Dan Stockin does it again (see his media release). Using the Freedom of Information Act he has obtained all the un-redacted correspondence among those individuals at the CDC, ADA and Pew who were involved in the attempt in May-June of 2011 to “put the lid on” concerns from Civil Rights leaders in Atlanta (former UN Ambassador Andrew Young; the Rev Durley and the niece and daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr) about the disproportionate harm fluoridation is causing Black and Hispanic communities in the US and the failure of the CDC to warn these communities of their extra vulnerabilities to fluoride (“FluorideGate”).
These statements from Civil Rights leaders were of huge concern to fluoridation promoters. According to Dr. Leon Stanislav (who was sent by the ADA to the meeting discussed below), “This is becoming a very large picture (issue, PC) with a movement through the black ministries and, possibly, even as high as the administration.” (p.260)
Having read through the 320 pages of documentation provided by FOIA, it is clear that much of the information has been redacted – 80 pages were blanked out and another 45 pages were partially blanked out. It is puzzling that so much of the discussion on this public health practice is deemed so confidential that it has to be kept hidden from the public. Usually, there are very serious reasons (e.g. national security) why FOIA pages are redacted. However, in this case national security would not apply. So when it comes to the defense of a public health practice the redaction of so much material would seem to fly in the face of the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act.
The key event at the heart of the “fluoridation fortress (CDC, ADA, Pew)” response to the Civil Rights’ leaders was a meeting held at Morehouse College in Atlanta on June 1, 2011. The meeting was organized behind the scenes by the PEW Charitable Trusts, but they had no representative at the meeting (Page 259). Those attending were:
Ambassador Andrew Young
Rev. Gerald Durley
Dr. David Satcher (former US Surgeon General)
Dr. John Maupin, Morehouse School of Medicine
Environmental Protection Agency
• Dr. Gwen Keyes Fleming, EPA, Administrator Region IV
• Dr. Ursula Bauer, Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and health promotion
• Dr. Scott Presson, CDC program services
• Dr. Gina Thornton-Evans – CDC oral health epidemiologist
• Dr. Desmond Williams, Lead, Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative
HHS/Office of Minority Health
• Dr. Garth Graham –Deputy Assistant Director for Minority Health
• Dr. Rochelle Rollins, Director, Division of Policy and Data
• Dr. Arlene Lester, Regional Minority Health Consultant, Georgia State
National Dental Association (NDA)
• Dr. Elizabeth Lense, State Dental Director, NDA
• Dr. Sheila Brown, President, NDA
• Dr. Roy Irons, DDS
• Dr. Kim Perry, Chairman of the Board, NDA
• Mr. Robert Johns, ED
American Dental Association (ADA)
• Dr. Bill Cainon, Pres-Elect, ADA
• Dr. Leon Stanislav, former Chairman NFAC
• Judy Sherman, Washington DC office, ADA
A noticeable absentee from this list was Dan Stockin, who was invited to attend by Rev. Durley, but was dis-invited en route to the meeting!
Clearly, this meeting was designed to provide only one side of the fluoridation debate to the Civil Rights leaders.
Involved in the discussions before the meeting was Dr. William Maas, former Oral Health Director of the CDC and in 2011 was working for Pew as a consultant. In one of his emails (dated May 6 to Dr. William Bailey the current Oral Health Director at the CDC) he is clearly worried about the ramifications of the number of studies that indicate that fluoride damages the brains of both animal and humans. He writes (page 173):
Bill, you may recall that I suggested some time ago, perhaps even before you were CDO, that we ought to find someone who is “the Gary Whitford of brain change or IQ studies.” If my recollection is correct, some of the very first studies associating fluoride with IQ were refuted by a review of David Locker. Of course his death has ended that source of ongoing rebuttal. I thought it best that we find out the types of people that other divisions of the CDC would go to answer questions about whether substances cause brain alteration. Of course our biases may be entirely different that [sic] other divisions. They may be looking for the slightest evidence that something in the environment is bad for brains, whereas we are only interested in compelling evidence that our favorite substance causes brain changes, and want to minimize the credibility of poorly conducted studies or well-conducted studies that are not relevant.
While I don’t want to completely dismiss the possibility that fluoride in water at levels provided to the public in the US (that would be 4mg/L or less) causes brain changes, IQ changes, etc, I suspect that all of these 130 studies that were mentioned share some common flaws that someone who studies IQ and brain changes for a living would be able to identify and summarize for us, (much as we’ve used Gary Whitford to help us understand the flaws in studies purporting changes to kidney functions, etc.)…”
One notices with this comment a common feature in the activities of the CDC, ADA and Pew. The emphasis is on finding ways to “deny” harm rather than a genuine effort to find out if harm is being caused by this practice. It is 20 years since the first animal studies on fluoride’s neurotoxicity (Mullenix et al, 1995) and subsequent IQ studies were published, why has so little effort been put into research on this issue in the US and other fluoridated countries?
As Dan Stockin concludes in his media release, “Fluoridegate is about officials being more concerned to protect water fluoridation at all costs than protecting the health of the people they serve.”
How can you help? Write to your Senator and Congressperson and ask them to support “FluorideGate” hearings to investigate this issue more fully. We need these fluoridation promoters and defenders to testify under oath. Why are they hiding the health risks from minority communities? Meanwhile, ask your representatives if they can help find out what is hidden in the redacted pages in this FOIA document.
- Govt Failed to Warn about fluoride’s disproportionate harm to black community, FAN press release, October 15, 2014.
- Santa Rosa NAACP opposes water fluoridation as greater risk for people of color. December 4, 2014.
- Portland NAACP opposes fluoridation. By Aaron Mesh, Williamette Week, April 17, 2014.
- LULAC’s Resolution opposing water fluoridation. Resolution adopted on July 1, 2011. League of United Latin American Citizens.
- Table 23. Enamel fluorosis among persons aged 6-39. MMWR, 2005.
- Environmental Justice. FAN.
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