Russiagate: Lessons for the media. But will they listen?

How is this anything but a form of racism? Racism is never acceptable – and this coming from within the US intelligence community.

Frankly, I don’t think the corporate media will listen. Or draw conclusions from the main finding of the Mueller report. At the moment they seem too busy shifting goalposts and denying they ever promoted a collusion narrative.

This week we have the extraordinary spectacle of Paul Thomas, A NZ Listener journalist, cherry-picking his own articles to deny he ever promoted the collusion myth (See “The Cult of Trump,” NZ Listener, April 13-19, 2019). This “journalist” – and the Listener – pushed weekly articles promoting the myth to the extent of regularly including photographs of Russian President Putin in his articles about Trump. He let his naive partisan anti-Trump rhetoric get away so badly he even wrote an article linking the Christchurch Mosque shootings to Trump (seeFollow the leader, NZ Listener).  At a time when the rest of the nation was grieving.

It seems to me a whole raft of “journalists” abandoned the ethical basis of their profession and simply promoted an “official” narrative handed to them from above. I cannot respect such people.

In contrast, there were evidence-based independent and alternative journalists who got it right. These journalists were ignored, and worse – vilified, by corporate media. We should draw some lessons from their experience.

Fortunately an article in Fair – Tips for a Post-Mueller Media from Nine Russiagate Skeptics – gives a much-needed start to the needed examination. Generally described as “Russiagate skeptics” (not all independent journalist or alternative media followed the evidence) nine of these journalist offer advice to the media.

I will summarise their advice in a single sentence for each journalist but urge readers to read their full comments in the linked article. Their explanations are valuable

1. Encourage debate and dissent, not conspiracy theories and clicks.

—Aaron Maté, journalist, The Nation


2. Stop playing into Trump’s hands and stop smearing reporters.

Matt Taibbi, journalist, Rolling Stone


3. Stop spreading Russophobic paranoia.

Yasha Levine, journalist, S.H.A.M.E. Project


4. Talk to people with an actual understanding of history and Russia, not fake experts and uninformed  pundits.

Carl Beijer, writer


5. Don’t manipulate the truth to justify war.

Rania Khalek, journalist, host of In the Now


6. Be skeptical toward government officials and other authorities.

Branko Marcetic, journalist, Jacobin


7. Focus on the many actual crimes.


Esha Krishnaswamy, lawyer, host of historic.lypodcast


8. Pay attention to whom Trump is actually colluding with.

Kyle Kulinski, host of the Kyle Kulinski Show


9. Stop fear-mongering and engaging in “acceptable” bigotry.

Jimmy Dore, comedian, host of the Jimmy Dore Show


These people need to be listened to.

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60 responses to “Russiagate: Lessons for the media. But will they listen?

  1. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    Of course the media wants to jump to conclusions before the evidence is in. The faster the guess, the more people become involved. Yes, some jumped fast, but the evidence is not all in yet.

    Ken, you have drawn “main conclusions from the Mueller report.” Since when have you read the Mueller report? Aren’t you just as much at fault?

    NY Times:
    “American intelligence agencies and both parties on Capitol Hill are in consensus that, as Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said, “Russia conducted an unprecedented influence campaign to interfere in the U.S. electoral and political process.”
    The federal and congressional intelligence and national security groups that have stated that Russia interfered in the election:
    1. Central Intelligence Agency
    2. Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    3. F.B.I.
    4. National Security Agency
    5. Justice Department
    6. Department of Homeland Security
    7. House Intelligence Committee
    8. Senate Intelligence Committee”

    The question of collusion by Trump is still out.

    Like

  2. David Fierstien

    My apologies. I seem to have placed the this comment under the wrong post. Here it is again in the proper spot:

    It is interesting when we juxtapose a direct quote from the Mueller Report, which Attorney General Barr included in his summary, against reports now surfacing from those on Mueller’s team.

    First from Barr’s summary, a direct quote from the Mueller Report: ” “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    And then a footnote is included: “In assessing potential conspiracy charges, the Special Counsel also considered whether members of the Trump campaign “coordinated” with Russian election interference activities. The Special Counsel defined “coordination” as an “agreement—tacit or express—between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government on election interference.””

    And the only direct quote from the Mueller Report in that footnote is how he defines the word “coordination.”

    Now this from some members of Mueller’s team: ” some on Mueller’s team have said the report paints “a picture of a campaign whose members were was manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation.””
    https://www.vox.com/2019/4/3/18294547/mueller-barr-leaks-new-york-times

    That is interesting, isn’t it. (Notice the last half of that sentence is a direct quote.)

    Barr says “coordination” – between the Trump campaign & Russia – was not established by Mueller.

    Mueller team members say, ‘No, there was no coordination between Trump’s campaign & Russia, Trump’s campaign was manipulated by Russia.’

    They don’t disagree, do they.

    Like

  3. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill,

    While I have your attention, in this comment you said, “Instead of empirical evidence, you resort to calling me names, because you do not have prospective RCT evidence for dosage of fluoride, efficacy, or safety.”
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/getting-out-alive-why-we-should-always-demand-evidence/#comment-125570

    And I said, “Please, Dr. Bill, Explain to us all, so the whole world can see, How would you undertake an RCT for water fluoridation in the United States of America?” https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/getting-out-alive-why-we-should-always-demand-evidence/#comment-125575

    I never did get your professional, expert advise on that, did I. Care to answer the question now?

    Like

  4. Bill, you acknowledge the “media wants to jump to conclusions before the evidence is in.” Pity you cannot see it goes much further than that. In this case, there was obvious collusion between the corporate media, sections of the intelligence community and politicians.

    I never jumped to any conclusion – I asked for and looked for evidence. That is why I feel vindicated the Mueller came to the same conclusion about the collusion myth as I did. I arrived at my conclusion long before Mueller reported – and part of my reason for vindication is the complete lack of anything new like new indictments from the Mueller team. And, yes, I have read the relevant clause in the report which was quoted in the letter to the Senate.

    You are completely wrong to say I have drawn my conclusions from the Mueller report – and it is dishonest of you to present a quote is that way. Look at what you did – “Ken, you have drawn “main conclusions from the Mueller report.”” – that is a dishonest inference.

    Weird that you quote from a NYT article which says nothing about collusion. You are simply repeating a claim about the January 6 intelligence report – a claim initiated by Clinton and slavishly picked up by corporate media. But a claim the media itself backed away from later to admit that the January 6 report was from only 4 agencies – and then involved only selected people from those agencies.

    The fact that the NYT can repeat this claim even after it backtracked tells you something about the way they push narratives. Although I note that the second to last paragraph of the NYT report (which you don’t include in your quote) does acknowledge only 4 agencies were involved:

    “In a January 2017 assessment, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the F.B.I. and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concluded that Russia interfered in the election.”

    Have you read the Jan 6 intelligence report? I doubt it because it is completely evidence-free and only someone who has not read it could cite it as “evidence” for anything – except the stupidity of those who wrote it.

    Like

  5. David, the full report will be out in about a week. Yes, annotated. A problem for me as I would like to see more evidence indicative of the corruption in the US political, law enforcement and intelligence systems.

    Your reliance on rumor and anonymous sources is typical of the whole misbehavior of the corporate media during this affair. And this is hilarious – you are very impressed by a “direct quote” from an unacknowledged and anonymous source. That willingness to believe typical of those who have drunk the kool-aid just shows how desperate the corporate media and its blind followers have become.

    They have learned nothing. Corporate media will continue pushing political narratives and hiding facts. And the public will more and more turn to fact-based sources.

    Like

  6. David Fierstien

    Ken: “Your reliance on rumor and anonymous sources is typical of the whole misbehavior of the corporate media during this affair. And this is hilarious – you are very impressed by a “direct quote” from an unacknowledged and anonymous source.”

    What are you talking about. As you know, Ken, it is not just “Rumor” and “Anonymous sources.” It is a story that has been verified by three independent sources.

    Ken: “That willingness to believe typical of those who have drunk the kool-aid just shows how desperate the corporate media and its blind followers have become.”

    Your desperation to deny the same basic story which has been independently verified shows your desperation to cling to your pro-Russian biases.

    You are so desperate that you are even unwilling to entertain the possibility that this multi-verified story might have some truth to it.

    It must be very pleasant to live in a world of warmth & well-being, where the blankets of your own biases are so tightly pulled up over your head that not even the possibility of an uncomfortable thought has a chance of interrupting your slumber.

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  7. David, you say:

    ” . . it is not just “Rumor” and “Anonymous sources.”It is a story that has been verified by three independent sources.”

    Could you please tell me the names and authorities of these “three independent sources?”

    Like

  8. David Fierstien

    Well you got me, Ken. It appears I misspoke. Savor the feeling because it won’t happen again anytime soon. I should have said, ‘Three independent news organizations . . working independently of each other.’

    And this is a clear difference between you and I. When I make a mistake, or say something incorrect, I’ll admit it.

    Likewise, the mainstream media makes mistakes all the time . . they’ll own up to it – and their reward is a slap in the face by people like you who harp on the theme “Fake News.” . . .

    On the other hand, I have never seen opinion writers whom you praise own up to their mistakes. Have you ever seen Alexander Mercouris admit any of his errors? And we know he makes them because after you presented one of his videos (after Mueller’s first Indictment) I pointed out that he lied when he said, “Everything these people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele is guilty of.” . . That was a lie. Christopher Steele has never committed, among other things, identity theft.

    Hell, I couldn’t even get you to admit that one of your people made a mistake/lied. . .

    You should feel great. This is something you have in common with Dr. Bill Osmunson. Neither of you can admit when you’re wrong. You must feel so proud of yourself.

    So . . to clarify, the three independent news organizations, who came to the same conclusions, and apparently used different sources because details were different, were:

    The Times report, by Nicholas Fandos, Michael Schmidt, and Mark Mazzetti, came first. The sourcing for their claim was “government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations”

    Then, the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima, Carol Leonnig, and Rosalind Helderman added more details.

    And on Thursday morning, Ken Dilanian of NBC News added the detail that some on Mueller’s team have said the report paints “a picture of a campaign whose members were was manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation.”

    By the way, The NBC Report is not in disagreement with Attorney General Barr’s little spin on the Mueller Report . . So he didn’t lie. No collusion, Manipulation.

    What is interesting is that the Mueller Team had prepared their own Summaries. We will find out the truth of this when Mueller is subpoenaed by Congress to testify.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. David Fierstien

    By the way, your post is incorrect. The cartoon reads:

    “How is this anything but a form of racism? Racism is never acceptable – and this coming from within the US intelligence community.”

    If that is a question, the answer is because the Russian people are not a race. You are trying to describe ethnocentrism, not racism. (But “racism” sounds a lot worse, doesn’t it.)

    Is it possible to get you to admit you made a mistake here?

    Like

  10. Yes, I know David. When people are caught out being illogically and inhumanely discriminatory they will resort to, and play with, definitions.

    I see it as racist and ask people to consider that.

    And rather than arguing about the number of angels on the head of a pin as a diversion you should seriously address that Clapper’s attitude is not too uncommon and should never be acceptable in government bodies. And it should not be acceptable here. For a comment to see as a crime that some had connections or contact with a Russian, a Ukranian, an Australian, etc., as evidence of a crime is disgusting.

    Like

  11. Yes, David. You had to either ignore or retreat. But even then you go onto an attack in an attempted diversion.

    It is a pity more readers and journalist do not challenge these obviously false statements.

    Like

  12. David Fierstien

    Ken: ” When people are caught out being illogically and inhumanely discriminatory they will resort to, and play with, definitions.

    I see it as racist and ask people to consider that.”

    Response: As expected, you are unable to admit when you are wrong. Congratulations! You are now a member of the Dr. Bill Club.

    You see it as racist. How exactly do you see it as racist? I’m guessing that your inability to admit a mistake plays into it. Another factor is that the word “Racism” takes on such a negative connotation in today’s world. This puts you on par with Paul Connett who calls optimally fluoridated water a “drug” that is nothing more than industrial waste from toxic smoke scrubbers.

    Contratulations! You are now a member of the Paul Connett Club.

    Ken, words have meanings. That is why we use them. The only person playing with definitions here is YOU.

    Like

  13. David Fierstien

    Ken: “It is a pity more readers and journalist do not challenge these obviously false statements.”

    Response: You have absolutely no evidence to say that three independent organizations which have reported members of the Mueller team have said the unedited Mueller Report paints a picture of Trump’s campaign as being manipulated by Russian actors . . . is “obviously false.”

    If you have such evidence, now’s the time to cough it up.

    Your worn out tactic of calling “diversion” is fast becoming a joke.

    Like

  14. David Fierstien

    Definition of racism
    1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
    2a : a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principles
    b : a political or social system founded on racism
    3 : racial prejudice or discrimination

    The collective people living in the Russian Federation are not a race.

    Definition of ethnocentrism
    : the attitude that one’s own group, ethnicity, or nationality is superior to others

    The collective people living in the Russian Federation belong to a nationality.

    I’m still betting you won’t admit that you were wrong.

    Like

  15. Bill Osmunson

    Ken, I do not think you are getting the full picture in your news. Almost every day we hear how Russia influenced the 2016 US elections. Trump team is hiding plenty and with Julian in custody, he may provide additional evidence. Do not jump to conclusions.

    Like

  16. Bill, I suspect I am getting a more complete and better picture than you becuase I do not rely on ones sided corporate media but use multiple sources.

    You really have got to start thinking for yourself. Of course the narrative is pushed down your throat every day – but never do you get any evidence because there is none.

    The seizure of Assange has nothing to do with collusion. The US has been wanting to get him for years because it wants to suppress the information on US war crimes and US violations of human rights that Wikileaks has made available. His seizure is a disgusting attempt to suppress media freedom.

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  17. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson,

    While I have your attention, in this comment you said, “Instead of empirical evidence, you resort to calling me names, because you do not have prospective RCT evidence for dosage of fluoride, efficacy, or safety.”
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/getting-out-alive-why-we-should-always-demand-evidence/#comment-125570

    And I said, “Please, Dr. Bill, Explain to us all, so the whole world can see, How would you undertake an RCT for water fluoridation in the United States of America?” https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/getting-out-alive-why-we-should-always-demand-evidence/#comment-125575

    I never did get your professional, expert advise on that, did I. Care to answer the question now

    Like

  18. David Fierstien

    Ken says, “Bill, I suspect I am getting a more complete and better picture than you becuase I do not rely on ones sided corporate media but use multiple sources.”

    Response: No. You rely on sources like Alexander Mercouris, whom I have proven lies to you . . but you won’t acknowledge that, will you. You accept him as a source, even though he has been proven to be a liar.

    And you quote Caitlan Johnstone, whom you’ve used as a source to exonerate the Trump team from conspiring with the Russian government with interfering with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

    Well Wait A Minute. Caitlan Johnstone? Is that the same Caitlan Johnstone who wrote this article which states that Barr lied on his 4 page Summary that you felt so vindicated about, Ken? https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/leaked-mueller-report-proves-barr-lied-collusion-theorists-vindicated-2a9f52fda492

    So . . You feel vindicated about Barr’s 4 page summary of a 400 page report . . . . You used Caitlan Johnstone as a source to support your vindication . . . . and now Caitlan Johnstone says that Barr lied with his 4 page summary. How exactly does that work, Ken?

    It doesn’t matter does it. You use — How do you say it? — You are, “getting a more complete and better picture than you becuase I do not rely on ones sided corporate media but use multiple sources.”

    That which you disagree with you ignore, and that which you do agree with, even though it is proven false, you agree with. OK. I Get It. You’re getting a more complete and better picture than Dr. Bill because . . . . . . Why exactly?

    Like

  19. Oh dear, David. Has it come to this. Can you not recognise an April Fool’s joke? I thought it was very obvious myself.

    Like

  20. David Fierstien

    😉

    Like

  21. David Fierstien

    I know it’s been less than a day since the release of the Mueller Report, but, maybe after you’ve had a day or two to get through it . . I would be very interested in your current state of vindication.

    Like

  22. David, what little I have read shows to me how desperate those promoting the collusion narrative are to somehow maintain their myths -to the extent of outright lies. Even claiming the report finds that collusion occurred (which it specifically doesn’t).

    One lesson – beware of corporate media and its stenographers in their description of the report – they have been caught out lying and rather than be honest and admit this they continue to lie.

    But, No, my feeling of vindication remains after checking the collusion aspect of the report.

    As for the rest, my impression so far is that there is an unquestioning acceptance of the “conclusions” of the evidence-free January 6 Intelligence report znc the media/political assertions about the activity of the NRA. I think that is circular and disgusting – but it is the way the media and political system of the US works.

    Like

  23. Notably, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), also question the unsupported claims of the Mueller report re interference and have written to the president about it.

    See VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal to Interview Assange

    Like

  24. https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

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  25. David Fierstien

    Ken, I said, “I would be very interested in your current state of vindication.’

    And you responded, “No, my feeling of vindication remains after checking the collusion aspect of the report.”

    Thank you. You did respond directly to my question. Aside from the fact that there was no “collusion aspect of the report,” I understand the meaning of your answer. The word “collusion” was never used in the report, but I take your comment to mean “Volume I” which was an investigation into the Russian interference into the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

    But you feel vindicated, after checking Volume I, that no criminal conspiracy occurred between the Trump campaign and Russian actors, or the Russian government itself.

    That is odd for a few reasons. First, the only party who gets off the hook in a “no collusion” narrative is Trump. The report is clear that Russia interfered in the election. We already knew that when Mueller released his first Indictment several months ago.

    It takes two parties to conspire, or “collude.” In this case we are talking about the Trump campaign and Russia. In your interpretation of the Report only one party is guilty . . that would be Russia. They interfered. That’s clearly written in the Report.

    In your reading of the Report, from which you feel vindication, Trump is innocent. He didn’t conspire. Russia still did it. You feel vindication. That is odd. It seems you have an untapped love for Trump.

    The second strange thing about your answer is that the Report talks about a cornucopia of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia in that election.

    For example, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort instructed his deputy, Rick Gates to, “provide Kilimnik with updates on the Trump campaign—including internal polling data.” The Report goes on to say, “Manafort expected Kilimnik to share that information with others in Ukraine and with Deripaska. Gates periodically sent such polling data to Kilimnik during the campaign.”

    So, when you say that you checked the collusion aspect of the report and you felt vindication because no collusion occurred, I can only assume we are talking about two different reports.

    Which report are you talking about?

    Like

  26. David Fierstien

    I stand corrected. The word “collusion” does appear in the Report. It is used to identify the lens they are not looking through.

    “In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.”

    So, “collusion” does appear. He needed to use that word to say what he wasn’t looking for.

    My bad.

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  27. David, this is pathetic. The Manchurian candidate has been a central theme in the corporate media conspiracy theory. It has been blown out of the water. And now you attempt to confuse the issue.

    Come off it – you are behaving like the typical anti-fluoride nutter with these sort of diversionary arguments

    Like

  28. David Fierstien

    Ken,

    1.) I don’t know what you mean by “Manchurian candidate.” I have never used that phrase. Please refrain from putting words in my mouth.

    2.) What media conspiracy theory has been blown out of the water? My comment, to which you were responding, had nothing to do with this sinister “corporate media” that you enjoy attacking as though you were Don Quixote. I was discussing the Mueller Report.

    Again, please refrain from putting words in my mouth.

    3.) I simply see it as odd that you, a pro-Russian blogger, would find any vindication in the Mueller Report, which was literally an indictment of the Russian government and Russian actors. And that is what I said in my last comment. It is you who is throwing around diversionary arguments in order to avoid facing that observation.

    Like

  29. Bill Osmunson

    Ken,
    The logical evaluation of evidence is at stake.

    If our sources of information are filtered, our conclusions are suspect. For example if your sources of information are pro Trump or pro Fluoride, then you will support them.

    When reviewing evidence, all evidence must be considered. For example, CDC threw NHANES under the bus claiming the increases in dental fluorosis are “not biologically plausible.” CDC will do anything and throw away evidence, discount the evidence and change the subject in order to protect policy and their reputation. The degree of increase of dental fluorosis is one aspect, but the fundamental issue (subject) is “too many are ingesting too much fluoride.” Exactly how much too much is an individual issue, and secondly a population public health issue.

    With Trump, Mueller and Russia, I don’t know of any intelligence agency which claims Russia did not attempt to alter the USA election. Many Russians have been indited? Trump people were in contact with the Russians over 100 times. How many times were the Trump people in contact with, for example, New Zealand or Australian people during the campaign?

    Mueller did not follow the money and Trump is highly influenced by money. Money is Trump’s king and god. Following the money should still come. Bank records, tax records, it should all come out in time. Trump wanted to build Trump towers in Moscow. And if Trump is so squeaky clean as a “public servant” with America’s interest first, what is he hiding?

    The long arm of the law is long, but justice is slow. Mueller did not not feel he had authority to indite the President, Congress has that authority.

    Joe Biden has my perspective,’

    “America is an idea. Based on a founding principle that all men are created equal.

    It’s an idea that’s stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, and more powerful than any dictator.

    It gives hope to the most desperate people on Earth. It instills in every single person in this country the belief that no matter where they start in life, there’s nothing they can’t achieve if they work at it.

    Today, that idea is under attack.

    We’ve got a president who assigns a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.

    A president who, like most charlatans and demagogues throughout history, seeks only to aggrandize himself, to consolidate his own power — by blaming the “other.” . . .

    Our core values, our very standing in the world, our democracy, and everything that makes us who we are is at stake.”

    Ken, you have failed to cautiously and carefully consider all the evidence.

    Like

  30. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson,

    While I have your attention, in this comment you said, “Instead of empirical evidence, you resort to calling me names, because you do not have prospective RCT evidence for dosage of fluoride, efficacy, or safety.”
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/getting-out-alive-why-we-should-always-demand-evidence/#comment-125570

    And I said, “Please, Dr. Bill, Explain to us all, so the whole world can see, How would you undertake an RCT for water fluoridation in the United States of America?” https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/getting-out-alive-why-we-should-always-demand-evidence/#comment-125575

    I never did get your professional, expert advise on that, did I. AND I’VE ASKED YOU 4 TIMES NOW!!! Care to answer the question now

    Like

  31. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    And David, I have responded 4 times before and this is the 5th. I’m tired of answering because you do not read my responses.

    If you are actually listening, I will respond. Just confirm you are listening.

    Bill

    Like

  32. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    David,

    Part of my response is the question, concept of why are you in favor of giving everyone a product without their consent which does not have quality research.

    Seriously, if you claim RCT studies are not possible, certainly you should also agree that forcing everyone to ingest even more fluoride without their consent and without quality research is a serious violation of their constitutional rights.

    The Courts have given my Public Health profession police powers. We can quarantine and mass medicate individuals to protect the public. However, the Courts have also put restrictions. Only in the case of highly contagious and lethal diseases can people be forced without their consent.

    Dental caries is not highly contagious nor highly lethal.
    And fluoride can be ingested from other sources than water.
    And too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Water fluoridation does not control the dosage.

    Part of my answer includes fluoridated bottled water as an option or fluoride supplements. At least with supplements the dosage would be controlled. It would be most helpful to control dosage. Because people drink different amounts of water, dosage is not controlled.

    And bottled water could be distributed to individuals randomly and they could be followed.

    And there is more, but you have not listened before so I doubt you are reading this. I’ll add more if you are reading.

    Like

  33. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill,

    To be clear, Fluoridated Bottled Water is how you would undertake the RCT that you have been calling for. Is that correct?

    Like

  34. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill,

    You have said, “If you are actually listening, I will respond. Just confirm you are listening.”

    Response: I am reading what you have written. 90% of your long-winded answer, above, has nothing to do with the RCT that you have endlessly called for, have asked why it hasn’t been undertaken, . . and has nothing to do with an answer to the question of how such a study should be undertaken.

    I just want to be clear about the tiny answer you have lodged in your unnecessarily long response. Are you saying you would use bottled water as a substitute for community water fluoridation in an RCT? Is that correct?

    Like

  35. David Fierstien

    By the way, Bill, you are lying. “I have responded 4 times before and this is the 5th”

    Response: Please provide the timestamped links to any 2 of those 4 previous responses. A failure to do so will be tantamount to a clear admission that you are lying.

    Like

  36. Bill

    1. As you should well know, in regard to water fluoridation, no one is given any product without their consent. Fluoridation involves a decision by appropriate local officials to adjust existing mineral content of public water supplies under their jurisdiction. Anyone who desires not to consume or utilize that water is entirely free to to do that. Just as the officials require no special consent to adjust that content, no one requires “consent” to decide what water they will consume. It’s a simple concept.

    2. The volumes of quality, peer-reviewed scientific research on fluoridation can be accessed with a modicum of effort. You should take the time and exert the effort to do so prior to making inexplicable claims that it does not exist.

    3. There are obviously no “constitutional rights” violated by a decision to adjust the level of existing minerals in public drinking water supplies.

    4. Untreated dental decay can, indeed, be highly lethal. If you care to belabor this point, just research the effects of brain abscesses, necrotizing fasciitis, atherosclerosis, and bacterial endocarditis.

    5. The EPA and DHHS mandates and recommendations for fluoride concentration in water take into account fluoride intake from all other normal sources of such intake. In spite of the apparent belief of antifluoridationists to the contrary, fluoride intake from all sources had been considered by healthcare professionals, regulatory agencies, and other appropriate officials long before it occurred to antifluoridationists.

    6. As is known to those with basic understanding of fluoridation, the intake of fluoride from optimally fluoridated water is very strictly controlled, at a level far below that from non-fluoridated systems. While the maximum fluoride intake from optimally fluoridated water is 0.7 mg per each liter of such water consumed, the maximum intake from non-fluoridated systems can be as much as 4.0 mg per each liter of such water consumed. If antifluoridationists would properly research this issue, they might begin to understand that their argument of “uncontrolled intake” applies to the non-fluoridated systems for which they irresponsibly advocate.

    In addition, when the maximum amount of a substance which can be ingested falls below the threshold of adverse effects of that substance, then dose is not an issue in regard to adverse effects. Prior to attaining the threshold of adverse effects of fluoride from optimally fluoridated water in conjunction with that from all other normal sources of fluoride intake, water toxicity would be the concern, not fluoride. This is true not only for fluoride, but for chlorine, ammonia, and the myriad other substances routinely added to water supplies.

    7. Bottled water could be distributed randomly? This is your idea for an RCT? So……how do you control the fluoride intake from all those other sources about which you are so concerned? Seems you haven’t thought this out very well.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  37. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Steve,

    1. My first reaction to your claim that fluoridated water is not given to me without my consent is complete astonishment. Are you saying that just because some government official does it, means I have given my consent? You make no sense. I do not give my consent to ingest fluoride or fluoridated water.

    Or are you saying that I can by choice avoid drinking the fluoridated water? Again, you make no sense. Public water is used to make beverages, process foods, and cannot be avoided. Fluoridationists use the word “halo” to describe the “benefits.” And the same “halo” is for risks and exposure. Fluoridated water cannot be avoided and I do not give my consent to be given, forced to consume fluoridated water.

    And fluoridation is with the intent to prevent disease, defined as a drug. Ingestion of fluoride has not gone through the drug regulatory process. You use the word, “adjusted.” And the intent of adjusting is for health care purposes, not to treat the water but to treat me.

    Steve, you use the excuse that fluoride is a “mineral” and the concentration of the mineral is being adjusted. Sort of like arsenic in water. If we adjust the concentration of arsenic or lithium up, that would be just fine with you, but not fine with me or the law. All state and federal laws define fluoride as highly toxic, very lethal, so lethal that fluoride fits within the definition of “poison.” If you want to read the laws, look up the definition of poisons and highly toxic substances. Fluoride added to water is a poison under poison laws or exempt as a poison if regulated under drug laws.

    2. You want to make me angry, don’t you. I never said research on fluoride does not exist. You are either not a scientist or intentionally twisting my words. Scientists demand high quality studies, there are none for fluoridation. I asked for RCT studies. A simple question and any scientist would understand. Tradition, endorsements, and low quality studies are not RCT studies. . . in case you did not know.

    3. Yes, adding a poison to water (or drug if your intent is to treat/prevent disease in humans) is a violation of all state and Federal laws and the Constitution. Come on, Steve. You cannot be so simple or illogical as to think that we can add any “mineral” no matter how dangerous to everyone without their consent. You defy any concept of morality. Why has most of the developed countries of the world rejected fluoridation? Several on moral and ethical grounds.

    4. Show me a death certificate with the cause of death listed as dental caries. I would agree that infections resulting from untreated caries can be lethal, not “highly lethal” involving hundreds or thousands of people. Dentistry is elective treatment. Public Health tends to lose perspective on how bad a disease is versus how bad is the treatment. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? And if I choose to refuse a treatment and die, that is my choice. If the disease is highly contagious and I infect others, then Public Health needs to step in and prevent the spread with reasoned prevention.

    5. You claim that EPA and HHS take into account all sources. Really? Show your evidence that the intake is within their recommended dosages. Perhaps you should read the EPA’s 2010 “Dose Response Analysis” and “Relative Source Contribution” for fluoride. Based on the EPA’s analysis, most children exceed the RfD (EPA’s safe dose) of fluoride. And the EPA does not include infants on formula, nor do they include the 10% of people drinking the most water.

    6. I would agree with you the concentration of fluoride in or added to water is generally controlled, some serious errors but few. You fail to understand, not everyone drinks the same amount of water. Therefore, dosage is not controlled.

    The NRC 2006 agreed severe dental fluorosis is an adverse health risk. What percentage of the population being harmed is acceptable to you? How many people harmed can be ignored. . . especially when the benefit is in question, without RCT studies.

    I agree, other substances can be added to water for the treatment of water. The Safe Drinking Water Act does not permit the addition of any substance with the intent to treat humans or animals. Perhaps you can consider why fluoride is added to water. What is the purpose? Clearly, the only reason fluoride is added is to treat humans, not water.

    7. OK Steve, on your seventh point you are starting to think. Although your logic is one of “would be so difficult, why even try to do a quality study,” we should more carefully consider an RCT study.

    a. All medications for FDA approval require RCT studies, and even those are sometimes faulty, but the best we have. So you have to admit, a RCT study of a medication is possible because they have been done on all the other drugs. Don’t say something is impossible when it has been done many many times in the past and will continue to be required in the future.

    b. Pills, bottled water, or bulk water trucked to areas can be used. Don’t be a lazy scientist trying to support a bad policy by saying “it can’t be done.” Of course an RCT study of fluoride ingestion can be done.

    c. You raise an excellent question, there are so many sources of fluoride, total fluoride cannot be controlled. But this excuse flies in the face of your point on #6 that the concentration of fluoride in fluoridated water is carefully controlled, implying dosage is controlled. You can’t argue dosage is controlled in water and argue that research can’t be done because dosage can’t be controlled. Come on Steve, which way do you want it?

    d. What about actually measuring fluoride urine and/or serum concentrations as part of the study? Adds another level of evidence. Everyone in the study can have their urine periodically checked and their teeth checked and their diet reviewed. Goodness, if we went to the moon, we can measure caries and fluoride.

    Lack of measured evidence of fluoride exposure, risks and/or benefits with prospective RCT studies should be considered one of Public Health’s greatest blunders.

    Like

  38. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    The only reason not to do RCT studies is the fear the study will not support fluoridation. In fact, RCT studies have probably been done, never published, because they do not support either efficacy or safety.

    The protection of fluoridation is more important than the protection of people.

    Like

  39. David Fierstien

    Bill, regarding your proposed RCT for community water fluoridation, this is your proposal: “b. Pills, bottled water, or bulk water trucked to areas can be used.” End Quote.

    Ok, first you’ve said bottled water could be substituted for water fluoridation from the tap, now you’ve added Pills or Bulk Water trucked to areas.

    1.) BULK TRUCKED WATER would be an illegal randomly controlled trial in the United States. As you know, the Safe Drinking Water Act requires that all consumers of drinking water in a distribution system must receive an annual report which include analytical results regarding the quality of their water. In other words, people must be informed what is in their water.

    See Subpart O Consumer Confidence Reports 141.151 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-05/documents/regulations_changesto_july12005.pdf

    But you want to bypass the law by using “bulk trucked water” to individual homes . . Is that correct? How exactly does that work?

    Since Community Water Fluoridation is being examined, all conditions of water fluoridation must be duplicated exactly. Tap, shower, and bath water must be under pressure so that they come out of faucets exactly as if the home were part of a fluoridated distribution system. So how does that work?

    Or does a truck full of water station itself outside of each individual home in the study?

    Does each home have its own elevated reservoir that trucks fill on a daily basis? If so, how much would that cost for 200-300 homes? Does each home have a storage tank with a pressurized bladder connected to each house? If so, who supplies the tanks? Who is fluoridating the water? This RCT would include how many homes? How many trucks and drivers would it take to make sure all of these homes have sufficient water on a daily basis.

    If you want to look at at least 100 fluoridated & 100 non fluoridated for an extremely small study, how many trucks, how many drivers. The average person uses 80-100 gallons per day. In a 4 person household, that’s 400 gallons per day. How much is transportation of all this water going to cost?

    Please explain in full detail how such a study would be undertaken. On the surface it seems infeasible. But perhaps you have the talent to bullshit your way past these logistical problems. I’m all ears.

    2.) PILLS. Pills are not community water fluoridation. Your dear friend, “Carrie Anne,” also knows as Karen Spencer, says she gets a bad skin reaction when she bathes in fluoridated water. How would pills duplicate what she claims is going on there? On the other hand, if there is some benefit to washing your face with water containing 0.7 ppm F, how would we know that with pills?

    If you are setting up a RCT for Community Water Fluoridation, all conditions must duplicate CWF exactly, otherwise it’s a non-starter. Even I am surprised at your ignorant suggestion. (No I’m not . . not really.)

    3.) BOTTLED WATER. Again, this is not CWF, unless each household in your RCT has its own elevated reservoir or bladder tank and you fill each with bottled fluoridated or non fluoridated water. All conditions must be the same as CWF, otherwise you’ve proven nothing.

    The only feasible RCT for CWF would be looking at a fluoridated & a non fluoridated community, each with its own distribution system, and not tell them what they’re drinking. But that’s illegal.

    So please, Dr. Bill, explain to us all in detail how you would undertake such a study. To simply say, “pills,” “Bulk Truck Water,” is not an answer. It’s a joke.

    To quote you, ” Don’t be a lazy scientist.” Explain your proposed methodology. I’d love to read all about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Bill……sigh, I do get weary of explaining elementary facts and concepts about fluoridation to you. However, I’m bored, with nothing else to do right now, so…..

    1. a) Obviously, No “government official”, or anyone else, gives you anything in regard to water fluoridation. There is therefore no “consent” required. Now, if you’re saying that you never developed the skill to decline to ingest food or drink you choose not to ingest, I suggest you watch a one year old at mealtime. You should quickly get the hang of it.

    I’m not sure what amazes me more….that antifluoridationists continue to attempt the ridiculous argument that they are somehow being forced to ingest something against their will, or that they admit in public that they seem never to have learned an elementary skill that most of the rest of us learn in infancy. I honestly would be embarrassed to admit that in public or private.

    b) There are no adverse “risks” involved in consuming optimally fluoridated water. There are only benefits.

    c) There are no drugs involved in water fluoridation. There are simply fluoride ions, identical to those which already exist in water.

    d) If the concentration of arsenic, fluoride, or any other naturally occurring substance in water is adjusted to a level which does not exceed EPA maximum allowable levels, then yes, that would be fine with me. Optimally fluoridated water is adjusted to a concentration of 0.7 parts per million, less than than one fifth the EPA maximum allowable level. The EPA mandated maximum allowable level of arsenic in drinking water at the tap is 1.0 parts per billion. Any adjustment that does not exceed that level is fine with me. Neither does the “law” have any problem with this.

    e) Given that there is no substance known to man which is not toxic, including plain water, “all state and federal laws” regulating toxicity levels are in consideration of concentration level of any given substance. There are no “federal and state laws” which define optimal level fluoride as being poison. Seems that you are the one who needs to read the laws.

    2. a) I couldn’t care less whether you are angry or not. I simply state facts and evidence. If that makes you angry, that’s your problem, not mine. To me, it seems obvious from your irrational commenting that you are more frustrated than angry…..but again, that’s not my concern.

    b) I’ve not “twisted” any of your words. Perhaps you don’t realize that your comments are still visible on this page. A simple look at your previous comment shows that you stated “….giving everyone a product without their consent which does not have quality research.”

    As you have been ranting about fluoride, I assumed by “product” you meant fluoride. I simply corrected your statement that there is “no quality research” on fluoride by stating “The volumes of quality, peer-reviewed scientific research on fluoridation can be accessed with a modicum of effort.“

    See? Your words were not “twisted” in the least….well, I mean unless fluoride was not the substance to which you referred. In that case, just let me know what substance you believe has “no quality research”, and I’ll be glad to reassess in regard to that substance

    c) Well, while I do know that “Tradition, endorsements” , whatever that may mean, are not RCT studies, there can certainly be low quality studies which are RCTs……your poorly thought-out idea of “Pills, bottled water, or bulk water trucked to areas” being a prime example.

    3. a) As long as adding fluoride ions to water does not cause the concentration of those ions to exceed EPA mandated maximum allowable levels, doing so does not violate any “state and Federal laws and the Constitution”….much less “all” of them and the Constitution.

    b) The reasons why other countries have chosen not to fluoridate their water systems are myriad, few, if any, related to “moral and ethical grounds”. These reasons include such things as logistics of existing water systems rendering fluoridation cost-prohibitive, utilization of salt and/or milk fluoridation programs in lieu of water fluoridation, existing fluoride levels in water already at, or above, the optimal level, and equal access to comprehensive dental care by all citizens of a given population

    4. Well, I don’t really keep a collection of death certificates on hand, but, I assume you realize that cause of death is frequently listed as being a result of complications of some disorder or another. Fatal brain abscesses occurring directly from untreated bacterial infection of the teeth, fatal necrotizing fasciitis occurring directly from untreated bacterial infection of the teeth, atherosclerosis and bacterial endocarditis sourced back to periodontal disease initiated, or worsened, by untreated bacterial infection of the teeth……..are all complications of untreated dental caries.

    That you view the prevention of a disease well-documented to have caused death, and/or lifetimes of a multitude of devastating dental and medical conditions, to be a benefit somehow outweighed by some unsubstantiated, phantom risks, is bizarre…..but that’s your prerogative, I suppose.

    5. For every one liter of optimally fluoridated water consumed, 0.7 mg of fluoride is ingested. The CDC has estimated that of total fluoride intake from all sources, 75% is from water and beverages. The National Academy of Medicine has established that for everyone over the age of 8 years, the daily upper limit of fluoride intake before adverse effects is 10 mg. A simple math equation will quickly demonstrate that before this daily upper limit will be exceeded from optimally fluoridated water in conjunction with all other normal sources of fluoride intake, water toxicity will be the concern, not fluoride.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

    http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2019/DRI-Tables-2019/4_TUILVVE.pdf?la=en

    While the NAM daily upper limit of fluoride intake for those 0-8 years is considerably less, the only effect of exceeding this from optimally fluoridated water in conjunction with all other normal sources of fluoride intake, may be mild dental fluorosis during those teeth-developing years. Mild dental fluorosis is a barely detectable effect which causes no adversity on cosmetics, form, function, or health of teeth. As peer-reviewed science has demonstrated mildly fluorosed teeth to be more decay resistant, many consider this effect to not even be undesirable, much less adverse.

    The EPA requirements are set in consideration of all members of the population. This includes “infants on formula” as well as “the 10% of people drinking the most water.”

    6. a) The concentration of fluoride in optimally fluoridated water is not “generally controlled”. It is very strictly controlled at the level of 0.7 ppm. Fluoride in non-fluoridated systems, on the other hand, is controlled only by a maximum allowable level of 4.0 ppm.

    It never ceases to amaze me that antifluoridationists fail to understand that the non-fluoridation for which they so doggedly advocate is actually more “uncontrolled” than the fluoridated systems they oppose. This is the danger of activists who refuse to properly educate themselves on a public health issue before disseminating ignorant nonsense.

    b) Yes, “the NRC 2006 agreed severe dental fluorosis is an adverse health risk”. However, as also noted by this committee on page 114 of its report, severe dental fluorosis does not occur in communities with a water fluoride content below 2.0 ppm. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, one third this level. Given that the fluoride in the non-fluoridated systems for which you advocate can be as high as 4.0 ppm without violating any law, you are the one advocating for a much greater risk of severe dental fluorosis, not I. Again, this is the danger of activists who refuse to properly educate themselves on a public health issue before disseminating ignorant nonsense.

    c) Your claim that “The Safe Drinking Water Act does not permit the addition of any substance with the intent to treat humans or animals.” is patently false. The SWDA prohibits any national regulations mandating addition to water of any substance for preventive healthcare purposes. It does not prohibit any local or state decisions to do so. Water fluoridation is decided at the local and state level, not the federal.

    “ No national primary drinking water regulation may require the addition of any substance for preventive health care purposes unrelated to contamination of drinking water.”

    —-National Drinking Water Regulations
    300g-1 (b) (11)

    7. a) That RCTs are not feasible for large population-based public initiatives such as water fluoridation is not my “logic”.

    “However, there has been much debate around the appropriateness of GRADE when applied to public health interventions, particularly for re- search questions where evidence from randomised controlled trials is never going to be available due to the unfeasibility of conducting such trials. Community water fluoridation is one such area.”

    —Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries (Review)
    Copyright © 2015 The Cochrane Collaboration.

    “However, studying the effects of water fluoridation poses problems for the use of the randomised controlled trial design. Water fluoridation affects population groups and it is thus difficult to randomly assign individuals to receive either fluoridated or non-fluoridated water. An alternative would be to randomise communities to fluoridated or non-fluoridated water”

    A Systematic Review of Public Water Fluoridation
    Marian McDonagh, et al.
    NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York Dental Public Health Unit, The Dental School, University of Wales, Cardiff University of Leicester, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
    September 2000

    These opinions of York and Cochrane are demonstrated in your own inability to create any feasible RCT design for fluoridation.

    b) There is no medication involved in water fluoridation. Therefore, your claims about FDA approval of medications, RCTs for medications, etc. etc, etc….. are of no relevance to this issue.

    There are probably countless online forums on medications if that’s the issue you wish to discuss.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  41. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    No scientist gets “bored.” We always what to know what we don’t know. We keep looking, testing, considering, evaluating, researching. We know there is too much we don’t know. Too many unanswered questions to be bored.

    Lets talk about fluoride as a drug/mineral/poison, which you, Steve, want to have regulated as a mineral and I want regulated as a drug rather than poison.

    I live in Washington State, so I will use our laws. From my search, all states have similar laws but not exactly the same and most follow Federal law. https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.41.010

    Quoting:
    “(10) “Drug” means:

    (a) Substances recognized as drugs in the official United States pharmacopoeia, official homeopathic pharmacopoeia of the United States, or official national formulary, or any supplement to any of them;”

    (Bill’s comment, Note: sodium fluoride is listed in all those as a drug)

    “(b) Substances intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in human beings or animals;”

    (Bill’s comment, Note: fluoride is intentionally ingested with the intent to mitigate or prevent dental caries, a disease)

    “(c) Substances (other than food, minerals or vitamins) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of human beings or animals; and”

    (Bill’s comment, Note: Fluoride is a substance intended to affect the structure of teeth. However, if this were the only part of the law, fluoride could be exempt as a mineral.)

    “(d) Substances intended for use as a component of any article specified in (a), (b), or (c) of this subsection. It does not include devices or their components, parts, or accessories.”

    Is fluoride exempt from drug status under (c) as a mineral? I say “no” because fluoride is specifically listed as a drug in the US pharmacopoeia. And the FDA regulates fluoride as a drug when added to toothpaste or supplements.

    And if fluoride is not regulated as a drug, it must be regulated as a poison.

    If fluoride is not regulated as a drug, we need to look at the laws on toxicity.

    Go to: https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.38.010

    “RCW 69.38.010
    “Poison” defined.
    As used in this chapter “poison” means:
    (1) Arsenic and its preparations;
    (2) Cyanide and its preparations, including hydrocyanic acid;
    (3) Strychnine; and
    (4) Any other substance designated by the pharmacy quality assurance commission which, when introduced into the human body in quantities of sixty grains or less, causes violent sickness or death.”

    Next question is how many milligrams is 60 grains? 3,888 milligrams.

    How many milligrams of fluoride does it take to cause violent sickness or death? Of course there are no good studies causing death and we must rely on estimates and animal studies. Whitford suggests 5 F/kg.

    ““This does not imply that this dose must result in death nor that a somewhat smaller dose would be innocuous. It does mean that even if it is only suspected that 5 mg F/kg has been ingested, it should be assumed that an emergency exists and that immediate treatment and hospitalization are required.” (emphasis in original).”
    SOURCE: Whitford GM. (1990). The physiological and toxicological characteristics of fluoride. Journal of Dental Research 69(Spec Issue):539-49.

    For a 10 kg child, 50 mg. Steve, you must consider, is 50 mg less than 3,888 mg. if so, then fluoride fits within the definition of Washington States definition of poison.

    How much would a person have to weigh in order for fluoride to NOT be a poison? Over 1,500 pounds. . . .

    Oregon law is slightly different and defines a poison based on how much is needed to kill a rabbit. And poisons are exempt when regulated as drugs or pesticides.

    Without question, fluoride is highly toxic and when used to prevent a disease must be regulated under drug laws and not mineral/poison laws.

    If you insist that fluoride is to be regulated as a mineral rather than a drug, then you are promoting the poisoning of water which has severe penalties.

    Steve, I hope I did not bore you with laws. They are quite exciting.

    Like

  42. Bill,

    Want whatever you wish. However, the facts will not change because of your wants:

    1. There are no drugs involved in water fluoridation. There are simply fluoride ions, identical to those which have always existed in water.

    2. There is no substance known to man which is not poison at improper concentrations, including plain water. Therefore concentration is the determining factor. Given this:

    a) There is no valid scientific evidence of any toxicity of fluoride at the optimal level at which water is fluoridated.

    b) There are no laws regulating optimal level fluoride as a poison.

    3. I don’t “insist” that fluoride be regulated as anything, nor would it matter if I did. The fact is that the EPA regulates the contents of drinking water supplies. This includes fluoride.

    Hope I didn’t bore you with the facts, Bill. They are quite exciting when you actually pay attention to them.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Steve,

    Please read this. You will not be bored.

    You might suggest that adjusting the fluoride ion concentration in toothpaste does not make it a drug, but the FDA disagrees and has approved fluoridated toothpaste as a drug.

    Intended Use. Think intended use. What is the health claim of the product?

    A good FDA web page to read, very easy reading, is at https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetics-laws-regulations/it-cosmetic-drug-or-both-or-it-soap

    FDA explains:

    “Is it a cosmetic or is it a Drug

    ” . . . The FD&C Act defines drugs, in part, by their intended use, as “articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)]. . . .

    “How is a product’s intended use established?

    “Intended use may be established in a number of ways. The following are some examples:

    “Claims stated on the product labeling, in advertising, on the Internet, or in other promotional materials. Certain claims may cause a product to be considered a drug, even if the product is marketed as if it were a cosmetic. Such claims establish the product as a drug because the intended use is to treat or prevent disease or otherwise affect the structure or functions of the human body. Some examples are claims that products will restore hair growth, reduce cellulite, treat varicose veins, increase or decrease the production of melanin (pigment) in the skin, or regenerate cells.
    Consumer perception, which may be established through the product’s reputation. This means asking why the consumer is buying it and what the consumer expects it to do.

    “Ingredients that cause a product to be considered a drug because they have a well-known (to the public and industry) therapeutic use. An example is fluoride in toothpaste.

    “This principle also holds true for “essential oils.” For example, a fragrance marketed for promoting attractiveness is a cosmetic. But a fragrance marketed with certain “aromatherapy” claims, such as assertions that the scent will help the consumer sleep or quit smoking, meets the definition of a drug because of its intended use. Similarly, a massage oil that is simply intended to lubricate the skin and impart fragrance is a cosmetic, but if the product is intended for a therapeutic use, such as relieving muscle pain, it’s a drug.”

    Steve, the FDA defines a drug based on intended use, claim, not whether it is an ion or compound or placebo or anything else.

    The intended use of fluoride added to public water is well known, the intended use, addition, is with the intent to prevent dental caries. Makes no difference whether it works or not, the intended use defines it as a drug.

    Like

  44. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill,

    I see that you have chosen not to defend your ludicrous proposals for conducting a RCT. Does this mean you are finally admitting that it is not feasible, which means we won’t be hearing anything more about this from you?

    Like

  45. Steve Slott

    Bill, again, you are entitled to want whatever you please. Your wants, however, do not change the facts:

    1. The FDA regulates contents of retail consumer products.

    2. The EPA regulates the contents of drinking water supplies.

    3. The EPA does not classify fluoride ions in water under its jurisdiction as being drugs. They are simply fluoride ions, identical to those which have always existed in water.

    Given these facts, it is clear that FDA regulations have no relevance to optimally fluoridated water. Such water is entirely under the jurisdiction of the EPA. I imagine there are online forums regarding the FDA, in which you can engage others with an interest in that area. In this chain, however, I’ll be glad to continue educating you on fluoridation, but let’s stick to that which is relevant to this issue. Okay?

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  46. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    David,
    What you are implying is that randomized controlled trials on fluoride are impossible. Just can’t be done for fluoride pills, fluoride added to bottled water or fluoride added to public water.

    If you really believe that, then we should stop fluoridation of public water immediately. Giving everyone a highly toxic substance in even small quantities when we can’t do efficacy or safety testing is a criminal act.

    And you have no right to say fluoridation is effective or safe when no quality studies have been done.

    When people say it can’t be done, well, they have their heads buried in tradition. Stand back, get out of the way, someone will do it.

    Like

  47. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    Steve,
    You and I are entitled to our opinions, but you are not entitled to forcing me to ingest a highly toxic substance which will not do you or me any good.

    Now lets look at your post and review the references you provide to support your opinions.

    Blank, none. Nothing.

    Steve, you make wild claims that
    “1. The FDA regulates contents of retail consumer products.”
    What is your reference? FDA regulates the marketing of drugs (and foods).
    Using your words, “consumer products,” certainly you should agree public water is a product consumed. But you are correct, EPA regulates public water.

    Steve, suppose, hypothetically, I take a drug such as heroin or Viagra and dilute the drug in public water, does the act of me diluting it in public water make it under the jurisdiction of the EPA? And if the drug is found in public water and I simply adjust the concentration of the drug, marketing the product with a claim of preventing disease, does that mean the EPA has jurisdiction?

    Steve, you are correct and we agree, (public water not bottled water):
    “2. The EPA regulates the contents of drinking water supplies.”

    Steve, we also agree:
    “3. The EPA does not classify fluoride ions in water under its jurisdiction as being drugs. They are simply fluoride ions, identical to those which have always existed in water.”

    In fact, EPA is prohibited by the Safe Drinking Water Act from adding anything to public water with the intent to treat humans or animals. EPA advises those who choose to add fluoride to water, but does not approve or advise people whether or not to fluoridate.

    Steve, you sarcastically add: “Given these facts, it is clear that FDA regulations have no relevance to optimally fluoridated water. Such water is entirely under the jurisdiction of the EPA. I imagine there are online forums regarding the FDA, in which you can engage others with an interest in that area. In this chain, however, I’ll be glad to continue educating you on fluoridation, but let’s stick to that which is relevant to this issue. Okay?”

    Steve, please provide references, laws, government advisories, studies or whatever, that you use to support your so called “facts.” Or are you god and we are to all blindly believe you as having perfect knowledge? (My little sarcastic response.)

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  48. Steve Slott

    Bill:

    1. I don’t force you to do anything.

    2. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration works tirelessly to protect the public health. FDA ensures the safety and effectiveness of more than $2.5 trillion worth of products used by consumers.”

    https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/fda-basics/what-fdas-budget-and-what-its-impact

    “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates aspects of drinking water. EPA develops national standards for drinking water from municipal water supplies (tap water) to limit the levels of impurities.”

    https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/fda-basics/what-does-fda-regulate

    “SDWA authorizes the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to set national health-based standards for drinking water to protect against both naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants that may be found in drinking water. US EPA, states, and water systems then work together to make sure that these standards are met.”

    https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-04/documents/epa816f04030.pdf

    3. If you are personally polluting a public water supply with drugs, you will be subject to legal action by appropriate authorities.

    4. If you personally adjust the concentration level of the contents of a public water supply, in the absence of legal authorization to do so, you will be subject to legal action by appropriate authorities.

    5. Yes, “the EPA is prohibited by the Safe Drinking Water Act from adding anything to public water with the intent to treat humans or animals. EPA advises those who choose to add fluoride to water, but does not approve or advise people whether or not to fluoridate.”

    Your point?

    6. There was no sarcasm in my previous reply.

    7. I am not “god”.

    8. Whom, or what, you choose to “blindly believe” is up to you and of no concern to me. I simply provide facts and evidence to counter the false claims, misleading, and misinformation you post.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  49. David Fierstien

    Billo writes: “In fact, EPA is prohibited by the Safe Drinking Water Act from adding anything to public water with the intent to treat humans or animals.”

    Response: It’s official. You are either an unashamed blatant liar, or you are just nuts. You have been corrected on this ad nauseam. Either you have no regard for reality, or you’re not in touch with it.

    It doesn’t really matter which.

    Like

  50. David Fierstien

    Steven Slott writes:

    5. Yes, “the EPA is prohibited by the Safe Drinking Water Act from adding anything to public water with the intent to treat humans or animals. EPA advises those who choose to add fluoride to water, but does not approve or advise people whether or not to fluoridate.”

    Response: Billo did something interesting here that I didn’t catch, but I would have to say that is still wrong. The EPA doesn’t do it, but that doesn’t mean they are “prohibited” from doing it. It’s simply not their job.

    That would be like me saying the FBI is prohibited from putting out fires. There is nothing in writing which “prohibits” the EPA from fluoridating water . . EPA certainly oversees the program in the U.S. . . But why would they? Who would do it? There’s no logistical program in place for the EPA to do it.

    EPA can’t mandate that it be done on a national level, but I don’t think that means that a local government couldn’t hypothetically turn its water fluoridation program over to some sub-organization within the EPA, the work being done contracted by the local municipality & the EPA being responsible.

    Maybe I’m over-thinking billo’s little misleading, deceptive comment. Bottom line, EPA isn’t prohibited from fluoridating water. To quote billo-the-clown, “please provide references, laws, government advisories, studies or whatever, that you use to support your so called “facts.” Or are you god and we are to all blindly believe you as having perfect knowledge?”

    Yes, billo, please provide a reference supporting your claim that EPA is prohibited from anything of the kind.

    Like

  51. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson, sorry I missed this, I would have responded sooner.

    “David,
    What you are implying is that randomized controlled trials on fluoride are impossible. Just can’t be done for fluoride pills, fluoride added to bottled water or fluoride added to public water.

    If you really believe that, then we should stop fluoridation of public water immediately. Giving everyone a highly toxic substance in even small quantities when we can’t do efficacy or safety testing is a criminal act.

    And you have no right to say fluoridation is effective or safe when no quality studies have been done.

    When people say it can’t be done, well, they have their heads buried in tradition. Stand back, get out of the way, someone will do it.”

    Response: To be clear, your 3 suggestions for undertaking an RCT were either irrelevant to CWF, or they were not feasible. Pills are irrelevant to CWF. Bottled water is irrelevant to CWF. Trucked water is not feasible. You have not defended your ludicrous proposals.

    So now you’ve gone on to another flight of fancy.

    Optimally fluoridated water, as seen in CWF is not a drug. No U.S. Federal Health Agency considers water with 0.7 ppm F a drug. If I’m wrong, please show me where the FDA, the USDPH, the EPA, or any other federal agency considers optimally fluoridated water to be a drug.

    Only drugs are subjected to RCT’s. The Cochrane Oral Health Group (COHG) even stated in their 2015 Review of CWF that RCT’s weren’t feasible. The only reason that they used the Cochrane Handbook of Review of Interventions (used for drug evals) is that they were charged with updating the York Review of 2000 who used the same Protocol. The COHG would have used the more appropriate Cochrane Handbook of Public Health Interventions. In this situation, they would have more appropriately been able to include cross-sectional contemporary studies that the first Handbook does not allow for. The first one is for drug trials where RCT’s are the norm.

    Observational study designs, which were the type that were used to discover the benefits of fluoride on cavity reductions; smoking and lung cancer; alcohol use and liver disease; and sexually transmitted diseases (STI); were never subjected to RCT’s. To insist that RCT’s be conducted on fluoride mineral is very disingenuous.

    I hope this clears things up for you.

    Like

  52. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    Steve,
    I get the feeling that your game is to disagree rather than try to understand.

    We agree, the FDA protects the public. What I don’t think you understand is that the FDA regulates to manufacturer’s sale of a product, in the FDA terms, the “marketing” of the drug.

    We agree, the EPA regulates contaminants. Fluoride is a contaminant. You are contaminating my water. Why? The intent is to prevent disease in humans, not treat water. Treating water is not contaminating water. Based on “intent” the product by definition and law becomes a drug under the FD&C Act. That is why the FDA calls fluoride a drug, when the intent is to prevent disease.

    We agree, EPA regulates impurities, such as fluoride. But the addition of the contaminant and impurity when used with the intent to prevent disease is no longer under the jurisdiction of the EPA and is under jurisdiction of FDA.

    No manufacturer can simply add public water to the drug or drug to the water to evade FDA regulations.

    You push contamination of public water with fluoride and I have no choice but to drink that water when used in foods and beverages, food processing. That in effect, forces me to ingest fluoride against my consent.

    Steve, You must consider, contaminating water is a blood awful idea. Especially when there are options. And when we know most are ingesting too much fluoride.

    You asked for my point, on the following, thank you. If I am not clear, I do appreciate the courtesy of you asking.

    5. Yes, “the EPA is prohibited by the Safe Drinking Water Act from adding anything to public water with the intent to treat humans or animals. EPA advises those who choose to add fluoride to water, but does not approve or advise people whether or not to fluoridate.”

    My point with #5, when I have tried to pin the EPA down, they assure me they do not make the decision on efficacy or safety of adding fluoride to water. If the water purveyor evaluates the evidence and they chose to add fluoride, then the EPA will give the water purveyor advice on how to make the equipment safe, personnel safe, and be precise in adding the chosen amount. In general, I do not fault the people who run the equipment. They are quite good at what they do. Sure, some mistakes, but mostly very careful and accurate.

    Please stop the promotion of contaminating public water. Too many are ingesting too much fluoride and the best place to reduce total exposure is fluoridation cessation.

    Like

  53. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    David,

    I am not sure what your background is, but you make no sense when you say,
    David: “Response: To be clear, your 3 suggestions for undertaking an RCT were either irrelevant to CWF, or they were not feasible. Pills are irrelevant to CWF. Bottled water is irrelevant to CWF. Trucked water is not feasible. You have not defended your ludicrous proposals.”

    CWF is simply increasing the exposure of fluoride for everyone. Some countries add fluoride to salt or milk or pills or liquid, essentially the same thing, simply increasing the dosage of fluoride.

    An RCT study on increasing the fluoride dosage for individuals is possible and very applicable to CWF. I would agree, not exactly the same because pills would have a controlled dose whereas CWF is uncontrolled. CWF is much worse. And pills are a sudden surge whereas CWF is spread over more time. Yes some differences but certainly worth an RCT study, if ethics would permit.

    Trucking water is feasible because it is being done already, so I’m told. Would only need to add fluoride to trucks going to one community and a placebo to another community.

    When people say it can’t be done, stand back because someone will do it.

    Like

  54. David Fierstien

    Billo, I’m not sure what your background is, but I’m sure fraud is included somewhere in it.

    Your quote: “CWF is simply increasing the exposure of fluoride for everyone. Some countries add fluoride to salt or milk or pills or liquid, essentially the same thing, simply increasing the dosage of fluoride.

    An RCT study on increasing the fluoride dosage for individuals is possible and very applicable to CWF.”

    Response: We’ve been through this. As I pointed out, your buddy “Carrie Anne,” aka Karen Spencer, aka whatever other fake name she goes by, says she gets terrible skin irritations from simply bathing in optimally fluoridated water. . . On the other hand, who’s to say there’s not some benefit from washing with optimally fluoridated water. Pills are useless, and are you going to bathe in bottled water?

    All conditions must be the same as CWF or it’s a non-starter.

    Your quote: “Trucking water is feasible because it is being done already, so I’m told.”

    Response: Please tell me where, provide a citation, and explain the methodology involved in how this would be applied to an RCT.

    Like

  55. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    David,
    Of course there is a difference between CWF and pills. We also bathe in CWF but not pills. But increasing fluoride exposure can be studied with various sources.

    Can you name an RCT study intentionally causing harm? No. Not permitted, not ethical. No institutional review board would permit intentional harm.

    An RCT study would be to determine “BENEFIT”.

    Like

  56. David Fierstien

    “Dr.” Bill, you have said, “Giving everyone a highly toxic substance in even small quantities when we can’t do efficacy or safety testing is a criminal act.”

    Criminal Act. That’s pretty strong stuff . . especially from you, legal expert that you are.

    Tell you what, Bill, with all these CWF “crimes” being committed in the United States, wouldn’t it make more sense to argue the finer points of your legal sagaciousness in a for-real court of law rather than in your make-believe courtroom, which is in reality the comments section of a New Zealand opinion blog?

    Like

  57. David Fierstien

    I will say this for you, billo, you are entertaining.

    In one breath you say, “When people say it (an RCT) can’t be done, well, they have their heads buried in tradition. Stand back, get out of the way, someone will do it.”

    Ok, someone will do it. I’ll stand back.

    In the next breath you say, ““Giving everyone a highly toxic substance in even small quantities when we can’t do efficacy or safety testing is a criminal act.”

    And then you say, “Can you name an RCT study intentionally causing harm? No. Not permitted, not ethical. No institutional review board would permit intentional harm.”

    Let’s recap, shall we? You want an RCT done for CWF. You say stand back, get out of the way, somebody will do it. Then you say CWF is giving people a highly toxic substance. Undertaking an RCT for CWF would be a criminal act.

    Does that mean you want me to stand back to let somebody commit a criminal act? . . Because, that’s what you just said.

    Like

  58. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    Yes. I do think that medicating people without their consent is a criminal act.

    Only time will tell.

    Like

  59. Steve Slott

    Bill:
    1. I don’t have a “game” here, couldn’t care less as to what you are “feeling”, and have no desire to understand the skewed “logic” of an antifluoridationist.

    I simply post facts and evidence…as you requested.
    That you fail to grasp the reality of these facts is a problem with your ability to understand, not mine.

    2. Yes, as I said, the FDA regulates retail consumer products.

    3. Anything other than H2O is considered by the SWDA to be a contaminant.

    “The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) defines “contaminant” as any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance or matter in water. Drinking water may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. Some contaminants may be harmful if consumed at certain levels in drinking water. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.”

    https://www.epa.gov/ccl/definition-contaminant

    Contaminants include disinfectants……..as evidenced by the EPA MCL and MRDLG for disinfecting substances. Therefore, yes, treating water is indeed contaminating that water.

    https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations

    4. There is no law which defines fluoride in public drinking water supplies to be a drug.

    5. The contents of drinking water supplies are under the jurisdiction of the EPA, not the FDA. What the FDA “calls” anything is of no more relevance to fluoridated drinking water supplies than is what the Girl Scouts of America “calls” anything.

    5. Feel free to make your argument in court that you have personally deemed the contents of drinking water supplies to be “no longer under the jurisdiction of the EPA and is under jurisdiction of FDA.” I don’t much like your chances with that.

    6. What some “manufacturer” may not do in regard to FDA regulations, is of no relevance to the contents of public water supplies. These supplies are under the jurisdiction of the EPA, not the FDA.

    7. You are not forced to ingest anything in regard to optimally fluoridated water. You have a choice as to what you put into your mouth. If you have a problem with some substance or other, yet fail to verify that this substance is not in whatever you choose to put into your mouth, that is a problem with you, not with water fluoridation.

    8. Your personal consent is not required for local officials to determine the content of public water supplies under their jurisdiction. Consent for them to do their job is conveyed upon their election/appointment to office.

    9. Yes, in some instances, “contaminating water is a blood awful idea”. However, as I quoted above……”Some contaminants may be harmful if consumed at certain levels in drinking water. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.”

    https://www.epa.gov/ccl/definition-contaminant

    There is no harm associated with optimally fluoridated water. Increasing the existing concentration of fluoride to the optimal level in public water supplies is all benefit, with no risk. Your “blood awful idea” in regard to optimal level fluoride is therefore bizarre, to say the least, and goes against the overwhelming consensus of respected science and healthcare.

    10. Yes, the EPA does not add fluoride to water systems. This is done by local water treatment personnel authorized by appropriate officials under whose jurisdiction those systems reside.

    Yes, the EPA advises local personnel on how to properly fluoridate their water systems.

    Those facts are not in dispute and do not support your position one iota.

    11. Pleading to stop “contaminating the public water” is pleading for public water to not be disinfected. Most would probably agree that this is “a blood awful idea”.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

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