Reply to CarryAnne's 2-27-2021 AARP Comment

There are people who will attack the public health measure of community water fluoridation no matter what the cost –– both to the health of those who are left without a safe, inexpensive way to reduce the risk of tooth decay and the financial cost of fighting public and legal anti-F attacks.  And no matter what the legitimate scientific evidence of over 75 years says, they will disregard the evidence, misrepresent it, and continue to say it is unequivocally unsafe and ineffective. We’ve seen this over and over since fluoridation began in 1945” RRJ, 2/27/21 

CarryAnne continues to selectively present “evidence”, adjusted so it appears to support her strongly-held, inflexible beliefs that community water fluoridation is ineffective and harmful.

First three questions for CarryAnne:

  1. How do you explain the fact that the World Health Organization and over 100 respected science and health organizations worldwide continue to support the scientific consensus that fluoridation as a safe and effective public health measure to reduce dental decay, and none support the anti-F opinions?
  2. How do you explain the fact that the anti-F opinions are only supported by a few outlier science/health “experts”, a handful of alternative “health” organizations like the IAOMT, vocal activist groups like FAN and the CHD (with an anti-vax agenda) and some conspiracy theory fanatics like Alex Jones [INFOWARS], David Icke [Son of the Godhead] and Mike Adams [Natural News].
  3. The major science and health organizations also support public health measures like vaccination and other methods to slow pandemics like wearing masks and social distancing.  Do you trust those science-based measures?  If all the science/health organizations that support fluoridation can’t be trusted to get fluoride science correct, how can those organizations be trusted to provide any trustworthy health advice? 

    On the other hand, the IAOMT invited, for a September 2020 meeting,  Christine Till (researcher involved with many studies promoted by anti-F activists), defrocked British doctor Andrew Wakefield, whose study linking vaccines and autism (which fueled anti-vaccination passion) was exposed as fraudulent, and Judy Mikovits, a former biochemist who starred in a viral video that promulgated a litany of false information on the coronavirus like, “Wearing the mask literally activates your own virus. You’re getting sick from your own reactivated coronavirus expressions and if it happens to be SARS-CoV-2 then you’ve got a big problem.” 
    The IAOMT is an exceptionally good example of the only type of organizations that accept Till’s studies as well-conducted and relevant.

My explanation is that the legitimate scientific evidence continues to support community water fluoridation as safe and effective.  Trust the Experts!

All science-based public health measures (like all science-based conclusions) are constantly subject to challenge by new evidence that causes relevant experts to reevaluate an established conclusion – that is how science works. If there were ANY legitimate scientific evidence that clearly supported the anti-F opinions the relevant experts would act on that evidence and the scientific consensus would change.

 Since the actual evidence does not support the anti-F opinions, fluoridation opponents abandon working within the scientific/health communities and they take their “adjusted version of the evidence” directly to the public – the voters and elected officials often responsible for making decisions to fluoridate drinking water (or not). They trust that their “adjusted version of the evidence” will be sufficient to scare a significant number of voters and elected officials (most of who are not trained and experienced scientists or health professionals) into voting against fluoridation.

 Next, to put into perspective CarryAnn’s claim, “ … the NASEM wrote that the NTP should clarify their processes …, but does not dispute the NTP conclusion that: ‘…fluoride is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans. This conclusion is based on a consistent pattern …

 The initial NTP Monograph was released on 10/22/19, and the conclusion was as reported by CarryAnne –– without any clear reference to exposure levels, particularly with respect to optimal fluoridation levels of 0.7 ppm. However, since then the NTP has been under intense criticism and scrutiny by the NASEM and other experts, and is currently undergoing a third revision.  The actual conclusions of both the NTP second revision and the NASEM review clearly states that all studies reviewed DO NOT support the anti-F claims that fluoridation lowers IQ and causes neurological damage.
NTP Monograph Timeline and Findings

  • On 9/16/2020 a revised draft of the draft NTP Monograph was published, and it included an important change to the Conclusion: “When focusing on findings from studies with exposures in ranges typically found in drinking water in the United States (0.7 mg/L for optimally fluoridated community water systems) that can be evaluated for dose response, effects on cognitive neurodevelopment are inconsistent, and therefore unclear.” (p. 2)
  • In February 2021, the NASEM released its review of the second revision of the draft NTP Monograph and stated, “Even though the evidence provided appears to show consistent indications of an association between exposure to high fluoride concentrations and cognitive deficits in children, the monograph falls short of providing a clear and convincing argument that supports its assessment. It also needs to emphasize that much of the evidence presented comes from studies that involve relatively high fluoride concentrations and that the monograph cannot be used to draw conclusions regarding low fluoride exposure concentrations (less than 1.5 mg/L), including those typically associated with drinking water fluoridation.

 The recent studies listed by CarryAnne will all need expert evaluation and repeatability. Like all of the other studies fluoridation opponents have referenced over the last 75 years claiming they “prove” fluoridation is ineffective and harmful, it is extremely unlikely these studies will survive expert evaluation as legitimate evidence fluoridation causes harm.

 Let me try to clarify CarryAnne’s recommendation for AARP:

  • Rational senior citizens –– along with the overwhelming majority of science and health experts –– consider fluoridation important. We recognize that when we ignore science-based public health measures like fluoridation, the impact for children is life-long. When we continue to remove fluoride from community water systems the risk of dental decay and related health problems increases – particularly for the underprivileged who often have poor diets and limited access to dental care.