Lies, damned lies, and statistics: That Mark Twain line seems to describe maneuverings while the California Supreme Court considered Watsonville’s appeal against the state forcibly fluoridating its water.
A conveniently timed survey by the Dental Health Foundation indicating increased cavities splashed through local front pages, but a few details should be added.
First, the DHF is basically a fluoridation advocacy group. In fact, it was founded in 1985 through the efforts of Ernest Newbrun, who has served the past 20 years on its board — including seven as chairman. Newbrun has also spent the past 40 years pushing fluoridation, so the DHF might be nonprofit, but certainly isn’t non-biased.
One omitted detail is that many of the schools surveyed to show increased cavities were in L.A., Sacramento and San Francisco — all fluoridated communities. Guess that fact didn’t fit the intent of influencing a court decision.
Also receiving little notice was the recent Harvard study linking fluoridation to bone cancer in young humans, and the call from EPA scientists for a moratorium on new fluoridation programs until such findings are investigated.
Meanwhile, the state continues its effort to put fluoride in our water while telling us we can no longer put flashlight batteries in the landfill. Apparently it’s safer to swallow toxic waste than bury it.
Steve Bankhead is a regular columnist for the Register-Pajaronian.