MARCH 20, 2013
How the Wichita Eagle Misled the Public
As many of you know, the fluoride-lobby directed a great deal of their time and money this past summer and fall on an attempt to force fluoridation on the residents of Wichita, Kansas. Thankfully, local campaigners were successful in educating citizens who eventually voted against fluoridating the water supply by a 60%-40% vote. During the entire debate, the local newspaper--the Wichita Eagle—heavily promoted fluoridation in its editorial pages, and published many news stories that appeared to share a pro-fluoride slant.
One such news article entitled “Harvard Scientists: Data on fluoride, IQ not applicable in U.S.”, was a glaring example of how the paper’s pro-fluoride bias infiltrated their news stories. The article was the Eagle’s coverage of the recent peer reviewed research paper published by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health linking fluoride exposure to lower IQ in children. The Wichita paper’s opening paragraph on the Harvard IQ study declared:
“Harvard university scientists say Wichita voters shouldn’t depend on a research study they compiled to decide whether to put fluoride in the city’s drinking water to fight tooth decay.”
This, however, was false. Dr. Philippe Grandjean, the senior scientist on the Harvard team, has criticized the Wichita paper for deceptively attributing its own conclusions on fluoridation to the Harvard scientists. Fluoridation’s potential to produce “chemical brain drain,” Grandjean writes, is an issue that “definitely deserves concern.”
Now the pro-fluoride lobby is citing this inaccurate article across the country whenever the Harvard study is brought up in an effort to convince decision-makers and the public to disregard fluoride’s link to reduced IQ.