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celebrity and fluoride « Previous | |Next »
January 11, 2008

A letter to the editor in a Gold Coast newspaper registers objection to the proposed fluoridation of drinking water. It quotes in full another letter to the editor printed in the Malibu Times objecting to the fluoridation of tap water there. The letter within the letter is signed Martin and Janet Sheen.

"Yes, that's him" writes the Gold Coast resident. "Martin Sheen of Apocalypse Now and more recently West Wing fame".

So there you go. Fluoride must be bad if President Bartlet says so. Does that make Julie Andrews an expert on childcare? Should William Shatner be running NASA?

Sheen may very well know about fluoride. He may even have learned about it while preparing to pretend to be the president. He probably knows the difference between himself and the role he played, and might very well expect readers of his letter to know the difference as well. But I wonder whether his letter would be quoted by an Australian if he was, say, Frank Burns from MASH? Or Donny Osmond, Paris Hilton or Michael Jackson?

President Bartlet would know all about fluoride. President Bartlet is a good guy who would know what to do with Queensland water. Apparently.

The stage managed, constructed nature of politics is a central theme of The West Wing. Spin is carefully constructed and fed to the public via a compliant media. The news cycle is central to the conduct of business at the White House. In one episode a serious investigative journalist is miffed at being assigned to political reporting where he is effectively reduced to gossip columnist. Nobody challenges his argument.

This is the world we live in. Anna Bligh says we're getting fluoride and the local paper publishes an objecting letter citing an actor as an authority, whose legitimacy comes from his role in a show clearly depicting the illusion that is politics.

We can't show you this man's face, because he's a dentist. But we can show you this other man's face because he's an actor pretending to be a dentist. He will now proceed to sell you a toothbrush.

| Posted by Lyn at 11:47 AM | | Comments (7)


“Second Thoughts about Fluoride,” reports Scientific American
New York - January 2, 2008 -- “Some recent studies suggest that over-consumption of fluoride can raise the risks of disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland,” reports Scientific American editors (January 2008). “Scientific attitudes toward fluoridation may be starting to shift,” writes author Dan Fagin.

“Fluoride, the most consumed drug in the USA, is deliberately added to 2/3 of public water supplies theoretically to reduce tooth decay, but with no scientifically-valid evidence proving safety or effectiveness,” says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation.

Fagin, award-wining environmental reporter and Director of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, writes, “There is no universally accepted optimal level for daily intake of fluoride.” Some researchers even wonder whether the 1 mg/L added into drinking water is too much, reports Fagin.

After 3 years of scrutinizing hundreds of studies, a National Research Council (NRC) committee “concluded that fluoride can subtly alter endocrine function, especially in the thyroid – the gland that produces hormones regulating growth and metabolism,” reports Fagin.

Fagin quotes John Doull, professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, who chaired the NRC committee thusly, “The thyroid changes do worry me.”

Fluoride in foods, beverages, medicines and dental products can result in fluoride over-consumption, visible in young children as dental fluorosis – white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth. We can’t normally see fluoride’s effects to the rest of the body.

Reports Fagin, “a series of epidemiological studies in China have associated high fluoride exposures with lower IQ.”

“(E)pidemiological studies and tests on lab animals suggest that high fluoride exposure increases the risk of bone fracture, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and diabetics,” writes Fagin.

Fagin interviewed Steven Levy, director of the Iowa Fluoride Study which tracked about 700 Iowa children for sixteen years. Nine-year-old “Iowa children who lived in communities where the water was fluoridated were 50 percent more likely to have mild fluorosis… than [nine-year-old] children living in nonfluoridated areas of the state,” writes Fagin. Levy will study fluoride’s effects on their bones.

Over 1200 professionals urge Congress to cease water fluoridation and conduct Congressional hearings because scientific evidence indicates fluoridation is ineffective and has serious health risks. Support them; write your representative here:

(or http://www.FluorideAction.Net )

“(G)enetic, environmental and even cultural factors appear to leave some people much more susceptible to the effects of fluoride,” writes Fagin

“What the [NRC] committee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride … for too long… and now we need to take a fresh look,” Doull says, “ In the scientific community, people tend to think that its settled… But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began, In the face of ignorance, controversy is rampant.”

It seems to me that any discussion about fluoride in Australia as an additive to help limit dental decay needs to be balanced by a discussion about the dreadful state of our kids teeth.Sure "in the face of ignorance, controversy is rampant" but that applies to all perspectives of the issue.Like problems associated with sugar laden drinks our Governments our happy to let our kids drink. Or the Ph of some of our beverages. Sometimes you have to make choices about what is best against what is slightly detrimental.We don't seem to worry all that much as a community about the addition of alcohol to what many of us drink!

Len, I agree it's a far more complex bunch of issues than just whether to fluoride or not. Watching the bickering over this in the media up here reminded me of the global warming debate. We treat it like a popularity contest, with one lot of experts lined up on one side and another lot on the other. The head count determines the truth.

On one hand that's a stupid way to make decisions, on the other, these things are too complex for most of us to make informed decisions.

"Over 1200 professionals urge Congress to cease water fluoridation and conduct Congressional hearings because scientific evidence indicates fluoridation is ineffective and has serious health risks."

There's another problem right there. How many of them have a vested interest in rotting teeth or fluoride alternatives? If we're going to trust professionals we might as well trust President Bartlet.

I am not sure what the dental plans are in other states concerning kids but here in Qld we have a good system of free dental care.
Dental caravans go to every primary school and see every student. They do what is required for free. If a student has a problem while the van is not at their school they can ring up and find out where they are in their area and take the child to that school for treatment.
They don't just pull teeth and do fillings they educate the kids in dental hygiene.
I think its a good system and with fillings up around the $180 mark its a good financial benefit.
Do the other states have the same system?

We don't have that system in the United States and that's the problem. After 63 years of water fluoridation delivered to 2/3 of the population on public water supplies and virtually 100% via the food supply, tooth decay is rampant - even in our fluoridated cities - because 80% of our dentists refuse to treat Medicaid patients (poor people's insurance) and 108 million American's don't have dental insurance. Our dentists are getting very rich treating only people with money and doing more and more aesthetic work where payment is made out of pocket. Dental care is becoming a luxury in the U.S.
And dental fluorosis or fluoride overdose - discolored teeth - afflicts up to 51% of US school children.

The following is a letter describing the dental health of Queensland that I found on the internet


Dear Premier Anna Bligh

The Qld Health document shown here is criminally misleading. The appalling tooth decay as shown, is not a result of drinking water without fluoride.

We therefore call for the immediate dismissal of the Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, who must take responsibility for this duplicity.

The latest National Children's Dental Survey (pub 17 Dec 2007) in the " National Summary ", page 25 shows 75.1 % of Queensland Children aged 5 to 12 yrs, have no decay at all in their permanent teeth ( DMFT = 0 ). The Australian average is 76.9% and it ranges from 72.9% of children in the ACT having no decay, to 79.7% in South Australia having no decay in their permanent teeth. Current Queensland figures are right in the middle and are very good .

The latest national results can be found at this link
To make it plain Premier, three quarters of Queensland children ( aged from 5 to 12 yrs ) are recently and publicly documented as having NO DECAY in their permanent teeth. Queensland children and adults do not need, or want Fluoride chemicals added to their water.

The Qld Health picture "teeth without exposure to fluoridated water " is almost certainly an example of " Baby Bottle Tooth Decay " ( BBT ) which occurs when young children are left sucking on bottles of liquids containing sugars and it occurs in all other Australian states which are heavily artificially fluoridated .

It is NOT a result of having an un-fluoridated water supply as is in most of Queensland. Fluoridation cannot, prevent " Baby Bottle tooth decay "

In 2006, more than one thousand children in Adelaide had anaesthetics to remove rotten teeth ( Stateline South Australian 20/7/2007) SA has only 8% of Australia's total population but 90% of the residents of South Australia have a fluoridated water supply ( NHMRC 2007 ). Fluoridation does not prevent BBT.

Dear Premier it is no wonder the Health Dept is in such a mess when untruthful, unethical, misleading publications like this, are allowed to be put out by senior Queensland Health public servants.

Premier, we call for you to dismiss the Chief Health Officer and to refer this matter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

Premier, we invite you to address the " Rally Against Forced Fluoridation " commencing 9am Tuesday 12 th Feb, Parliament House, George St

Authorised by M Haines on behalf of Queenslanders Against Water Fluoridation Inc
contact mob 0418 777112

the public dental service in SA is a disgrace.