Once again, I’ve noticed a spike in the traffic to NewAnthro due to searches on Merilyn Haines and fluoridation. A quick search shows that the anti-fluoride crusaders are blowing their own trumpet over their successes so far this year in denying children additional protection to give their teeth the best chance of surviving a life time of service, not unlike the anti-vax crowd whom high-five one another when another parent chooses to expose their children to polio, measles mumps and rubella, various forms of hepatitis etc.
Further, I found that yesterday, Merilyn Haines was interviewed alongside Dr Michael Foley whom is not only a dentist, but also a former president of the ADA. I’m certain she walked away feeling she had done her cause justice, but anyone unblinkered on the subject could see that she was owned.
One needs only a single Merilyn quote from the interview; “It’s a bit misleading to say that it’s [fluoride] is natural”
So who is misleading?
- Firstly, I’ve made the point before that you can extract sodium chloride (commonly known as table salt) from many sources; including the ocean and even your own urine! If you extract it well, it remains simply table salt – “industrial waste” is misleading.
- Dr Foley reminds her that the fluorides used break down to the same ions and molecules found already in the water supply, but lead to a small increase in fluoride levels, which has been proven to increase dental health – Merilyn stating that the raw material prior to being added to the water is a “poison” is misleading.
- Merilyn states that the fluorides used are allowed to include as much as 600 mg of lead per kilo. Firstly, that doesn’t mean that they do have that much. Secondly, 600 mg is 0.6 % of the mixture; this mixture is then diluted down to 1 part per million, thus such a water supply may have as much as 6 parts of lead per billion! I could understand if the fans of homeopathy may faint at such “high” concentrations, but for everyone else, she is overstating the exposure to lead which of course is misleading.
- That she instead points to other trace chemicals found in the fluoride mixtures when asked about poisons is, in itself, misleading; if the fluorides are as bad as she states, no bait-and-switch would be required.
- Merilyn argues that the study comparing tooth decay in Townsville children (fluoridated water supply) to Brisbane children (not fluoridated water supply) showed no significant difference in decay of permanent teeth. However, the children were aged between 5 to 12 years, with permanent teeth only starting to appear at the higher end of this study group, thus not having much exposure time to potential decay. Focusing on adult tooth decay in children, Merilyn, is misleading.
- Merilyn refers to the 2007 NSW Dental Health Survey to support her case. She states that 25% of children had dental fluorosis. The report on the other hand states, “More than 97% of 8 to 12 year old children do not display any discernible signs of fluorosis.”
Actually looking at the report, at best, she can only claim that fluoridation increases rates colouration of teeth on any level by 8%, however with the level of agreement between assessors and what is fluorosis and what is not, any more than the 3% is dubious (more here).
The same report also states, “For all ages, only 40% of children from non-fluoridated areas, compared with 53% of children from fluoridated areas were caries free”
Merilyn’s representation of the report is misleading.
- Merilyn points to her access to good information, however, my previous articles and videos on fluoride would argue that this too is misleading. She refers often to bad sources or misrepresents the study, such as;
- Merilyn, while not naming the paper, refers again to osteosarcoma. This relates to the Bassin et al (2006) which I have previously shown that the researchers involved do not agree with her conclusions, thus she again is misleading.
Dr Foley retorts at one point, “Merilyn, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts”.
The fact is, Merilyn needs to ignore the science and those who challenge her to maintain an erroneous position and her success is base purely upon misleading others over and over again until the scaremongering pulls them in line. There’s no surprise as to why Queensland has a number councils rejecting fluoridation when they have Queenslanders for “Safe” Water, Air and Food to deal with.
Find my previous articles on the subject here.