Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Cairns Post Letters from the Wingnuts #13 (Fear and loathing of dentists)

And so, belatedly, to finish off the task I set myself, examining the Cairns Post Letters to the Editor Special Edition: Wingnut Thursday, we turn to a letter from Han Barkmeyer from Holloways Beach:
Noel Longman (10-7-12), 98 per cent of Western Europe rejected water fluoridation
Europe does indeed have low levels of water fluoridation. The reasons for this are many, but include natural fluoride levels, infrastructure requirements, the comparative advantage of other fluoridation methods (particularly fluoridated salt) in their specific situations, historical circumstance and politicians caving in to fearmongering campaigns.
and in 2006 the European Court of Justice ruled fluoride a medicine which could not be put in drinking water.
The first thing to note is that the European Court of Justice did not find that fluoridation was ineffective or that its risks outweighed its benefits. What was the ECJ's finding? It found that as water fluoridation is implemented as a public health measure, it should be classified as a medicine under European law. Medicinal products are more tightly regulated, and these regulations create legislative barriers for fluoridation programs, as they would any other substance added for health reasons. The ECJ finding may create legal problems for implementation of sound, scientifically based public health policies in Europe, but this is not necessarily an argument against fluoridation.

Or, to give the short answer, the law can be an ass.
Cities throughout the the US, Canada, Asia, around the world, are stopping fluoridation.
Just because there is a bandwagon doesn't mean that it is headed in the right direction. Yes, against the advice of their own medical, dental and health authorities, some politicians have decided that it is politically sound to cease fluoridation. Some other places are ceasing water fluoridation or not implementing it because, in their particular circumstances, it is not cost effective and other mechanisms, like fluoridated salt, will reach a greater number of people and have better bang for the buck. Yet other cities are initiating or maintaining fluoridation as well, including after popular votes supporting it.
All consumers of fluoridated water in New Hampshire, US, must now by law be warned at least annually about the risk that fluoride poses to infants.
I have noticed that anti-fluoridationists like to refer to the New Hampshire warning without specifying what it is, almost certainly because that wouldn't be scary enough. Here it is: "Your public water supply is fluoridated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if your child under the age of 6 months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis."

Not so scary, is it?
It is very obvious that dentists have lost their credibility around the world and that governments are acting accordingly.
Yes, unfortunately fear campaigns, perhaps combined with people's general dislike of dentists, are proving effective.
Dentists also claim that amalgam is safe. Why then have Germany, Austria and Sweden banned mercury fillings since 2000? Scaremongering?
In large part, yes. The epidemiological data suggests that if there is a risk from mercury amalgam fillings it is very small and may be outweighed by its structural benefits. Alternatives have advanced to a degree that they are now often a better option. Dentistry, like all science, advances.
It is about time that Australian governments stopped listening to the dentists and look at the reasons why their is a worldwide backlash against water fluoridation and mercury fillings. There is no safe level of exposure to these toxins.
There are, however, levels of exposure at which the benefits outweigh the risks. Those levels are what bodies such as the National Health and Medical Research Council seek to determine.

No comments :

Post a Comment