Did business interests interfere with Hamilton’s fluoride tribunal process?

Oldfield-Poster-2015

 Source: Abuse of democratic process in Hamilton Tribunal?. (Click to enlarge).

Early results from a Waikato University research project show that around 2/3 of all the written submissions to the Hamilton City Council’s fluoride tribunal process were directly or indirectly provided by parties associated with the ‘natural health’ lobby.

This is interesting as it raises the question of links between this lobby and the anti-fluoride movement. I showed in When politicians and bureaucrats decide the science  how the submission process in this case was dominated by the anti-fluoride movement and how their misrepresentation of the science fooled the local body politicians and bureaucrats. In Who is funding anti-fluoridation High Court action? I showed how big money from the “natural” health industry was financing legal action against fluoridation.

This research is not yet complete so we look forward to further details on this relationship and on how such corporate interests and activists groups cooperate in submissions to local body councils.

The research project is “Public Integrity and Participatory Democracy: Hamilton City Council’s Water Fluoridation Decision“. Waikato University student Luke Oldfield is carrying out the work financed by the grant. He recently displayed a poster(above) to an audience of academic faculty sharing some preliminary results of his research.

Interestingly spokespeople for the anti-fluoride groups have opposed this research from the moment of the announcment of the grant (see Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research).

Something to hide, perhaps?

Thanks to Abuse of democratic process in Hamilton Tribunal? at the new Making Sense of Fluoride web page.

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50 responses to “Did business interests interfere with Hamilton’s fluoride tribunal process?

  1. Where is the comparison of the vested interests promoting fluoridation Ken?
    One-eyed look once again – no surprises here!

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  2. I am sure the reports from this research project will also quantify submissions form other sectors – including experts from the health sector..

    From my original perusal of the submissions I did not see any from the company selling the fluoridaiting chemical – I am pretty sure they do not get involved in these consultations. It is very small business from their viewpoint.

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  3. I am not sure what you are trying to convey – are you a conspiracy theorist? Of course there are diverse interests who come together in a common cause. It happens in the finance industry, which is why there are international organisations who have conferences and produce papers promoting their particular views of the circumstances and events that impact or potentially impact on their business activities. If there are people or groups who raise concerns about their activities they promptly get labelled as cranks and weirdos. Sound familiar Ken? The reason there were so few submissions from the proponents of fluoridation was due to the arrogance of power from them. I mean if you have the money and power of the state behind you who gives a shit about what the opposition throws at you. Plan B, to have a referendum, was in place before the tribunal outcome was announced and was based on knowledge of the 2006 referendum campaign. Where did the money for that come from? Oh sorry, that was expenditure to defend transparency, truth, justice and the NZ way wasn’t it Ken? I remind you that back in 2001 there was a Commission of Enquiry into GMOs which expressed the concern as whether scientists who gave evidence did so based on “best science” or were they acting in what was seen at the time in the interest of the company? The then Ministry of Research Science and Technology opined “They [the CRIs] are seen as commercial companies and the scientists are thought to push the company line. This raises the issue of who the public can turn to for independent advice. At the time a CCMAU review noted “significant conflict between the public role of CRIs and their commercial objectives”. Don’t try to convey that the pro fluoride lobby is transparent, squeaky clean and absolutely honest because the truth is they are doing whatever they see as appropriate to destroy those they see as enemies of their position. What they are doing undermines and compromises the values and purpose of science because their focus is not on seeking the truth but winning at any cost!

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  4. Bojangles, I think the information I conveyed was obvious – simply the initial results of this research project show abnormally high dominance of submissions from the “natural” health industry. And, yes, it is probably expect because of their commercial interests. However, I am a bit of a loss to see just how the democratic decision of the Hamilton people impacts in their business activities. Perhaps the ideological motivation. Is paramount.

    I reject completely your claim that supporters of fluoridation were lacking in submissions because of “arrogance of power.” I would certainly have made a submission (and have since then) if I had known what was happening. Most Hamiltonians were completely in the dark and hence felt insulted that they were ignored in council decision.

    I see the rest of your comment as a silly attempt to justify your unscientific position. I am sure that in practice you do not reject the findings of scientists in your day to day life – I think that would make things very difficult for you.

    >

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  5. I need to be reassured that this paper is not setting up a straw man argument to shoot down to reduce democracy.

    Commissioners assessing submissions do not just go by the number of submissions. Frequently many submitters will submit an identical submission just to indicate their preference. Sometimes all the identical submissions may just be classed as one in total.

    Lujke should talk to many commissioners and record their comments about their approaches about assessing submissions. I am fairly sure that the difference between a referendum process and a submission process will show. I hope he does not have a dissemination bias. I fear that he may want to be using this process to further the aims of “Making Sense of Fluoride.” “Public Integrity and Participatory Democracy,” is his title. Does he mean participatory democracy has problems because too few profluoridationists don’t submit and too many antis do? I don’t think it is integrity or lack of it. The antis are people who feel lacks in the current med-business scenario, as do many doctors who suicide more than average people. The anti-submitters may not have the answers, they may not be right about fluoridation, but to say they lack integrity by submitting is rather over the top.

    Build trust. Discuss all the data. Someone has brought up GMOs. People are taking GMO companies to court to get them to disseminate their health studies they do, when they do not allow others to have material to use to study. Some short studies have come out. I noted in a recent application to release a new genetically modified food in NZ and Australia some old study data was released. The rats eating the GMO food grew faster than the ones on ordinary food, even though they ate no more. To me that indicates a steroidal effect, perhaps xenoestrogens or the GMO promoter technolgy causing the plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) to over-express. (A gene is engineered in to make the desired GMO protein express more, and may not only affect its target.)

    What other fluoridation data may not be being disseminated? Hard to know but people are suspicious because of companies in the health field putting shareholder interests first and being cynical about life. I see some experiments say fluoridation reduces some cancers. So why is a big song and dance not being made about that? Could it be because then it would have to be admitted that some sorts of cancers increase?

    Fluoridation may not seem to be a big economic thing like GMOs. So let’s see the figures on the costs of disposal of the fluoride as opposed to selling it when manufacturing superphosphate. The superphosphate industries have not been doing too well, they are running on a rather small margin. Put off staff in Christchurch not too long ago I think.

    Let’s not take a big laugh at people’s worries but carefully and thoroughly explain. That will avoid further enmity.

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  6. Soundhill – what paper are you talking about? So far all that has happened is that Luke has presented some preliminary results to colleagues and produced a poster.

    Also, what “commissioners” are you talking about?

    In this case submissions went to council and were summarised by council staff who were very impressed with the numbers involved -read their reports.

    Neither the staff, or councillors themselves, had the skills necessary to understand the quality of submissions from the scientific perspective. In fact, in private emails my comments were rejected by a councillor because I am a scientist and he objected to scientific “arrogance.”

    Apart from that let me say you a seeming very defensive. You don’t even comment on the limited findings that have been released at all.

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  7. I think you are on to a real conspiracy theory here Ken! Although I thought you said that you didn’t believe in them?

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  8. Ken wrote:
    “Soundhill – what paper are you talking about? So far all that has happened is that Luke has presented some preliminary results to colleagues and produced a poster”
    I’ll write it out again:
    “I need to be reassured that this thesis in progress is not setting up a straw man argument to shoot down to reduce democracy.”

    “Also, what “commissioners” are you talking about?”

    “In August 2005 the RMA was amended to provide, and set the parameters, for Hearing Commissioner Accreditation. This was a joint initiative between the Ministry for the Environment and Local Government New Zealand with the objective of providing a regime of specialist training, with nationally consistent standards, for anyone wishing to sit on resource consent hearings (as an elected member on a council committee or an independent commissioner).
    Waikato Regional Council actively supported the initiative and since 2005 the majority of Council’s elected members have chosen to undertake both the foundation and subsequent re-certification courses”

    http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/PageFiles/19560/Agenda%20Package%2012%20February%202014%20Hearings%20Appointment%20Subcommittee.pdf
    Councillors frequently act as commissioners in hearings. When insufficient unbiased ones can be found outside ones may be brought in.

    “Neither the staff, or councillors themselves, had the skills necessary to understand the quality of submissions from the scientific perspective”

    That is an ambiguous statement.

    They may have decided scientific issues to be less over-riding.
    Or they may have hunches about the science. They may or may not be correct, and commissioners do make mistakes.

    ECAN in Canterbury has been replaced by unelected commissioners. Other councils may feel threatened. Is Canterbury better now decisions have only appointed commissioners making them? Is this thesis in progress trying to urge Hamilton that way?

    “In fact, in private emails my comments were rejected by a councillor because I am a scientist and he objected to scientific “arrogance.â”

    From some of your responses to me, Ken, I imagine your manner might have got his back up.

    “Apart from that let me say you a seeming very defensive. You don’t even comment on the limited findings that have been released at all.”

    Suggestion that some businesses may have been helping people with submissions? If people feel they are helped by those businesses it is likely they will like the help.

    If it is the Grocery Manufacturers Association spending millions to stop the requirement for labelling of “scientific” foods, by persuading voters do you complain?

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  9. What thesis are you talking about, Soundhill? This post relates to a summer research project not a degree thesis.

    Why do you need to be reassured? I am sure Waikato University is not concerned about your fears or otherwise. And I suggest with your biases nothing will be able to reassure you on the matter. However, it is up to Luke’s professional colleagues and any journal where the results are published to carry out the appropriate reviews leading to their own reassurance.

    Sorry to have to ram it home, Soundhill. But you are just not part of this process. Your “reassurance” is not a problem for anyone but you.

    Yes, a couple of councillors did get their “back up” because of my answers to question they posed. It made them aware that they did not understand the science and therefore they took a stand against science in general. Their hubris was in rejecting the health and scientific experts who presented submissions and being influenced by personal relationships, the huge number of organised submisssions from the anti-fluoride movement and their own political ambitions leading up to the elections. But in the end what mattered was the democratic process and they were forced to accept they had ignored the support of Hamiltonians for fluoridation.

    Again I will remark you are embarrassed about the facts that Luke’s research are turning up and that is why you attempt to ignore them but instead play the man rather than the ball to imply he is doing something wrong.

    Face up to the facts, man. They are not going away.

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  10. Kane, you are another person embarrassed by the facts. Hardly suprising as one of the leaders of FFNZ who dishonestly manipulated the submission process.

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  11. I’m embarrassed for you that you think this is a conspiracy theory and a publicly advertised open transparent tribunal was manipulated. It is standard practice to have templated forms to fill out for people who are busy. Providing they agree with what is written and sign it, who cares? Fluoride Free Hamilton actually called for more advertising from HCC so more Hamilton residents could participate.

    Will Duane be including the Moon landing in his conspiracy?

    Keep up the good work guys.

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  12. Soundhill, since you repeatedly bring up GMOs and your unsubstantiated guesses as to mechanisms…

    To me that indicates a steroidal effect, perhaps …[yeah, yeah, yet another one of Soundhill’s “perhaps”es

    …here is a newly minted video that could have been produced with you in mind.

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  13. Kane, a simple statement of facts is hardly a conspiracy theory, even if they embarrass you.
    I had a little chuckle at the presentation of your organisation FFNZ as one promoting democratic participation. As you just don’t allow any input on your facebook pages which might disagree with your dogma.
    What are you frightened of?

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  14. Some people get very dogmatic that science has got it right when it is not even sure itself. So commissioners have a right to go beyond them.

    Here is a study which finds fluoride very high in some fish bones when it is not detectable in their lake. It is supposed that the fluoride comes from the atmosphere at times. But the science is not sure.

    The study also points out how fluoride is more toxic to fish when the water is soft. (Though salt in water is not hardness it may also have an impact of toxicity of fluoride to fish [sea versus fresh] therefore what happens to people on low salts diets in a fluoridated area?)

    Seaweed can concentrate the halide iodine from sea water. May fish in the lake be eating something which concentrates the halide fluoride especially when there is no competition from other halides?

    “a more appropriate fluoride level would be 0.2 mg/L. Most of the laboratory studies of fish toxicity to fluoride (using sodium fluoride and rainbow trout) show that lethal effects vary widely as a function of temperature and water hardness. For example, Pimental and Bulkley (1983) found an inverse relationship between fluoride toxicity and hardness whereby fluoride toxicity increased with decreasing hardness of the source waters.”

    http://www.fs.fed.us/air/documents/Reconniasance%20of%20Possible%20Fluoride.doc

    Wastewater going into the Waikato River from Hamilton gets diluted a few hundred times eventually. But people should not be dogmatic that science has it right until it actually takes measurements of what is happening and works out the mechanism.

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  15. Ken, you have told me I am wrong to call it a paper, or a thesis in progress by this student. What is the significance? Is it just that you are trying to get people to judge my other words by spending a lot of space on this matter? If it is a research project what significance does that have? Not “published” so cannot have a say? It shows up here; that’s putting it in public, if I may say so.

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  16. Richard, I’ve watched your vid up to where it talks of withdrawing an article form the journal “Food and Chemical Toxicology.” That is partial truth like most of the vid I have seen so far. A Monsanto worker got on the FCT editorial board. A story was made up that there were not enough rats in the study to prove cancer, anad persuaded the board to retract the article. The author took the matter to the Committee on Publication Ethics and the journal was asked by its owner to publish a reply. It was not even cancer research and the word “cancer’ was not in the study. Some tumours showed up and were reported as ethics requires. The study was a toxicology study.

    This is article about steroids as growth promoters and the problems
    to which I relate my concerns about increased phytoestrogens in food.
    http://newint.org/features/1983/11/01/hunger/

    Naturally occurring phytoestrogens such as genistein in red clover can change the fertility of sheep. We should beware when increasing them in children’s food. Our government warns against using soy-based infant formula unless there is no alternative. It is too high in phytoestrogens for comfort and worse if it comes from genetically modified soy.

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  17. Soundhill, calling Hamilton’s City Councillors “commissioners” does not hide the fact they were abysmally ignorant on the fluoride issue, motivated by hubris and naked political ambition with the upcoming elections and naively impressed with the numbers of submissions from Connett’s crowd.

    As for F in our waste water – I am not aware if anyone has bothered measuring the remaining concentrations but rather than being diluted by the time it reaches the Tasman sea the concentration jumps to twice that in fluoridated water.

    >

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  18. Soundhill, no one is stopping you from”having a say,” although I suspect very few take you seriously anyway.

    I was objecting to 2 things.

    Your belief that you “had to be reassured” about something – we all know you have a conspiracy theory approach to science and this topic so we know you will never be reassured. And who cares anyway?

    You willingness to discredit Like’s research, as Luke himself, without even looking at the few facts that have been reported. Let alone the full content of the final results. Accompanying that you have refused to comment on or even acknowledge the facts that show the way the “natural” health industry dominated the process or why.

    Yiu strongly convey the impression that the few facts that have so far been released are embarrassing to you for some reason?🙂

    >

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  19. “As for F in our waste water – I am not aware if anyone has bothered measuring the remaining concentrations but rather than being diluted by the time it reaches the Tasman sea the concentration jumps to twice that in fluoridated water.”

    Ken you are not trained in biochemistry. But maybe you have come across the idea of taking potassium iodide to protect your thyroid gland if there is radioactive iodine around. The thyroid gland takes up iodine and if it is satisfied with non-radioactive iodine that stops it from uptake of the radioactive iodine isotope.

    That is not quite the same as fluoride and chloride, they are not isotopes of the same element, but they are from the same chemical group, they are both halides. In the sea the chloride will, I hypothesise, make organisms less able to take up fluoride.

    Another chemical grouping contains beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium. I think if a creature is short on magnesium and calcium it is more susceptible to the beryllium in the smoke from coal fired dairy factories, and more susceptible to strontium 90. Sheep get weak bones when beryllium gets into them.

    They ought to measure fluoride output in wastewater. Gradually they will catch up. They had to change the Dunedin water pH to stop lead poisoning.

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  20. Ken: “I was objecting to 2 things.”

    Some of my discourse with Luke that Ken is referring to is on the msof website. Ken later brought the topic over here. Luke has been replying to me on msof. I have not attacked him; rather I have been putting my worries at the implications of his “research” for democracy.

    I did not submit, if that is where your suggestion of my possible “embarrassment” originates. Even if I had submitted I would not be embarrassed. Most councils take submissions from people anywhere. That happened with the argument against spending on a slow road through New Brighton Mall in Christchurch rather than developing sea front stuff. In that case, although CCC councillors said to take it to court to be further heard when they stopped listening, their lawyer said in court that only people directly affected such as shop or land owners could have a say, not New Brighton users.

    So for Hamilton fluoridation it may be that people directly affected only are allowed to submit, if it goes to court, presumably with help of experts. That will be the immediate water users. Not the people worried about the thin end of the wedge. But if the submission process were couched in wider terms than dental/health immediate effects then more submitters would be accepted. Perhaps downstream Waikato River fishers worried about fluoride in fish bones, or toxic effects on fish as are being seen elsewhere, would be allowed to submit.

    At the moment the assault on the natural health industry for placing/encouraging submissions when they are part of the democratic process is addressed in Lukes statements: by alluding to whether democracy has been subverted or there is even the undertone of whether democracy is advisable if it allows submissions from widely interested people.

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  21. Soundhill, you motivations are reveal by your personal need to refer to Luke’s work in scare marks as “research.” What possible reason could you have for attempting to denigrate it in that matter – especially as you have not seen the research in any detail at all.

    Why should you have any worries about the implication of his research? Why?

    Surely it is helpful to decision makes, if they are honest, to be aware of the possibilities of stacking and ideological motivations in such consultations?

    You seem to be scared that future councils may attempt to limit such contribution – even though that would clearly be unconstitutional.

    And surely you description of seeing this honest and useful information as an “assault on the natural health industry” reveals your bias and reason for your embarrassment.

    After all, all Luke has to go on is the professions and affiliations the submitters themselves declared. They were not ashamed – why should Soundhill be?

    But surely the public and decision makers have the right to know the results of this research.

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  22. Ken you are not trained in biochemistry.

    followed by yet more hypothesising and pontification [aka guesswork] from Soundhill1. Ifs and maybes and perhapses.

    Perhaps we should take him seriously…then again….

    Do come clean, Soundhill. What are your qualifications, your training and work history in the scientific arena?

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  23. Ken as you referenced from msof: “One staggering statistic among these findings was that approximately 2/3 of all written submissions were directly or indirectly provided by parties associated with the ‘natural health’ lobby. No wonder why some anti-fluoridationists didn’t want this research to be done and calling it “bogus research” before results released. Luke will be using the data to inform a broader discussion about abuse and misuse of democratic process in the provision of public health policy, which is the focus of his Masters dissertation.”

    Ken I put quotation marks around “research” since you kept saying, not a thesis, not a paper.

    That news article associates “abuse and misuse of democratic process,” with “2/3 of all written submissions were directly or indirectly provided by parties associate with the ‘natural health’ lobby.” And then might I say, “some anti-fluoridationists,” could mean as few as two or three. If this is research why not give the number?

    I could say that is an assault. I wrote: “At the moment the assault on the natural health industry for placing/encouraging submissions when they are part of the democratic process” It was not as you said that I see the information as the attack, your words: “And surely you description of seeing this honest and useful information as an “assault on the natural health industry””

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  24. Richard, it takes an expert to form a whole policy, but not to fault it.

    Ken has twice now talked of the amount of fluoride in sea water trying to imply the same level or somewhat less in fresh water being insignificant.

    I said he is not trained in biochemistry because I was annoyed.

    I am a bit suspicious. I actually presume he knows the difference but is trying to put a spin on it. Sad day for science.

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  25. Richard I pick up my biochemistry knowledge when I come up against things. I have now been searching for beryllium and bone and come across an old discussion on google group sci.med.dentistry which has been mirrored on to “Science Forums” bulletin board without my knowledge. I am Brian and I see they have removed the e off the end of my surname. Copyright?
    http://www.science-bbs.com/129-med-dentistry/0496961ecc0ee786.htm
    I had been in Karamea in the 1970s and had been told of the sheep illness near the dairy factory, and that beryllium had been found.

    I am trying to look up whether calcium or magnesium may reduce the osteosarcoma induced by beryllium, by blocking it. I’m sorry I was a bit early to claim an analogy with fluoride masked by other ions in sea water vs “unmasked” in fresh water.

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  26. Richard I pick up my biochemistry knowledge when I come up against things.

    That would be quite frequently, no?

    Sarcasm aside, one cannot argue for a speculative position by using further speculation as evidence for the position.

    It remains speculative.

    In my view this has been part of your modus operandi within this blog.

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  27. soundhill, do you have anything to confirm that speculative paper from 1950 that suggested high doses of IV beryllium compounds may be related to osteosarcoma.

    After all, we know that correlation is not causation.

    Maybe something that finds higher than normal concentration of beryllium in osteosarcoma tissue?

    Something from the last half century, perhaps?

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  28. Ken: “From my original perusal of the submissions I did not see any from the company selling the fluoridaiting chemical – I am pretty sure they do not get involved in these consultations. It is very small business from their viewpoint.”

    Ken you used to work with superphosphate science.

    Even after the 90% drop in fluoride emissions from the Christchurch Ravensdown superphosphate plant from 2004 to 2006
    http://www.ravensdown.co.nz/nz/Documents/environmental-report.pdf

    They were still applying to discharge 168 tonnes per week of fluoride from their chimney in 2008, though ECAN halved that.

    http://ecan.govt.nz/news-and-notices/notices/hearingdecisions/11-Decision%20-Ravensdown%20-%20Hornby.pdf

    What does it cost to get rid of fluoride?

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  29. Actually, Soundhill, I never “worked with superphosphate science.” My work on fertilisers were with direct application phosphate rocks and some trace element fertiliser assessment in the lab.

    I did do a small amount of research on fluorosilicic acid as a chemical extractant for heavy metals from waste materials. That research revealed to me how the anti-fluoride movement were telling porkies about contamination in the acid as the levels we measured were extremely low. A very useful lesson – I no longer trust the claims of activists and always check for myself.

    Please tell me where you got the impression I “worked with superphosphate science,” whatever that is. Have you been U critically listening to anti-fluoride propagandists?🙂

    (Unlike direct application phosphate rock the chemistry of superphosphate interaction in soil is pretty well a closed book now).

    I haven’t the faintest what it costs to dispose of fluoride by-products as a waste. I don’t know if any fluorosilicic acid produced in NZ is disposed of as a waste at all. But you are referring in your citation not to disposal but permissions to emit. A different thing,

    But why talk about this? Are you diverting attention away fro what is probably a fact – none of the producers of fluoride chemicals actually gave submissions to the Hamilton Ciyt Council.

    If I am wrong about that please tell me – and provide the submission number,

    >

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  30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472724/
    “I believe that it is by no means naughty to have a conflict of interest but it is not to declare one.” But non-financial interests such as old acquaintances in a company might not be needed to declare, if you are not getting sponsorship, or have shares, still. (Unlike on a jury if you know ones of the barristers)

    Ken it is the first time I have been asked whether someone should have sent a letter to a medical journal so I am just going through the aspects of what it should be.

    I’ve asked elsewhere for the maths help now. (mentioned you).
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!topic/sci.stat.math/daOW04ENjpk

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  31. Soundhill, are you trying to advance a conspiracy theory that I somehow have a conflict of interest and therefore my scientific writing s should be rejected??

    Are you not aware that a conflict of interest statement is a normal requirement for scientific journal publication these days?

    And please answer my question regarding your claim of my research areas.

    >

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  32. Ken it wasn’t quite clear if you were promoting the superphosphate or the rock phosphate.
    http://www.publish.csiro.au/?paper=SR9930299

    Yes that ECAN document was about reducing Fluoride emissions to the air, then where do they go instead?

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  33. Soundhill, I think even the abstract of our paper is extremely clear. We were not promoting anything. Simply investigating the extent to which normal fertilisers applications on pasture effect the the soil life, bacteria, fungi, enzyme activity, earthworms etc. (And yes, I even did some research on organic farms).

    You must have a very twisted mind to interpret a scientific paper investigating soil life as promotion of a fertiliser.

    And this paper in no way supports your claim about me – are you going to withdraw it and the implication of conflict of interest?

    You are making huge mountains out of earthworm hills with the F emission application. Many industries have to deal with regulations restricting their ability to release emissions – the fertiliser industry is no exception. You will have seen in their report that these F emissions are actually very low.

    With your background as an anti-fluoride propagandist you should be familiar with the story. These days almost all the emitted F is captured and sold as a by-product – fluorosilicic acid.

    That is a by-product, a valuable one. Not a waste.

    >

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  34. Stuartg: “soundhill, do you have anything to confirm that speculative paper from 1950 that suggested high doses of IV beryllium compounds may be related to osteosarcoma. ”

    Don’t see much, but more to the point of what I was trying to demonstrate:

    “1. The mortality was highest in snails fed beryllium in the diet containing the sub-optimal concentration of calcium. There was no increase in weight over an 8 week period”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2872011

    Beryllium and calcium are in the same chemical group (2) in the periodic table and fluorine (fluoride) and chlorine (chloride) are in the same group as each other (7).

    If calcium blocks some beryllium damage then it could be reasonable to consider that chloride will block some fluoride damage. So fluoride in sea water may not have the same adverse effects as fluoride in fresh water. Salmon can live in sea water (over 1 mg/l fluoride) but they cannot live in river water with fluoride much over 0.2 mg/l.

    So the fluoride output to the Waikato River from Hamilton’s wastewater may not have a minimal impact on fish, especially for some distance from the outflow.

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  35. I don’t know if anyone has seen salmon in the Waikato River.

    Perhaps that is because the natural levels of fluoride – upstream from Hamilton – are usually about 0.2 or 0.3 ppm, peaking to 6 ppm.🙂

    I don’t know what the F concentration coming from the waste treatment plant is but it could well be below 0.2 ppm because of removal of F in the solid treatment waste which currently goes to landfills.

    >

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  36. Could be that the Salmon are poisoned by beryllium deficient water nymphs.

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  37. Ken, I assumed that you were trying to say these fertilisers are all great, against people who claim they lock up minerals, perhaps, though I don’t know if you proved that.

    From my reading it is still not clear why you say 2 samplings when there were 4, and whether the 2 samplings you compare meant the before and after or the super compared to the rock.

    Interesting selection pressure on the bacteria. Thanks you didn’t do dissemination bias and leave that out!

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  38. Soundhill, have you bothered to read the paper, or are you just going to make libellous statements without going to that effort?

    >

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  39. Different uses of “could”:

    Ken: “I don’t know what the F concentration coming from the waste treatment plant is but it could well be below 0.2 ppm because of removal of F in the solid treatment waste which currently goes to landfills.”

    Richard: “Could be that the Salmon are poisoned by beryllium deficient water nymphs.”

    Ken are you sure given the solubility product of calcium fluoride is 3.45 x 10^-11 ?

    https://fluorideinformationaustralia.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/evidence-of-environmental-harm-carol-clinch-petition-to-auditor-general-chapter-6.pdf

    Some of those very high levels might relate to colloids which an ion specific device would not see.

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  40. Soundhill, your concern with the use of the English word “could” is beyond me so I guess I will just see it as another diversion getting you out of responding to our comments.🙂

    Now why are you asking me for a value of a solubility product (these sorts of figures are readily available in the literature)? And why do you ask “are you sure.” I don’t think I have got into arguments about one specific value over another (there is always a range of such values available in the literature due to different methodologies and temperatures used).

    Ion specific electrodes are not the only technique used for determine F and problems due to different chemical and physical forms often mean samples are digested in some way.

    >

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  41. Ken I gave the SP. The question was, “Are you sure?”

    If fluoride is in the solid waste that means it has to have come out of solution and or not be a colloid. It won’t come out of solution, for example as calcium fluoride unless the concentration is greater than the square root of the solubility product. That will be 5.87^-6 and given atomic weight of fluorine is 19 I think I get about 0.11 milligrams per litre. So I am wrong unless water has to have the calcium removed (softened) for fluoridation. That could be a health risk since water can supply 10% or more of calcium needs I believe if not softened.

    Are you saying the fluoride in water precipitates out when it comes into extra calcium from human waste?

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  42. But why ask me if I am sure??

    The real answer to F levels in the waste stream directed to the river is actual measurment. I do not recall seeing anything for F (and I haven’t bothered checking).

    However, I suggest solubility products are irrelevfant – especially as CaF2 can support higher concentrations of F than we are talking about.

    The solid waste captures most of the heavy metals, and other metals like Al and Fe. It is likely that F and PO4 are adsorbed by these materials. I don’t envisage biological capture.

    However, this liquid waste stream undergoes very high dilution once released to the river. it could be that there is a very low F concentration in the liquid waste which is effectively increased by the natural F in the river water.

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  43. Oh dear now I find this table gives another figure for calcium fluoride solubility product of 5.3 ^-9 can’t trust internet.
    http://bilbo.chm.uri.edu/CHM112/tables/KspTable.htm

    But wiki gives 3.9^-11
    It’s a long time since I learned solubility product stuff, but since calcium fluoride is made from 3 ions I am thinking it is the cube root I take giving 0.339 millimoles per litre allowing 6.4 mg/litre of fluoride before precipitation? Interesting that is about the maximum figure you gave for Waikato River water.

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  44. No that what I just wrote must be wrong.

    But your other capture thinking also depends on solubility products of those substances since they dissolve that much given by solubility product.

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  45. Ken: “However, this liquid waste stream undergoes very high dilution once released to the river.”

    from my 9:26am ref:
    “Studies show that elevated concentrations in fresh water receiving fluoridated effluent may
    persist for some distance. Bahls (19) showed that the effluent from Bozeman Montana of 0.6-
    2.0 mgF/L, discharged into the East Galletin River did not return to the background level of
    0.33 mgF/L for 5.3 km. Singer and Armstrong (18) reported that a distance of 16 km was
    required to return the Mississippi River to its background level of 0.2 mg/FL after receiving
    the effluent of 1.21 mgF/L from Minneapolis-St Paul. Although dilution reduces
    concentration
    over distance, the
    amount
    of fluoride in effluent is either deposited in sediment locally or is
    carried to the estuary where it may persist for 1-2 million years (16) or may re-contaminate if
    dredging were to take place.”

    The ref also gives much greater fluoride outputs than you suggest they could be.

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  46. Soundhill, I have made it clear that I have no idea what the F concentrations are in liquid effluent from waste treatment. However, there will be regulations in NZ covering the permitted concentrations of contaminants in this effluent – why don’t you look them up?

    From the articles quoted in your anti-fluoride pamphlet it is clear that much of the F handled in the treatment plants comes from industrial sources (concentrations in raw sewerage is higher than in the drinking water) so this will also be an issue in unfluoridated cities. The other aspect is that clearly much if the F is removed in the solid as the concentrations in the liquid effluent are a lot lower than the raw sewerage.

    But, as I said, look up the regulations. I imagine that as far as the Waikato River is concerned we are not at all concerned about salmon.

    >

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  47. Ken:”much of the F handled in the treatment plants comes from industrial sources (concentrations in raw sewerage is higher than in the drinking water) so this will also be an issue in unfluoridated cities”

    “Singer and Armstrong found secondary
    effluent levels in fluoridated (at 1.0
    mg/L) Minneapolis-St. Paul of 1.21 mg/
    L and non-fluoridated Brainerd (0.13
    mg/L in water) of 0.38mg/L.”

    In those cases secondary effluent levels are 0.21 and 0.25 above the drinking water.

    The fluoridation is adding the most by about 4 times.

    Ken: “The other aspect is that clearly much if the F is removed in the solid as the concentrations in the liquid effluent are a lot lower than the raw sewerage.”

    But a lot of that like the pesticide cryolite has never been in solution.

    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/this-food-has-180-times-the-fluoride-of-drinking-water.html

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  48. The relative inputs from natural, supplemented and industrial fluoride will depend on the city. As will the specific chemical forms in the raw sewerage.

    >

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  49. Usually industrial plants have to manage their fluoride from their wastewater before it goes into the city system because it can be at a very high level. But where it’s industrial agriculture and food is bearing the substance that is another story.

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  50. Could you rephrase your last sentence, Soundhill. It doesn’t make sense.

    >

    Like

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