Sunday, 8 July 2012

Cairns Post Letters from the Wingnuts #6 (Unethically doing nothing)

Also in the Cairns Post Letters to the Editor on Friday was a briefer anti-fluoridation argument from Margaret Phillips from Bayview Heights:
The anti-fluoride group may be few in numbers, but we have done our research and know the facts.

The anti-fluoride group is fortunately low in numbers, but they are vocal and have access to questionable websites
Unethically medicating the entire population with toxic industrial waste on the pretext of delaying tooth decay is creating major health problems for many.
Evidence for these "major health problems for many" caused by water fluoridation is lacking. Claims of ill effects tend to be based on studies of fluoride intake well above that which would result from fluoridation at the levels proposed.

Ms Phillips does however touch on one argument that may have some weight - the ethics of mass medication. I believe that ill effects of inaction can be considered unethical, and need to be considered. Given that the only ill effect to be expected from fluoridation at the proposed levels is some dental fluorosis, much of that not detectable except by professional dental examination, the benefits in reduced caries and associated medical problems and expenses make fluoridation ethically supportable. Making the small number of dissenters pay for filters capable of filtering fluoride seems similar to the tax benefit paid for vaccination (which should not be available for dissenters without a well documented medical counterindication).

Other than trying to make it sound scary, why do so many anti-fluoridationists go on about fluoride being an industrial waste product? Just because something is waste from an industrial process doesn't mean we should discard it. If we can extract benefit from waste then it just makes it even better value for money.
Unfortunately many people are trusting, and/or uninformed, but 85 per cent of those surveyed in 2005 rejected water fluoridation. Anna Bligh ignored that survey.
I'm a little amused by how this reads - 85 per cent of an uninformed group rejected fluoridation? Anna Bligh was right to ignore the survey then. What matters is the evidence for efficacy and safety, not the uninformed opinion of a survey group. Faced between accepting the views of an uninformed survey group or the views of professional dental and health associations, I know which way I would go.
Now is the time to stop this money wasting practice.

The available evidence suggests that water fluoridation is a cost effective way of reducing dental health bills.

I know that this is hard for some, but there really is no reason to believe that the World Health Organisation, Australian Dental Association, Australian Medical Association, American Dental Association, US Centers for Disease Control, etc, are trying to kill you, control your mind, or reduce your fertility.

Correction: The letter was in the Friday paper. Text above corrected.


  1. Since you chose to quote my letter as an excuse to have something to waffle about on your blog, I would have to comment that your unquestioning faith in the trade unions that pass themselves off as somehow protecting the masses with their considerable wisdom, is typical of someone who spent too long in the rarified lala land otherwise known as Canberra.
    Check out the history and money behind the hallowed institutions you revere, do your own research and blog the actual studies which prove safety etc. I have personal experience that proves to me that fluoride is not safe, and in my case ingestion is life threatening. If you can't believe anything you read on the internet, I guess your opinion isn't true either, since you are presumably not a member of said hallowed organisations ?
    cheers Margaret

  2. So, Margaret's counterargument is "No, really! Those scientific bodies really are part of a massive conspiracy to kill people", followed by bad mouthing Canberra and making a questionable claim about fluoride at the levels used in water fluoridation being "life threatening". I call bull puckey.

    As for the evidence for safety, they have been provided in other posts.