Mark Twain was reputed to have said words to the effect that,”History might not repeat itself but it sure does rhyme!” Since the fluoridation confidence trick started in the USA over 70 years, several generations of fluoridation fighters have had to fight the same myths, lies and half-truths, the same arrogance, the same ridicule, the same dismissal of science, the same bullying, the same use of “authority” to trample on rational argument and debate – again and again.
Below we have printed out the introduction to a book that was published in 1975 – 43 years ago, but it could have been written a few days ago. Sadly the author of this book (The Fluoride Question: Panacea or Poison?) Anne-Lise Gotzsche has passed away, but we have been sent 200 copies of her book, unused and in very good condition. This is very well-written and readable and should be of special interest for people who like history and the history of this never-ending saga of fluoridation.
We are offering our supporters in the US a copy of this “collectors’ item” for a donation of just $23 (please specify this exact amount so that we know you want this book). Unfortunately, mailing of books to other countries is very expensive these days, for those supporters we will need to negotiate a price.
If you live in the US and you have already donated we will send you a copy for $10, please email Ellen at Ellen@FluorideAlert.org to arrange.
Which brings us to our fundraiser. We had another very good day yesterday raising just over $3000 from 21 supporters. This brings us to a total of $95,887 from 259 donors.
Today, and maybe tomorrow, promises to be even better and bigger with Dr. Mercola offering to double the next $5,000 donated!
So with your help we can take some big steps towards our ambitious goal of $250,000 by midnight Dec 31.
How to make a tax-deductible donation to FAN:
- Online at our secure server.
- Or by Check, payable to the Fluoride Action Network. Send your check to:
Fluoride Action Network
104 Walnut Street
Binghamton NY 13905
*Please note that some corporations match tax deductible donations made by their employees to some non-profits. We qualify for this. This is the information to provide your corporation finance people, the parent body for FAN is the American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc, registered in Vermont.
Introduction to The Fluoride Question: Panacea or Poison?
by Anne-Lise Gotzsche
In September 1973 I wrote a feature for The Sunday Times on fluoridation which caused the Fluoridation Society Ltd to launch a nationwide attack on me personally and inspired the British Dental Association to accuse The Sunday Times of having done ‘enormous harm to the cause of dental health’ as well as giving in to an ‘anti-fluoridation coup’.
In this attack, British fluoride promoters used much the same language and methods as American ones, and the nature of such attacks show how difficult it can be for a journalist to publish research which happens not to coincide with the line taken by medical and scientific authorities. Such attacks – and the pressure which is sometimes put on editors to publish only pro-fluoride copy – also demonstrate the extent to which fluoridation is a political and not a purely scientific or dental controversy. A great many interests are at stake, and some have very little to do with dentistry.
It seems to me that dentists are taking it upon themselves to decide, not only in matters of public dental health but also in matters of environmental health, a very much more complex subject of which they have little knowledge. In so far as environmental health concerns industry and the waste products produced by industry, as well as the legislation which is necessary to cope with such pollution, the dental profession could be said to be trespassing into territory which belongs to other experts. In the sheer political fervor with which they try to force fluoridation on the community, they could even be said to be usurping the power of Parliament. As far as fluoride is concerned, politicians today are taking advice from dentists on matters which lie far outside the dental field – and the dentists in turn often pretend – or believe – that these other problems do not exist.
They are doing this at a time when figures compiled from recent official US statistics show that, after over 25 years of fluoridation, some of the longest fluoridated cities in North America, Grand Rapids, Newburgh, and Evanston, have approximately twice as many dentists per unit population as the average figure for the whole country, and almost twice as many as the average number for the ‘naturally fluoridated’ towns.
There are many reasons for dentist-population ratios but these figures do not point to a dramatic decrease in dental decay, nor to dentists being done out of their jobs by fluoride, as they are fond of claiming. Quite the contrary. America is going through a remarkable dental crisis with dental decay affecting 95 percent of school-children and with 25 million Americans toothless, despite all their fluoride.
Yet in Britain, the British Dental Association now suggests that pressure should be put on the education authorities to include pro-fluoride projects in school syllabuses and dentists are constantly encouraged to play politics with fluoride, not just dental politics but public politics.
The real importance of this issue is not so much fluoride itself as the fact that this is the first scientific controversy to be put to the vote across the world, and to be subjected to all the usual, well-financed publicity stunts of ordinary political electioneering.
And yet the leading players – the scientific fluoride proponents – are not elected by the public, do not have to answer to the public for their mistakes, and are responsible to no one but each other for their decisions. Policy is decided behind closed doors and no respectable opposition to the official party line is tolerated.
Dentistry is not the only sphere of science where a few men may hold great power and influence unknown to the general public, though often only too painfully well-known to their own rank and file.
A science-based society would be ill-advised not to have a hard and close look at current scientific discontent. The very fact that even the poor, ill-organized, and amateurish lay opposition to fluoridation has been so successful for so long, shows that at least the general public have a kind of understanding of what is going on, and that even lay people now seem to sense that the scientist who deals in ideas may be just as dishonest and unfair in trying to sell his ideas as the manufacturer and the salesman.
There is another point, a point made by the British Dental Association. In attacks on me they have complained angrily that they had not been ‘consulted’. They had of course been consulted, but that is of no consequence. No political journalist is under any obligation to ‘consult’ with the powers-that-be before he writes about them, nor is he stopped from questioning their actions or pointing out their mistakes. There is no earthly reason why a science journalist, or anyone else for that matter, should ‘consult’ the British Dental Association before writing about dentistry.
The sheer arrogance of dentists who want newspaper editors to suppress letters from people who don’t agree with them is perhaps what this whole quarrel is really about.
Science is full of quirks, fads and fashions, lobbying for grants and position, personal feuds, and genuine disagreements. The bill, as always, is footed by the taxpayer, the electorate, the consumer. And yet too many scientific societies still cling to the archaic belief that they have inherited some sort of superior and moral right not to be questioned. When, as in this case, academic interests happen to coincide with those of politicians and of industry, there is trouble indeed. Thus Shropshire County Council could, in the autumn of 1973 come out and propose adding fluorosilic acid to the drinking water at no less than 22 remote and unguarded points without anyone except a retired police and factory surgeon making a fuss – apart from the ‘vociferous minority’ or ‘cranky’ anti-fluoridationists.
Today good and reasonable dentists state privately that ‘fluoride helps a little but not very much’. The statistics would seem to bear out this verdict. Unfortunately good and reasonable dentists prefer to stay in the background and just get on with their work. They are rarely to be found among the fluoride gospel preachers, and the pubic rarely hears about them. How cautious we should be about those scientists and academics who do decide to play politics – without following the normal democratic rules of the political game – has been splendidly illustrated in a now almost forgotten incident.
Back in 1945 two now famous and distinguished American dental researchers, Michael G. Buonocore and Basil G. Bibby, warmly recommended the use of lead fluoride in dental prevention, claiming that lead was far more effective than fluoride and lead fluoride far more effective than any other types of fluoride. They did this in an excellently reasoned research paper which is now quite a collector’s item – though it causes medical researchers to throw up their hands in horror.
That our children are not now given lead tablets at school to prevent tooth decay is perhaps a reflection of the fact that the public may have more sense than they are sometimes given credit for.
‘Fluoridation of water supplies would be marvelously beneficial to young children and, in the absence of proof of toxic effects of such a measure, it is difficult to understand the ethics of those who deny its benefits to them. It amounts, in my opinion, to a conspiracy of wickedness against young children.’
Surgeon Rear Admiral W.I.N. Forrest,
Guy’s Hospital Gazette, 24 February 1973.