THOSE advocating the addition of fluoride to Queensland’s public water supply prefer to denigrate opponents than engage in substantive debate.
For instance, the Australian Dental Association’s Robert McCray dismisses opponents’ arguments and says people who don’t want fluoride can take it out of the water themselves – at significant expense.
This is a medical treatment which defies every rule of drug management – administrated compulsorily every day, for a lifetime, regardless of age and medical circumstances (and with little prior education or choice for the community).
McCray seeks to relegate those opposed to his views as “nutters”, including me – a medical practitioner vitally interested in early intervention medicine and spokesman for more than 3000 Australian doctors, dentists, scientists and other health practitioners – and my wife, a medical professional and dedicated researcher in this subject. Presumably it also includes a third of Brisbane’s population; in a community forum in 2005, Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said he would not support water fluoridation because a third of residents rejected mass medication.
It must also include 14 Nobel Prize winners who oppose water fluoridation on scientific grounds, including Arvid Carlsson who led the successful campaign against fluoridation in Sweden, and who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2000.
Is McCray’s patronising argument also directed against the 12 North American scientific experts on fluoride who met regularly over three years (National Research Council USA 2006)? They concluded that communities with water fluoridation had increased rates of:
• Hip fractures – fluoride can make bones more brittle and cause joint stiffness and pain.
• Lowered IQ in children, even at low dose.
• Decreased thyroid function.
• Bone cancer – positive in animal studies and later to be seen positive in young boys by a 2006 study.
• Dental fluorosis – staining and pitting of tooth enamel.
We suggest the ADA is being negligent in not following the world’s largest group of dentists, the American Dental Association, in stating clearly on its website the warning that fluoridated water should not be used for formula-fed babies.
This website should acknowledge also the research that at least 1 per cent of the population will suffer from allergic reactions from fluoride in water (that’s 40,000 in this state – a lot of Queenslanders).
Might it also include the Centre for Disease Control’s acknowledgments in 1999 and 2002 that where fluoride is effective, it is in the topical (local) application to teeth?
And is it unreasonable to expect the “all the facts” website be up to date and report the recent publication by the prestigious Lancet, of human neurotoxicity caused by fluoride in water – in similar concentrations now recommended by the dentists for Queensland’s drinking water?
For obvious reasons, then, the following situation exists:
• Only nine countries in the world have fluoridation of more than 50 per cent of their public water supplies. Thus Queensland is presently “in step” with most of the world.
• Less than 2 per cent of Continental Europe’s drinking water is fluoridated. Europe has abandoned the discredited practice over the past 30 years and with no loss to dental health.
• Japan, China, Scotland and Northern Ireland have rejected fluoridation. Israel has ceased expansion due to recent research exposing negative health effects.
Finally, less than 1 per cent of water used is actually drunk.
Most water is for other household use including sewage, and for use by industry etc.
Could a less efficient, more wasteful system of medication distribution ever be devised?
There are also significant issues concerning the damage to our ecology by the subsequent disposal of this known poison. Surely all Queenslanders are entitled to examine this information before they are compulsorily medicated for a lifetime.
Big business and government are funding the dentists in their harmful crusade and Queensland Health has declared already it is not interested in presenting both sides.
A case in point is the impending Warwick fluoride poll which has huge resources and funding for the “Yes” case, and absolutely no funding for the “No” case.
Of course, we are unable to match their resources, so we encourage Queenslanders to Google “fluoride” for their own education.
Dr John Ryan is the chairman of the group Professionals Against Water Fluoridation