamel defects and dental caries among Southland children. N Z Dent J, 2005. 101(2): p. 35-43.

    From the Critique:

    3. Southland Study: Mackay and Thomson 2005

    This review claims it shows children in fluoridated areas had about half the decay rates of those in unfluoridated areas.
    In fact this was a very weak study, whose conclusions are not supported by the results presented. Children were examined in a mobile clinic and the teeth were not cleaned or dried for the examination.
    Due to the small numbers, results were not statistically significant, and many
    confounding factors were uncontrolled.
    In fact, the authors admit in the discussion that “there were no significant differences in deciduous caries prevalence or severity (or in the permanent caries prevalence) by socio-demographic characteristics or length of residence in fluoridated areas.” (Page 31 of the Critique)

    In their 2005 paper “Enamel defects and dental caries among Southland children”,
    Thomson (a panel member of this present review) et al report:
    “There were no significant differences in deciduous caries prevalence or severity (or in permanent caries prevalence) by socio-demographic characteristics or length of residence in fluoridated areas”
    This is, in fact, what their research showed, however they oddly concluded that decay rates were halved by CWF. (Page 33 of the Critique)

    Thanks,
    Kane

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  26. Hi Murray,

    I’d also like you to answer this question as well please. The 2009 Oral Health Survey was in the NZ Review.

    “Overall, children and adults living in fluoridated areas had significantly lower
    lifetime experience of dental decay (ie, lower dmft/DMFT) than those in non-fluoridated areas”. (Page 71 of the NZ Fluoridation Review).

    However the 2009 Oral Health Survey includes this statement:

    “It is important to note that it was not one of the objectives of the 2009 NZOHS to compare the oral health status of people by fluoridation status, and therefore the survey cannot be considered a fluoridation study as such. The following results are for a snapshot in time and constitute an ecological analysis based on current place of residence. As such, they do not take into consideration lifetime exposure to fluoridated and nonfluoridated water supplies. Individuals who currently live in fluoridated areas may have spent time in non-fluoridated areas, and the reverse is also true. Furthermore, there may be other confounding facts that have not been taken into consideration.” Our Oral Health Page 167.

    Given the above statement in Oral Health report do you believe that it was disingenuous for DHBs to use the 40% tooth decay reduction figure from the 2009 Oral Health Survey for the difference between fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas?

    As you will be aware this was a key plank of the 2013 referenda in Whakatane, Hastings and Hamilton.

    Thanks,
    Kane

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  27. Murray Thomson

    Have you actually read the paper? Did someone tell you that it was a weak study, or have you actually read it? Look at Table VI – the Poisson regression model for DMFS shows that those with continuous residence in fluoridated areas up to age 9 had, on average, half the accumulated dental caries experience of those who had lived none of their lives in an area with CWF – after controlling for the confounders of sex, ethnicity and socio-economic status. BTW, children were NOT examined in mobile clinics (not that that should make a difference in field epidemiology). As for the assertion that it was under-powered, the statistical significance of the observed differences contradicts it.

    I think that one of the problems with our anti-CWF people is that very few of them have had any actual field experience in conducting research or in writing it up for publication – it is, of course, far easier to sit and criticise than it is to get out there and do it.

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  28. Murray Thomson

    “…for DHBs to use…?” – I am not familiar with the source of this one.

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  29. Kane, your quotes (p 31 and 33) are taken from Stan Litras’s article.

    I think my critique of the article makes clear that Stan has indulged in a lot of cherry-picking and misrepresentation. I have dealt with some of it in my post – your studied ignoring of my post suggests you actually cannot refute any of my points.

    So it is incumbent on you to check very closely any of Stan’s assertions – to never accept them at face value.

    There is so much wrong with Stan’s article that I just did not have the space to deal with each point – especially as he has made most of them in passing without evidence or argument.

    If you are not prepared to check out Stan’s claims yourself (and you have so far refused to) then it is a waste of time to ask others to do this for you. You should at least read the paper you are referring to and quote the sections which you claim are contradictory.

    >

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  30. Hi Murray,

    I am referring to this sort of misinformation spread by the DHBs and MOH: http://www.fluoridefacts.govt.nz/questions-and-answers-0

    Q. How much difference does having the fluoride in water topped up make?

    A lot. The most recent NZ study shows on average 40% less tooth decay for children in fluoridated areas compared to those areas without it New Zealand Oral Health Survey, Ministry of Health, 2009. Many other studies have shown that children and adults living in areas with community water fluoridation have significantly lower tooth decay than people living in areas without it.

    The 2009 Oral Health Survey clearly states:

    “It is important to note that it was not one of the objectives of the 2009 NZOHS to compare the oral health status of people by fluoridation status, and therefore the survey cannot be considered a fluoridation study as such. The following results are for a snapshot in time and constitute an ecological analysis based on current place of residence. As such, they do not take into consideration lifetime exposure to fluoridated and nonfluoridated water supplies. Individuals who currently live in fluoridated areas may have spent time in non-fluoridated areas, and the reverse is also true. Furthermore, there may be other confounding facts that have not been taken into consideration.” Our Oral Health Page 167.

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  31. Kane, as you are asking others for comment perhaps you could be polite and comment on claims made in the document you are supporting.

    In the article from your FFNZ document Stan makes this claim of the MOH data.

    “Ministry of Health figures recorded every year in 5 year olds and year 8s (12-13 year olds) consistently show minimal or no differences between fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas of NZ.”

    So here are my questions:

    1: what do you think of Stan’s use of a single data point for each of the fluoridated and unflouridated areas to claim there is no difference?

    2: what do you think of the fact that he has the specific data points which were closest together and were not representative of the data?

    3: What do you think of the fact that most of the qualifications referred to i. The Oral Health Survey also apply to all the data in the MOH set?

    4: do you agree that such data must be analysed and used sensibly and not cherry picked in this way?

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  32. Ken – ask Stan.

    I’m asking the panel member who contributed to the Royal Society Review to substantiate his comments. I didn’t write the critique or review it.
    I’ll wait for Murray to respond to my question about the 2009 Oral Health Survey.

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  33. Oh, Stan has been asked. He has been offered space for an exchange along the lines of the exchange with Paul Connett. He has been invited to comment. His silence is very telling.

    You didn’t write the critique or review it but like all the authors and reviewers you are an anti-fluoride propagandist belonging to an anti-fluoride activists organisation. In fact you are one of the leaders of the Fluoride Free NZ group which is responsible for putting the document described in is post together.

    You refusal to support the document is very telling.

    If you guys refuse to support your won documents or take any responsibility for them what credibility can you have.

    Your question about the Oral Health Survey is one you commonly ask of people. It is in essence exactly the same question I am asking of you.

    Normally when this is turned back in you on Facebook you run away and delete all your comments.myiu don’t have that ability here. Your refusal to discuss this issue is on record and remain as in record.

    Kane Titchener, one of the Auckland area and campaign contacts for Fluoride Free NZ refuses to support his organisation’s documents, is in fact embarrassed by them!

    >

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  34. Okay, Ken I’ll entertain you. As a starter can you please send through the presentation to Hamilton City Council Tribunal that you made in 2013.

    You are a world expert in fluoridation, live in Hamilton and are active in promoting fluoridation.

    We’ll use that as a starting point and work from there.

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  35. Hi Murray,

    Just on the sponsoring of dental research can you confirm that Colgate is a sponsor of Otago Dental School Research?

    Thanks

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  36. Pathetic,  Kane.

    You as an official representative of Fluoride Free NZ are incapable of supporting  or even explaining the most important  document it haa produced  to date.

    In fact none of you are. Neither  the authors  or the “peer review ” endorsers of the document.

    Pathetic!

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  37. Ken, just send through the presentation and we’ll get started.

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  38. Certainly. Colgate funds a Senior Lectureship in Periodontology (and in case you don’t know what that is, it’s the science of investigating, treating and preventing disorders of the supporting tissues of the teeth [“gums”]). It has funded that position since the mid-1990s, as far as I am aware.

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  39. Thanks Murray.

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  40. Hi Murray,

    On Wednesday 22nd October you were on a programme with Paul Brennan. You did a segment called Teeth Talk: http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20154431

    5 minutes into that presentation you said that 94% of dentists support fluoridation. I checked with David Crum and he said that this 94% comes from Grant et al study 2013 NZDJ. Is that correct?

    Given the low turn out in responses 465 dentists would you not consider this survey to be too statistically insignificant to be able to categorically make the claim?

    Within that survey did you supply basic information to Dentists like the source of fluoride chemical that is added to the water supply?

    I only ask because at the recent presentation in Taupo a number of the dentists in the audience were unaware that the fluoride chemical was sourced from the fertiliser industry. I genuinely believe that they didn’t know this basic fact. Is the source of fluoride chemicals discussed anywhere at Dental School?

    Thanks,
    Kane

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  41. Murray,

    Back to the Southland study.

    Why then do you say in the Southland study discussion that “there were no significant differences in deciduous caries prevalence or severity (or in the permanent caries prevalence) by socio-demographic characteristics or length of residence in fluoridated areas.”

    Thanks for clarifying. I appreciate it.

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  42. OK, clearly you are being deliberately obtuse. The issue with the 94% estimate is the degree to which nonresponders differ systematically from responders in terms of their sociodemographic characteristics. We were able to show that our sample was most likely representative by virtue of its being pretty similar to the wider dentist population. Now, turning to the Mackay and Thomson paper, what you need to understand is the difference between caries prevalence and caries severity (aka caries experience). The DMF score represents the latter; it is NOT a measure of caries prevalence. The prevalence of caries is the proportion of the population with 1 or more DMF. Remember also that we make our way through two dentitions during the life course, with the deciduous (baby) teeth gradually replaced by the permanent (adult) teeth from ages 6 through to about 12-13 or so, depending on maturity. Now that you understand that (or, at least, I hope you do), you can read those data and be able to interpret the data. I am not going to do it for you. I am now signing off.

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  43. Thanks Murray.

    It would be good to get your view on the 2009 Oral Health Survey and then that will be it.

    The 2009 Oral Health Survey clearly states:

    “It is important to note that it was not one of the objectives of the 2009 NZOHS to compare the oral health status of people by fluoridation status, and therefore the survey cannot be considered a fluoridation study as such. The following results are for a snapshot in time and constitute an ecological analysis based on current place of residence. As such, they do not take into consideration lifetime exposure to fluoridated and nonfluoridated water supplies. Individuals who currently live in fluoridated areas may have spent time in non-fluoridated areas, and the reverse is also true. Furthermore, there may be other confounding facts that have not been taken into consideration.” Our Oral Health Page 167.

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  44. Is the source of fluoride chemicals discussed anywhere at Dental School?

    It doesn’t matter if the source is the fertiliser industry, the brick or steel making industry, the textile industry or (insert any medium/large-scale industry here).

    Except if you are Kane/Trevor/Shane/Paul Connett or any other of the single-issue anti-fluoridation fanatics.

    It is simply putting an existing by-product of an existing industrial process to good use.

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  45. Kane

    You really have no idea as to what is actually ingested as a result of water fluoridation, have you? From your comments, it’s obvious that you don’t, but just thought I would give you a chance to demonstrate at least an elementary understanding of this public health initiative about which you emit such volumes of hot air.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

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  46. Murray’s emailed response:

    “Of course. The Ministry put that disclaimer into the national survey report because it is a reasonable caveat. Nevertheless, national-level data from calibrated examiners in a systematically conducted survey are scarce in NZ because it is very difficult to get funding for and run a national survey. Those who collect the data have an ethical obligation to get as much information as possible out of it (because a lot of resources have gone into collecting the information and a lot of NZers have been inconvenienced by taking part), but they are careful to add such caveats. The national survey was conducted to provide a snapshot of oral health and disease in 2009, but that does not preclude other investigations using the same data – it’s called secondary data analysis and is a legitimate investigative strategy.”

    I have appreciated Murray Thomson spending the time to respond to my questions.

    Like

  47. Having got all your answers, Kane, what about showing the same respect and answering the questions put to you about your organisation’s report critiquing the Royal Society review?

    >

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  48. Ken, I didn’t write or peer review it. Murray contributed to the Royal Society paper.

    I am now signing off.

    Like

  49. OK, Kane, run away as you usually do.

    We have in record your refusal to defend that report or even comment on the disgusting behaviour of Stan Litras with his cherry-picking and distortions.

    Mind you, you are not alone. Not a single person from your organisation has been able or prepared to defend it against the comments I have made in my critiques.

    The silence is stunning and very telling. >

    Like

  50. Pingback: » Anti-fluoridation campaigner, Stan Litras, misrepresents WHO

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