Along For Fluoride

SchNews | If you knew that someone was putting poison into your water supply, what would you do? Call the authorities? Well don’t bother cos it’s the government wot’s doing it!

If you live in the West Midlands or the North East, the chances are that you already have a fluoridated water supply – and comments earlier this year from Health Secretary Alan Johnson made it clear that he is keen to see this toxic industrial waste added to everyone else’s water as soon as possible. Why? He believes that it is a ‘key means of tackling tooth decay’ — despite the fact that no scientific evidence bears this out, and much other evidence has emerged linking fluoride ingestion to bone deficiencies, cancer, joint pain, skin rash, damage to thyroid glands and even IQ deficits.

So what’s going on? Well, Alan Johnston has swallowed the arguments put forward by the dental and pharmaceutical lobbying groups, all of which have been exported here from the US where, since the 1940s, they have managed to get over 70% of water fluoridated. It’s just science they say — fluoride was shown in the mid-1930’s to have a beneficial effect on the incidence of children’s tooth decay, so why not add it at source and protect everyone’s teeth without them having to do a thing?

But this mass medication argument has more holes in than my sugar-addled teeth. Number one is obviously, er, mass medication? Unknown dosage level (everyone’s water consumption is different) and without the patients’ consent? Since when was that normal practice? You don’t forcefeed people aspirin because one of them may be experiencing a headache… it’s illogical and wasteful — not to mention people’s rights to refuse medication.

In fact, a dip in the scientific fluoride literature is like diving into a very muddy pool, reminiscent of the ‘smoking is not really bad for you’ or ‘climate change isn’t really happening’ debates of recent decades. This alone should be ringing the alarm bells. Many studies do suggest that ‘topical’ application of fluoride, i.e. applying it to the teeth directly by way of toothpaste etc does have some beneficial effect on cavity rates, although these don’t attempt to separate out all the other factors which may play a part in tooth health, like diet, or attempt to discover other ways of achieving the same benefits. While fluoride is proven (and accepted by all) to cause dental fluorosis (pitted or mottled tooth enamel) — now widespread in American mouths – little high quality study has been done on other side effects like bone deterioration or cancers, which may mean a slightly healthier smile is far outweighed by a shorter diseased life.

And the story with applying the fluoride by drinking it in water is even cloudier. There is no unequivocal proof that it works. In fact, since large parts of America started sipping it in the 1950s, numerous studies have shown that, all else being equal, tooth decay rates for fluoridated and non-fluoridated water areas are, er, exactly the same — or in some cases even higher in fluoridated areas! This has led to nearly all of Europe long since abandoning the practice — but it seems that governments in the UK (10% fluoridated) and Ireland (72%) just can’t resist the persuasive American connection.

If you were of a slightly cynical mind (who us?!), it would almost seem that nobody at the top wants to hear any evidence contradicting the fluoride dogma. The approved studies are designed (and funded) purely to decide whether adding fluoride for teeth can be considered ‘a good thing’. This is the result demanded by big business eager to turn an expensive-to-get-rid-of toxic industrial waste product (left over in pesticide production, aluminium processing and nuclear uranium enriching, amongst other things) into a ‘miracle’ health ingredient to be boxed up, re-branded and sold back in small amounts to the general public in return for a handsome profit. Well you can see their logic. Two birds with one stone and profits up. No wonder that the many more recent long term-studies and peer-reviews of past data showing no provable benefits (and many possible negatives) are swiftly discredited or ignored.

CLOSE TO THE BONE

And there are other (presumably weakened, deteriorating) skeletons in the closet. In 1997, two American journalists dug out previously classified documents revealing how fluoride policy and research was shaped by atom bomb making at the end of the Second World War. The first court cases against the government from people affected by living near to the bomb making facilities were not for the effects of radiation, but for damage to crops from fluoride pollution.

The secret ‘Manhattan Project’ memos — the group of government and industrial capitalists running the development of the nuclear option — show that they knew about the problems and commissioned pro-fluoride research merely to help fight these and future possible court cases. Despite editorial approval and full referencing, the damning article was dropped by the Christian Science Monitor and never widely published.

Despite Birmingham and other areas’ water being contaminated, no new UK regions have joined them since the mid 1980s when the rollout was put on hold. But the threat is back. In 1993, despite no demand, the government passed an act giving regional strategic health authorities (SHA) the power to compel water to be fluoridated. It must have been frustrating for them and their corporate sponsors that, to date, not one of them has done so. So it seems like a whole new round of propaganda and pressure is about to be applied. Anti-fluoride action groups have sprung up around the country (see www.hampshireagainstfluoridation.blogspot.com and www.freewebs.com/keepwatersafe for example) who are working to try and ensure that nobody else is unwillingly force-fed this harmful toxic poison for no health benefit. As recent studies in China and Mexico have shown a link between fluoride consumption and lower IQ scores, maybe they’re just out to keep us all dumb…?

* There’s tons more info to get yer teeth into at www.freewebs.com/keepwatersafe and www.fluoridealert.org