Iron and fluoride in human milk

baby_and_mother_QAThe other day I came across the article Why Is Breast Milk So Low in Iron? It’s a fairly brief but sensible article discussing the problem of  the risk of iron deficiency in breastfed babies written by a research scientist with a PhD in nutrition – Alice Callahan.

She asks the question – Why would breast milk have evolved to be deficient in iron, putting babies at risk for iron deficiency? And provides some sensible answers from an evolutionary perspective.

These answers include the suggestion most babies are born with enough iron stores to last them the first few months of life and perhaps breastfeeding was originally less extended than it sometime is today. In the past, the umbilical cord was probably not cut as rapidly as it is today thus allowing for the increased transfer of iron from the mother. Babies also probably ingested iron from soil.

As she said:

“We must remember that breast milk evolved over the last 2-2.5 million years to enhance infant survival (and also not put the mother at risk) in the context of the conditions of the time.  In the developed world, there have been major changes in living conditions over just the last several hundred years, and evolution simply doesn’t happen that quickly.”

“Thinking about breast milk from an evolutionary perspective helped me to realize that my breastfed baby, who is not raised in the dirt and had her cord clamped immediately after birth (not the plan, but that’s a story for another day), might need a little help getting enough iron in her diet.”

I note she did not draw the superficial conclusion that the low concentration of iron in breast milk is proof that iron is not necessary for human nutrition – or even that it is toxic to humans. In fact, it seems silly that I should even mention this as a possible reaction. I only do so because this is the conclusion Paul Connett, a well-known anti-fluoride campaigner, has drawn from the relatively low concentration of fluoride in human milk.

In fact, that motivated reasoning is a central argument that Connett has been repeating for years. As he wrote recently:

“But what struck me most was that through all the twists and turns of evolution, starting in the sea where the level of fluoride is 1.4 parts per million, very little fluoride has ended up in mothers’ milk (0.004 ppm). Why on Earth — if dentists were correct that babies needed fluoride for healthy teeth — did nature provide so little to the new-born baby? It seems reasonable that nature is protecting the baby from this toxic substance during its early development.”

Leaving aside the fallacious appeal to nature, and the perception of “nature” as an “intelligent designer,” Connett’s argument is wrong because it is naive – a naivety surely derived from his confirmation bias. An objective person with a scientific doctorate would surely recognise the world is far more complex than his argument implies.

In fact, some of the arguments Dr Callahan provides for an evolutionary perspective on the low concentration of iron in human milk could be just as valid for fluoride. As she says:

“It is not surprising in our modern world that humans, and especially babies, sometimes need some nutritional assistance  to make up for the fact we no longer live in the environment we evolved in.”

So much for Connett’s naive fallacious appeal to nature, and his perception of “nature” as an “intelligent designer.”

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123 responses to “Iron and fluoride in human milk

  1. If iron is supplemented then vitamin E is lowered:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3981321

    Everything needs to be in balance.

    Also can change the compound offered. Ferrous salts are worse against vitamin E. Children’s iron tonic “Incremin” contains *ferric* pyrophosphate. Probably less absorption but a bit less risk to vitamin E. Also has lysine and B12.

    Copper and zinc put each other out of balance. And so do vitamin C and copper.

    I note Dunedin City Council now say to let your kitchen tap flush a little before drinking water from it. The first flush can dislodge copper salts &c which may have formed if the water is low in pH. Some say aluminium will also show in copper pitting areas. Aluminium in Dunedin water has been as high as 0.7 g/litre, but I have to learn more about reactive fraction of that.

    Copper in water tends to make the drinker vomit or feel sick. That seem to be at only about 8 times what can be found in Dunedin water, and I need to find out whether that is first flush or not, since that can be double.

    I am guessing that could be adding to pregnancy sickness, especially if Mum used to get the first flush in the morning, so I believe it needs to be examined for the Broadbent study.

    Well water is lower in pH until it vents to air so that may be a factor.

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  2. You are burbling again, Brian.🙂

    It appears to be a defensive mechanism on your part when you wish to divert attention away from the message of my posts. In this case the extreme naivety of Connett.

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  3. Ken I thought your message was that nature is not sufficient, and that iron supplementation may be advised so you claim that overrules the argument that nature gets it right for the low fluoride in milk.

    But you better be looking at why balances are as they are.

    I cited how supplementing iron can lower vitamin E in infants. It has to be examined whether breast milk only puts out iron if the essential vitamin E is not going to be going missing.

    So is the breast arranging fluoride level as part of a balance? Iodine perhaps? Or something else for bone development? What implication does mild bone fluorosis have for development, strength and fracture resistance?

    I thought there is an overlap in some of this to the analysis of the Broadbent study which Stuartg is goading me about, which would be obvious without my spelling it out.

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  4. No, Brian, that was not my message as you well know.

    Read the last few paragraphs again:

    “Leaving aside the fallacious appeal to nature, and the perception of “nature” as an “intelligent designer,” Connett’s argument is wrong because it is naive – a naivety surely derived from his confirmation bias. An objective person with a scientific doctorate would surely recognise the world is far more complex than his argument implies.

    In fact, some of the arguments Dr Callahan provides for an evolutionary perspective on the low concentration of iron in human milk could be just as valid for fluoride. As she says:

    “It is not surprising in our modern world that humans, and especially babies, sometimes need some nutritional assistance to make up for the fact we no longer live in the environment we evolved in.”

    So much for Connett’s naive fallacious appeal to nature, and his perception of “nature” as an “intelligent designer.””

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  5. But watch out if you supply extra nutrition, you may put stuff out of balance.

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  6. Stuart Mathieson

    An obvious reason for iron deficiency in breast milk is becomes it is used by parasites to produce eggs. This may explain porotis in skeletons which suggests iron sequestration in poor environments.

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  7. Stuart Mathieson

    It’s amazing how vindictive the anti brigade can be. I was recently hounded out of a tramping club I had been a member of for 40 odd years. I’m pretty sure my well known views on flouridation were a factor there. No wonder their membership is static, older and decidedly white.

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  8. Stuart Mathieson

    Having glanced at Callahan’s original article I see she considers pathogenic factors. There was in the past quite a heated exchange between the Marxist Maize theory of porotis hyperostosis or cribs orbitalia and biological explanations. Interestingly these skeletal lesions are observable in South Island Maori from the cold period a few hundred years ago. It’s been suggested lung infections and parasites were present. Pathogens require iron for reproduction of course and so evolution produced a sub-optimal resolution to reduce infestation in infants. It is interesting the anti fluoride brigade believe in some mystical optimal balance that is “natural”. Any human interference is by definition “unnatural”.
    They don’t seem to grasp that the human capacity for culture evolved as a flexible adaptive mechanism. Hence health enhancing interventions like fluoridation.

    It is however, highly unlikely that iron deficiency anemia is a cause of either porotic hyperostosis or cribra orbitalia.[5] These are more likely the result of vascular activity in these areas and are unlikely to be pathological. The development of cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis could also be attributed to other causes besides an iron deficiency in the diet, such as nutrients lost to intestinal parasites.

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  9. Stuart Mathieson

    Oops the last paragraph I was reading was inadvertently pasted.

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  10. Stuart Mathieson: “It is interesting the anti fluoride brigade believe in some mystical optimal balance that is “natural”. Any human interference is by definition “unnatural”.”

    Our bodies do their best to keep things in balance. We keep a fairly even body temperature over a wide range of air temperature, or water temperature if swimming.

    If we do get too cold and decide to turn on a heater we find it obvious to know that some individuals are going to get too hot before others. In heat waves some die and others don’t. Enough water is needed so sweat can be formed and evaporate from the skin and have a cooling effect.

    There is an “optimal balance” only if the nutrients or conditions exist for the body to bring it about.

    Some nutrients cause as much trouble in excess as in deficiency, such as selenium, iodine. The effect of iodine deficiency or excess is worsened by excess fluoride. Fluoride worsens the body’s ability to relate to wider iodine ranges.

    Weak bones with big “pores” in them, porosis or “porotis” as you call it, can come about through eating whole grain foods which have phytic acid in them. UK took two successful measures: changing to white bread, and adding lime to it. But that reduces the amount of B vitamins in the diet. I saw a scientist at Wheat Research eating sandwiches made from one slice of wholemeal and one white slice.

    Phytic acid also grabs hold of iron and other trace metals making them unavailable to out bodies. Some people use “sourdough” bread in which the fermenting process converts phytic acid. But pH cannot be too low. Sometimes the “knack” for doing things is passed on. As a cellist I used to think out how to make a good sound. I learned to relate bow speed to needs of string amplitude which can be greater for lower notes. When I told it to an advanced player he said he did not wish to have to approach it through thinking. My approach would disturb his “whole playing package.”

    So I am ready to manipulate nutrients for health, but know there are pitfalls. When I used to supplement calcium with vitamin D, Mercola had not yet got it to me that I would also need vitamin K2 to possibly stop the build up of arterial plaque which I got. (By the way I have never bought anything from him or sold his products, only passed on some of his hints.)

    I have looked up zinc in human milk and its level seems rather independent of the mother’s diet, though presumably within some limits. Its level decreases as the months go by, and the infant drinks more.

    Much to learn and be on the watch for.

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  11. Brian, could you please provide a credible citation to support this claim of yours?:

    ” The effect of iodine deficiency or excess is worsened by excess fluoride. Fluoride worsens the body’s ability to relate to wider iodine ranges.”

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  12. “the body’s ability to relate to”

    Haw haw: “relate” to.

    Maybe it interferes with its ability to buy birthday presents or to say thank you.

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  13. Ken, in that statement I did not give a fluoride level at which the effect begins. Here is some research indicating it for higher levels, so we have to await effects on tails of the distribution.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12011-015-0479-0#page-1

    The abstract speaks of more trouble of iodide when fluoride is present.

    It is possible to “look inside” at the end of page 2 of the paper and see how 150-day–old wistar rats had, in the absence of iodide, thyroid hormones reduced by fluoride, though not the pituitary TSH hormone.

    That is in addition to my earlier cites, though you don’t accept the significant Lin FF group difference as meaning anything. Though it fits the pattern.

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  14. Brian, you illustrate the problem. You make an extremely confident statement:

    “The effect of iodine deficiency or excess is worsened by excess fluoride. Fluoride worsens the body’s ability to relate to wider iodine ranges.”

    Your confidence implies this is an established fact – when it isn’t.

    When challenged to provide a credible citation you resort to any old paper – in this case, a paper showing effects of excessive F or I at high concentrations. I think you should stick to your cello (an instrument I also love) – but that is not the way we do science and you certainly shouldn’t be making health recommendations to people with your arbitrary attitude to the facts.

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  15. Stuart Mathieson

    Having spent my early years in a province (Southland) where there is as I understand it widespread deficiencies in trace elements, iodine, fluoride and selenium and having first hand experience with a father and Aunties and Uncles with enlarged goitres and false teeth, I have witnessed the benefits of both artificially added iodine and fluoride. I’m 71 still have my own teeth mostly (late starter on fluoride). Three daughters and two grandchildren virtually no fillings and no goitre problems. No IQ deficiencies either with multiple degrees up to Phd level in the kinder! The only interaction or connection between the above trace elements I know of is geological!

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  16. Ken do you have access to this paper? I am interested to know the fluoride concentration the zebrafish are being subjected to. “M” could not mean molar, the fish would be dead.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166445X15301223

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  17. Stuart Mathieson thank you for your anecdote. Note you reported increasing of iodide as well as fluoride, so your comment does not apply to increasing just fluoride without iodide.

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  18. Ken wrote: “When challenged to provide a credible citation you resort to any old paper – in this case, a paper showing effects of excessive F or I at high concentrations.”

    And also of a lack of I combined with high F.

    They have not been able to find *no effect*.

    This next paper deals with effects of fluoride on osteoblasts, even at 0.5 mg/L over a duration. It is “in vitro” so different from live conditions and probably no iodine would be added or perhaps present.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ji_Li3/publication/f

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  19. Stuart Mathieson

    It does actually. If you knew what you were talking about you would know iodised salt was available in Southland and elsewhere four decades before fluoridation was implemented. Why would they affect each other? Iodine is absorbed internally and circulated via the bloodstream. Fluoride acts in the first instance topically (on the teeth) but at weak concentrations is easily expelled via the kidneys. If your worried about overdosing, don’t swallow fluoridated toothpaste in large quantities.

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  20. straw clutching

    You are straw clutching, Brian.

    You are irresponsible to pretend your advice is based on established knowledge when it isn’t. You attempt to shore up your claims with a panicky literature search which just shows how you don’t have any real evidence for your claim.

    The simple and intelligent approach to a nutrient deficiency is to improve dietary sources – not pretend the probem is caused by something else.

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  21. Sorry about my link in my 4:29pm comment. Here is the title:
    “Fluoride induces apoptosis and alters collagen I expression in rat osteoblasts”
    Xiaoyan Yan, Xiaoting Yan, Alex Morrison, Tianlong Han, Qinglin Chen, Ji Li, Jundong Wang

    This link may work. They may want you to have some sort of academic email to register free.
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ji_Li3/publication/49624793_Fluoride_induces_apoptosis_and_alters_collagen_I_expression_in_rat_osteoblasts/links/02e7e51d8737ca84db000000.pdf

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  22. Stuart Mathieson

    I’m no biochemist but I would doubt these trials have any relavance to the practice of fluoridation in water supplies. All but the 0.5mg/litre dosages are well above artificial dosage levels in community water supplies and human cells are not exposed in isolation for up to 72hrs. I hear there are researchers in some countries including I think China and South Korea who design experiments to give the results the paymaster wants. I gather some researchers in the West have been caught doing the same. I’ll send the link to my cousin Prof Wendal Evans at Sydney to see what he thinks.

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  23. I wrote to Stuart M: “Note you reported increasing of iodide as well as fluoride, so your comment does not apply to increasing just fluoride without iodide”
    Stuart M wrote back: “It does actually. If you knew what you were talking about you would know iodised salt was available in Southland and elsewhere four decades before fluoridation was implemented”

    That we all know. So when fluoride came along it did not come to a low iodide, in the main, population. So for Southland, increasing fluoride without iodide is just thought experiment. It did not happen so theoretical results of such cannot be known in practical measurement terms.

    But it may be able to be measured for the increasing set of people ordered off salt.

    Stuart M: “Fluoride acts in the first instance topically (on the teeth) ”

    No, it is the bones of the fetus, and the as yet unerupted teeth which get it in the first instance.
    After tooth eruption fluoride does come to their surface having been excreted into the saliva in a dilute amount. The proteolytic organsims in the tooth pellicle concentrate the fluoride strongly on the tooth surface. Living organisms can concentrate fluoride just as seaweeds concentrate iodine from 0.06 ppm in seawater to 100s or 1000s ppm.

    Stuart M: “If your worried about overdosing, don’t swallow fluoridated toothpaste in large quantities.”

    Children swallow toothpaste, and they are only 20% of the body weight of an adult..And they may not be in your “if your worried” category. But before they do spit and rinse properly, if they do, the fluoride can go trans-mucosal to some extent, into the body.

    Though iodine is a larger atom than a fluorine atom they come from the same chemical group of the periodic table. They both have 7 electrons in their outer shell and strive to get a complete shell of 8, that is 4 electron pairs. Fluorine, having its outer shell closer to the positive nucleus of the atom, attracts the negatively charged electrons more strong than iodine.

    An article I cited recently says that when fluoride lowers iodine-containing thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland does not produce more triggering hormone to make up for that – it does not try to bring the level up again. Does fluoride replace the iodide in the hormones and trick the pituitary?

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  24. Yes, Stuart M, thank goodness because we don’t want happening to all cells what happens to those osteoblasts.

    Urine can have fluoride level similar to the water drunk I think. And that sits around for hours.

    The body does not like high fluoride and may get it out of the way by sending it to the bones.

    Stuart M, the Chinese are trying to improve their whole economy I don’t think they will be worried about just trying to prove a point.

    But you are so right about buyimg science. Take a look at WebMD. How many who take the psychological test will be clear of getting a result only beneficial to the pharmaceutical companies wanting to sell mood changing drugs? And the writer of the article Ken promotes: she only puts the good side of vaccines. Why not say how many who were vaccinated got whooping cough (pertussis?). These days so much stuff is advertorial not editorial.

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  25. Stuart Mathieson

    I like the icon beside my name. That is just how I feel when I read something by a five minute cut and paste expert.
    Intellectual integrity is indistinguishable from moral integrity in my book. If the victims of my arrogance remain out of (my) sight then it’s out of (my) mind. Besides I can always blame it on their moral shortcomings, race or religion (or all three). That’s always a handy one. It’s called “attribution theory”.

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  26. Stuart Mathieson.

    Anti-vaxer too! That says it all doesn’t it? I know a man who won a big prize in lotto and he has fluoride in his bladder! Beat that!
    I have to admit “Brian” or whatever, I have been playing my little usual game. If I keep pulling your ear and prodding you in the tummy the usual give away irrational anti scientific stupidity emerges. It always does. Works a treat.

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  27. Stuart Mathieson

    I notice Brian (is that your real name? Why not use it?) your remarks feature analogy rather frequently. You also seem to think anecdotal association indicated causation. But don’t worry “Brian”, your in good company. That’s how most of the human race explained things for many many thousands of years. It’s called religion and magic!

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  28. Stuart Mathieson

    Brian, how do you deal with the fact that Fluoride exists naturally in many environments and has done for millions of years. Do you accommodate this awkward fact with a bit of homeopathy? The fluoride ions remember their previous aluminium rat poisoning incarnation?

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  29. Stuart Mathieson

    I was surprised and quite disappointed to see Sue Kedgeley buy into precisely the same fallacious conclusions about vaccination and croup and autism. My girls were all vaccinated and fluoridated. One of them suffered a bit of croup which we dealt with in a steamy bathroom and she was a bit prone to hay fever in the summer months (who isn’t). I sometimes sneeze when I’m having naughty thoughts! Is that something to do with vaccinations and fluoridation?

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  30. Stuart M, I don’t think anecdotes = causation. Rather I note it is what you may hope readers will think when you talk about your family.

    Fluoride is 13th in terrestrial abundance. The Chinese work hard to get it out of their water.

    You don’t like my analogies since they get people to think.

    Your girls were probably vaccinated at a time when natural immunity aided the effects, which does not appear to be happening so well now, if you have been reading our recent MMR discussion.

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  31. Stuart Mathieson

    I have thought a good deal about the appeal of “naturopathy” and “homeopathy”. I place them in scare marks because the concepts that they allude to may not even make sense. But this is what makes them appeal to some people. “Paranormal” is another example. What are we even meant to think of “paranormal”? Another special kind of reality? Propositions that defy rational consistency or empirical evidence seems to have some mysterious appeal. I think I know what that appeal is. It’s the thought that I am
    a special deserving case. It’s special pleading. Something we often do as children and is preserved in adulthood as religion, magic and faith. The more absurd the idea, the more appealing it is in these “special” circumstances. It is this habit that drives confirmation bias. You only need one positive outcome out of scores of negatives and your case is proved. The phrase “the exception proved the rule” is another example. The excèption of course disproves the rule but our confirmation bias negotiates any cognitive dissonance with a bit of linguistic sophistry. Of course the original Latin is better translated as “the exception tests (trials) the rule” but sloppy usage over 2000 years has produced this modern oxymoronic remnant. But it appeals because it defies reason and defying reason makes our wheels spin sometimes.

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  32. Brian,

    You said: “The Chinese work hard to get it (fluoride) out of their water” The rest of the sentence, which somehow you neglected to complete, goes: “when the levels of fluoride in untreated water are above toxic levels”. Hamilton removes arsenic for exactly the same reason – the arsenic levels in untreated water are above toxic levels. Both are completely unrelated to CWF.

    You say “Living organisms can concentrate fluoride just as seaweeds concentrate iodine from 0.06 ppm in seawater to 100s or 1000s ppm.” Exactly what relevance does it have? I can say that living organisms can be killed by penicillin, giving group C beta haemolytic Streptococcus as an example. It’s just as accurate a statement and just as relevant to the discussion. Neither statement applies to human beings in this context.

    “Urine can have fluoride level similar to the water drunk I think. And that sits around for hours.” Why “think”? Why not check? But note that if human fluoride excretion = fluoride intake, then concentration is not occurring and that makes your comment about organisms concentrating fluoride even less relevant.

    Ken’s right – burbling.

    You keep going back to Mercola. Now, I know that you live in a fantasy world where your belief in his infallibility over-rides everything else, but others may want to know a bit more about this Mercola person: http://www.quackwatch.org/11Ind/mercola.html

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  33. Anti-vaxer too!

    And an Andrew Wakefield cheerleader to boot.

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  34. Brian is coming from a starting point where he considers Wakefield, Mercola and Connett personal heroes. Hence, he accepts their claims and performs mental gymnastics to defend any paper used in their support – and similarly to attack any paper contradicting their claims.

    In the current debate, his starting point has been to defend a similar anti-fluoride propagandist, Peckham, whose paper has been criticised because it ignored the crucial role of iodine. So he attempts to divert the discussion away from the glaring omission to claiming a mechanism that fluoride is responsible for the results of I deficiency. In a clumsy sidestep he suddenly finds faults with Broadbent’s paper by claiming the similar mechanism.

    He confidently asserts that fluoride causes the symptoms of I deficiency relying on poor quality papers which are not directly relevant to the situation he uses them in. His confidence is all pretence as he cannot cite a reliable source indicating consensus acceptance of his claim.

    The claim: “The body does not like high fluoride and may get it out of the way by sending it to the bones” is highly stupid. Fluoride has good chemical reasons for residing in bioapatites like bones and teeth where its effect at optimum levels is well known to be beneficial. It’;s not a matter of “like” or “dislikes.”

    Similarly, his reference to the need to lower drinking water concentration in areas of endemic fluorosis is irrelevant here and simply shows a desperate attempt t6o obscufate the issue.

    And his resort to this silly chemical claim really takes the cake:

    “Though iodine is a larger atom than a fluorine atom they come from the same chemical group of the periodic table. They both have 7 electrons in their outer shell and strive to get a complete shell of 8, that is 4 electron pairs. Fluorine, having its outer shell closer to the positive nucleus of the atom, attracts the negatively charged electrons more strong than iodine.”

    Anti-fluoride campaigners sometimes make such naive reference to the periodic table as if it proves their point – it doesn’t. The chemistry of elements is determined, largely, by their electron structure. The Periodic Table classifies elements according to that electronic structure. It enables as to identify similarities and differences between elements close to each other on the3 table.

    Yes, F and I are both halogens but at almost the extreme ends of the group. As a first-row element F also exhibits big differences to other members of the group. This means the properties, chemical and physical, of F and I are very different. It is just silly to cite membership of the halogen group as support for the speculation that F may interfere with I – especially as Cl (the closest member to F in the halogen group) is present in much greater concentrations.

    Brian seems to be prepared to trot out any rubbish to support Mercola, Wakefield and Connett in their silly claims. He is desperately7 clutching at straws.

    straw

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  35. Stuartg: “But note that if human fluoride excretion = fluoride intake, then concentration is not occurring and that makes your comment about organisms concentrating fluoride even less relevant.”

    A doctor should not try to mislead, and hope readers forget that we also sweat, breathe out maybe 40% of the moisture we take in. And considerably more for sports people.

    I am trying to find more on the biology of the mature dental bioflim on teeth, newly erupted or not. As I reported before DB Ritchie reported in the biofilm a bacterial cross section which varies and concentrates fluoride and magnesium on the tooth surface. However current research is geared to studying this bioflim in effort to remove it rather than co-operate with it.

    Many people know the benefits of natural bacteria to the body. Antibiotics remove good bacteria and unfortunately may make space for bad antibiotic-resistant ones to populate instead. There are rules for keeping up your antiobiotic dose till it is all finished, but that does not always work. Hopefully this will one day be acknowledged for tooth-surface biology.

    I wonder who funds quackwatch. They have had huge bills to pay such as for the law suit they lost against the woman who was supporting breast-implant sufferers in their case against Dow.

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  36. Ken wrote about me: “He confidently asserts that fluoride causes the symptoms of I deficiency relying on poor quality papers which are not directly relevant to the situation he uses them in. His confidence is all pretence as he cannot cite a reliable source indicating consensus acceptance of his claim.”

    I had written at 10:05 am yesterday: “The effect of iodine deficiency or excess is worsened by excess fluoride. Fluoride worsens the body’s ability to relate to wider iodine ranges.”

    And readers wold accept that in the context of an unfinished discussion about 3 papers we have been having. Effects of increased fluoride are being discussed, acknowledging whether the iodine dietary intake is sufficient, deficient or in excess for the subjects.

    The Lin FF paper dealt somewhat with the iodine deficiency scenario, and that has had the most discussion. The other papers have not had much comment and I hope my recent goading statement will bring up reasoned comment on the procedures/results of those papers, as well as more recent ones I have now given.

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  37. Ken wrote: “The claim: “The body does not like high fluoride and may get it out of the way by sending it to the bones” is highly stupid. Fluoride has good chemical reasons for residing in bioapatites like bones and teeth where its effect at optimum levels is well known to be beneficial. It’;s not a matter of “like” or “dislikes.””

    And the body does not “like” high or low sodium chloride in the blood. If there is too little it will get rid of water to bring back the correct salinity. If there is too much there will be water retention.

    Perhaps I should have said, “the body does not like high fluoride in the blood. One think it may do is send excess to the bones. The bones use some but too much makes them fracture-prone.”

    When as a result of low sodium chloride in the blood, the body has got rid of water to keep its salinity correct, this Hobson’s choice it has means that dehydration and low blood pressure can occur.

    The body may not “like” brittle bones or low blood pressure but given those out-of-balance inputs it cannot do much else.

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  38. Ken wrote: “This means the properties, chemical and physical, of F and I are very different. It is just silly to cite membership of the halogen group as support for the speculation that F may interfere with I – especially as Cl (the closest member to F in the halogen group) is present in much greater concentrations.”

    I said the fluorine is different. Its electronegativity is 4 compared to 3 for chlorine and 2.5 for iodine.

    We’ve talked a bit about the fluoride interfering with the body chemistry called deiodination in which T4 is converted to T3 thyroid hormone by removing an iodine atom. How well is that process understood?

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  39. Ken should be paid for being Brian’s talk therapist.

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  40. So Brian, what was the point of your comment:

    “Though iodine is a larger atom than a fluorine atom they come from the same chemical group of the periodic table. They both have 7 electrons in their outer shell and strive to get a complete shell of 8, that is 4 electron pairs.”

    You were simply attempting to promote the silly arguments of anti-fluoride propagandists about the halide group.

    Or else it was a pointless and irrelevant “lecture” In other words, burbling.

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  41. Brian,

    Your words: “Urine can have fluoride level similar to the water drunk I think. And that sits around for hours.”

    So, you “think” that urine fluoride is similar to water fluoride. Your words.

    So, if urine fluoride = water fluoride, how is fluoride concentrated in the body?

    Why do you talk about seaweed being able to concentrate fluoride when your own words say you don’t think this happens in humans.

    Just pointing out the paradox in your burbling.

    By the way; fluoride is not concentrated in humans. The fluoride level actually measured in humans is the equivalent of 0.15 ppm. There is no variation between areas of high and low water fluoride. The human body actively excretes fluoride to maintain serum levels at about a fifth of CWF levels.

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  42. I’m not going to go into how fluoride is excreted in humans, it’s simply not relevant, and I’m not going to claim any degree of expertise.

    I suspect that Brian is now going to UoG to find decades old chinese papers of questionable repute to argue that, contrary to the author’s claims at the time, fluoride is concentrated in humans.

    Actually, it’s more likely that he’ll go to Mercola then cut and paste what Mercola said rather than actually thinking for himself.

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  43. Correction to my previous statement: fluoride levels in humans are unaltered with no variation between areas of high and low water fluoride up to at least 2.5 ppm.

    I haven’t looked for serum fluoride levels in areas with water fluoride levels above 2.5 ppm since I can’t find any such areas in NZ.

    Areas with water fluoride levels higher than 2.5 ppm are irrelevant to a NZ discussion, Brian, just in case you didn’t realise.

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  44. Stuartg wrote: “By the way; fluoride is not concentrated in humans. The fluoride level actually measured in humans is the equivalent of 0.15 ppm. There is no variation between areas of high and low water fluoride. The human body actively excretes fluoride to maintain serum levels at about a fifth of CWF levels.”

    According to Xiang et al’s paper Table 2:
    Water F, Serum F
    2.47 mg/L 0.081 mg/L Wamiao 30 times less in the serum than the water
    0.36 mg/L 0.041 mg/L Xinhuai 9 times less in the serum than the water

    (And their graph Fig 4, for a rise of water F of 4 mg/L the serum level rises by 0.08 mg/L approx)

    And I was talking about in a particular place in humans – that is only sort of “in” them – on the tooth surface in the pellicle there. The area of tooth surface is rather small so it does not take much fluoride to have a high concentration there.

    I suggest the proteolytic organisms and pellicle are attached to the teeth rather like seaweed to a rock. Fluoride – magnesium hydroxyapatite compound transfers to the tooth surface from them, if that pellicle is not abraded off.

    Just so you see again what I had written:

    “After tooth eruption fluoride does come to their surface having been excreted into the saliva in a dilute amount. The proteolytic organsims in the tooth pellicle concentrate the fluoride strongly on the tooth surface. Living organisms can concentrate fluoride just as seaweeds concentrate iodine from 0.06 ppm in seawater to 100s or 1000s ppm.”

    Like

  45. Stuart Mathieson

    It is pretty obvious that Brian is totally reliant on a list of citations that appear in Mercola and Connett which is probably available when you sign up and remain consistently loyal. I can’t be bothered following it up. I’ve seen it all before. Lapses in spelling, grammar and consistency show you might as well be dealing with a cut and paste robot.

    Like

  46. Stuart M, here is a report which contains commentary on papers I have recently been citing:
    http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11571/fluoride-in-drinking-water-a-scientific-review-of-epas-standards
    It says there is room for more study. Look up the Chapter 8, “Effects on the Endocrine System”
    It is one of the references in the NZ Royal Society review on fluoridation, that review which Ken may be interested to know says: “Both the NHS/York (2000)[89] and the SCHER (2011)[34] reviews concluded that neither
    animal or human studies to date support a role for fluoride-induced thyroid perturbations in humans in the absence of iodine deficiency.[34]”

    Like

  47. Stuart Mathieson

    “Most people associate fluoride with the practice of intentionally adding fluoride to public drinking water supplies for the prevention of tooth decay. However, fluoride can also enter public water systems from natural sources, including runoff from the weathering of fluoride-containing rocks and soils and leaching from soil into groundwater. Fluoride pollution from various industrial emissions can also contaminate water supplies. In a few areas of the United States fluoride concentrations in water are much higher than normal, mostly from natural sources. Fluoride is one of the drinking water contaminants regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because it can occur at these toxic levels. In 1986, the EPA established a maximum allowable concentration for fluoride in drinking water of 4 milligrams per liter, a guideline designed to prevent the public from being exposed to harmful levels of fluoride. Fluoride in Drinking Water reviews research on various health effects from exposure to fluoride, including studies conducted in the last 10 years.”
    The implications of the above completely escapes you doesn’t it Brian.
    1. Fluoride naturally occurs in various strengths in many environments. The implication being that life forms that evolved in such environments cope adequately with the most common concentrations (unless of course you don’t believe in evolution which I suspect an essential like you couldn’t.
    2. It’s all about toxicity. Toxicity is about strength of concentration. Pure water only exists in laboratory flasks. Life would never start in “pure” unless of course you are a creationist and contamination is the work of the devil. Contamination Brian is the result of human stupidity and greed.

    Like

  48. So, Brian, you were talking about a “rather small” area of fluoride concentration on the surface of a tooth? I notice that you neglected to mention this until you were challenged on your statements. Perhaps you didn’t know until actually reading Mercola?

    Tell us, when you compare this “rather small” area to seaweed, where we can find the teeth on seaweed for the comparison you are making?

    Like

  49. Stuartg: “Tell us, when you compare this “rather small” area to seaweed, where we can find the teeth on seaweed for the comparison you are making?”

    There is a micrograph in this:

    http://www.juniordentist.com/dental-plaque.html

    Though the writer is very concerned with removing all that seaweed-ilke bacteria, he does acknowledge the layers in mature pellicle which I report DB Ritchie talking about, including Veillonella bacteria.

    I used to write a lot on the google group sci.med.dentistry and someone has piped some material from that to their board. (They often change names a bit when they do that, and may name has changed to “Brian Sandl” missing the final “e”)

    Thinking I had written about Veillonella before I searched and google found it:

    http://www.science-bbs.com/13-archaeology/6f84c75d2f3949ff.htm

    Stuart M may be interested in the archaeology, but the important point for the moment is “Enamel repair compounds are synthesised from fluorine and magnesium and
    calcium phosphate in a complicated process in the layers of _mature_
    plaque which harbour Veillonella and other bacteria, and in which the acid
    producing Strep mutans is kept to about 1%.”

    The >> marks are when a previous writer is being quoted.

    One of them has quoted me (part with >>) then said said (part with >):

    >>It is the
    >>lower layers of the integumetn which do that. If the integument is abraded
    >>off a new one forms which holds acids near the enamel surface.
    > This structure does not exist except in Ritchie’s mind.

    It was 10 years ago and I did not have the micrograph picture I have today.

    Brian Sandle

    Like

  50. I keep forgetting to say, please do not think I am implying leaving food on the teeth and gums.

    Stuart M is interested in “human evolution” but may not have been around in Openparachute when I reported the greater dental decay areas in Saudi Arabia where tooth brushing has taken over from using the miswak twig.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miswak

    There may be dietary changes, too, but DB Ritchie thought teeth with mature plaque are resistant to sugar acids.

    I also have reported how Maori in the Ureweras in early 20th century only had about 1% tooth decay, but got bad decay when they went to Auckland. But did they start using toothpaste, too as a major confounding factor?

    To be honest I am a bit confused about the wear of stone chips from grain milling causing tooth trouble. (Mentioned in ref to last comment.) Maori had worn down teeth owing to possibly soil particles in the fern roots they ate, but little decay.

    I don’t think Maori had grain and it may have been the phytate in the grain which was causing the reported trouble starting around 10,000 years ago by making it harder to absorb calcium &c.

    Like

  51. I used to write a lot on the google group sci.med.dentistry

    Have you since been banned? I can’t imagine any other way to get you off a platform that allows you any air.

    Like

  52. DB Ritchie has also gone. Now I am left on my own to think out some stuff, unfortunately.

    The learning process is ongoing.

    I would like to see this study done in a group of subjects whose tooth surfaces were not being altered by abrasive brushing:
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0047722

    It says Veilonella feeds on the lactic acid produced by Strep mutans, possibly increasing them by lowering the pH for them.

    But if Veillonella can feed on lactic acid and can be in a layer near the tooth surface, perhaps it may be good there.

    No Richard, I was not banned, I was liked, except by a few anti-shills, same as today.

    See what the dentist Zugumba said to me:
    “>Brian R.Sandle. Please teach me.

    : No, please teach us!

    : You’re a closet dental researcher.”

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/sci.med.dentistry/%22brian$20sandle%22$20teach|sort:relevance/sci.med.dentistry/Dv2V3Kd5FrE/_GmzeMhLSqgJ

    I have posted that and its quizz before on this group.

    The “google groups” are what was formed when Google took over “Usenet groups.”

    In the 1990s, before the days of the “world wide web,” there used to be “bulletin boards.” Helpful people used to set up one on their computer and some of them would enable a link to Usenet “news groups.” “News” meant discussion, not what the media are presenting.

    As we moved to www and some helpful people allowed us a direct connection to the “Internet”, Usenet could still be available. But increasing commericialisation meant connections to Usenet were dropped, and now many fewer people use it, though all the history is there and still it is possible to interact in the google groups and I do sometimes.

    Like

  53. Sorry Veillonella *increase* the pH making the environment less acidic.

    Here’s something else on complexity of oral biology:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/prd.12100/full

    Here’s an annoying analogy for some of the readers I guess:

    The toothpaste and fluoride scenario is like the burn, poison and force chemical fertilise of the “green revolution.”

    Thinking people know there are problems of that approach to agriculture. Ken has the CO2 indicator on this board. That old “green revolution approach does not much care for the soil biology and the tremendous amount of CO2 it can store – much more than the plants above surface.

    Like

  54. Stuart Mathieson

    SHH1, wondered what qualifications you have? Doesn’t prevent you having an opinion of course but it might be helpful for your readers.

    Like

  55. Brian, are you seriously suggesting that scientific agriculture “does not care much for biology?” Or that use of fertiliser is somehow detrimental to soil life and is responsible for increased greenhouse gases?

    Or is this another of Mercola’s ideas you have bought like a sucker?

    Like

  56. Brian: “I am confused.”

    Yes, we know.

    Like

  57. Ha ha Stuartg. I said I am confused about tooth decay versus tooth wear and conflicting statements I have heard about such.

    Maori had wear but little decay.

    Humans were said by one source to get decay from the wear of stone particles from stone grinding of grains after grain agriculture started.

    But Maori had the wear without the decay.

    So that needs clearing up possibly by the phytate theory. The husks of grains, and seed coats, while they have B vitamins, also have phytic acid which combines with minerals like iron and calcium and makes them unavailable in the diet. Some archaeologists need to change their story, I think.

    If Stuart M’s story about iron and parasites is correct then maybe whole-grain eaters would have fewer parasites, because of less iron, but still have bone porosity A more complex analysis would be needed owing to the confounding factors.

    Like

  58. Stuart Mathieson

    Pretty obvious you know absolutely nothing about the Neolithic revolution Brian. This stuff was primary school social studies in my day. Stick to your stamp collecting or model planes there’s a good lad. I’m not polite to BS artists.

    Like

  59. Stuart M, then can you tell me about the confusion when it was thought worms were the cause of tooth ache because when teeth were pulled a squirming worm was seen in them? Actually it is the tooth nerve which squirms and may resemble a worm. BS?

    Like

  60. Ken wrote: “Brian, are you seriously suggesting that scientific agriculture “does not care much for biology?” Or that use of fertiliser is somehow detrimental to soil life and is responsible for increased greenhouse gases?”

    I think agroecology is scientific agriculture.

    http://usc-canada.org/UserFiles/File/scaling-up-agroecology.pdf

    The idea with fertiliser is what kind.

    Current phosphate use is not sustainable, it will run out. The lucky countries will be the ones who have got themselves prepared.

    As the pdf says agroecological farms have done much better in climatic troubles.

    Nitrogen fertiliser has gone from producing 75 megatonne of cereal per megatonne of fertiliser in 1960 to under 30 by the 1980s.

    What is your scientific response?

    Like

  61. Ken

    http://tinread.usarb.md:8888/tinread/fulltext/lal/enhancing_crop.pdf

    “World soils have lost 55 to 90 Pg of C because of conversion from
    natural to agricultural ecosystems, tillage, and soil degradation caused by erosion and other processes (IPCC,2001; Lal, 2004). Some estimates of SOC [soil organic carbon] loss since the advent of agriculture 10 000 years ago vary from 55 Pg
    (IPCC, 2001), via 243 Pg (Rozanov et al., 1990) to 320 Pg (Ruddiman, 2003). In addition to degrading quality of soil and water resources, most SOC lost from agricultural soils and degraded ecosystems is emitted into the atmosphere as CO2 or CH4”
    .
    http://www.zalf.de/de/forschung/institute/lse/publ/Documents/2015_Publication%20Lana%20et%20al.pdf

    Losses of 1 Mg SOM [soil organic material]
    per hectare were associated with a
    decrease in wheat yield of approximately 40 kg/ha. These
    results demonstrate the importance of using cultural practices
    that enhance SOM and thus minimize losses of soil organic C
    in semiarid environments (Diaz-Zorita et al.1999).
    In what is the longest running, side-by-side comparison of
    organic and chemical agriculture in the USA, researchers have
    compared since 1981 the performance of corn and soybean
    during the transition from chemical to organic agriculture
    (Rodale Institute 2012). They found that organic corn yields
    were 31 % higher than conventional in years of drought.
    These drought yields are remarkable when compared to ge-
    netically engineered “drought tolerant” varieties, which saw
    increases of only 6.7 to 13.3 % over conventional (non-
    drought resistant) varieties.

    Like

  62. Stuart Mathieson

    Brian you don’t judge science and the scientific method by equating early primitive explanations with modern science. Modern science has only really become a reality in every day life in the last Century, mainly from the widespread use of electricity and electrical gadgets. That even revolutionised medicine. But there is s substantial fraction of every population who will struggle with the scientific view because it frequently runs counter to our deepest wishful thinking. There are highly qualified scientists who just cannot accept a godless universe or a biological explanation for everything humanity is capable of. But there are a lot more who make fortunes out of spinning BS to the gullible.

    Like

  63. Here is a picture of the sort of roller which crimps crops to the ground so earthworms may convert them to soil organic matter as referred to in my last comment ref. Herded trampling animals may alternatively be used, and provide some manure, too.

    Ken you mentioned Mercola and he has done some youtube programs talking to Joel Salatin about sustainable farming that it is possible for younger people to afford, soil health &c. The chickens at Polyface Farm gives some carrying capacity figures for nitrogen and optimum bird numbers per cage &c.

    Like

  64. My scientific response, Brian, is that you avoided the question.

    it’s an area I have worked and published in – hence my interest and request for specifics.

    Do you seriously suggest that agricultural scientists do not concern themselves with soil life? Do you seriously suggest that fertiliser is somehow harmful to soil life?

    Like

  65. Sorry, should add – do you believe that scientific agriculture and use of fertilisers is somehow responsible for increasing greenhouse gases? Are you avoiding the role of fossil fuels?

    Like

  66. Brian,

    You don’t know the difference between tooth wear and tooth decay. You talk about tooth worms and “squirming” tooth nerves looking like worms.

    You simulate having knowledge by cutting and pasting (probably from Mercola) but it remains obvious that advances in dentistry occurring over the past couple of centuries have bypassed your belief system.

    For your edification: the nerves to teeth are microscopic, cannot be seen with the naked eye. No nerves are able to “squirm” because muscle cells are absent from nerves. The rest of the world has known that since shortly after Leeuwenhoek.

    As to tooth decay, I suggest that you look up the germ theory of infection. Any medical or dental textbook of the last century will give you details. Unfortunately, for your belief system, none of them were written by Mercola.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. As an aside, what is the function of nerves in teeth?
    Are they primarily pressure sensor’s aiding in biting and chewing?

    I’ve often considered that the grief they deliver to us when a tooth is decayed might far outweigh their usefulness.

    Like

  68. The incorrect use of apostrophe (see preceding) is due to my poor proof reading. I squirm.

    Like

  69. Stuartg thanks for asking for clarification of terms. “Root,” “pulp,” and “nerve,” get used somewhat interchangeably.

    This is from a dentist talking on sci.med.dentistry:
    “A properly instrumented root canal is what is the goal.

    The nerve tissue is removed with a file or a broach. It the tooth is
    still vital, the wriggling nerve tissue is removed and one can observe
    the contractions of the tissue as it lies there on the bracket table.
    Quite interesting.

    Other root canal procedures are performed on non-vital teeth. This
    means that the nervous tissue has either dissolved or partially
    dissolved which is the problem. This is where the pain factor is the
    trickiest.”

    I brought up the topic because Stuart M challenged me about my archaeology knowledge without explaining.

    Wiki:
    “A Sumerian text from 5000 BC describes a “tooth worm” as the cause of caries. Evidence of this belief has also been found in India, Egypt, Japan, and China.”

    Now might Stuart M be more explanatory, please, about what he meant?

    Like

  70. Stuartg wrote: “You don’t know the difference between tooth wear and tooth decay.”

    Actually I do. I said “my confusion” but I was trying to say it is confusing how archaeologists appear to be mixing up wear and decay. I should have thought of a better word. But you would still try to find a way to turn it around.

    Like

  71. Richard Christie wrote: “As an aside, what is the function of nerves in teeth?
    Are they primarily pressure sensor’s aiding in biting and chewing?

    I’ve often considered that the grief they deliver to us when a tooth is decayed might far outweigh their usefulness.”

    The tooth is a living organ with a blood supply. Nerves don’t only feel pain they may signal back other conditions. The outer hard enamel tooth surface is healed by saliva, but the softer dentin layer is healed by blood through tiny vessels in it.

    As the tooth enamel wears down through use or bruxism the exposed dentin may harden and the pulp lessens in size.

    If the pulp, nerve, blood connection, tooth root area is removed or dies through infection or trauma, then the tooth gradually becomes more brittle. “Root canalled” teeth, if later needing to be removed, tend to break more in the process.

    Like

  72. Richard,

    I wouldn’t claim to be a expert in teeth, unlike Brian.😉 I know the nerve is there, but not its specific functions.

    I do note, though, that Brian doesn’t seem to know that when a root canal is filled the pulp has to be removed with a drill because it’s so small. It is removed in tiny fragments that even the wildest imagination couldn’t liken to a worm.

    Or maybe he thinks 5,000 year old Sumerian texts are up to date dentistry?

    Like

  73. Ken now I see your 2003 research: “In contrast to the effects of P fertilisation, 5 yr application of N fertilisers had a negative effect on the HWC contents in soils ”

    My comment about P was that the mines are running out of it. Of course P is essential to life and soil micro-organisms won’t live without it. Other ways of supplying it need to be attended to. One thing is don’t lose it to waterways, and a big management job has been achieved by 5 years ago with the dissolved reactive phosphate in Lake Ellesmere becoming much reduced.

    Just going and getting more phosphate from Africa is externalisation of costs on to the future of humankind.

    Also farmers are still being allowed to externalise CO2 costs by the current government, because of the worry that making them pay would affect the “economy.”

    Of course fossil fuel use has to be dealt with. Part of that is in the manufacture and application of chemical fertiliser. Following on to my first quote at 4:04 am (no not from Mercola Stuartg, though he does do valuable stuff), the next sentence gives: ” Thus, restoration of degraded soils and ecosystems and adoption of recommended
    management practices (RMPs) is considered a viable option to reducing the rate of enrichment of atmospheric CO2
    by 0.4 to 1.2PgC per year
    (5 to 15 per cent of the fossil fuel emissions in 2000) for the next 20 to 50 years (Lal, 2004)

    But as I said the manufacture/application emissions of the feritlser need to be added.

    15% is not as good as the 30% some people claim for fluoride against tooth decay, but it ought to be being looked at. Animal belching adds to it and the whole problem cannot be solved just by going to windmills and tidal power, electric cars and solar heating &c.

    Can you tell me about your 2003 paper, how long those soils had been under phosphate fertilisation? The phytic acid which may stop us getting minerals from our diet: it is a phosphorus compound, and it has been said superphosphate locks up soil minerals.

    Your paper does not mention “years” much but does refer to a McGill paper. What did they say?

    Like

  74. Typically, Brian, you continue to avoid my questions. You are a past master at “turning it around.”

    Please go back to my questions about soil life and answer them.

    Like

  75. Ken I thought I have commented on your questions. Your 2003 paper says 5-year nitrogenous fertiliser application reduces soil organic matter, and so much of it will have been released to atmosphere as CO2.

    Yes phosphorus is necessary for life, soil organic material included, but a sustainable source of it is needed, and one that does not lock up miinerals, and use a lot of fossil fuel to action.

    What else is there I need to explain more?

    Here is teh McGill paper you cited:
    http://pubs.aic.ca/doi/pdf/10.4141/cjss86-001

    Seems a very busy process to keep that sort of phosphate-fertilised farm working after 50 years, and maybe the locking of nutrients is a factor.

    Like

  76. Brian, I will repeat the questions you are avoiding – a simple yes/no to each of them is all that is required at this stage.

    Do you seriously suggest that agricultural scientists do not concern themselves with soil life?

    Do you seriously suggest that fertiliser is somehow harmful to soil life?

    Do you believe that scientific agriculture and use of fertilisers is somehow responsible for increasing greenhouse gases?

    Are you avoiding the role of fossil fuels?

    In fact a simple yes/no would mean that you confront the questions honestly instead of burbling on about irrelevancies.

    Like

  77. Sorry Ken I cannot say yes or no to any of those questions, except I can say no to whether I avoided talking about fossil fuels. If you saw those question in a yes/no/comment survey what would your answers be?

    Like

  78. Stuartg, it is not yes/no as to whether a file or drill is used. A drilll is put in the drill hand-piece to bore through the tooth enamel and dentine. Then a thin file, which does not only bore at its tip, may be hand held or put in the drill hand-piece to clean out the pulp and its remains, and prepare the canal for a filler. This speeded up vid may be interesting to some. He talks about only putting the filler to within 5 or 6mm from the apex of the root. I had one which always hurt put in by a speicalist, and found out when the tooth was removed some years later the filler had been poking out through the apex. See xray at end for shape of root canal. I have not been able to find any vid of a root on a dish to see if it wriggles. Just have to take the word of Joel Eichen DDS.

    You said you were interested in language and talked about mosquito bombers in WWII when I mentioned the insects. I partly brought up this “worm” topic in a similar fashion since Stuart M was saying parasites (intestinal worms) would cause bone porosity. Now there’s a nice bit of fun for you to swing at. Hopefully there is enough useful stuff amidst all the bantering that people don’t get turned away. I used to suspect that inserting sexual material on political groups was done with the intention of making people leave them.

    Like

  79. Brian, I have no problem answering these questions simply:

    YES – agricultural scientists do concern themselves with soil life. (I am an example – having directly researched the subject for some time).

    NO – fertiliser is not harmful to soil life.

    NO – scientific agriculture and use of fertilisers is NOT directly responsible for increasing greenhouse gases in fact, quite opposite.

    And, NO, I do not avoid the role of fossil fuels in increasing greenhouse gases.

    Like

  80. Ken, now how about answering my comments regarding 1. nitrogenous fertilser as per your research.
    2. sustainability of getting necessary phosphate fertiliser, now Nauru has run out, from Africa, which will also eventually run out.

    Like

  81. Ken you understand soil biology to be complex in metabolising nutrients. Do you think the uptake of fluoride by tooth enamel is simple chemistry, or there may be micro-organism chemistry structuring calcium phosphate, magnesium and fluoride and maybe other things?

    Like

  82. Brian, one does not “answer” a comment. But I take it you, at least, wish to avoid my clear yes/no answers that you requested, or at best are happy with them.🙂

    Our findings for hot water C (and also I recollect for microbial biomass) with nitrogen fertilisers do not suggest any harm to soil life. The most likely explanation is the known effect of nitrogen fertilisers on the activity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

    The general problem of the winding down of mineral sources (not a near future problem for P) is a general one for all our minerals. In fact, the mining of available fluorite resources means that recovery of F from phosphate ores will become more common and necessary.

    Neither of those comments of yours relates to fertilisers being harmful to soil life or a “poison” as you appear to claim in your description of ” burn, poison and force chemical fertilise of the “green revolution.”

    Like

  83. Brian,

    As I said, I don’t claim to be an expert in teeth and dentistry.

    You obviously do.

    Exactly what are your qualifications in dentistry?

    Like

  84. Brian,

    If the only qualifications you acknowledge are the ability to cut and paste from Mercola, why should we pay you any attention?

    After all, you can’t even answer “yes” or “no” to Ken’s questions. I presume that’s because Mercola can’t answer a simple “yes” or “no” for you to cut and paste.

    Like

  85. “I have not been able to find a video of a root on a dish to see if it wriggles.”

    That’s because the root of a tooth is composed of solid dentine. It’s less mobile than bone. It’s less mobile even than tooth pulp. I’m no expert, but I thought that was general knowledge. It’s certainly easily found from Google if you didn’t learn it at school. You are again demonstrating that your comments are cut and paste (from Mercola?) rather than actual knowledge.

    You decline to acknowledge any qualifications. You don’t seem to have common knowledge examined in year 11 at NZ high schools. Do you have ANY qualifications?

    Like

  86. Stuartg: “That’s because the root of a tooth is composed of solid dentine. It’s less mobile than bone.”
    Actually it isn’t. It has a canal in it with a pulp which Joel Eichen DDS says wriggles after extraction if it was living at time of extraction. Sorry I wrote “root,” rather than “pulp.”

    Stuartg wrote about the root: “It’s less mobile than bone. It’s less mobile even than tooth pulp.”
    In normal communication that would imply that pulp is less mobile than bone. But pulp is mainly the nerve and blood vessels supplying the tooth dentine. Whatever do you mean by “less mobile?”

    Stuart spends his time going off big at little mistakes.

    Like

  87. Stuartg wrote: “After all, you can’t even answer “yes” or “no” to Ken’s questions.”
    Ken couldn’t even do that himself. He had to qualify his answer by adding the word “directly.” “NO – scientific agriculture and use of fertilisers is NOT directly responsible for increasing greenhouse gases..”

    What the implication of adding the word “directly?”

    Like

  88. “Our findings for hot water C (and also I recollect for microbial biomass) with nitrogen fertilisers do not suggest any harm to soil life. The most likely explanation is the known effect of nitrogen fertilisers on the activity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.”

    So when your paper said: “5 yr application of N fertilisers had a negative effect on the HWC contents in soils ”.

    Without the carbon [HWC = carbon that hot water can get out of the soil?]
    then there cannot be so much life.

    This must be like in a drought, the beasts have not been hurt, they all have plenty of food because we have put 75% of them down.

    Like

  89. That is extremely pathetic, Brian. Surely you can’t be that thick – or are you frustrated because I cut off your attempt to use shipping and transport to obscure the issue?

    Like

  90. Typical of you Brian. Yiou don’t understand the hot water carbon test and attempt to tell us what our research means.🙂

    Suddenly you are interpreting the change in activity of soil microbes as them being “put down.”

    You will find our earlier papers on seasonal variation in microbial biomass and activity pretty bloodthirsty then. As for the effects we observed of withholding fertiliser – organic farmers must be mass murderers.🙂

    You are a real joke.

    Like

  91. Ken wrote: “The general problem of the winding down of mineral sources (not a near future problem for P) is a general one for all our minerals. In fact, the mining of available fluorite resources means that recovery of F from phosphate ores will become more common and necessary.”

    from Wiki:

    “Earth’s phosphorus reserves are expected to be completely depleted in 50–100 years and peak phosphorus to be reached in approximately 2030.[1][4] Others suggest that supplies will last for several hundreds of years.”

    A lot of phosphate has come from bird guano. Some countries use human excrement so are helping to postpone the evil day. Another way is to keep the soil in good condition so that it can hold more carbon/phosphorus and not have it washed off to rivers, lakes and sea causing further problems of food supply.

    As for your second sentence what will that mean for the price? Organics may get more competitive still.

    Like

  92. Brian,

    A 5,000 year old tooth has a root. It has no pulp. They are different things, and that’s why they are given different names. Of course, that’s not news to someone who is an expert in teeth, but it does appear to be news to you.

    The root of a tooth is composed of dentine, which is more dense than bone and just as immobile. (That’s my School Certificate studies coming to the fore again).

    The pulp of a tooth is composed of nerve, connective tissues and blood vessels, nerve being the smallest part. No muscles there. Or dentine, either. (That’s more advanced knowledge than before – University Entrance this time).

    For tissues to be able to move, there needs to be muscle present (back to School Certificate again).

    Since there is no muscle in the pulp of a tooth, it means the pulp cannot move independently (logic, not high school teaching). The pulp is analogous to bone marrow, and that can’t move independently, either.

    But since you’re the expert in teeth, and I’m only using high school knowledge, you would already know all of this, wouldn’t you?

    Unless you didn’t have those high school qualifications?

    Like

  93. Stuartg: “Since there is no muscle in the pulp of a tooth”
    Blood vessels have smooth muscle. Smooth muscle can be activated differently from skeletal muscle, such as by stretch, and of course pulling out the pulp will stretch it.

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  94. Brian, your copypasta confirms my point. Depletion of phosphate ores is one of our lesser worries.

    Who do you think is working hard to “keep the soil in good condition so that it can hold more carbon/phosphorus and not have it washed off to rivers, lakes and sea?” – agricultural scientists of course. Certainly not your mate Mercola. I can say that with confidence having worked on these problems and worked with other scientists on these problems.

    Your use of the word “organics” is probably done without any thought. In fact, NZ pastoral farmers can be described as among the most “organic” farmers in their world. Their management systems can maintain very high levels of soil organic matter and soil life. And we have the data to show that.

    Even the ideologically motivated “organic” farmers must rely on science to manage their systems. There is not the “2 value” black and white system you imagine. I recall visiting the Milton vineyard when the Soil Science Society held their conference in Gisborne about 15 years ago. The owner is a biodynamic devotee – which involves some really silly ideas. But he also had some good ideas as part of his management system. He was, I think, rather scared of his upcoming interaction with soil scientists but obviously relieved to find them open minded and enthusiastically discussing his management programmes. His preconceptions proved to be wrong – although clearly we were not going to take some of his biodynamic ideas seriously (eg the extract of dung buried in cow horns at full moon). But there was a lot of agreement on things like companion planting, etc.

    I personally discussed the soil measurements he made with him and found he was sending samples to Germany for tests like microbial biomass we were doing here in NZ. And he didn’t understand the significance of the test results anyway. But he had an unscientific ideological connection with fellow biodynamic people in Germany.

    I worked with an organic farmer in Raglan and our results showed he was actually mining phosphorus reserves from previous fertiliser applications. The data showed these reserves were getting dangerously low and he accepted that he would revert to fertiliser use eventually – but used direct application phosphate rock to satisfy his ideological beliefs.

    The good “organic” farmer does not have the hostility to science that you have. They cannot afford to. But there are some really bad “organic” farmers who are ruining their soil by using poor, unscientific management systems.

    The world is not as black and white as you imagine with your ideological blinkers, Brian.

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  95. Brian is sitting all alone in his rest home with a head full of half arsed speculation and delusions.

    But hats off to him.

    He has four otherwise sensible people dancing to his crazed tunes.

    Who exactly are the fools?

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  96. Brian,

    Grasping at straws again?

    Of course arteries have smooth muscle. But only circumferential smooth muscle. It can narrow the diameter of the artery to control blood flow. That’s all. Nothing else. Pulling an artery lengthwise doesn’t stretch circumferential smooth muscle, so it doesn’t contract. The smooth muscle of an artery can’t shorten a stretched artery, and it most definitely can’t cause the artery to squirm. Remove an artery, (example: temporal artery biopsy) and it just lies there, no movements.

    But then you originally said it was the nerve squirming like a worm, not the artery, didn’t you. The artery only made its appearance after high school biology showed tooth nerves don’t squirm and are too small to see anyway.

    Even the tooth arteries are so small as to be barely visible, and they can’t squirm either. Tooth veins may be larger than the arteries, and so more visible, but they don’t have smooth muscle in their walls at all (just anticipating your next straw clutch)😀

    Tooth pulp has no ability to move independently. No muscles, you see. Confirmed time and time again by microscopy since Leeuwenhoek.

    “Just have to take the word of…” No Brian, those of us who use science rather than a belief system are not going to take anyone’s word. (Not even the word of a retired, no longer registered, former family dentist with no attachment to teaching or research facilities). We’ll look at the evidence, thank you.

    So far, the evidence from high school biology textbooks about teeth has been considerably higher than the straw clutchings that you have supplied.

    “…spends his time going off big at little mistakes.” The answer to that, Brian, is not to make the mistakes. Mistakes in either data or in an authors’ understanding of a subject demonstrate sloppiness and frequently end up turning a promising paper into a reject.

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  97. OK, Richard, I know, I know…

    It’s getting harder to dial back the explanations to a level he may understand. I’m at about the level I use for 8-10 year olds at work. They seem to understand well at this level, and then can ask some really inciteful and intelligent questions. (I really like to encourage scientific thinking in youngsters I encounter).

    I haven’t decided on why he doesn’t understand. Is it the belief system that can charitably be described as pseudoscience? A lack of education so that he doesn’t have the basics? Inability to apply logic? Past use of psychoactive substance impairing current brain function? A few others with smaller probabilities…?

    I just hope no-one else sets off along the track of his belief system.

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  98. Stuart Mathieson

    I’ll tell you one thing. Visit the Mercolla site he cites and you get plagued with spam for magic effervescent cure alls!

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  99. Stuartg wrote: ““Just have to take the word of…” No Brian, those of us who use science rather than a belief system are not going to take anyone’s word. (Not even the word of a retired, no longer registered, former family dentist with no attachment to teaching or research facilities)”.
    Joel said it in about 2003 when he had been a dentist nearly 40 years and was registered then.
    See about 5:30 into this about smooth muscle contraction:

    The stretch allows calcium in, and that is the contraction activator. Or maybe it is anaesthetic with adrenalin put in before the barbed extractor is inserted.
    Maybe the barb pokes something in on one side causing it to contract more.

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  100. Stuart M wrote “I’ll tell you one thing. Visit the Mercolla site he cites and you get plagued with spam for magic effervescent cure alls!”
    In science you must be more explicit, Stuart. Sure there are things like vitamin D3 shortage which can have many symptoms. Not just the calcium metabolism: rickets, tooth decay. It is a fatty acid antioxidant. It promotes cell differentiation so avoiding proliferation I think. Lower blood pressure and fewer multiple sclerosis relapses.

    What I just said to look up about Mercola is on youtube. Six say half hour talks with organic farmer Joel Salatin who does not stop at organics.

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  101. Ken wrote: “Even the ideologically motivated “organic” farmers must rely on science to manage their systems. There is not the “2 value” black and white system you imagine.”

    Ken I think you missed what I wrote at 3:03 am yesterday:
    “I think agroecology is scientific agriculture.”

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  102. Stuart Mathieson

    I didn’t say parasites cause bone porosity. The body take iron out the blood and sequesters it in small vacuoles when parasites are present. The iron is used by the parasites to manufacture eggs for reproduction. Sand flies and Mosquitos (The females) seek Iron for the same purpose. Your lack of knowledge and understanding indicates you are a cut and paste kid. That way you seem an expert (to your self) but we know you ain’t. None of this has anything whatsoever to do with CFW.

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  103. Stuart Mathieson

    I know what your angle is Brian. You are trying to link fluoride to bone porosity and weakness. Old ladies falling and fracturing bones. Old ladies fall and fracture bones Brian because they are old and their bones are old too! Old age affects balance mechanism and leg muscle control. It’s got nothing to do with fluoride. When iron is sequestered, patients blood can test anaemic. (According to the theory). Again, what the hell has this got to do with CFW and oral health? I gather from the remarks you are a AGW skeptic as well. Why am I not surprised?

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  104. Ken wrote: “The good “organic” farmer does not have the hostility to science that you have.”

    Sure I am antagonistic to GMOs if you are hinting at that.

    Then there are such things as Chatham Rock Phosphate claiming it is scientific to change to using rock phosphate since they say it does not run off in rain and pollute waterways like superphosphate.

    But actually for it to work requires more rain than much of the South Island gets. And by the time it is starting to work it can run off anyway.

    Have to cut through all the sales stuff dressed up as science.

    Why did you write: “And, NO, I do not avoid the role of fossil fuels in increasing greenhouse gases”?

    It makes it look as if I do. Or as if you are trying to suggest to people they only need to consider fossil fuels.

    You wrote: ““NO – scientific agriculture and use of fertilisers is NOT directly responsible for increasing greenhouse gases.”
    Fertilisers are very old “science,” but as in refs I gave the nitrogenous stuff has not kept up the improvement it originally brought about. And I don’t think, despite your work I am sorry, that science is keeping things all good. Maybe science should be getting at your “indirect” stuff.

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  105. Stuart M wrote: “None of this has anything whatsoever to do with CFW.”
    If I am not mistaken you brought it up.
    “I gather from the remarks you are a AGW skeptic as well.”
    Either you are trying to make up a BS straw man or you are not good at reading.

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  106. Stuart Mathieson

    Brian, why are you antagonistic to GMOs in principle? What is wrong with responsibly supervised gene substitution research and practice compared with the random processes that occur anyway. Is it the interference with the holy of holys you find disturbing? Is it an insult to “Gods creation”? Many things we take for granted now were once thought to be blasphemy.

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  107. Stuart M wrote: “I know what your angle is Brian. You are trying to link fluoride to bone porosity and weakness.”

    No Stuart you brought up the topic. You wrote:

    “An obvious reason for iron deficiency in breast milk is becomes it is used by parasites to produce eggs. This may explain porotis in skeletons which suggests iron sequestration in poor environments.”

    Though it is known that fluoride produces a tougher more brittle bone in the elderly. Possibly depending on genetic type.

    Don’t know if anyone has looked at whether fluoride it does anything to the semicircular canals and so to balance, depending on genetics or other factors.

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  108. Stuart M, The current state of GMOs is that much of our food contains artificially inserted antibiotic resistance genes, like kanamycin which is a prophyllactic of choice for bowel surgery.

    The process has been haphazard with much field testing required and poor stability.

    The genes are not the only inserts. Strong gene promoters have also been used to make them express such as from the cauliflower mosaic virus, moving on to an even stronger promoter in golden rice 2. Promoters can unpredictable effects further along the genome than the intended gene.

    Safety “tests” are done with the hoped for expressed protein, more frequently than with the altered plant.

    The process is very expensive and slow. Agronomic traits are much faster and cheaper to attain through conventional breeding. The main use for GM tech them is to add a traceable patenting gene.

    The technology is designed to defeat the normal barriers to horizontal gene transfer. I hypothesise that if a lose package should allow say a pig virus to adapt to humans, in a rare event, then it can spread through the human population.

    Monsanto shares have dropped about 20% over the last year.

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  109. Stuartg wrote: “I do note, though, that Brian doesn’t seem to know that when a root canal is filled the pulp has to be removed with a drill because it’s so small. It is removed in tiny fragments that even the wildest imagination couldn’t liken to a worm.”

    Here is a picture of a removed pulp on a barbed extractor. It wouldn’t take much shrinkage to look to be moving like a worm.

    https://www.google.co.nz/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ascro.hr/uploads/pics/nica_08-3_fig1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.ascro.hr/index.php?id%3D414&h=440&w=590&tbnid=ikqLUxowXlhEcM:&docid=Iz8IhGer3miTeM&ei=_ymiVsTrOYqIuASEwZmADA&tbm=isch&ved=0ahUKEwiE5_bqvr3KAhUKBI4KHYRgBsAQMwgvKAAwAA

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  110. “So much for Connett’s naive fallacious appeal to nature, and his perception of “nature” as an “intelligent designer.””

    Scientists have had a very limited view of the genome:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hidden-treasures-in-junk-dna/

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  111. Brian,

    It’s really obvious (to others) that your citations are hardly cutting edge research. They are years, if not decades, old. They are from people who are, let’s be charitable about this, best described as sideshows in the world of scientific research and teaching. They are even contradicted by hundreds, if not thousands, of textbooks, including school textbooks.

    It must take absolute ages for you to find the one example on the ‘net that your confirmation bias can cherry pick to support your belief system. All those (hundreds of) thousands of examples that say the opposite must be wrong or their authors misguided and can be ignored, just like you ignore those basic textbooks that contradict your beliefs.

    There are reasons you can’t find movies of “squirming” tooth nerves on the ‘net, Brian: they are too small to see and they don’t move. High school biology tells us that and only your belief system says otherwise.

    You put yourself forward as an expert on teeth and dentistry, among other things. It must be very frustrating when your belief system is contradicted by high school textbooks. So, of course, since your belief system can never be proven wrong, it follows that the textbooks we use are wrong.

    “The Dunning-Kruger is strong in this one.”

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  112. I agree, Richard. And he must be an insomniac – how can one compete with such an obsession.

    Bit frustrating as he is attempting to quote my own published research against me, as if I do not understand it.

    Now he is into rock phosphate – but in a typically naive way refers to it as Chatham rock – never on the market and never will be – for environmental reasons it won’t be mined. But I do remember a bit of work done researching it in the early 70s.

    It is another area I researched and we came up with a model to predict where direct application rock phosphate would be effective so it is rather stupid of him to lecture me about where it may be used.

    I would love to discuss our research on this and soil microbial activity – but he is not capable of a rational discussion.

    Makes me aware that before long someone will be telling me to “get a life.”

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  113. Stuart Mathieson

    To be fair to Ken.
    When the priest Urbain Grandier was burned at the stake at Loudun, it was Cardinal Richelieu who knew how how to inflame the mob (for political reasons). Likewise it’s the Connetts of this world who know how to turn the mob against science and expert opinion for their own grandiosity and profit. With pictures like the tooth root, once you suggest a particular interpretation to no nothing’s, it’s there for life. We have seen the same process operating in some infamous murder convictions in NZ. All this is well understood by mercenary ad men.

    Liked by 1 person

  114. Stuart Mathieson

    No/know nothing. Sorry, I mean hopelessly uninformed.

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  115. Stuartg wrote: “It’s really obvious (to others) that your citations are hardly cutting edge research. They are years, if not decades, old. They are from people who are, let’s be charitable about this, best described as sideshows in the world of scientific research and teaching. They are even contradicted by hundreds, if not thousands, of textbooks, including school textbooks.”

    You asre as wrong about that, except for a couple of errors by me, like writing root in stead of pulp, as you were about the removal of the pulp which you are not acknowledging.

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  116. “Now he is into rock phosphate – but in a typically naive way refers to it as Chatham rock – never on the market and never will be – for environmental reasons it won’t be mined. But I do remember a bit of work done researching it in the early 70s.

    It is another area I researched and we came up with a model to predict where direct application rock phosphate would be effective so it is rather stupid of him to lecture me about where it may be used.”

    Ken the Chatham Rock Phosphate company have making noises about getting the decision overturned – having another go.

    I am not lecturing you about where it may be used, I am pointing out that if they are being scientific in their application, they are vastly overstating benefits.

    Do you agree with this?:
    From the online farm management and decision support website, Overseer:
    “Reactive Rock Phosphate (RPR)
    It is recommended soil pH is below 6.0 and that there is at least 800mm
    annual rainfall for RPR to be most effective.
    RPR , will reduce the
    potential for runoff losses of phosphorus from applied fertiliser
    during the first 0 – 50 days after application however, over the longer
    term losses from RPR and more soluble fertilisers are similar. Care
    should be taken to ensure RPR particles are not washed into
    waterways.”

    /Code_of_practice_Fact_Sheets_All.pdf

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  117. Sorry try this:

    /Code_of_practice_Fact_Sheets_All.pdf

    Another point about this “science.”
    One of the expert committees assisting this hearing made a point
    that not much is known about heavy metals in fish. That is not
    true. A lot of work has been done especially on mercury.
    The east coast of the South Island is the lowest mercury area for
    fish in New Zealand. It would be a pity to spoil it.
    See
    “Heavy Metal and Organochlorine Concentrations in New Zealand
    Aquatic Fish, Crustaceans and Molluscs”
    – Fenaughty,C.M., Tracey,D.M and Lock,J.W

    Do you think cadmium in phosphate is a good trade off? I suppose as with the old “scientific” DDT which is still in soils, that milk from such farms can be paid lower and mixed with purer milk to get it through the test.

    Note from Ravensdown Newsletter Autumn 2014:
    “Ravensdown Super meets the voluntary standard on cadmium (280mg Cd per kg of phosphorus) set as part of a management framework with the government and other stakeholders. To put this into perspective, 280mg is about a quarter of the weight of a paper clip. Industry data shows that 70% of Kiwi farms have cadmium levels in the naturally-occurring range. Of the 30% of farms above that naturally-occurring level, only 1% have cadmium that need active management to prevent further accumulation. Our account managers and ARL facility combine to ensure those few who are affected are given appropriate support and products.”

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  118. Ken that URL keeps going wrong so for anyone wanting to read I have put some spaces in which may be deleted.

    https : // secure. overseer.org.nz/ test/Content/Help/Content
    /Code_of_practice_Fact_Sheets_All.pdf

    And you wrote: “That is extremely pathetic, Brian. Surely you can’t be that thick – or are you frustrated because I cut off your attempt to use shipping and transport to obscure the issue?”

    The CRP company claimed their product is better because it is cheaper to transport from the Chathams rather than from Morrocco.

    My logic:

    International ship transport is rather cheap these days. Bananas
    being brought from the Philippines or Ecuador are only 20%
    dearer than NZ potatoes.
    http://www.nzsf.org.nz/about_shipping_nz.htm (Talking about
    coastal shipping)
    “One major reason for this cost differential is shipping’s advantage
    in fuel efficiency. The Swedish Network for Transport and the
    Environment has calculated that ships are more than six times as
    fuel efficient (per tonne/kilometre) than a medium sized truck.” So
    I would like to see investigation of port logistics. It is not right if a
    port does not handle fertiliser so it has to go hundreds of km by
    land at 6 times the cost so we say we have to dredge Chatham
    Rise. That is if we really need the product so much.

    Ken can you allow consideration of irrational port logiistics as a factor in greenhouse gas production?

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  119. Brian, you are pathetically burbling again.

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  120. Ken wrote: “Leaving aside the fallacious appeal to nature, and the perception of “nature” as an “intelligent designer,””

    And Stuart M appears to be locked into Darwin who is not the whole picture
    “Pseudo scientists” tout Darwin differently from his own beliefs, which included early suggestion of an effect like horizontal gene transfer.
    Dawkins has been very cagey about epigenetics, which adds a whole new dimension.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/08/epigenetic_chan098671.html

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  121. Ken: “Brian, you are pathetically burbling again.”

    It would be great give the child some hint as to what point in particular they are being thrashed for.

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  122. I am closing off this discussion as it has got well away from the original post.

    Best to start off fresh somewhere else.

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