December 12, 2012
Fluoride Action Network.org
STOP PRESS NEWS: Pine Island, Florida decision makers voted down fliuoridation 6 to 3 yesterday. The water board vote took place after local residents organized Citizens for Safe Water and submitted a petition to the board calling for a community-wide vote. Ballots were sent to all residents, and when counted this week, a clear majority of residents voted to end the fluoridation of their drinking water.
Here is a message from Pine Island organizer Ron Parker: "Thank you Dr. Connett. This is your team's victory as much as ours. We used your knowledge extensively in our campaign. Please pass our gratitude on to everyone at FAN."
Before we get to an update on our fundraiser I will start with another attempt by the Pew Charitable Trust to mischaracterize the modus operandi of FAN and other opponents of water fluoridation in its strange quest to protect the fluoridation program at all costs. These new false claims by the Pew Charitable Trust appeared in an article that was published in a Syracuse NY newspaper on Dec 9, 2012.
In this front-page article journalist Marnie Eisenstadt rounds up all the pro-fluoridation spokespersons she can find in a clear attempt to intimidate the councilors of Pulaski, NY who a few days ago halted fluoridation. These same bullying tactics have been used in other newspapers in communities that have stopped fluoridation in recent months. Most notably they have occurred in Pinellas County, Florida (Tampa Bay Times), in Bradford, Vermont (Valley News) and currently in Brisbane, Australia (Courier-Mail). In every case scorn is poured on the decision makers and anyone else opposed to fluoridation. These editorials go well beyond professional decorum and give every impression that they have been written by the most vitriolic of fluoridation promoters. What I find particularly irritating is that even while they publicly deride opponents (which is not necessary if the promoters’ case was strong) they betray their own total ignorance of even the most basic of the opponents’ common sense and scientific arguments. Not only is this unprofessional but it is inexcusable because our case has been presented very clearly in several forms: 1) on our website www.FluorideALERT.org; 2) in the video Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation and 3) in the book I co-authored, The Case Against Fluoride. The editors write as if none of these exist. This does not speak well either to their balance or to their research abilities.
In this Syracuse Post-Standard article PEW spokesperson Shelly Gehshan is quoted as saying:
“The backlash against fluoride is being fueled by the Web, where it doesn’t take a peer-reviewed scientific study to land at the top of a Google search. Often, anti-fluoride groups are paying to end up first in Web searches because they are selling books and other related products”
If Gehshan is referring to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) these are pure fabrications. FAN is not in this to sell books or videos. We have written books and produced videos to get the truth out about fluoridation. Unlike PEW we operate on a shoestring budget but we are happy if people get the book through their libraries and we make the videos free online. More importantly, FAN does not pay to get its site at the top of search engines. We don’t need to, however by its own admission, Pew apparently does. Gehshan states that:
Her group…is fighting fire with fire: It now also pays to land near the top of Web searches, too, she said.”
One only has to compare the quality of the science covered on our two sites to understand why (compare www.FluorideALERT.org with Ilikemyteeth.org ). PEW is not fighting fire with fire, PEW is fighting honest science with dishonest PR. PEW is doing this with the fluoride-osteosarcoma association studies and fluoride and lowered IQ studies (see FAN’s November press release below).
But Gehshan is right about one thing, when she says that:
“The more people get information from the Internet that isn’t filtered, the harder it is to move forward.”
Gehshan is right, the more citizens find out about the health effects being ignored (filtered?) by the ADA, the CDC and PEW the more reluctant they are to participate in this outdated practice.
Many of the tactics being used by PEW have been used by proponents for many years. For example, there is nothing new about proponents blaming the internet for the increased opposition to fluoridation worldwide. This is what we wrote about this in The Case Against Fluoride in Chapter 25. This chapter consists of our responses to the 40 most frequent false claims used by proponents to dismiss our case. Here is our response to false claim 24:
Claim 24: Opponents of fluoridation get their information from the Internet.
No one denies that plenty of rubbish appears on the Internet. But just becausea published study can be found using the Internet does not invalidate it. In fact,scientists now do much of their reading of the scientific literature online. TheFluoride Action Network maintains a Health Effects Database on its Web site,which provides citations, excerpts, abstracts, and in some cases complete pdffiles of many published studies. Proponents would do well to read some of thesepapers, rather than trying to dismiss them because they are available online.
A footnote on Marnie Eisenstadt
This is not the first time Eisenstadt has used a front-page article in the Syracuse Post-Standard to forward the pro-fluoridation agenda. Back in 2005 she wrote a front-page article (M. Eisenstadt, “How Fluoride Makes a Difference in CNY; Cayuga County Lacks Fluoridation, and Has a Higher Rate of Cavities,” The Post-Standard, December 27, 2005) in which she used an unpublished and un-peer reviewed survey from the NYS DOH (authored by avid pro-fluoridationist Jay Kumar) that claimed that the lower (I mean higher tooth decay rates, PC) tooth decay in third graders in Cayuga County compared to adjacent Onondaga County was due to the fact that Cayuga County was not fluoridated and Onondaga was. Fortunately, Cayuga County didn’t fall for this bit of State propaganda, and remains unfluoridated. When the survey was eventually published and all the data plotted for the state there was absolutely NO relationship between tooth decay in third graders by county and the percentage of the water fluoridated in each county (see pp 40-1) in the book The Case Against Fluoride. So Eisenstadt or Kumar or both had cherry-picked two data points from this state survey to forward the pro-fluoridation agenda, while ignoring the overall trend, which shows no relationship between fluoridation status and tooth decay in third graders (by county) in NY state.
For the record, after the fundraising update, we are printing out again a press release we released on PEW in November. It gives chapter and verse on some of the issues mentioned above – and more. In a future bulletin we will dig further into the “anatomy of deception” on fluoridation as practiced by PEW. I think when you see all the machinations of PEW – which has very big money to spend on this effort to protect fluoridation – you can see why it is so important to raise as much money as we can in our annual fundraiser. It is still peashooters against tanks, but we have the huge advantage of having the science and the truth on our side.
Paul Connett, PhD,
Director of the FAN and co-author of The Case Against Fluoride.