Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance


Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration of the data and evidence.

Anti-fluoride campaigners, of course, argue this way any time the research they promote is questioned. After all, they have a bias to confirm and an ideology to support and rely on claims that often don’t stand up to proper consideration. I expect that, but I am concerned to hear these arguments from scientific reviewers of this research.

In the video above Dr William Ghali of the Canadian O’Brien Institute for Public Health counters critiques of some research with the comment: “the studies can’t be undone and they can’t be unpublished.”

Of course they can’t – but they can, and should, be critically considered – not blindly promoted as the best things since sliced bread. Critical consideration is, or should be, the normal scientific reaction to newly published studies.

Dr Ghali is one of the authors of a recent review of the science around community water fluoridation, COMMUNITY WATER FLUORIDATION: A REPORT FOR CALGARY CITY COUNCIL. He made the above comment during his presentation to a recent meeting of the Calgary City Council – the video above contains a section of his presentation (selected and promoted by the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) an anti-fluoride activist organisation).

I am amazed at that comment – and other comments of his. I could understand if he was responding to the research critiques by explaining where they were mistaken or misinterpreted the evidence – we should always consider the factual evidence in our scientific discussions. But he seems personally upset that anyone should pursue a normal scientific critical discussion. He admits to getting angry at:

“The notion that you can just talk away 10 years of research.”

And

“I respect the doers of the research and the deliverers of the evidence and don’t think they should be shot for tough messages.”

Yet he himself is denying respect to scientists who critically discuss research (by authors that he appears to be protective of) and is attempting to “shoot” down researchers who discuss the problems in that research. He accuses scientific critics of attempting to  “simply sweep aside scientific findings because one disagrees with the results.” Yet he attempts to “sweep aside” the normal scientific critique of research – rather than deal specifically and factually with the criticisms themselves.

Sometimes it is necessary to “talk away 10 years of research” if the critical scientific consideration of the research findings show them to be faulty. We are talking about science – not religion.

Nothing sacred about scientific findings

There is nothing sacred about scientific findings – they are and always must be open for critical consideration and critique. Publication in a reputable journal and inclusion of big names in the author list is no guarantee of good science. And all scientific findings must be considered as provisional – most of what is considered factual in science often turn out to be wrong, at least in part. This is how science progresses and critical analysis and scientific critique of published work is key to that development.

Critique of published research is vital and it should never be ignored, “swept aside” or discredited by saying things like “once published it can’t be unpublished” of referring to critiques as “sweeping aside because one disagrees.” Good scientific critique is not swayed by authority or author’s claims but looks at the data, findings and interpretations – critically. It is not an evidence-free “sweeping aside.” In a good-faith open scientific exchange, the response to criticism should be the same.

Having said this I can understand a little of what is driving the two people in their comments in the above video – comments that are critical of scientific commenters but ignore the way the anti-fluoride movement has misused and misrepresented this research. The O’Brien review they were authors of was roundly criticised for its weaknesses when it was made public. On the other hand, the anti-fluoride advocates lavished it with praise – for these very same weaknesses.

Scientists are human (actually very human) and, of course, sensitive to criticism. Even the best scientist will often react defensively and attempt to discredit critics rather than deal with the contents of the criticisms.

Misrepresentations

The only time Dr Ghali gets at all specific in this video section is in his criticisms of the letter sent by 30 academic and health experts to the US National Insitute of Environmental Health Science (NEHS) about the study (see Experts complain to funding body about quality of fluoride-IQ research). This letter expressed concern about the study recently published by Green et al (2019) listing a number of specific scientific limitation of the study (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Experts complain to funding body about quality of fluoride-IQ research)  The letter also expressed concern about the poor statistical reporting of the data and lack of transparency regarding methodology.

After listing ten scientific concerns the experts made a specific request:

“We urge NIEHS to ask the Green authors to release their RIF data set and provide a thorough explanation of their analytical methods. Doing so could enable an independent review that would bring clarity and ensure the scientific record is accurate.

Should the Green researchers not voluntarily release their data, please advise us on what the process would be to have the data set released so an independent analysis of the Green data can be conducted.”

But this is how Dr Ghali specifically commented on this important expert’s letter:

“Twenty or so North American academics [actually 30 North Americans and experts from the UK and Australia] wrote to the NIEHS denouncing the recent Canadian study critiquing it on many levels  Making assertions the team at York University refused any access to their data and their refusal to permit reanalysis and they are not being transparent. The allegation is false. The authors are in fact  in an active process of discussing with health Canada a Teflon bias-free process of making the data available for a secondary analysis. And again, there is one thing that gets under my skin are assertions, attacks on messengers.” [My emphasis]

Come off it. On the refusal to make data available the expert’s letter mentions only:

“In recent weeks, at least two of the Green authors have declined to respond affirmatively to requests from other researchers for access to the data and analytical methods they used.”

It did not “denounce” the study (scientific critique is not “denouncing”), and it definitely did not assert the whole team was refusing any access. It simply pointed out that no one at that stage had reacted positively to the request for access to the data. That is not, as Dr Ghali claims an “attack on messengers.” Nor is it, as he claims, a “false allegation.”

A respectful and scientifically ethical response to the expert’s letter would be for  Dr Ghali to consider and respond to the list of ten limitations of the study described in the letter. But instead, he has misrepresented the letter and made a false allegation himself regarding the request for access to data.

Where is the scientific integrity in that?

As an aside, I am a bit cynical about the authors’ claim that they are “discussing with health Canada a Teflon bias-free process of making the data available for a secondary analysis.” Dr Ghali appears to be in more intimate contact with the authors than the rest of the scientific community because this is the first I have heard of the authors’ response. But I fear the “Teflon bias-free process” referred to may, in the end, be a bureaucratic solution which makes the data available to only a select “trusted” few for their presumed approval.

The problem of transparency

Dr Ghali also misrepresents the letter by claiming it accuses the authors of lack of transparency. Yes, it expresses concern about the lack of statistical and methodological information but refers to this as a general problem in scientific publications, particularly where statistical analyses are involved. It even cites a published paper on this (Prager et al. 2019: Improving transparency and scientific rigor in academic publishing. Brain Behav. 9(1): e01141).

Another example relates to reliance on p-values:

“The American Statistical Association has established six principles on the use and analysis of p-values, one of which states: “Proper inference requires full reporting and transparency.” By releasing the data and a detailed explanation of their analytical methods, the Green authors would enable the scientific community to better assess whether their choice of p-value was appropriate.”

All this is simply part of a good-faith scientific critique which should be normal in science and should never be squashed or prevented. Remember Ghali himself said messengers should not be shot for delivering a message.

But if we are to discuss the problem of transparency I am really concerned at the unwillingness of the authors, and their scientific defenders, to participate in a free good-faith scientific exchange on their findings.

I guess they can not be blamed for promoting their own research while being silent about its limitations, or for the fact that the journal which published their paper has a policy of not publishing any critiques of published paper after 4 weeks. But why should they promote their findings on social media but refuse to enter into any discussion on it?

For example, Rivka Green, the first author of the paper, opened a Twitter account where she promoted the paper. But when some discussion of the limitations started she withdrew and closed the account down.

In another example, a biostats PhD student at Pittsburgh university was making some general comments about the data in the Green paper on Twitter soon after its publication. But two of the authors approached his university department and supervisors and he was forced to delete his tweets. (This is information from the student  himself who is wary about going public because of this unpleasant exposure to academic politics and he is unsure of the consequences of making further comments).

I have had personal experience of the lack of transparency by Dr Chrsitine Till’s group (involved in the study reported by Green et al. 2019) and its supporters. My own critique of one of the early papers from the group (Malin & Till 2015) was denied consideration for publication in the publishing journal by the Chief Editor, Prof Grandjean, who publicly identifies with the group and the anti-fluoride movement (see Fluoridation not associated with ADHD – a myth put to rest). My critique was eventually published in another journal: (see Perrott 2018: Fluoridation and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder a critique of Malin and Till (2015). British Dental Journal, 223(11), 819–822). Christine Till is aware of this critique but purposely ignores it whenever she or her coauthors cite Malin & Till (2015) in their publications (see, for example, ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?).

And what about the lack of transparency displayed by Dr Ghali himself. He misrepresented the expert’s letter – but was also very selective in referring to other reviews of this study. For example, in the video above, he mentioned the CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health) review  on possible neurological effects of fluoride which was very critical of the Green et al. (2019) paper and quotes from two sections of the review which said:

“The evidence is weak due to multiple limitations  . . ” (p 5)  and “further well conducted research is needed to reduce uncertainty. ” (p 14)

But he ignores completely a more damning statement in the CADTH review which says:

“The study by Green et al., 2019 concluded that “maternal exposure to higher levels of fluoride during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ scores in children aged 3 to 4 years.” (p. E1) This conclusion was not supported by the data” (page 12)

A disclaimer

I am very conscious that I have relied on only one section of Dr Ghali’s presentation to the Calgary City Council. And that this section was cherry-picked by FAN to present him as an ally in their anti-fluoride campaign. I have not had the time to look at the full video of his presentation yet – it is available on YouTube: Dr. Ghali (O’Brien Institute) – Full Calgary Presentation on Fluoride. However, I think the comments made on this specific section of his presentation stand by themselves and needed a response.

Dr Ghali may well have made criticisms of the misrepresentation of this research by FAN, by the anti-fluoride campaigners also presenting to the Calgary City Council and by anti-fluoride campaigners in general. After all, FAN, which made the selection for this video and is promoting it is hardly likely to include such criticism.

So to be fair to Dr Ghali and to support the proper good-faith scientific exchange I am talking about I will email him and offer him the right of reply to this article.

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22 responses to “Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance

  1. Hi Ken,
    Having been present for that nine-hour meeting, I can attest to the accuracy of your article’s content. AFS’s documents to Dr. Ghali, and even the letter by the 30 co-signers of the letter to the NIEHS were portrayed as a group of pro-CWF advocates by him.

    Dr. Ghali said many things which defended the University of Calgary’s O’Brien Institute’s Report which were not on solid ground. AFS had written a well referenced reply to Dr. Ghali and the Calgary City Council on the report. It was sent to him first, and then to the city council. We wanted transparency first and foremost.

    A member of the city council urged last spring when this request for an analysis was made of Dr. Ghali to allow “outside” input from Hardy Limeback, an “expert” who could offer his messages on the same questions asked by the city council. This was granted. Instead of simply accepting a written report/analysis from Dr. Limeback, Bill Ghali met with Limeback, Paul Connett, and a local anti-CWF MD driving force in Calgary, Dr. Bob Dickson. Their influences in conversations with him were obvious in particular parts of the O’Brien Institute’s Report. This was reported on pp 29-30:
    “Some external stakeholders were also consulted in this report development process. These included:
    1) Dr. Robert Dickson, Founder of Safe Water Calgary – a community group opposed to Community Water Fluoridation; 2) Ms. Maria Castro, Executive Assistant Safe Water Calgary; 3) Dr. Paul Connett, Executive Director of the Fluoride Action Network, a U.S.-based group that is passionately opposed to
    Community Water Fluoridation; 4) Dr. Hardy Limeback, an Ontario-based dentist, and Emeritus Professor and former Head of Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto; 5) Dr. Morteza Bashash, Adjunct Lecturer, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto – and author of recently published research exploring the link between fluoride and cognition; 6) Dr. Christine Till, Associate Professor, York University, Toronto, ON – also author of recently-published research exploring fluoride and cognition; and 7) Dr. Rafael Figueiredo, Alberta’s Provincial Dental Public Health Officer,
    Alberta Health Services. Each of these consultations were led by Dr. William Ghali, +/- other O’Brien team members present, and also +/- Ms. Hopkins from the City (when scheduling permitted others to participate).”

    Further, on pp 8-10, Ghali goes on to state that:
    “As mentioned in the earlier Report Process section, the Institute team actively sought out meetings with anti-fluoride stakeholders, while also having meetings with proponents of community water fluoridation. Our various discussions with individuals on both sides of this fractious issue highlight that both sides bring knowledge and thoughtful perspectives.”

    From the listed individuals, there is no mention of the pro-CWF stakeholders. The interview with Dr. Rafael Figueiredo, Alberta’s Provincial Dental Public Health Officer, Alberta Health Services, is not having a transparently open discussion with a proponent. Government employees are NOT allowed to advocate for CWF. They are permitted to “Educate” in their roles. This is a far cry from being a proponent of CWF.

    Interestingly, Dr. Limeback submitted a critique of the final O’Brien Institute’s Report that was included in the city council’s agenda. The very report that he had input on, he turned around and critiqued it.

    Lastly, for now, Dr. Ghali’s statement of release of the data by the Green et al researchers was corrected when I spoke as an a delegation before the city council. I corrected Dr. Ghali in that the RAW data which the group of 30 worldwide experts had NOT been released. Only preliminary data was released. And, as you aptly pointed out, this requested literature is typical for authors ot make available to other researchers. In fact is even considered mandatory according to published guidelines. In the latest release of Till et al article on Infant Formula Intake and IQ, this quote appears at the bottom of the article:

    “Data not available / The authors do not have permission to share data”.
    Immediately under that declaration is an arrow under this wording “About research data” which when clicked on, explains the data of research as:

    “Sharing research data:
    As a researcher, you are increasingly encouraged, or even mandated, to make your research data available, accessible, discoverable and usable.”

    I could go on, but would give others time to perhaps read the entire report. We are all after the truth. But one to two research projects on populations that are not representative of a cross-section of Canadians does not change public policy. Especially in this instance.

    Warmly,

    Johnny

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  2. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken,

    You elucidate some mutually agreed on aspects of science. Good scientists want transparency of data and robust discussion and debate.

    However, I did not see a few aspects which have overriding significance.

    First: Isolated studies must be put into context of the body of research. Over 50 human studies reporting developmental neurotoxicity and the National Toxicology Program must not be ignored.

    Second: Governments are dispensing the fluoride drug without safety or dosage oversight without individual consent or legal intermediary (doctor’s Rx).

    Over several months you (and for decades my professions and I) have unscientifically ignored, evaded, and ethically blinded ourselves to the serious concerns of dosage and lack of safety and efficacy reviews. My professions and I have marketed fluoride as “safe and effective” without quality research. It is past time for us to be scientifically ethical and stop overdosing of fluoride until quality research has been done.

    If fluoride were dispensed and used as a pesticide, herbicide, post-harvest fumigant with label, consumer choice, and proper testing, I would not be in a debate with you.

    Over half of our young show a bio-marker of excess fluoride exposure. Why in heaven and hell do my professions continue to use police powers without individual consent and give even more fluoride to everyone when most or many of our young (millions) are without dispute receiving too much.

    We do not have “proof” of efficacy or safety or harm, but we have enough red flags to change public health policy.

    And what government agency has jurisdiction over dosage, safety and efficacy???? Who is in charge of judgment on fluoridation???? . No scientific agency. (At least none in the USA). In other words, fluoridation is a tradition without scientific oversight. Voters and city councils are not scientific agencies. HHS reduced exposure, but not enough.

    I’m very much in favor of robust scientific debate, but lets stop mass medication without consent and then debate the science rather than continue blindly with policy because we are too embarrassed to suggest perhaps we are harming millions with too much fluoride.

    Look at the USA demographics on health. We do not rank well for a developed country. We need to carefully reexamine our public health policies in several areas. Just because we have the biggest army does not mean other countries should blindly accept USA public health policies as truth. And most do not.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  3. Bill, you say “I’m very much in favor of robust scientific debate.”

    But you behaviour shows exactly the opposite – at least for the open, good-faith free scientific exchange I have offered you twice here – and you have withdrawn twice. Once after agreeing to participate as the Director of FAN but then withdrawing after pressure from your FAN colleagues.

    I frankly do not think you are at all interested in a good-faith scientific exchange – and we can see this with your comment which is simply an attempt to divert attention away form the issues I have raised.

    Your motives for this stick out a mile.

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  4. Bill Osmunson

    Sorry Ken,

    Personal insults and accusations will result in the same going your way. No Ad Hominems. . .you say?

    You make assumptions which are not supported by fact. Your speculation and guessing is not scientific.

    I have always agreed and consistently said we must start with dosage/exposure.

    I’m not interested in intellectual gymnastics, speculation and assumptions. Lets look at the facts. But you have consistently refused to talk about dosage and exposure.

    In fact, I sent you my evidence for excess exposure and you claimed computer problems and then went running away.
    Don’t accuse me of lack of good faith when you refuse to start at the beginning.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  5. Bill, you are dishonest. In the first attempt at a scientific exchange you sent me something and then asked that it not be used because your FAN colleagues had convinced you not to participate in a scientific exchange with me. You were head of FAN at the time.

    In the second attempt, you sent me something and I asked you to format it in a form I could enter into HTML, (ie as a word or text doc rather a pdf), to provide the references and links and to fix up an image.

    Despite computer problems with both you and me I was willing to go ahead – you were the one who did not undertake my request.

    Surely I don’t have to yet again provide the emails where this was discussed.

    You simply refused to proceed – even claimed as an excuse I would not post it.

    Come off it Bill. I debated with Paul Connett who is actually far better at misrepresenting the science in debates that you will ever be (probably the reason you were toppled from the FAN leadership by Paul’s return. I do not run away from an honest scientific exchange.

    But, yet again, you have been childishly dishonest. You are incapable of a proper scientific exchange and it is pathetic that you resort to these sort of diversions where you actually refuse to interact with the content of my posts.

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  6. Bill Osmunson

    AND further, Ken,

    Whether you are statistically correct or not on any given study does not address the public health policy where people are being harmed from too much fluoride, ethical concerns, etc.

    As a pilot, reminds me of an airline crash where the pilots were working on a mechanical problem and forgot the most basic fundamental fact, fly the airplane. They crashed in the everglades because the crew was focused on a burned out light bulb and no one flew the plane. Do not get distracted, focus on dosage. We start with dosage.

    Almost any theory can have defense and robustly criticize evidence questioning it. Scientists should focus on the facts and limit opinion. I assume you agree.

    The fact that too many are ingesting too much fluoride is without dispute. Even HHS compromised and lowered exposure, supporting the concern that too many are ingesting too much fluoride. EPA in their DRA agreed too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Dental fluorosis increases confirm too many are ingesting too much fluoride.

    We need to start at the foundation, the beginning. . . dosage . . . and build our understanding from the ground up. Basics first.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  7. Bill, again you avoid discussing my article and attempt a diversion.

    You had your opportunity to drive a discussion here – twice – and ran away. I am simply not going to be diverted from my discussion of the question of scientific integrity and the attempt to close down the normal critical discussion of scientific findings. It is too important.

    What about you?

    Do you support Ghali’s attempt to wipe away the letter from 30 experts which outlined and discussed 10 limitations of the Green paper?

    Do you support their request that the data be released to enable independent analyses?

    Do you support the fact that Ghali’s only criticism seems to be of honest scientists and medical experts for daring to discuss these limitations while he is completely silent about the way anti-fluoride campaigners have descended to scare-mongering billboards in which they misrepresent the Gree paper?

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  8. bill@teachingsmiles.com

    Ken,

    I am not attempting a diversion. I am trying to focus your attention to the basic fundament foundation of pharmacology. Only then can we get to the discussion of the studies claiming harm.

    I’m not closing down the discussion of studies, I’m getting to the roots of the science.

    I briefly looked at the 10 limitations and in general dismissed them because the 30 experts are certainly experts in their fields, but have not adequately looked at the studies of fluoride. They omit critical facts.

    Yes, I repeat here again, I support release of data for others to review. All researchers should include the data in their studies. However, not all researchers understand the data and the data can be manipulated. I’ve been calling for HHS to release data the tax payers have paid for. Our data, we paid for it, we should see it. But the data does not support policy, so fluoridation lovers are hiding the data.

    You suggest that Ghali’s only criticism seems to be of “honest scientists” . . . vs . . . “scare-mongering billboards”.

    Why don’t you try some adjectives with some emotion and bias? Really Ken, cry me a river for those “honest scientists” who are being picked on, funded by governments and well endowed vs the patients they are wanting the police to medicate and overdose.

    Lets get back to the facts instead of pejorative and inflammatory words. We are all scientists who have let the public down and they are being harmed with too much fluoride.

    No one, no one, disputes that many are ingesting too much fluoride and yet you insist on having the public health people use police powers to force even those ingesting too much with even more fluoride.

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Stop forcing us to ingest even more. Or is that too complex to understand?

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  9. Bill, again you refuse to discuss the article. Why is this – do you not understand what is meant by scientific integrity? Are you only interested in shutting down the normal scientific scrutiny of research?

    And you claim to support the release of data from the Green study – where have you made that demand? I have not seen you or your FAN mates support that request anywhere. Do you support the letter from the 30 health and scientific experts requesting the data release?

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  10. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken and Johnny,

    Millions of people show an overdose of fluoride, biomarker of excess fluoride exposure, and in spite of too much you recommend these people have even more fluoride..

    Scientific integrity requires critical examination of the evidence and lack of evidence, not blind faith.

    What scientific evidence do you have, factual data, quality studies, which show these people have a deficiency of fluoride?

    Or are you only interested in shutting down scientific evaluation of this public health practice if the questions by your mates have not been considered?

    I know at least one FAN employee who has requested the Green data. It is my understanding the data at this time has individual identity confidentiality restrictions. I personally have not asked, nor have I personally requested the NHANES pictures of dental fluorosis which should be released so we can check the NHANES diagnosis.

    Ken, you make so many unscientific assumptions. Judgment requires that we get to the basics of science, dosage, exposure, and then move into details. Do you really think answering the question of dosage would shut down scientific discussion? Perhaps, because understanding dosage would shut down fluoridation of public water. I can understand why you are scared of the basics. Hierarchical evidence is a house of cards. We must start at the foundation.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  11. So you “know at least one FAN employee who has requested the Green data.”

    That makes it either Bill Hirzy or one of the Connetts as my understanding is that these are the ones who give themselves a monthly wage out of the money big business (the “natural”/alternative health industry) sends their way.

    So its seems that FAN has not got the data yet – what about saying so and supporting the 30 scientific and health experts who have asked for the data to be released?

    And, I did not see Ghani attack FAN the way he attacked the 30 experts. I wonder why?

    As for the NHANES data – come on! Are you telling me that you coauthored a paper on the NHANES dental fluorosis data without actually accessing the data?

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  12. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken,
    You evade my question and go to speculation. I thought this was a scientific discussion. . . and you speculate. My mistake.

    So far your speculation is not good. . . I think because you are reading too fast. Slow down.

    You speculate, “that makes it either Bill Hirzy or one of the Connetts.” Wrong.

    You speculate, “the ones who give themselves a monthly wage .” Wrong again.

    You did not understand my last post, or you read too fast (wrong again). My understanding is the data has confidential personal information. Keeping the evidence confidential is required by law.

    NHANES data. . . Wrong for the fourth time in one post. Read what I said and stop speculating. We had and used the data and posted the data with link. My concern is the DIAGNOSIS may not have been consistent. DIAGNOSIS, Ken. Think DIAGNOSIS. The difference in fluorosis between years is biologically problematic. To answer the question, HHS could release the photos which were taken at the diagnosis.

    Back to the most important concept: excess exposure. Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Why do you want to give them even more?

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  13. Bill, my understanding is that the process of making the MIREC data is underway. Confidentiality is not an issue as personal information is not included. Till may baulk at making her separate F data available but part of the agreement for her access to MIREC data and samples will be that here analytical data are handed to MIREC so should be included.

    It seems from what Ghali said Till be an attempting to restrict the availability to a few “trusted” people – I have often seen these bureaucratic attemtps in the past. But too many people are on the case now for them to pull that trick.

    So what about the openness from you – who is the “FAN employee who has requested the Green data” that you know of? The 30 signatories to the letter to the NIEHS requesting the data be made available are not hiding their identities – far from it. Why should FAN people hide theirs?

    Availability of data is a request often being made now – by other researchers and journals themselves – in order to combat the lack of transparency in much of the scientific literature. This is particularly the case in reporting statistical analyses – reliance on p-values alone is rampant and misleading.

    Let’s not add to this lack of transparency by being secretive about who is asking for data. Particularly as there appears to be an attempt to respond by using a dishonest bureaucratic solution.

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  14. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken,

    Most areas of science, especially fluoridation, are controversial.

    One area that is not controversial is “many are ingesting too much fluoride.”

    You, Johnny and most remain silent on the issue of excess exposure. You evade and avoid the brutal facts, data and uncontested science.

    You continue to jump to side issues, arguing over peer reviewed evidence of harm (which we should), yet you have a double scientific standard accepting low quality research on benefit. and totally ignore exposure.

    Use your critical thinking to first examine total exposure. Then examine benefit at that dosage. And then examine risk at that exposure. You have put the cart before the horse.

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride.

    I fully agree that too much science lacks transparency.

    Until you accept the undisputed fact that many are ingesting too much fluoride, you will not have reasonable judgment on benefit and risk.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  15. Bill, you still refuse to engage with this specific article – that raises the question of why?

    Smokescreens? Are you attempting to protect poor science, the misrepresentation of science and bad politics in science by diverting onto something completely irrelevant?

    Who in FAN is asking for the release of the Green data – and why? Is FAN unhappy about the lack of transparency in the Green paper? Or are they scared of what will be revealed when the data is released?

    There are some people who may be using Freedom of Information queries to get access to the emails of people like Ghali? Is FAN scared of what these may reveal?

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  16. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken, you make me laugh. . . such a conspiracy theorist. It might surprise you but some people are not as devious as your imagination. Your assumptions could write a novel, but let’s get to the science. Your speculation has turned up wrong over and over and over. Just stop speculating.

    I’m not refusing to engage with the Green article. I am engaging first with the most fundamental concept, dosage. And you refuse to start at the foundation.

    Ken, until you wrestle with the question of dosage, you will not be able to appreciate the Green study. First, look at dosage. Solve the dosage question and then move to Green.

    All medication/drug approval agencies start with the dosage of a substance which claims benefit. Always start with dosage of benefit and prove benefit at a specific dosage.

    Next, at that specific dosage, determine the side effects, the risks/harm, warnings, cautions, ie “label.”

    Only after you consider the dosage required for benefit can you scientifically consider risks.

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Yet you evade the concept of dosage. Why? Are you scared of the facts? Are you scared it might not support your fluoridation theory? Fear could be hindering your consideration of the facts. Too many are ingesting too much fluoride.

    What about science are you so scared of?

    If you want to go down the conspiracy road, are you being paid by any Russian Agency or person? Does Putin have his thumb on you like he does Trump? Russia has a stake in our elections and certainly fracturing/dividing/weakening our country. Come clean on your Russia connection.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  17. Bill, you obviously haven’t noticed (not surprised, anti-fluoride people really don’t read articles) but this article is not about the Green study. It’s about scientific integrity.

    It’s countering an argument from Dr Ghali which opposes the normal scientific process of critical examination of studies. he appears to want us to accept claims on faith and is opposed to any questioning.

    This is, of course, very much against scientific practiv=ce and ethics.

    You are simply attempting to divert – pathetic considering you also were given the chance of an uncensored article on this blog – twice. And you ran away both times.

    I can understand other people treat you like the mad relative with a bee in the bonnet. But you cannot alleviate your problems by spouting them here – people only laugh.

    that is why Iw rtoe the article – and whyt I have offer Dr Ghali a right ofm reply. OI hope he takes it up as these issues shoudl; eb discussed.

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  18. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken,
    You asked, “Who in FAN is asking for the release of the Green data – and why? ”

    When I responded about Green, you insulted quality scientists and patients because you do not have the facts to support your position by saying, “Bill, you obviously haven’t noticed (not surprised, anti-fluoride people really don’t read articles) but this article is not about the Green study.”

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. That is a fact which fluoridationists evade and fundamental to the study of fluoride risk and benefit.

    Each area of science has prerequisites. For example we don’t start out with Organic Chemistry in preschool.

    The same with the study of pharmacology. We need to know how much of the drug is needed for benefit and at that dosage the risks. That is the foundation. If you look at risks without knowing dosage, you can argue forever because you are not talking the same language.

    Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. How much fluoride do you recommend?

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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  19. Bill, you are just being silly. The whole situation obviously embarrasses you because you can not deal with the subject of scientific integrity, good-faith scientific exchange, etc. And you are on the back foot because of the behaviour of your organisation FAN.

    Like

  20. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken,
    You may think over 100,000,000 people in the USA show signs of a toxic over-dose of fluoride . . . is “silly.” Too many are ingesting too much fluoride and you. . . not only ignore the science. . . but want everyone to be forced to ingest even more fluoride. You make no sense.

    I could not be more sincere with strong scientific integrity and open access to all data. FAN has over 450 scientific studies on fluoride either the entire study on our web site or links to the studies. FAN has the highest scientific integrity. Contrast that with any other organization promoting fluoridation who list less than a couple dozen.

    Ken, you have constantly been speculating and I have shown you wrong time after time after time. Once again you are dead wrong.

    I asked you previously, how much the Russian government/agents are paying you, and you have not responded. Russia certainly has become involved with polarizing and harming our nation. Are you working for the Russians? Just asking. Your news source appears to be RT news.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Like

  21. Bill, I am framing this comment – may even write a special article on it. “Bill brings his Trump derangement syndrome and Russiagate to the fluoridation controversy.” I thought we had already reached the absolute pits of what anti-fluoride nutters would get up to – but no. You have surpassed yourself. Very inventive.

    Like

  22. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    And you don’t deny too many are ingesting too much fluoride.

    And you want them to have even more fluoride.

    Simple undisputed fact.

    Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Like

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