Once more the issue of flouride in drinking water has surfaced, this time in Portland, Oregon, famed as perhaps the most liberal city in the country. But evidently, even there a local government exists which believes it can lord it over its citizens and make effectively medical decisions it deems them incapable of making for themselves. In the words of Mike Smith of the Portland Occupy Movement:
“Barnyard animals are force medicated, not human beings,”
Good point! But the pro-flouride crowd will always say it's for your own good, and we can't be imposing so much extra work on the dentists. Anyway, last week more than 225 people signed up to testify at a public hearing hat ran 6 ½ hours. Sixty-one percent opposed fluoridation. That to me says the citizens don't want it, at least the ones that care, and those should be the only ones that matter.
Another point, like here in Colorado Springs, Portland’s drinking water already contains naturally occurring fluoride, though not at levels considered to be effective at fighting cavities. (Here in COS, they are!)
Meanwhile, a 2007 report from the state Department of Human Services said 35 percent of Oregon first-through-third graders had untreated dental decay, a higher percentage than in neighboring states with more fluoridation, such as Washington (19 percent) and Idaho (27 percent). Dentists describe a "health care crisis" with their offices and clinics inundated with cavity-ravaged youngsters. Ever heard of brushing after eating? Hey, Moms! How about you take some responsibility, as opposed to collective forced flouridation?
One Lisa Bozzetti, dental director at the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Clinic said:
“A lot of these kids will have such severe problems that they need to be hospitalized in order to have their dental care done,”
Again, this is absurd. In Barbados there is NO flouridation whatsoever but the rate of dental caries is in decline or at least no worse than flouridated U.S. cities. What gives? They take care of their teeth as taught to do from the time of being knee high to grasshoppers.
Fluoride opponents, correctly I might add, say the dental benefits of the mineral are small (better diets would have greater impact) and don’t outweigh the negatives. One can also (with a little googling) see the internet is rife with warnings about fluoridation. Assorted residents with thyroid issues, kidney disease and multiple chemical sensitivity also worry it will make their lives worse. They have reason to.
Rick North, the former executive vice president of the American Cancer Society in Oregon, said he "figured fluoride was OK" until he started researching the issue several years ago and spotted many red flags. Supporters, he said, believe it is a “silver bullet” to fight cavities and won’t hurt anyone else. They are mistaken. For those citizens, however many, already at the critical threshold of toxic absorption, even a tiny bit more could be the 'straw' that breaks the camel's back'.
Sound and rational liberal-based worries about flouride first appeared in The Project Censored Yearbook (1999, p. 74) in a piece by Joel Griffiths and Chris Byron entitled: 'Fluoride, Teeth, and the Atomic Bomb.' The authors noted that the original safety arguments for fluoride were "developed by scientists working with the Manhattan Project" - as a ruse to counter possible litigation for atomic workers (since fluoride came off as a byproduct). This despite the fact the original atomic bomb scientists had confirmed that fluoride was "one of the most toxic substances known".
They also added that if litigation was to be suppressed, PR had to be confected to blunt any alarm by the public. To that end, government misinformation campaigns began in earnest in the 1950s (around the same time as "duck and cover" gibberish emerged) to deflect the public's toxicity concerns by referring to flouride's benefits in "fighting tooth decay". This brainwashing has since been sounded so often and convincingly that it's become part and parcel of that vast constellation of accepted national verities - embedded in public consciousness to the extent that only anti-science whackos, rabid anti-tech neo-Luddites or John Birchers dispute it!
Meanwhile, on the "health" front, propaganda was pumped non-stop to the effect that "fluoridation re-minerals tooth enamel" while denying any negatives. This was used to claim that it was essential to fight dental caries (cavities) now widespread in youngsters, by putting fluoride in drinking water. But it wasn't just any fluoride but an industrial waste byproduct called "hydrofluorosilic acid" which has been linked to:
- bone cancer in male children was between two and seven times greater than for non-fluoridated areas
- perinatal deaths 15% higher than in neighboring non-fluoridated areas.
-impairment of immune system function
- skeletal fluorosis, from chronic exposure, including: severe joint and bone pain, sensations of burning, pricking in the limbs, muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders
- lowering of IQs, in children exposed to fluoride over prolonged time, and animal studies disclose shrinkage of brains of rats exposed to the equivalent of 8 glasses of water per day (See, e.g. Brain Research, Vol. 784, pp. 284-298)
The $50 question is why has the CDC not come out and warned us of these risks? There are at least two plausible reasons:
1) CDC as an arm of government that has actively pursued propaganda (as for the atomic workers, and more recently giving short shrift to toxic chemicals in terms of carcinogenic effects- see 'The Secret History of the War on Cancer') is unlikely to overturn more than 50 years of carefully crafted spin on fluoride.
2) To do so would invite thousands of suits or actions by communities already using it- and vast extra cost to the government!
Needless to say, Portlanders are quite correct in their opposition and it ought to be respected. If people want flouride they can buy their own flouoride toothpaste and dose themselves to their hearts' content.