Voices
October 6, 2011 Issue

LETTERS


Fluoridegate (part one)

Dear Editor:

“The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who can’t read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

-Alvin Toffler

 

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As Americans, we have been taught from birth to love and respect our country. This is good. In America, many people have long-believed that the federal government was on their side. That view has eroded somewhat in previous decades and even more lately. What continues to amaze me is that so many citizens, while appropriately castigating a president and congress, don’t seem to think the federal government itself (and its agencies that formulate, implement and enforce policy after congress passes laws and the President signs them) plays any role in their discontent.

Also in America, as elsewhere, we tend to put out of our minds the things we believe we cannot change, the things over which we believe or are told we have no control. And like obedient little children we dutifully shrug our shoulders and go on to the next order of business as we live out our days. If all you know and believe about matters directly affecting your life and that of your family is contained in what the government agencies, corporate spokespersons, politicians, establishment academics and the mass media tell you, then you know precious little.

An issue facing us all is the longtime problem with the two sides of the coin called healthcare. On one side is the provision of healthcare bolstered by doctors, hospitals, insurance plans (public or private), pharma/chemical companies and medical device manufacturers. On the other side there is a question that few ask: while proficient at treating (not curing) disease, why are we seeing a rise in so many diseases and medical conditions that now contribute to, for example, more than 25 percent of the children in this country being prescribed medications on a regular basis (Wall Street Journal 12/28/10)?

There are many reasons why a number of diseases and conditions continue to increase and many of those deal with the more than 80,000 industrial chemicals we drink, eat, breathe and absorb into our bodies every day (Presidents Cancer Panel report - April 2010). We wouldn’t need as much healthcare if we could keep the poisons out of our bodies.

Yet there is one chemical element that is exceedingly toxic that also ends up in hundreds of other health-compromising compounds. That element is fluorine, and it has a special significance. And while it has been the darling of industry since the 1940s and is a killer whose nature has been denied by industry and government for six decades, it is also added to your drinking water. The reason is no mystery. This is the foundation of Fluoridegate.

As a matter of disclosure, the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control have, and continue to be, the main proponents of water fluoridation (to date 70 percent of the U.S. population is fluoridated, as is 98.5 percent of Georgia, according to CDC). And CDC has called water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievement of the 20th century. Yet for some unknown reason CDC will not provide me with the names and job titles of its employees responsible for informing the public on matters pertaining to water fluoridation. You would think they would be proud of their claim.

The fluoride used in U.S. drinking water comes in forms such as fluorosilicic acid that comes directly from the phosphate fertilizer industry (as a toxic waste byproduct) to your tap.

I think the reality is that CDC (along with growing number of government agencies, professional organizations and corporations) knows the days are numbered for dumping a neurotoxin in our drinking water (Mullenix in Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 1995, Murphy, 2008 and another 80 animal and biochemical studies cited in Connett, Beck and Micklem, 2010).

It would take a dozen columns like this one to begin to scratch the surface of the multiple problems with fluorine. The second installment of this column will give those interested with a potent list of research-laden resources. Meantime, the following, from about a decade ago, is from the Union of Scientists at the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. This group of 1,500 scientists, engineers and lawyers came out in opposition to water fluoridation after they refused to parrot EPA’s official position (similar to that of CDC and ADA) brought on by what they called “external political pressure” that EPA was “unable or unwilling to resist.” The scientists decided not to keep the issue “within the family.” Here’s what they said after several years of opposing EPA’s position (http://www.nteu280.org/Issues/Flouride/NTEU280-Fluoride.htm). I hope you read this carefully: “Since then our opposition to drinking water fluoridation has grown, based on the scientific literature documenting the increasingly out-of-control exposure to fluoride, the lack of benefit to dental health from ingestion of fluoride and the hazards to human health from such ingestion. These hazards include acute toxic hazard, such as to people with impaired kidney function, as well as chronic (low doses of fluoride ingested over a period of years, like with drinking water) toxic hazards of gene mutations, cancer, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, bone pathology and dental fluorosis.”

“The implication for the general public of these calculations is clear,” the scientists concluded. “Recent, peer-reviewed toxicity data, when applied to EPA’s standard method of controlling risks from toxic chemicals, require an immediate halt to the use of the nation’s drinking water reservoirs as disposal sites for the toxic waste of the phosphate fertilizer industry.”

The problem is not only fluoride’s toxicity to humans. The Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University in 1982 reported that, “There has been more litigation on alleged damage to agriculture by fluoride than all other pollutants combined... of the major airborne pollutants, inorganic fluoride (is) clearly the most toxic.”

Bottom line, you have been lied to for 60 years about a product said to be safe yet is insidious in its ability to cripple, maim and kill.

Fluoridegate in years to come will be known not only for the cover-up that continued for decades, but for the disease, suffering and death that could have been prevented.

The handwriting is on the wall. The unwillingness of government, corporations and elected officials to stand with and for the people is legion. Juxtaposed to that unwillingness are 215 million plaintiffs (the 70 percent of the U.S. population currently being fluoridated) and counting.

Ben Nelms
Peachtree City


 


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