– Compiled and edited by Mike Dolan, PhD.
Yesterday we raised $1,867 from 21 supporters. This is doubled to $3,734 thanks to the $10,000 doubling pledge made by one of our “super-angels” last Friday. This bring our new total to $25,079 from 124 donors on our way to our year-end goal of $180,000 from 1000 donors.
Thank you so much for the big day yesterday, and remember that the next $8,133 will continued to be doubled!!
If you’ve found value in our educational, legal, and advocacy work, please consider making a donation to our 2023 operating budget so we can continue to develop and improve upon our campaign. Together we can make fluoridation a relic of the past.
You can make your donation online using either our new secure fundraising page: https://fluoridealert.networkforgood.com/projects/176427-everyday-giving
Or you can use our original secure online fundraising page if your computer browser is a bit older: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1415005
You can also donate by check, payable and addressed to:
Fluoride Action Network
PO Box 85
North Sutton, NH 03260
Eleanor Krinsky of Plainview, NY, one of the central figures in a grassroots network of mostly women activists working to repeal fluoridation in the USA, has died just short of her 100th birthday.
In 1975, Krinsky founded the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF), the nation’s most successful and long-lived statewide organization fighting fluoridation, which among other accomplishments, has kept Long Island, NY free of fluoridation.
“Her energy was prodigious and she strove to enlighten others and bring them actively into the endlessly difficult work to end fluoridation,” wrote her friend Naomi Flack in an email.
Fifteen years ago Krinsky and her colleague and successor as Media Director Carol Kopf donated the group’s early archive to the Special Collections Department at the Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Kopf noted, “Eleanor helped anyone who asked and was very smart, reliable, inclusive, indefatigable, respectful and especially diplomatic and astute legislatively. An expert on activism, she was the behind-the-scenes antagonist to the fluoridationists.”
She was meticulous in her work, as characterized by the typed Post-It note annotations that she added to the inserts, flyers and papers that made up the postal mail “internet” used by fluoridation activists before the Digital Age.
Among her countless achievements was the creation of the local rule bill – requiring a governing body, instead of one person such as a Health Commissioner, to say yay or nay to fluoridation, the blocking of state mandate bills by organizing legislators to sponsor bills banning fluoridation. Other major accomplishments were spearheading the banning of fluoridation in Suffolk County; aiding activists in Nassau County communities to disconnect from New York City’s fluoridated water supply to enable fluoride-free water; and recruiting Ellen and Paul Connett to the movement to stop fluoridation.
Eleanor Krinsky and Ted Weiss
In 2011 this writer contacted Krinsky to ask about Ted Weiss’ involvement with efforts to repeal fluoridation. A Democrat from Manhattan, Weiss was one of the most widely respected liberal members of Congress.
She wrote back, “Yes, Ted Weiss was a very genuine and sincere U.S. Congressman in New York State, in Manhattan. Our side got his attention quite some time ago. [I think we were] really helped [getting started] by a former very active fluoridation opponent in Massachusetts, Susan Pare. She worked closely with Dr. Yiamouyiannis. She printed up very effective large postcards on hard paper addressed to Congressman Ted Weiss and asking everyone to sign and send and also get a supply of cards from her to get others to sign. I remember we at NYSCOF got about 200 cards and we got the cards addressed to our members, supporters and people we felt would sign and send the cards, and evidently Ted Weiss received them by the hundreds and took an interest in our issue.”
“He had an aide handle the fluoridation problem. In fact, he sent him to a government agency’s office in another state to look into the animal study on fluoride and cancer. Can’t remember if it was the osteosarcoma thing or what exactly. When this aide went to the agency he found out a lot of information and the bias that is shown.”
“Congressman Weiss promised to hold hearings and it made the newspapers, but very unfortunately he died after an operation. He might have been allergic to the anesthesia. We lost a wonderful friend in him.”
The new Director-General of Health Dr. Diana Sarfati, showing less zeal for water fluoridation than her predecessor, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, has told the city of Christchurch that she will not make a decision on fluoridating the city until next April.
“Sarfati said as part of the decision-making, she would consider scientific evidence on fluoride’s effectiveness and whether the benefits outweigh the costs,” according to a report on the stuff.co.nz website November 21.
Christchurch has a decentralized water system that would require adding fluoride at 50 different locations. It would cost $63 million to implement, according to the report.
While the new national fluoridation mandate in New Zealand requires the district councils to pay for equipment installation, the City Council of Christchurch voted unanimously in April to have the central government pay the cost.
The successful campaign to eradicate the Guinea worm human parasite from the hundreds of tribal peoples in Rajasthan, India through use of other water supplies has now led to the growing problem of fluorosis from fluoride-contaminated drinking water.
As Fluoride editor Dr. Bruce Spittle has succinctly expressed it, “The use of groundwater, obtained from boreholes, tube-wells, and hand pumps, has been part of a campaign to rid the area of Guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis) which is usually spread by drinking water containing copepods (water fleas) infected with larvae of the parasitic nematode worm Dracunculus medinensis L. Although the groundwater has been safe from Dracunculus medinensis contamination and helped to almost eradicate dracunculiasis from the tribal area of Rajasthan, it has been at the price of introducing a new health problem, chronic fluorosis, which causes an arguably greater level of morbidity. To complete the mission of ridding the area of dracunculiasis, it is necessary to ensure that water sources are provided which are safe from not only Guinea worm disease but also from chronic fluorosis.”
A comprehensive review of the problem by Indian scholar S.L. Choubisa in a recent issue of Fluoride provides maps of the region, and documents fluoride’s effects on the 700 tribes of the effected districts, including their socio-economic status, nutrition, sources of fluoride exposure and its adverse health effects, and remedies to the problem.
He concludes, “Chronic fluoride intoxication or fluorosis in the tribal people could be checked or controlled by adopting and implementing the following recommendations: (i) the regular supplying or providing of fluoride-free treated drinking water, (ii) checking the entry of fluoride into the body through any sources or food items such as wine, tea, rock salt, tobacco and betel nut, (iii) providing nutritious foods containing an ample amount of calcium, vitamin C, and antioxidants, and (iv) awakening in the tribal people, with the help of well-trained students and teachers, knowledge of the measures available to prevent chronic fluoride poisoning.”
Only 25 percent of the dental and dental hygiene students at the University of Sassari who responded to a survey “correctly identified the period of development of dental fluorosis,” according to a report in the journal Children November 16.
The authors of the study, from several Italian and Swiss universities, noted, “A prompt and accurate diagnosis of developmental defects of enamel (DDE) is mandatory for proper treatment management.”
They recognized the seriousness of these disorders, writing, “Affected teeth might be discolored, and they are often sensitive and prone to fracture or wear easily (post-eruptive breakdown). Furthermore, the restoration of affected teeth is frequently very problematic as conventional dental materials do not bond effectively to the defective enamel. In addition, affected individuals may present high levels of dental anxiety, making their management challenging and stressful for the patient, as well as for the parents and clinicians.”
The authors seemed dismayed at the lack of knowledge, writing, “During undergraduate courses in Dentistry and Dental Hygiene, students should acquire knowledge as well as several practical skills, ranging from laboratory work to diagnostic measures and a variety of therapeutic interventions. During pre-clinical classes, students are expected to acquire the knowledge needed to diagnose the different pathologies that enamel can present. In Italy, the undergraduate degree in Dentistry lasts for 6 years with five courses in which knowledge about DDE [which includes dental fluorosis] is provided with regard to their preventive and therapeutic management. The Dental Hygiene degree lasts for 3 years with about three courses in which knowledge about DDE is provided.”
Despite the greater amount of training for dental students, the survey results showed that dental hygiene students had greater knowledge of these problems, according to the report.
The Minister of State for Health and Social Care has announced that he will proceed with the expansion of water fluoridation in northeast England, specifically targeting Northumberland, County Durham, Sunderland, South Tyneside and Teesside, including Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington and Middlesbrough, according to a report in the British Dental Journal.
The Minister, Will Quince, expressed a concern for the expense of the program, but showed no interest in considering the full costs of water fluoridation including the numerous adverse health effects that are well documented but ignored by advocates.
“One element in deciding whether we proceed with a water fluoridation proposal is of course a cost-benefit analysis of said proposal, and any new proposal would have to demonstrate that the benefit to health represents good value for the investment of public money being proposed,” he said at a recent committee meeting on the fluoridation consultation process.
An agent of the British Fluoridation Society welcomed the news, stating, “‘As the Minister stated, the expansion will enable an additional 1.6 million people to benefit from water fluoridation. It will help to reduce the levels of tooth decay in the area and, over time, reduce the numbers of children who need to be admitted to hospital for tooth extractions because of decay.”
Quince’s announcement was made before the results of the multi-million dollar CATFISH fluoridation study were released. Numerous newspapers and FAN have reported that the CATFISH study found much smaller dental benefits from fluoridation in Northwest England than have been assumed by public health authorities promoting fluoridation. The authors of the study concluded that with the very modest reductions in tooth decay (only 4% more children were caries free), that other options such as Childsmile type programs, may be more desirable than fluoridation. FAN’s analysis of the CATFISH study also suggests the economic costs of fluoridation are likely to far outweigh the economic benefits from a very small reduction in caries. See the FAN Bulletin for more details about this important development.
•• Michael Dolan can be contacted at <email@example.com>
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