Opinion: Anti-Fluoride Activists Lack Knowledge

Fluoride in water is not a "drug," nor is there any evidence of it being "neurotoxic."

In a recent Lund Report opinion piece, anti-fluoridation activist, Rick North, once again demonstrated the danger to the health of the public created by activists who have neither the education, experience or knowledge to understand a health care issue such as fluoridation.

So, let’s again set the record straight on his repetitious claims:

1. No court of last resort has ever ruled in favor of North’s nonsensical argument that existing fluoride ions in water have suddenly become a “drug.”

2. Myriad substances ingested on a regular basis may be neurotoxic in improper amounts. These include aspartame, salicylate, ethanol, caffeine and nicotine. Why is North not concerned with those neurotoxic cups of coffee, neurotoxic mugs of beer or neurotoxic aspirin?

There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that fluoride at the optimal level at which water is fluoridated is “neurotoxic,” as evidenced by North’s inability to provide such.

3. It’s interesting that North attempts to disparage the authoritative opinions of some of the most highly respected health-care organizations in the world, while he relies solely on misinformation gleaned from anti-fluoridationist groups.

The absurdity of his “logic” in so doing is self-evident.

4. North cannot provide one shred of valid evidence of harm from optimally fluoridated water, much less a wealth of such, as he implies there to be. As is the case with most opponents, any such evidence he attempts to provide is misrepresented due to his inability to properly understand or critically evaluate it.

While numerous peer-reviewed studies of fluoridation completely contradict claims of purported “IQ reduction,” North cites one study about the effects of prenatal fluoride exposure on the offspring of pregnant women in non-fluoridated Mexico, which has no applicability to fluoridated water in the U.S.  By reading the study, one can easily discern that the limitations cited in the study itself demonstrate its inapplicability to fluoridation. As stated by one of the lead researchers in this study:

a) “As an individual, I am happy to go on the record to say that I continue to support water fluoridation;”

b) “If I were pregnant today, I would consume fluoridated water, and that if I lived in Mexico I would limit my salt intake.”

E. Angeles Martinez Mier, DDS, MSD, PhD, Cariology, Operative Dentistry and Dental Public Health, Indiana University School of Dentistry.

5. As to the report of the 2006 National Research Council committee, its final recommendation was for the fluoride primary MCL to be lowered from 4.0 ppm.  The sole reasons cited for this were risk of severe dental fluorosis, bone fracture and skeletal fluorosis, with chronic ingestion of water with a fluoride content of 4.0 ppm. Had this committee concluded any other valid concerns with fluoride at this level, it would have been responsible for stating so and recommending accordingly. It did not.

Additionally, the NRC Committee made no recommendation to lower the secondary MCL of 2.0 ppm. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm. one third this level.

In March of 2013, Dr. John Doull, chair of this 2006 NRC Committee, stated the following:

"I do not believe there is any valid, scientific reason for fearing adverse health conditions from the consumption of water fluoridated at the optimal level.”

John Doull, MD, PhD, Chair of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council 2006 Committee Report on Fluoride in Drinking Water.

6. The contents of public water supplies are under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency, not the Food and Drug Administration. The EPA strictly mandates safe levels of all of the contents of drinking water, including fluoride. The FDA, on the other hand, regulates the contents of consumable retail products. Contrary to North’s apparent confusion, FDA opinions in regard to substances under its jurisdiction are of no relevance to the contents of public drinking water supplies.

7. While North singles out fluorosilic acid (FSA) about which to irrationally induce fear, there are myriad undiluted, toxic substances routinely added to public water supplies, which are categorized as hazardous materials. When added to water in proper concentrations, highly toxic substances such as chlorine, ammonia, among others, are not harmful to humans, obviously. The same is true for FSA which does not even exist in fluoridated water after it leaves the treatment plant.  As clearly demonstrated by peer-reviewed science, once added to water at the plant, FSA immediately releases its fluoride ions and is completely gone after that point.  FSA is therefore not ingested by anyone. Its properties are irrelevant.

8. North attempts to equate prescription medications to existing minerals in water. Fluoride is simply an ion that has always existed in water. There is no requirement, or need, for “informed consent” prior to drinking a glass of water. Nor is there any more need for consideration of weight, age, dose, etc., in regard to fluoride in water than there is for any of the other existing minerals in water, or for the numerous substances routinely added to public water supplies. When the maximum amount of a substance which can be ingested falls below the level of adverse effects, then dose, or amount, is of no concern in regard to any such effects. Prior to this threshold being reached from fluoride obtained from water in addition to all other normal sources of fluoride, water toxicity would be the concern, not fluoride.

9. Finally, there is a distinct difference between fluoride having been purportedly “banned” in other countries, versus decisions by countries not to fluoridate water due to various reasons, few, if any, related to concerns with effectiveness or safety.

These reasons include: the logistics of water systems rendering fluoridation are cost-prohibitive, the utilization of fluoridated salt and/or milk programs, the existing water fluoride are already at, or above, the optimal level, and the equal access to comprehensive dental care by all members of respective populations.

Purported quotes from anti-fluoridationists reiterating the same, invalid arguments as can be found on any anti-fluoridationist website, do not constitute countries having “banned fluoridation.”

Steven D. Slott is the communications officer for the American Fluoridation Society and a general dentist in Burlington, North Carolina.

Comments

Really? Lund Report publishes this mish-mash of logical fallacies and lies?

Fluoride is characterized by the FDA as an 'unapproved drug' and by the EPA as a 'water contaminant.' Chemists are more blunt - it is a poison. Dozens of human and hundreds of laboratory studies have found fluoride even in low doses consistent with fluoridation is a neurotoxicant - a brain poison. The effects are subtle, more learning disabilities, mood disorders and an IQ that is a few points lower, but these effects are significant.

But apart from that, fluoridation is an immoral medical mandate and false dilemma.

Fluoride is medically contraindicated for many with inflammatory, immune system, thyroid & kidney disease - so it shouldn't be added to water! If you want to drink it, more power to you, but not the power to assume it is safe for your neighbor with kidney disease, his pregnant wife or their diabetic daughter!

Really? KSpencer posts a mish-mash of logical fallacies and lies!

Fluoridated bottled water is regulated by the FDA as a “Food For Human Consumption”, not an over the counter drug like fluoridated toothpaste rinses, etc. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?f...
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?C...

It is remarkable that only fluoridation opponents (FOs) –– and their anti-science kin –– are unable to tell the difference between a tube of toothpaste with fluoride ion levels at 1,500 ppm and a glass of optimally fluoridated water with fluoride ion levels at 0.7 ppm. Perhaps that’s why you continually, falsely and irresponsibly employ the fluoride=drug and fluoride=poison diversions to distract the public from the fact that FOs have no legitimate evidence to prove their claims.

If you can provide proof that a glass (or bottle) of optimally fluoridated water is characterized by the FDA or any other agency as an ‘unapproved drug’ (or a drug of any kind) there would be something to discuss. Since you can’t, your opinion is nothing but a disingenuous lie. Using your “logic”, disinfection is the addition of a deadly, poisonous chemical weapon to drinking water – how can you possibly support disinfection? Unlike fluorine, disinfection byproducts (DBPs) have no known beneficial health effects. Can you provide studies that prove drinking DBPs are safe for everyone? That’s a common anti-F argument, here I’m substituting DBPs for fluoride.

If you can provide some legitimate proof that any reputable chemist anywhere characterizes drinking optimally fluoridated (any more than they characterize drinking DBPs or other residual contaminants in treated water) as drinking “a poison”, there would be something to discuss. . Since you can’t, your opinion is nothing but a disingenuous logical fallacy.

FOs specialize in misdirection – for example, they completely ignore the fact that it is the dose (or exposure level) that determines whether ingesting a substance is poisonous, beneficial or essential. Drinking water and ingesting vitamins, sodium, iodine, etc. at reasonable levels are essential to health, but these chemicals are poisons when ingested at excessively high doses. Simply calling a substance a poison is irrelevant and absurd.

The fact is, the relevant scientific evidence as evaluated by relevant experts, and accepted by over 100 nationally and internationally recognized science and health organizations, continues to support the over 70-year scientific consensus that drinking optimally fluoridated water (0.7 ppm) is a safe and effective method for reducing dental decay and related health problems in communities.

How do you explain that fact? How do you explain the additional fact that only a handful of outlier organizations publically support the anti-F opinions? I have seen a list of about 13 such organizations which ironically fail to mention two other anti-F supporters; INFOWARS: Alex Jones, "I grew up in Dallas, Texas, drinking sodium fluoridated water. All the scientific studies show my IQ has been reduced by at least 20 points." and Natural News: Mike Adams.

Actually, challenging the current Scientific Consensus (or Expert Consensus) with new, legitimate evidence is a critical element of the scientific method. If fluoridation opponents had legitimate scientific evidence to support their opinions, the consensus would change.
Ethan Siegel: What Does 'Scientific Consensus' Mean?https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2016/06/24/what-does-scient...
Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxyQNEVOElU
https://vialogue.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/ted-naomi-oreskes-why-we-shoul...

How do you explain the conclusions of the references below? Since 2000, there have been a number of scientific reviews that have concluded that CWF reduces dental decay, and none of these reviews concluded there were any health risks from drinking optimally fluoridated water, only an increased risk of very mild to mild dental fluorosis. The studies/reviews include:

the 2018 National Toxicity Program fluoride study.
the 2018 study, Water Fluoridation and Dental Caries in U.S. Children and Adolescents;
the 2018 Water Fluoridation Health Monitoring Report for England;
the 2018 study, Contemporary evidence on the effectiveness of water fluoridation in the prevention of childhood caries – Australia;
the 2018 Food Safety Authority of Ireland Fluoride Report;
the 2018 CDC Statement on the Evidence Supporting the Safety and Effectiveness of Community Water Fluoridation
the 2017 Swedish report, Effects of Fluoride in the Drinking Water;
the 2017 National Health and Medical Research Council 2017 Public Statement – Water Fluoridation and Human Health in Australia;
the 2017 EPA Response: Fluoride Chemicals in Drinking Water; TSCA Section 21 Petition;
the 2017 history of public health use of fluorides in caries prevention;
the 2016 World Health Organization report: Fluoride and Oral Health;
the 2016 (update) Best Practice Approach - Community Water Fluoridation - Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors;
the 2016 systematic review of published studies: Does cessation of community water fluoridation lead to an increase in tooth decay?
the 2015 Manual of Dental Practices, Council of European Dentists;
the 2015 U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries; Demonstrates how the scientific consensus changes based on legitimate evidence – not fearmongering.
the 2015 Cochrane Water Fluoridation Review;
the 2015 Health Effects of water Fluoridation - An Evidence Review. Ireland Health Research Board;
the 2014 AAP Clinical Report: Fluoride Use in Caries Prevention in the Primary Care Setting;
the 2014 Royal Society of New Zealand, Health effects of water fluoridation;
the 2013 Congressional Research Service, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of Fluoridation and Regulation Issues;
the 2013 Community Guide Systematic Review, Dental Caries (Cavities): Community Water Fluoridation;
the 2011 SCHER Critical review of any new evidence on the hazard profile, health effects, and human exposure to fluoride and the fluoridating agents of drinking water;
the 2011 Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document – Fluoride;
the 2007 Dutch Ministry of Health and Welfare and Sports: Economic evaluation of prevention: further evidence;
the 2006 Australian NHMRC systematic review of the efficacy and safety of fluoridation;
the 2000 York, Systematic review of water fluoridation;
the 2000 Community Preventive Services Task Force, Preventing Dental Caries: Community Water Fluoridation

In response, to keep this reasonably short, I’ll concentrate on just a few major fallacies of the writer’s arguments.

One is simply denial, the level of which is striking. Somehow the direct quotes from European governments prohibiting fluoridation (that’s a ban, in any dictionary) are, in the writer’s mind, “purported” and “invalid arguments.”

How clear can the wording be that they believe putting fluoride in water, which they also consider a drug, is unethical? These were precisely my points.

They’re not citing natural fluoride levels, salt or milk. For the record, out of 48 European nations, eight have fluoridated salt and three have fluoridated milk, which is drunk by almost no one. And less than 1% of Europe’s population has naturally fluoridated water at U.S. artificially fluoridated water levels. And logistical problems? I’ve never heard of the Germans and Dutch lacking engineering skills.

The claim that “dose, or amount, is of no concern in regard to any such (adverse) effects” is almost beyond belief. Whether it’s fluorosis, kidney disease or IQ losses, all have been directly linked in a dose-response relationship to fluoride. No one can plausibly dispute, for example, that the more fluoride young children ingest, the greater chance they’ll get fluorosis - and more severe forms of it. These higher levels produce unsightly yellow and brown stains and damage, not protect, teeth.

Finally, there’s the cherry-picking. The NIH – funded study I cited (Bashash et al) directly linked higher fluoride levels in pregnant women’s urine to lower IQ’s in their children. He quotes one researcher associated with the study (she’s not a lead author, as the writer mistakenly says) favoring fluoridation. He doesn’t quote the principal investigator, Howard Hu, who said “This is a very rigorous epidemiology study. You just can’t deny it. It’s directly related to whether fluoride is a risk for the neurodevelopment of children. So, to say it has no relevance to the folks in the U.S. seems disingenuous.”

Nor does he quote CNN, where Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, “pointed out that it raised significant questions.” Nor Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician unaffiliated with the study, quoted in Newsweek saying that “This . . . raises serious concerns about fluoride supplementation in water.” Nor world-renowned Harvard scientist Dr. Philippe Grandjean, author of over 500 studies, who said the study, “along with substantial evidence from other countries, now shows that fluoride toxicity to brain development must be taken seriously.”

Readers can decide for themselves whose credibility is higher, these experts or this writer who’s trying to convince us of this study’s “inapplicability to fluoridation.”

The writer also chided me for only citing the above study for fluoride’s link to IQ loss, while saying that “numerous peer-reviewed studies” contradict this claim. His fluoridationist organization’s link briefly cited six studies on neurotoxicity, only five of which dealt with IQ. (The study cited above, in addition to over 50 more linking fluoride with neurotoxic harm, are conspicuously absent from his website link.

Compare this with the Fluoride Action Network’s extensive, individual analyses of 53 studies (http://fluoridealert.org/studies/brain01/), nearly all of which found fluoride lowering IQ. Compare it also to the exhaustive documentation in the current lawsuit by numerous organizations against the EPA for allowing fluoridation. It cited 61 peer-reviewed human neurotoxicity studies, 57 of which linked fluoride with IQ losses or other mental impairment, several at or slightly higher than typical U.S. water fluoridation levels. (https://www.thelundreport.org/content/epa-petition-end-water-fluoridation)

Again, readers can decide for themselves. Solely based on neurotoxicity studies (let alone all the other health risks), how can fluoridation possibly be declared safe?

I could easily rebut his other arguments, but I think you get the point. I stand by every statement I made and the documentation I provided. It is both absurd and unconscionable to add fluoride to drinking water.

Rick North – When you get a chance, you can address my questions in response to your 9/4/2018 opinion piece in the Lund Report. There is no reason to repeat everything here – there are enough questions in your most recent comment that require answering.
https://www.thelundreport.org/content/opinion-water-fluoridation-emperor...

The quotes from the European countries you mentioned in your 9/4 opinion piece, all listed ethical reasons based on a political/ideological definition of fluoridation as a medication and a subsequent conclusion not to initiate – you listed (and I have seen) no decisions based on specific scientific proof of ineffectiveness or harm. As an example, the 2007 RIVM report, “Economic evaluation of prevention: further evidence” evaluated cost-effective preventive interventions that have not yet been diffused into the Dutch health care system or into a public health setting and concluded, “Fluoridation of drinking water in the Netherlands would probably be cost-saving as the costs of fluoridation will be outweighed by the savings due to reduction of caries. However, people would also run the risk of fluorosis (of aesthetic concern). Although practically feasible, the many objections against fluoridation of drinking water make its implementation rather improbable.”
http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/netherlands-fluoridation.200...

As Dr. Slott described,(#8) the “dose” or amount of exposure to fluoride ions in optimally fluoridated water is regulated in the same manner as the “dose” or amount of exposure to any other regulated chemicals (residual poisonous disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, etc.) in treated drinking water. To suggest that there is (or should be) a different standard for regulating fluoride ion levels (which have a proven health benefit) than there is for regulating disinfection byproducts and other chemicals (which have no health benefits whatever) is irresponsible and absurd. There is no reputable evidence that drinking optimally fluoridated water causes “more severe forms of [dental fluorosis]. These higher levels produce unsightly yellow and brown stains and damage, not protect, teeth.” That claim is irresponsible fear-mongering.

I challenge you to cite one published study that proves drinking water fluoridated at 0.7 ppm has caused ”unsightly yellow and brown stains and damage”. None of the comprehensive reviews I cited in my response to KSpencer even hinted at that conclusion.

You accuse Dr. Slott of cherry-picking, and yet you selected the Bashash, et al. study to highlight which did not assess the effect of drinking fluoridated water on IQ and had some significant limitations while completely ignoring the 2018 NTP study (McPherson, et al.) that examined the effect of fluoride levels in water that the rats were given at 0ppm, 10ppm, and 20ppm (which correlated to fluoride levels in water for humans of the recommended fluoridation level of 0.7ppm and at the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 4 ppm). No neurological or health issues were reported. Fluoridation opponents pushed for the study, and now are leaving it on the tree as they cherry pick the rotten fruit on the ground.

There are several discussions and evaluations of the Bashash et al. IQ study and how fluoridation opponents have misrepresented the conclusions and the importance or relevance of any conclusions to community water fluoridation:
https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Public%20Programs/Files/2017_NFAC_Commen...
http://ga.dentalresearchblog.org/?p=2896
https://sciblogs.co.nz/open-parachute/2017/09/22/fluoride-pregnancy-iq/
https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/maternal-urinary-fluoride...
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/water-fluoridation-reduces-iq/

The bottom line is that the 27 reviews and studies referenced in my reply to KSpencer evaluate, explain and summarize the evidence that continues to support the scientific consensus that community water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure

The current scientific consensus, based on the an evaluation of the entire 70+ year body of fluoridation evidence, is the reason over 100 national and international science and health organizations (and their hundreds of thousands of members) continue to publically recognize the benefits of fluoridation. These organizations include: The World Health Organization which represents 191 countries, the British Dental Association (around 22,000 members), the British Medical Association (over 156,000 members), the Irish Dental Association (over 1,800 members), the American Dental Association (over 114,000 members), the American Medical Association (over 200,000 members), the American Academy of Pediatrics (around 64,000 members), the Canadian Dental Association (over 16,000 members), the Canadian Medical Association (80,000 members), The Australian Dental Association (over 11,000 members), the Australian Medical Association (over 28,000 members), the New Zealand Dental Association (2,026 members), and around 100 other organizations and their members.

How do you explain that fact if your assessment of the evidence is even remotely accurate?

How do you explain the fact that no nationally and internationally recognized science or health organizations support the anti-F opinions that fluoridation is harmful and ineffective?

If the representatives of those health organizations that publically recognize the benefits of fluoridation who have not publically denounced CWF have completely ignored &/or misinterpreted the body of evidence you believe proves CWF to be a dangerous practice and blindly followed each other, how can you possibly trust any of them to be competent in any other areas of their practices?

Can you think of any rational explanations for why a fringe handful of paranoid anti-science activists who claim to have valid conclusive, obvious evidence sufficient to change the fluoridation consensus have failed to do so - for 70 years?

However, that failure to change the scientific consensus does explain why FOs must employ fear-mongering tactics to try and scare the public into accepting their opinions instead of using their alleged wealth of legitimate and conclusive evidence of harm to convince the relevant science and health expert that their conclusions are valid? That is how science evolves.

“Industry has learned that debating the science is much easier and more effective than debating the policy. In field after field, year after year, conclusions that might support regulation are always disputed. Animal data are deemed not relevant, human data not representative, and exposure data not reliable.” - David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in “Doubt Is Their Product” (2008)

Political endorsements of policy and name calling isn't scientific evidence. The weight of the scientific evidence, especially since 1990 is that fluoridation is harmful to millions of consumers and doesn't do the teeth much good either.

Sadly that doesn't stop fluoridationists from trying to spin it like a team did with this 2017 report on U.S. data that found that children who drank fluoridated tap water had higher blood lead levels, and some or those who did not might have an inconsequential reduction in cavities, without knownig what they drank instead of tap water. 

"...serious health consequences of lead exposure emerge only after years. By contrast, dental caries causes immediate and tangible problems for children’s teeth…” -  Sanders AE, Slade GD. (2017) Blood Lead Levels and Dental Caries in U.S. Children Who Do Not Drink Tap Water. American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“When considered at the level of an individual, these effect estimates represent clinical benefits that are either small (1.3 fewer dfs per child) or negligible (0.3 fewer DMFS per child).” - G.D. Slade, W.B. Grider, W.R. Maas, A.E. Sanders. (2018) Water Fluoridation and Dental Caries in U.S. Children and Adolescents. Journal of Dental Research.

 

 

Dr. Steve Levy, lead researcher for the multi-year, multi-million dollar "Iowa Fluoride Study" writes: "Current evidence strongly suggests that fluorides work primarily by topical means through direct action on the teeth and dental plaque. Thus ingestion of fluoride is not essential for caries prevention," ( Dental Clinics of North America, April 2003)

Fluoride, swallowed from water, foods & supplements or absorbed from toothpaste, can create fluorosed (discolored) and, in severe cases, brittle teeth. "There has been an increase in the prevalence of fluorosis," reports Steven Levy, DDS, Professor, University of Iowa, in the May 2003 Journal of the Canadian Dental Association while cavities in primary teeth are still a problem.

 

"With more severe forms of fluorosis, caries (cavity) risk increases because of pitting and loss of the outer enamel," writes Levy.

"At low levels of chronic exposure such as with optimally fluoridated water, fluoride appears to slightly increase trabecular bone mass ...," writes Levy and Warren. Other researchers report fluoride thickens but weakens bones. 90% of 3-month-olds, Levy studied, consumed over their recommended 0.01 mg daily-fluoride-dose from water, supplements and/or dentifrice. Some babies ingest over 6 mg fluoride daily, above what the Environmental Protection Agency says is safe to avoid crippling skeletal fluorosis.

 

"There is no specific nutritional requirement for fluoride...given the increased prevalence of fluorosis, it may be necessary to revise downward the adequate intake levels for fluoride," write Levy and Warren. "The optimal level of fluoride intake is not known with certainty," writes Levy. "Total fluoride intake is the true fluorosis risk factor However, this is very difficult to quantify," writes Levy who found:

* 77% of soft drinks had fluoride levels greater than 0.60 ppm (or 0.60 mg in approximately one quart)

 * Two ounces daily baby chicken food provides their maximum dose

* Children's specially-flavored toothpaste increases fluoride ingestion

* Soy-based infant formulas deliver more fluoride than milk-based

* Other foods high in fluoride: teas, dry infant cereals, dried chicken, fish and seafood products

* Fluoridated water added to powdered concentrate ups fluorosis risk

* Grape juices, especially white, contain very high fluoride levels

* 42% of all tested juices and juice drinks had fluoride levels greater than 0.6 ppm

* Fluoride supplements are generally not recommended

* Cereals processed in a fluoridated area contained from 3.8 to 6.3 ppm fluoride

Steven Slott and Johnny Johnson, the Butch and Sundance of the fluoridation story, again ride in, this time with their critiques of Rick North’s piece (“Water Fluoridation Is An Emperor Without Clothes,” Sept. 4). Galloping off, they leave a cloud of misinformation, illogical arguments and cheap insinuations.

Examples:

Misinformation — The headline over Slott’s response to North (Sept. 11) states, “Fluoride in water is not a ‘drug,’ nor is there any evidence of it being ‘neurotoxic.’” North clearly establishes fluoride’s designation as a drug and provides extensive evidence of its neurotoxicity.

Illogical argument — In an effort to ridicule, Johnson asks how, if we accept North’s opposition to fluoridation, we can trust any of the fluoridation-endorsing organizations, like the World Health Organization, on any matter. Really? Are we supposed to believe that we have to disagree with every position of an organization because we disagree with one?

Cheap insinuations — Johnson refers to fluoridation critics as “a fringe handful of paranoid anti-science activists.” Really? Are we supposed to believe this description fits over 4,700 medical, dental, scientific and other professionals who have signed on to a statement opposing fluoridation (http://fluoridealert.org/researchers/professionals-statement/)?. Does it fit 2000 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Arvid Carlsson, among several other Nobel Prize winners? Does it fit Vyvyan Howard, MD, Past President of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment, Andy Harris, MD,  past president of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Theo Colborn, PhD, (dec.) co-author of Our Stolen Future, Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, Peter Montague, PhD, director of the Environmental Health Foundation, consumer advocates Ralph Nader and Erin Brockovich, and Andrew Young, civil rights leader and former ambassador to the UN?  Most of all, does it fit the government leaders of the 172 out of 196 nations in the world that have chosen not to fluoridate?

He overlooks the truth that smearing someone also smears the smearer.

Jack Crowther
Rutland, Vt.

Steven Slott and Johnny Johnson, the Butch and Sundance of the fluoridation story, again ride in, this time with their critiques of Rick North’s piece (“Water Fluoridation Is An Emperor Without Clothes,” Sept. 4). Galloping off, they leave a cloud of misinformation, illogical arguments and cheap insinuations.

Examples:

Misinformation — The headline over Slott’s response to North (Sept. 11) states, “Fluoride in water is not a ‘drug,’ nor is there any evidence of it being ‘neurotoxic.’” North clearly establishes fluoride’s designation as a drug and provides extensive evidence of its neurotoxicity.

Illogical argument — In an effort to ridicule, Johnson asks how, if we accept North’s opposition to fluoridation, we can trust any of the fluoridation-endorsing organizations, like the World Health Organization, on any matter. Really? Are we supposed to believe that we have to disagree with every position of an organization because we disagree with one?

Cheap insinuations — Johnson refers to fluoridation critics as “a fringe handful of paranoid anti-science activists.” Really? Are we supposed to believe this description fits over 4,700 medical, dental, scientific and other professionals who have signed on to a statement opposing fluoridation (http://fluoridealert.org/researchers/professionals-statement/)?. Does it fit 2000 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Arvid Carlsson, among several other Nobel Prize winners? Does it fit Vyvyan Howard, MD, Past President of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment, Andy Harris, MD,  past president of the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Theo Colborn, PhD, (dec.) co-author of Our Stolen Future, Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, Peter Montague, PhD, director of the Environmental Health Foundation, consumer advocates Ralph Nader and Erin Brockovich, and Andrew Young, civil rights leader and former ambassador to the UN?  Most of all, does it fit the government leaders of the 172 out of 196 nations in the world that have chosen not to fluoridate?

He overlooks the truth that smearing someone also smears the smearer.

Jack Crowther
Rutland, Vt.