Anti-fluoridationists commonly misrepresent Ministry of Health data

Anti-fluoride activists tell porkies about the Ministry of Health’s data on child dental health. They cherry-pick the data to make it appear that community water fluoridation is ineffective. And when challenged to discuss the issue they run away.


I am currently dealing with family issues so am reposting this article, “A challenge to anti-fluoridationers to justify their misrepresentation of New Zealand research”  from April 2016.  It shows how local anti-fluoride activists are misrepresenting the Ministry of Health’s data on child oral health


One of the frustrations I have with the fluoridation issue is the refusal of anti-fluoride activists to engage on the science. They will pontificate, but they won’t engage in discussion.

On the surface, one would think there is a difference of opinion or interpretation of scientific issues and that could be resolved by discussion. Yet local anti-fluoride campaigners refuse to enter into discussion. Again and again, I have offered space here to local anti-fluoride campaigners so that they could respond to my articles and they have inevitably rejected the offer. They have also blocked me, and other people discussing the science, from commenting on any of their social media pages or web sites. Even when they, themselves, call for a debate they reject specific responses I have made accepting that call.

So I am left with the only alternative of responding to their claim with an article here – or on a friendly web or blog site. At least that gives me space to present my argument – I just wish I could get some intelligent responses enabling engagement on the issues.

Misrepresentations repeated

The latest misrepresentation of the science is a claim by the Auckland Fluoride Free NZ Coordinator, Kane Titchener, that recent research proves fluoridation [is] not needed.

It repeats the same misrepresentation made by Wellington Anti-fluoride campaigner, Stan Litras, which I discussed in my article Anti-fluoridation cherry-pickers at it again. Kane has either ignored my article, chosen to ignore it or possibly not even understood it.

So here we go again.

Kane claims:

“A New Zealand study published in Bio Medical Central Oral Health last month shows dental health improved the greatest extent for children in non-fluoridated areas. There is now no difference in dental decay rates between non-Maori children who live in fluoridated areas and non-Maori children who live in non-fluoridated areas, proving that fluoridation is not needed for children to obtain good dental health.”

Although he doesn’t cite the study (wonder why), his use of two figures from the study show he is writing about the paper:

Schluter, P. J., & Lee, M. (2016). Water fluoridation and ethnic inequities in dental caries profiles of New Zealand children aged 5 and 12–13 years: analysis of national cross-sectional registry databases for the decade 2004–2013. BMC Oral Health, 16(1), 21.

His claim relies on the comparison of data for “non-Māori” children in fluoridated and fluoridated areas. No – he doesn’t misrepresent the data – he just ignores the discussion by these authors of problems with simple interpretation of the data for non-Māori because of the fact it is not ethnically uniform. In particular, he ignores the qualifications they place on the data because of the inclusion in non-Māori of data for Pacifica who have poorer dental health than the rest of this group and live predominantly in fluoridated areas. This, in effect, distorts the data by overestimating the poor oral health for “non-Māori” in the fluoridated areas.

The apparent convergence

The data used in this study were taken from the Ministry of Health’s website. This divides the total population of children surveyed into the ethnic groups Māori, Pacific and “Other.” While the “other’ group will not be completely uniform (for example including Pakeha, Asian, other groups) it becomes far less uniform when combined with the Pacific group to form the non-Māori group.

So, Kane salivates over this figure from the paper especially the plots for  non-Māori ethnicities in fluoridated (F) and non-fluoridated (NF) areas.

12903_2016_180_Fig1_HTML

Fig. 1 No obvious decay experience (caries-free) percentages and mean dmft for 5-year old children over years 2004 to 2013, partitioned by Māori and non-Māori ethnicities and fluoridated (F) and non-fluoridated (NF) areas

Yes, that convergence is clear and I can see why Kane is clinging to it – who can blame him. But he completely ignores the warning from the paper:

“It is likely that a substantial driver of this convergence was due to significant changes within the dynamic and heterogeneous non-Māori groups both within and between DHB regions. In effect, the ecological fallacy – a logical flaw whereby analyses of group data are used to draw conclusions about an individual – may be operating within the non-Māori group.”

When the Pacific data is removed (as is the case for the “other” group effectively made up from non-Māori and non-Pacifica) we get the plots below.

Other

Comparison of data for “other” (non-Māori/non-Pacifica) children in fluoridated (F) and unfluoridated (UF) areas.

Nowhere near as useful for Kane’s confirmation bias and the message he wants to promote. OK – there is still some evidence of convergence from about 2007 on between fluoridated and unfluoridated children. But the graphs do show that community water fluoridation is still having  a beneficial effect. And this apparent convergence could be explained by things like the introduction of “hub and spoke” dental clinics after 2004. One problem with this raw data is that children are allocated according to the fluoridation status of the school – rather than their residence. This will lead to incorrect allocation in some cases.

Some data for Pacifica

Just to underline the problems introduced by inclusion of Pacific in the non-Māori group of the study consider the data for Pacifica shown below.

other-pacifica

Data for 5-year-old children. dmft = decayed, missing and filled teeth. The “other” group is non-Māori and non-Pacifica

The oral health of Pacifica is clearly poorer than that of the “other” group.

Also, Pacifica make up about 20% of the non-Māori fluoridated group. So they will influence the data for the non-Māori fluoridated group by reducing the % caries free and increasing the mean dmft.

So Kane, like Stan, is blatantly cherry-picking. He is misrepresenting the study – and its author – by ignoring (or covering up) the qualifications regarding the influence of inclusion of pacific in the non-Māori fluoridated group.

The challenge

Now, I repeat the offer I have made in the past to give a right of reply to both Kane Titchener and Stan Litras. They are welcome to comment here and if they want more space I am happy to give space for separate articles for them in the way I did for the debate with Paul Connett. Now I can’t be fairer than that, can I?

So what about it Stan and Kane? What are your responses to my criticisms of the way you have cherry-picked and misrepresented this New Zealand paper?


NOTE: I have sent emails to both Kane and Stan asking them to respond and offering them right of reply.

UPDATE 1: Great minds and all that – Stan Litras sent out a press release today calling for a nation-wide debate on this issue (see FIND calls for a national debate on fluoridation). However, the seriousness of his request is rather compromised by his reply to my offer of a right of reply to the above article. He did respond to my email very quickly. This is what he wrote:

“Thanks for the offer, Ken, but I have not visited your blog site for a long time, as I object to the way you attempt to defame and discredit me.

You play the man and not the ball, which is not the mark of a reasonable person.

I hope to address that in due course as time permits, but for now I must leave you to indulge yourself without my company.”

So much for his wish for a “national debate” when he will not front up to a critique of his claims about the science.

UPDATE 2: Kane Titchener today also posted a press release today which was the text of the article I discuss in this post (see NZ research proves fluoridation not needed). He also responded quickly to my e-mail. The full text of his response was:

Who is this?”

Rather strange – considering he often pesters me with emails.

So I guess both of them have turned down my offer.

Similar articles

Advertisements

33 responses to “Anti-fluoridationists commonly misrepresent Ministry of Health data

  1. As you say Ken, if the anti fluoride arguments had any substance or truth They would welcome any comments on their social media pages, to show how wrong the pro fluoride arguments are, and how strong the scientific support for the anti fluoride lobby was.
    But unfortunately that will never happen because the whole anti fluoride lobby is based on how much money the Natural Health Industry can make by selling unrequired water filters , fluoride tablets and bottled water, that is promoted as being unfluoridated
    And how many councils it can bully into stopping the proven fluoride initiative to promote their own agenda, Whatever the unnecessary costs to the community concerned . Take the South Taranaki case for example.Natural health lost the case, and now they are dragging the small council back in to court to waste more money defending their position.
    The outcome they hope for is, if they keep appealing, the council will run out of local support for the expense required to fight and cave in.
    With the bottomless money pit of the local and international Natural Health industry, it would really a hollow victory once you look at the whole incident and see the tactics employed .to monster small councils.The sooner the D.H.B,s takes over the better

    Like

  2. Chris: “if the anti fluoride arguments had any substance or truth They would welcome any comments on their social media pages, to show how wrong the pro fluoride arguments are, and how strong the scientific support for the anti fluoride lobby was.”

    If Rob Beaglehole is so confident about fluoridation he should have stuck to the facts and not have had two reprimands from the Dental Council.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1609/S00121/dentist-warned-for-misleading-public-over-water-fluoridation.htm

    Like

  3. soundhill1

    Litras: “You play the man and not the ball, which is not the mark of a reasonable person.”

    Though common on this group.

    Like

  4. Yes, I’m amazed that Rob Beaglehole nutted off like…Lance O’Sullivan – no, I am not talking about the former top jockey. The latter’s probably got more nous.

    I wonder if Rob has undergone the media training that he was ordered to take.

    Like

  5. I was very surprised to read this article recently.

    “Porirua’s Pasifika children are far more likely than the national average to suffer tooth decay…Dentists blame the high rate of decay on sugary drinks.”

    No mention of fluoridation which is no surprise seeing as Porirua is among the minority of councils that fluoridates its water. Maybe parents in Porirua have forgotten about this wonderful product which was invented many years ago. It’s called toothpaste, and it works best if you don’t swallow it.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/92169692/poriruas-pasifika-children-suffering-high-levels-of-tooth-decay

    Like

  6. They have also blocked me, and other people discussing the science, from commenting on any of their social media pages or web sites.

    Well, that’s their right. Maybe if you tried a little (OK, a lot) harder to understand their point of view, and the merits of it, you might be able to reach some sort of consensus. I think they call it a win-win.

    Like

  7. Well. they make all these unsubstantiated statements, and as soon as you ask them to provide scientific evidence of the opinions. Bang. Suddenly they dont want to talk to you any more, And some even carry on talking about you with the comments blocked so you cant see what is being written, And at times it is not very nice
    But other people read them and let you know what was said,
    So really is ok to talk to us as long as you dont question our agenda.
    Why waste your time. Mind, it is good to poke the bear at times

    Like

  8. Ross, I do not have the time or energy for a childish debate over anti-fluoride blocking at the moment. But why do you support those who refuse to allow discussion and at the same time attack me when I have provided substantial space to people like Paul Connett to present his views and have offered similar space to people like Mary Byrne, Stan Litras and others.

    I have always promoted good faith scientific discussion based in evidence. Do you mean I should give that up when you argue that I should try “a little (OK, a lot) harder to understand their point of view, and the merits of it?”

    Do you mean I should deny facts, avoid evidence and accept lies and misinformation?

    Come off it – it’d not going to happen. That would be scientifically unethical.

    Like

  9. Do you mean I should deny facts, avoid evidence and accept lies and misinformation?

    You do what you think is best.

    But he fact remains that when I turn the tap on, I should be able to drink non-fluoridated water. I think we’d both agree I should have that right. If you want to drink flurodated water, I have no desire to stop you from exercising your right, but alas the pro-lobby don’t want to extend the same right to me to drink non-fluoridated water.

    “In most European countries, where community water fluoridation has never been adopted, a substantial decline in caries prevalence has been reported in the last decades, with reductions in lifetime caries experience exceeding 75%….For the past 50 years, [water fluoridation] has been considered the most cost-effective measure for the control of caries at the community level. However, it is now accepted that systemic fluoride plays a limited role in caries prevention. Several epidemiologic studies conducted in fluoridated and nonfluoridated communities clearly indicated that [water fluoridation] may be unnecessary for caries prevention particularly in the industrialized countries where the caries level has became low. Moreover,the evidence of an increased prevalence of fluorosis, particularly in fluoridated areas, needs to be considered.”

    http://waterloowatch.com/Index_files/Pizzo%20et%20al%20Community%20Water%20Fluoridation%20And%20Caries%20Prevention%20-%20A%20Critical%20Review,%20Clinical%20and%20Oral%20Investigations%2014-Feb-07.pdf

    Like

  10. Don’t be silly. Ross. No-one denies you the right to source your water wherever you choose, or to filter it however you choose.

    By the same token you have no right to deny the democratic decisions of the community to access a safe and effective social health measure.

    That would just be plain arrogance.

    Like

  11. Kia ora Ken. If I were to agree to your proposed benefits of water fluoridation (WTF) would you agree that it equates to around a quarter of a filling over a lifetime?

    I have several concerns that have been ignored by political leaders esp. Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand and Peter Dunne MP for Ōhāriu, the Maori dental asc. and your organisation Making Sense of Fluoride Lies (Dan?). These are as follows

    1. WTF uses a hazardous industrial waste that is classified an environmental pollutant.

    2 It forces consumption of arsenic, lead, mercury and many more known carcinogenic and neurotoxic elements.

    3 The scientist Harold J Hodge, that initially set the safety levels, also injected people (unknowingly) to ascertain safety levels for uranium and plutonium. (did you know this? if so did it not make you question the type of ethics WTF was founded on?)

    4. WTF breaches our human rights regarding informed consent to medical intervention.

    5 It contravenes Te Tiriti o Waitangi’s concept of kaitiakitanga (no fluoride and fluoridation are not mentioned in the treaty if you ever get a chance to peruse our founding document, you may notice a part about environmental protection aka do not add pollutants to the land or water )

    6. WTF lacks genuine consultation with tangata whenua. dunnes recently proposed amendment did no even talk to any Maori. The Greater Wellington Regional Council and city council have not consulted for many years. The ministry do not tell people all the facts, then they pick and choose what dental stats they want to base their reports on to favour fluoridation. I’m sure Fluoride Free NZ and yourself can debate the stats and science argument till all our teeth fall out.

    7. Sir Mason Durries key elements in his health promotion model Te Pae Mahutonga are disregarded, especially the Mauri ora concept.

    8. Fluoride has been classified a neurotoxin by the Lancet Journal.

    9. 95% of the world reject fluoridation due to lack of proof of efficacy and lack of ethics of mass medicating with consent.

    10. Dose and dosage are not controlled. This violates pharmacological principles along with informed concents to medical intervention.

    11. Let us look at the ministry claims that WTF is SAFE. There has never been a study done to test the safety of WTF let alone the amount consumed without water. Affordable. We are paying millions of dollars each year in tax and rates. Partly for WTF chemicals; partly for the equipment to handle WTF chemicals but mostly for propaganda campaigns to maintain the public image that fluoride is good and finally for lawyers to stop any regions that want freedom of choice or non-toxified drinking water. Effective. It is accepted that fluoride only works topically, so drinking it doesn’t help reduce carries it does expose us to multiple potential adverse health risks. Add to this that 99% of WTF goes down the toilet or drain. Do you agree that 1% is effective.

    I do not accept this false panacea and reject WTF. I look forward to your reply to my questions and concerns.

    Mauri ora

    Like

  12. Pita, I will reply to your specific comments later.

    For the moment could you lease note that it is pointless responding to me on Declan Waugh’s facebook page? Declan has in the last few hours blocked me and I can no longer access his page.

    Unfortunately, that is typical of anti-fluoride activists that I attempt to enter into discussion with. I had made a valid comment on that page pointing out to Declan that the fluoride concentration in drinking water provided to the rats in the study he cited – 10 – 50 ppm – was not the same as the concentration used in community water fluoridation as he had claimed.

    Care to comment on why people like Declan Waugh refuse to enter into a good faith discussion of the science with me? He is also one of the people I have offered a right of reply to here.

    Why do anti-fluoride activists keep challenging me to debate people like Waugh and Connett when this is the sort of behaviour those people resort to? Isn’t this childish?

    Like

  13. Pita, I will just deal with your points separately in individual comments – you can then respond to them individually and the discussion will not be buried in a mass of words.

    Firstly – I cannot speak for any of the people or organisations you complain about in your second paragraph. In fact, your claim I or Dan belong to “Making Sense of Fluoride Lies” is completely untrue. That is a facebook page set up by extreme anti-fluoride activists and is childishly anti-fluoride. If readers want a bit of a laugh here is their link https://www.facebook.com/Fluoridation.Facts.Lies/

    Care to respond to that? Perhaps correct any mistakes on your part?

    Like

  14. Pita,

    There’s been more than seventy years of research and data into the effects of drinking optimally fluoridated water supplies.

    Please cite any evidence you have that drinking optimally fluoridated water supplies has ever resulted in harm to an individual.

    Like

  15. I won’t stick to any order – but briefly your point 8 (8. Fluoride has been classified a neurotoxin by the Lancet Journal.).

    That is simply not true – you have not checked this out and are simply repeating lies told by anti-fluoride organisations like FFNZ.

    Check it out and get back to me. Cite the issue where an official statement was made to this effect by the managers or editorial board of Lancet. Quote the specific wording of this official statement. (Hint, Lancet is not a regulatory body so does not make claims of this sort).

    Please note, your refusal to do so will indicate that you cannot find such an official classification by Lancet.

    I expect you to withdraw that claim and admit you had not checked it out when you made it.

    Like

  16. Pita – your point 3. Can you provide a citation for this research? I briefly searched using Google Scholar and cannot find any publication by HJ Lodge reporting work on safety levels for uranium and plutonium. You may have got this from an unreliable source (eg FFNZ) – but if not I will withhold comment until I can see the original report.

    Mind you, it would also help for you to explain the relevance of this “concern” to community water fluoridation.

    Like

  17. Pita, you point 4. The local “natural”/alternative health industry has been allocating about $100,000 per year in their attempts to prevent community water fluoridation in two small South Taranaki towns. All their legal attempts have failed. Specifically, attemtps to claim a breach of human rights and that CWF is a medical intervention have been rejected by the High Court.

    Considering the resources already pout into this I do not think you, yourself, can support that failed argument.

    Like

  18. Pita, your point 5. Can you quote the section of the treaty you wish to use in your argument? Also, to support your argument what is your evidence that community water fluoridation introduces pollutants into the land and water? be specific – what are the concentrations of pollutants in the land and in the water without community water fluoridation and what is the concentrations afterward?

    Like

  19. Pita, you point 6. The consultation on the proposed legislative changes regarding CWF was very extensive. You yourself submitted. I did and well over 1000 other people did. In what way were tanagata whenua prevented from consulting? Please be specific.

    As for FFNZ and me debating the stats – FFNZ refuses to allow me to comment on any of their articles. I have several times exposed their misrepresentation of the data and they have each time refused to respond. They have been offered space here – they reject the offer.

    You should be aware (I am sure you have been spoken to by FFNZ) that since my debate with Paul Connett the order has gone out from FFNZ and FAN that their members and supporters refuse to enter into discussions with me. What happened this morning with Declan Waugh is just one example on a long list.

    Could you please give your opinion of the attempts by FFNZ, FAN, Declan Waugh, Paul Connett, etc., to prevent this good faith discussion of the science?

    Like

  20. Pita – your point 7. Could you please be specific. Cite and quote the specific elements you refer to.

    Like

  21. Pita – you point 9 is patently untrue. Over 10% of the world does not have access to clean water – they have more direct concerns than debating the introduction of CWF. Another large fraction of the word suffers endemic fluorosis. The problems there are not debate over the introduction of CWF but how to reduce the excessive levels of fluoride in drinking water.

    Health authorities around the world do recognise the benefits of CWF where the F concentration is in the the 0.5 – 1.5 ppm. However, the water reticulation systems in many countries are just not suitable for CWF (They are not suitable in some regions of New Zealand either). That is why fluoridated salt is used in many countries.

    Other steps are also taken to use the protective role of fluoride via dental applications. Use of fluoride varnishes is an important feature of, for example, the Scottish ChildSmile programme. It is also used in New Zealand – particularly in unfluoridated areas.

    You have got your “95% of the world reject fluoridation” from an unreliable and misleading source. You should not uncritically accept everything FFNZA tells you.

    Like

  22. Pita – your point 10. The words “does and dosage” are not relevant. We never use these terms when discussing nutrients and the recommended intakes.

    There is a relatively wide range for recommended intake for nutrients like fluoride. Of, course, anti-fluoride propagandists love to confuse the issue and pretend that fluoride is some sort of very powerful drug rather than a nutrient. You should never trust the claims of groups like FFNZ.

    Like

  23. Pita – your point 11:

    You are wrong about investigation of the safety of CWF. Have a read of the recent New Zealand review:

    Eason, C., & Elwood, JM. Seymour, Thomson, WM. Wilson, N. Prendergast, K. (2014). Health effects of water fluoridation : A review of the scientific evidence.

    CWF is also very cost-effective – it saves far more money on dental costs than is spent on plant and supplies.

    Legal costs are a problem, of course – but blame the big business of the “natural”/alternative health industry for this. they are investing about $100,000 per year is such actions.

    As far as freedom of choice is concerned – I observed the situation in Hamilton where the choice of the voters was if=gnored under pressure from FFNZ – a disgusting undemocratic decision which was eventually reversed. The capture of the Hamilton City Council on this issue and their violation of democratic principles is one factor behind the current legislation to take decision making away from councils.

    If you are worried about 99% od treated water going down the drain then you should advance the idea for duplicate reticulations systems. I think you will find that it is cheaper to treat all the water to make it fit for human consumption.

    Like

  24. Pita – your point 2. Completely wrong – it does not force anything of the sort.

    Consider this – in the source water for Hamilton city the unfluoridated water contains minuscule amounts of such metals.

    The natural, untreated, source water for Hamilton contains extremely low concentrations of cadmium (less than 0.000053 mg/L) and mercury (less than 0.00008 mg /L). We can calculate the contribution of fluoridating chemicals to the final concentration in tap water using a typical certificate of analysis for that chemical (fluorosilicic acid in this case). This contribution amounts to 0.45% of the cited analytical figure for the source water in the case of cadmium and less than 0.25% in the case of mercury.

    The source water contains arsenic at concentrations (0.0196 mg/L) higher than the recommended maximum levels (0.01 mg/L) presumably because of geothermal sources – but these are reduced during treatment. A typical concentration in the final tap water is 0.00218 mg/L. The calculated concentration contributed by the fluoridating chemical is 0.5% of the cited analytical figure for the treated (but unfluoridated) tap water.

    So, the contribution of these metals in fluoridating chemicals to the final concentrations in your tap water is extremely minuscule. It would not be detectable in the routine chemical analyses.

    Rather you should be complaining about people being forced to drink unfluoridated water as the natural source of these metals produces a higher concentration in drinking water than do the fluoridating agents. In fact, the contribution from the fluoridating chemicals would be undetectable in most cases.

    All this has already been explained to you and the source article provided.

    Like

  25. Pita – your point 1.

    Yes, concentrated chemicals used in food and water production and treatment are hazardous – in their concentrated forms.

    As a chemist I do, from time to time, get concerned about the transport of such concentrated chemicals. But there are safety regulations aimed at controlling how these chemicals are transported and handled.

    However, the water that comes out of your tap, and the food you buy at the supermarket, do not contain high concentrations of such chemicals. The concentrations in the end products are extremely low and usually beneficial at these low concentrations.

    The use of such chemicals helps to make your food and rink safge to consume or healthy to consume. Don’t knock it.

    Like

  26. You are obviously stuck in your ways with this Ken. You get paid to research this and promote WTF but you are only looking at one side of the story.

    All you can see is the science and your answers to my concerns are up there with most political partys.

    You keep telling people what you want and I will keep sharing the truth.

    Like

  27. So, Pita, are you going to continue avoiding the science by resorting to defamation? Come on – out your money where your mouth is? Who is paying me? How much do I get? Or be a main and apologise for the defamation.

    You don’t seem to be able to discuss even one of those points you raised, Surely my responses can not have been that devastating for you. 🙂

    Like

  28. Ken,

    I recently read a comment about how to determine a science denialist by looking at their arguments.
    https://thelogicofscience.com/2017/05/23/anti-vaccers-climate-change-deniers-and-anti-gmo-activists-are-all-the-same/
    It didn’t actually mention anti-fluoridationists, but I thought it would be amusing to compare the points with some of the anti-fluoride commentators on your blog. I thought that this may be an appropriate place…

    1. Ignore a large body of evidence. Check
    2. Cite small, low quality, cherry picked studies. Check
    3. Appeal to a small minority of fringe “experts”. Check
    4. Invent conspiracy theories. Check
    5. Accuse opponents of being shills. Check
    6. Rely on anecdotes and personal experiences. Check
    7. Cite blogs and videos as evidence. Check
    8. Argue that “science has been wrong before”. Check
    9. Claim to be “just asking questions”. Check

    Perhaps another point, ably demonstrated by some of your commentators, could be:
    10. Attempts to cite retracted studies.

    Isn’t it interesting how many anti-fluoride commentators also appear to be anti-science when considered by these criteria?

    Like

  29. No-one denies you the right to source your water wherever you choose, or to filter it however you choose.

    You would be happy if I bought bottled water and then dumped the bottles in a landfill? I wouldn’t have thought you’d support harming the environment. You’re (deliberately?) missing the point that I shouldn’t have to buy bottled water – of a filter – to get unfluoridated water. There is another way.

    Like

  30. Stuartg,

    You wouldn’t be anti-choice by any chance, would you? Why the pro-lobby wants to deny others the right to drink unfluoridated water remains one of the 21st century’s most enduring mysteries. Surely they’re not all control freaks?

    Like

  31. Ross, you do not sound sincere in your protest.

    In my experience, every enthusiastic anti-fluoride person I have asked is not forced to do anything. They make their own choices – often filters and often different water sources. Hell, in some cities the council provides non-fluoridated water sources for them.

    So all this talk of being forced, lack of choice, is so much hogwash. For example, – what do you do? Do you allow fluoridated water to be poured down your throat?

    Now – you want to talk about denial of choice. In 2013 the citizens of Hamilton were denied their democratically determined choice of taking advantage of a safe and effective social health measure because of the capture of the council by anti-fluoride fanatics on this issue. It was only after much protest and another referendum that the council was forced to reverse their decision and give freedom of choice back to the voters.

    The fiasco in Hamilton was one of the reasons local bodies asked the government to remove the responsibility of fluoridation decisions from their hands and hence we have the new legislation being considered.

    “Freedom of choice” demanded by anti-fluoride campaigners – what hypocrisy. They just want to deny a choice to people.

    Like

  32. Ross,

    Freedom of choice, certainly.

    If you live in Hamilton, where the community has exercised it’s democratic right and voted to continue CWF, and you don’t want to consume fluoride with your drinking water, you can:
    Drink bottled water
    Install a filter
    Distill your drinking water
    Obtain your drinking water from the fluoride free taps the council supplies

    …or you can just drink the water the community requests.

    You are free to make your choice.

    Like

  33. Yes, Ross, Hamiltonian’s do certainly have freedom fo choice. But the anti-fluoride people are still moaning because chlorine is added to “their” fluoride-free water for safety reasons. they think individuals should be given the right to “choose” about this and should only be delivered undisinfected water.

    Despite often feeling that the ethical “right to choose” was the best argument in the anti-fluoride camp (their scientific misinformation is not effective) I now see the use of this argument by people like Ross as disingenuous and cynical whining.

    People do have a right to choose when it comes to drinking water. And many people (far more than the fluoride-phobic people) do choose to use filters or alternative sources. Often simply for reasons of taste.

    Yet the vast majority of those people are not whining about having to make that choice. They have accepted it is their responsibility to seek out and use alternatives if for any reason they do not like the publicly supplied water.

    In my experience, anti-fluoride activists who have admitted to me that they use alternatives say they are complaining on the behalf of others – the unwashed poor – who cannot afford alternatives or don’t understand the problem.

    How patronising! And absolute hogwash.

    These activists have a religious zeal to control how others live. And they will attempt to impose their choice on others – even when it threatens their health by denying them a safe and effective social health policy like community water fluoridation.

    Like

Leave a Reply: please be polite to other commenters & no ad hominems.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s