Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation Forum. Defensive talk shop

Source: Irish Medical News | November 26th, 2001 | by Andrew Rynne
Location: Ireland

By the time this goes to print we may well have the long promised report from the so called Forum on Fluoridation. Or we may not, there have been several missed deadlines already. But it hardly matters. My prediction for the outcome of this most biased of talk shops is that the status quo will be protected, the citizens of this country will continue to be force fed a daily dose of toxic waste and nothing of any real substance will ensue. I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it.

The budget for this Forum for 2001 alone was a whopping £250,000.That is a hell of a lot of lunches and soft drinks isn’t it? What exactly will the tax payers of this country get for this expenditure. They will get a report. They will not get the results of any serious scientific study into the efficacy or safety of fluoridated drinking water. They will not even know what the average fluoride levels are for the citizens of this state, something that could be ascertained for a lot less than a quarter of a million pounds. No, they will get a report, a report from a group of people the vast majority of whom are known to be lifelong fluoridation supporters and promoters. That is what you will get for your £250,000.

Dr. Paul Connett is professor of Chemistry at St. Lawrence University, New York and a scientist of international standing. He was asked by the  Minister Micheal Martin if he would make a submission to the Forum on Fluoridation. Although undoubtedly a busy man Professor Connett did agree to make a submission to the forum and went to some considerable trouble in doing so. His submission took the form of “Fifty Reasons for Opposing Fluoridation‚”  that he felt the forum should address.

Space does not allow for the reproduction of all these questions here but just to give a flavour for them here are a few chosen at random:

“Fluoride is a cumulative poison. Only 50% of the fluoride we ingest each day is excreted through the kidneys, the remainder accumulates in our bones. Pineal gland, and other tissues.”

“Fluoride inhibits enzymes in test tubes ( Waldbott, 1978 ), in bacteria in the oral cavity (Featherstone, 2000 ), in the growing tooth ( DenBesten, !999 ), in bone ( Krook and Minor 1998 ),and in other tissues ( Luke, 1998)”

“Where fluoride has been discontinued in communities from Canada, to former East Germany, Cuba and Finland, dental decay has not increased but has actually decreased.”

According to the minutes of the Forums meeting held on Nov 9th 2000 the “Forum agreed to address Dr. Connett’s fifty questions.” At their next meeting held in December of that year it is recorded that a Sub Group under the chairmanship of Professor O’Mullane was to be established specifically to address Dr. Connett’s fifty questions raised and that draft replies would be completed by January the 11th the following month.

It was however at this stage that things began to go decidedly ropey.  The Jan 11th dead line came and went without any recorded progress having been made on Dr. Connett’s fifty questions. At the February meeting of this year the minutes record that “Professor O‚Mullane stated that the sub-committee working on Dr. Connett’s questions should have it’s report back by the meeting of March the 8th and that the collection of all relative articles had involved a lot of work.” Surprise, surprise.

March April and May went by this Spring without any reported progress being made on Dr Cornett’s bothersome questions. Then in June the meeting’s recorder reported that “Professor O’Mullane, as Chairman of the Sub-Group working on responding to Dr. Connett’s fifty questions explained that this was an enormous and very detailed task and was taking a lot of time to compile; it was hoped that the report would be completed by the end of July 2001.”

July August September and October slipped by and still not one answer to Dr. Connett’s fifty questions. And now we are told that the Forum’s famous report is about to be published without Dr. Connett’s fifty questions being specifically addressed. So here we have a world scientific authority who was invited by the Minister to make a presentation to the Forum. He kindly and professionally obliged in the form of fifty concerns that he had regarding the fluoridation of drinking water.

The Forum subsequently undertook, through a sub-group under the Chairmanship of Professor O’Mullane, to address each and every one of Connett’s questions and to report their findings and rebuttals back to the main group. It subsequently utterly failed to answer not fifty but even one or two of the concerns raised. What are we to make of this debacle?

My interpretation of events is that on initially hearing the fifty concerns raised it was assumed that answering these or finding contrary evidence would be quite easy. After all they undertook to have a report back within a few weeks. But this was a serious tactical error of judgement because as the weeks and months sped by it slowly became apparent that, even with all the equivalence that surrounds this debate, not enough could be unearthed to credibly answer Professor Connett’s worries. And so the project had to be dropped and the credibility of the Forum on Fluoridation is yet again seriously undermined.