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The Case Against Fluoride P2

Now, the proponents claim that they’re merely adjusting the levels of a naturally occurring element.  Well, is anybody talking about adjusting the levels of naturally occurring arsenic?  Just because something occurs naturally does not make it safe.  Arsenic is not safe.  Fluoride is not safe.

As far as nature is concerned, we have a very good indicator of what nature thinks is safe, safe for a newborn baby.  The level in mother’s milk is extremely small.  It’s 0.004 parts per million.  Now, the average level that you fluoridate in New Zealand is 0.85 ppm.

If you bottle feed your baby and you use tap water, you’re giving your baby 200 times more fluoride than a breastfed baby, or put it another way, 200 times more fluoride than nature intended for the baby.  Now, who knows more about what the baby needs:  Nature, after experimenting for thousands or millions of years with evolution or a bunch of dentists in Chicago?  I put my money on mother nature.

In New Zealand, you fluoridate between 0.7 and 1 part per million fluoride.  The average is 0.85ppm.  That’s 200 times the level in mother’s milk.  To put that another way, it’s 20,000% higher than a breast fed baby.  In my view, that’s irresponsible and reckless.  Once you know that, it’s irresponsible and reckless for a pediatrician to stand by and let this happen.

The proponents claim that water fluoridation is not medication, but the definition of a medicine is a substance used to treat a disease, and we are using this substance to treat or prevent dental decay.  Clearly, fluoride is a medicine, and fluoridation is mass medication.

It’s a poor medical practice.  In the United States, the US Food and Drug Administration, after 68 years, has never regulated fluoride for ingestion.  It’s neither regulated fluoride pills nor fluoride in water, and the official classification of fluoride, it took us some time to get this in writing, is that it’s an unapproved drug.  Think of that:  The most prescribed medication in US history going to more people, over 200 million people every day in their drinking water, and it’s never been regulated by the FDA, never been approved by the FDA.

As a result, there has never been randomized clinical trials to demonstrate either the effectiveness or safety of fluoridation.  None, no, as what would happen with any other drug regulated by the FDA.  What do they do if a drug goes on the market?  They collect all the side effects.  They collect reports from patients and from doctors about what this drug is doing to them, and they don’t dismiss that as anectodal information.  They collect all this data.

Nothing.  The FDA is collecting no data.  Our doctors are blind to the health effects.  Our regulatory agencies have no idea.  Bruce Spittle in New Zealand has written a book called Fluoride Fatigue, and that documents the fact that one or two percent of the population is very sensitive to fluoride, experiences symptoms which can be reversed when you remove the fluoride and come back when you get re-introduced to the fluoride.

Many people are probably walking around with many symptoms, common symptoms, skin rashes, gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems, chronic fatigue, have no idea, having been treated with umpteenth medicines from doctors uselessly, that this is caused by something as simple as the fluoride in their drinking water.

Fluoridation is not ethical.  No government has the right to force medication on its people.  It deprives individuals of their right to informed consent to medication.  A local government, your Auckland government, is doing to everyone what no single doctor in Auckland can do to anyone.  Let me say that again.  The city of Auckland is doing to everyone what an individual doctor can do to no one in Auckland.

An individual doctor, if he went up to you and said, “I put something in this glass of water which is going to be good for you.  Drink it.”  You say, “I don’t want to drink it.” “Drink it.” “No, I don’t want to drink it.” “Drink it.” “No, I don’t want to drink it.” “Well, if you don’t drink it, don’t come back to my office.”  If he was to use pressure to force you to take your medication like that, he or she could lose their license.  This play has been written by Kafka.  We’re doing this to everybody.

In my view, doctors should be ashamed to allow water fluoridation to take place.  This room should be full of doctors here, full of doctors, because doctors are taught about informed consent of medication.  If you go to the webpage of the American Medical Association, it very clearly spells out what informed consent to medication is, and I’m sure New Zealand doctors also get this training.  How can they stand by and see this violated?  Probably because they’ve got friends in the Rotary Club or the golf club, dental friends, and they think they’re doing their dental colleagues a favor.  After all, this is about teeth.  Right, this is about teeth.  So, we’ll let the dentists get on with it.  No, this is more.  We have more tissues in our body than teeth.  We have brains.  We have bones.  We have kidneys.  We have endocrine systems.

So, these doctors should help us get dentistry out of the public water supply and back to the dental office.  You want to practice dentistry?  Practice it in your dental office.  Don’t practice it with my water.  Thank you very much.  I don’t want my dentist in my water.  Leave it alone.  Excuse me.  I’m glad you’re here.

The evidence of benefit is very, very weak.  This is one of the shocks for us. This is one of the shocks.  When we wrote this book, we had assumed, like most people, that the big arguments would be, is this dangerous?  We know it’s good.  We know it’s good for us because the dentist will tell us it’s wonderful, but the shock was when looked at the literature on the effectiveness of swallowing fluoride, whether or not swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay, we were amazed how weak the evidence was.

By the way, this is not evidence from anti-fluoridation scientists.  The evidence that I’m about to cite comes from their side, pro-fluoridation dentists and pro-fluoridation agencies.  This is what’s so funny.  If only dentists had time to read the literature, they would realize that their own literature destroys the validity of this practice, but I’ll share that with you now.  You can make up your own mind whether I’m exaggerating here or not.

First of all, 97%, as you heard from the first presenter, of Western Europe drinks non-fluoridated water.  Some started but stopped.  So, all those countries don’t fluoridate.  Four of them fluoridate their salt, but the vast majority neither fluoridate their salt nor their water.

If you look at the tooth decay in 12-year olds, which is collected by the World Health Organization and published online, you’ll see it’s coming down as fast in the non-fluoridated countries of the top 12 on the right, as the fluoridated countries.  In fact, you can’t tell the difference.  That’s tooth decay in 12-year olds coming down from the 1960s to the present.   If you look at the figures for the present, it’s awash.  There is little difference in tooth decay in children who’ve grown up from fluoridated countries or non-fluoridated countries.  So, there’s no evidence there to support the benefits of water fluoridation.

If we compare US communities, this was the largest study done in the United States.  They looked at 39,000 children in 84 communities, and this was sponsored by The National Institute of Dental Research, which is pro-fluoridation.  What did they find?  All they looked at was decayed, missing, and filled surfaces.

So, that you’ll know what we’re going to be talking about, the top six cutting teeth, the bottom six cutting teeth have four surfaces because they don’t count the cutting edge as a surface.  So, four surfaces, the top six, bottom six, and then the chewing surfaces, the rest of teeth, they have surfaces.  All together, by the time that all the permanent teeth have come out, there’s 128 tooth surfaces.  If you look at the average tooth decay for 5 to 17-year olds, for children that have always lives in a fluoridated community in the United States, the average is 2.8 decayed, missing, and filled surfaces.  If you look at the same for non-fluoridated children who’ve always lived in a non-fluoridated area, it was 3.4.  If you subtract one from the other, you’re looking at the average saving in tooth decay of 0.6, of one tooth surface out of about 100 tooth surfaces.  By the time they’ve all come out it may be up to just above one tooth surface, but this is what all the risks are for.  We’ll talk about the health effects in a moment, but apparently we’re doing it for this 0.6.  Wait a moment.  There’s something strange about this paper.

Even though it was a government-supported research at the highest level, they didn’t report the statistical significance.  They didn’t demonstrate that this 0.6 saving of one surface was statistically significant, and when Kathleen Thiesen, a member of the National Research Council Panel that reviewed this subject, looked at the statistics, it was not statistically significant.

Now, if we try to say, stop fluoridation because of this amazing result and we produce a finding that was comparable to this and say that it was not statistically significant, they would just laugh us out of court.  In fact, they have.

There’s a Chinese study on hip fractures in which there’s a doubling of hip fractures at 1.5 parts per million, but all the pro-fluoridation people ignore that point because it’s not statistically significant.  That’s about a serious thing like a hip fracture.  Alright, let’s go on.

Studies in Australia have found an even less saving the 0.6 DMFS.  Spencer and co-workers reported a saving between 0.12 and 0.3 DMFS.  Spencer is one of the leading proponents of fluoridation in the world.  He’s funded by Colgate and is from the Adelaide University, but they could only find between 0.12 and 0.3 DMFS.  Spencer, again, doing a study in South Australia with about 10,000 kids, found  no statistically significant difference in the permanent teeth between children who’d drank fluoridated water all their lives or bottled water or tank water.  Yet, these two went on to recommend a fluoridated bottled water.

The story of two relationships.  The first relationship is fluoridated water and a condition called dental fluorosis.  Dental fluorosis is a mottling of the teeth.  It’s a well-known biomarker of overexposure to fluoride before your permanent teeth have come out.  It’s a systemic effect.  It’s fluoride interfering with the growing tooth cells, interfering with the enamel.

So, very mild dental fluorosis has little white specs on the cusps of the teeth at one end of the spectrum, and then this is at the other end of the spectrum where up to 25% of the tooth surface has this patchy, chalky appearance.  With time, that can get discolored, go yellow, orange, brown, and so on.  Now, mild dental fluorosis, notice the terminology, is up to 50% of the tooth surface impacted.  Moderate or severe is 100% of the tooth surface impacted with indentations and with the severe, crumbling, brittleness, as well.

Now, we’re going to look at that same database from the National Institute of Dental Research that I’ve already talked about, and over here is the level of fluoride in the water, that left column, less than 0.3 g/mL, 0.3-0.7g/mL, 0.7-1.2g/mL, and greater than 1.2 g/mL.   Look at the prevalence of dental fluorosis.  This is for thousands of children in the United States, 39,000 children.  See how the prevalence of dental fluorosis goes up with the increased concentration of fluoride in the water, 14.6%, 19.6%, 25.2%, 40.5%.  There is a very clear relationship between the amount of fluoride in the water and this condition called dental fluorosis.

Now, let’s look at the same concentrations in the water and look at the children, this is fluoridated water, with dental caries.  The central column in green.  Less than 0.3 g/mL, 55.5%.  This is children with caries; 0.3-0.7 g/mL, 54.6%; 0.7-1.2g/mL, that’s artificial fluoridation, 54.4%; greater than 11.2 g/mL, 56.4%.  There is not a clear relationship between fluoride in the water and dental caries.  There’s a strong relationship with dental fluorosis.

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