Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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August 07, 2004

Scientists Demand Integrity, Transparency in Fluoridation Debate

Southeast Asia, 06/08/04 - Pat Costner, senior scientist for Greenpeace International; Dr. Lynn Margulis, recipient of the 1999 US National Medal of Science; the Consumers Association of Penang, and toxics campaign directors for Greenpeace in Australia, India, Japan, Norway, the Philippines and Thailand, together with hundreds of leading scientists and public health activists from across the globe issued a joint statement today, urging governments promoting fluoridation to bring some integrity into the debate and stop the cover-up of the public health risks posed by decades of adding fluoride to public.

The science around fluoride in our water supply is anything but clear. Benefits have been hyped up by fluoridation proponents but studies do not confirm the propaganda. Countries which fluoridate their drinking water rely on political power rather than honest, open examination of the scientific facts to maintain or even extend their fluoridation practices.

Anti-fluoride campaigners have long charged that fluoridation is a public health hazard. Greenpeace has now joined the fray with their recent release:

From: Greenpeace Southeast Asia, 06/08/04

Integrity needed on fluoride's health risks: scientists

Hundreds of leading scientists and public health activists from across the globe issued a joint statement today, urging governments promoting fluoridation to bring some integrity into the debate and stop the cover-up of the public health risks posed by decades of adding fluoride to public drinking water.

Water fluoridation was introduced in the 1950s in an attempt to reduce dental cavities. However, that was before the advent of fluoride toothpaste and many studies now point to long-term health worries, including arthritis, hip fracture, and accumulation in the pineal gland, that are not offset by claimed dental benefits.

Swedish Nobel laureate Dr. Arvid Carlsson added his name to an international petition holding the signatures of over 300 prominent individuals and organizations from 37 countries (

"The amount of fluoride in fluoridated tap water - often used for mixing baby formula - is 100 times higher than the level in mothers' milk," said Carlsson. "I am worried what this will do the baby's developing brain cells."

Dr. Albert Burgstahler, editor of the journal Fluoride, echoed Carlsson's concerns. "The latest work from China indicates a lowering of IQ in children drinking water at less than twice the concentration we add to our water," said Burgstahler. "There's practically no margin of safety here."

In an article in the September issue of the journal Australasian Science, Australia's Dr. Mark Diesendorf, former professor of environmental science, wrote that, "Instead of debating the issue in open scientific forums, promoters are trying to maintain fluoridation by political power."

Dr. Hardy Limeback, head of preventive dentistry at the University of Toronto and former president of the Canadian Association of Dental Research, stressed that fluoride's effect is strictly from direct contact with the tooth's exterior. "The majority of dental researchers now believe there's little benefit in actually swallowing fluoride," said Limeback.

The petitioning group included Pat Costner, senior scientist for Greenpeace International; Dr. Lynn Margulis, recipient of the 1999 US National Medal of Science; the Consumers Associaton of Penang, and toxics campaign directors for Greenpeace in Australia, India, Japan, Norway, the Philippines and Thailand.

Dr. Paul Connett, professor of chemistry at St. Lawrence University in New York, organized the joint communique. "Health authorities in the few remaining fluoridating countries are hushing up key new studies that show the serious disruptive effects fluoride has on the body," said Connett. "Unless this rift between honest science and public health policy is mended, it poses a threat not just to those who are forced to drink fluoridated water, but to every other public health policy that relies on the public's trust in government."

Dr Andrew Saul of has an article on THE FLUORIDE DECEPTION and an interview with author Christopher Bryson in his latest newsletter, which traces the history of fluoridation from its beginnings in post-WW II America...


by Andrew W. Saul of


It was an era of thalidomide and plutonium; school segregation and human experimentation; 24-hour SAC bomber patrols and classroom "duck and cover" drills; atmospheric H-bomb testing and DDT. The Red Scare dominated the news and physicians endorsed their favorite cigarette on TV. The "Atomic Genie" was out of the bottle and radium treatment was in vogue. And, of course, there was the latest of modern wonders, water fluoridation. Scientists of post WW II America promised the world. And, as with 3-D movies and the Edsel, the promise was far beyond what would be delivered.

Fluoridated water was idealized as the ultimate form of 1950's failsafe social engineering. What could be more appealing than to be able to have your children virtually drink away dental decay? Yet like vaccination, municipal water fluoridation has never been satisfactorily tested with double-blind, placebo controls. But it hardly mattered to those in power. Like the lure of a quick war, with the troops all to be home by Christmas, dental publicists promised 75% or even 90% reductions in dental caries. Today, most of the strongest fluoridation proponents rarely offer expected benefits of over 35%. The real numbers are almost certainly far lower. There is little or no difference in decay rates between sister cities caries incidence regardless whether they are fluoridated or not. And this, Mr. Bryson shows, has been the case from the start.

When Newburgh, NY's water was fluoridated nearly 60 years ago, it was more a test to see if fluorine would hurt people than to see if it would stop cavities. Bryson traces the whole scandal, using recently declassified US Army and other genuinely embarrassing government documents. Fluoride pollution, much of it a byproduct of WW II nuclear weapons manufacture, had opened industry and government to lawsuits. Fluoridated water was engineered to be an antidote to liability as much as to dental decay.

Fluoridation rode a wave of politicized science, the dark side of which was the nuclear arms race. According to Bryson's publisher, "Documents discovered in the files of the Manhattan Project connect the atomic bomb program with the 1945 public experiment compared the teeth and health of the children of Newburgh with that of fluoride-free neighboring Kingston. It was the most significant of the early water fluoridation trials, purporting to demonstrate fluoride's safety in low doses. The top scientist who oversaw the Newburgh experiment, and the leading voice promoting water fluoridation, issuing reassurances of fluoride's safety in low doses, was Dr. Harold Hodge. Hodge is regarded as the dean of the science of toxicology in the United States. While selling fluoride to children, he was simultaneously head of the Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology for the Manhattan Project, charged with protecting the government from worker and community lawsuits for fluoride damage. Showing that fluoride was safe in low doses reduced the risk of lawsuits against the bomb program."

Blanket and blatant reassurances about safety is nothing new to the military. If you have ever viewed the documentary movie entitled The Atomic Café, you have seen actual U.S. Army film footage showing soldiers, shielded only by their cotton uniforms and a G.I. helmet, walking straight towards a still-rising mushroom cloud from an atomic detonation just a few miles away. It hardly ended there; from 1942 until the 1980's, uranium was added to the materials in dentures. No doubt this was to help Grandpa see them in the dark when he craved a midnight snack. Sounds pretty odd, doesn't it. Uranium in dentures. How very silly, we now say. Yet to this day, the American Dental Association, the FDA, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control all maintain that mercury, a toxic heavy metal, is perfectly safe to have drilled into your living teeth. (1, 2, 3)

Not surprisingly, they also all support fluoridation of water.

History is stranger than fiction, and just as subject to revision. For decades, fluoridationists declared that teeth were strengthened from within by fluoride; it was supposedly a systemic, nutritional benefit. It is not. Fluoride weakens bone, increases incidence of bone cancer, and increases fracture rates. (

Today the "authorities" have quietly flip-flopped, and now claim that dilute fluoride has a topical, perhaps bactericidal effect. Think about that for a moment. If fluoride has that kind of killing power at just a few parts per million, what are doctors doing wasting their time writing antibiotic prescriptions? Why not just tell patients to drink more tap water? If fluoride is that powerful, imagine the effect on the rest of the body. Indeed, fluoride is the most chemically reactive of all naturally-occurring elements. When Linus Pauling originated the four-point electronegative scale, fluorine was and remains the one and only top scorer with a perfect 4. All other elements are weaker. And this is the element you drink, without prescription, in doses that vary with how thirsty you may be on a given day.

Most of the United States is now fluoridated. Most of Europe is not. (

Blinders on, everyone: surely America's scientists are smarter than Europe's. Scientific dogma lives in the sacred cow of fluoridation, and dissent over doctrine is enough to wreck a Yankee scientist's career in a hurry, even though fluoridation remains far more a matter of faith than of fact. "The addition of fluoride to water supplies violates modern pharmacological principles," writes Dr. Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Prize for Medicine laureate. "It is my sincere hope that Christopher Bryson's apparently thorough and comprehensive perusal of the scientific literature on the biological actions of fluoride and the ensuing debates through the years will receive the attention it deserves and that its implications will be seriously considered." Dr. Carlsson, by the way, is the scientist "who helped lead the successful campaign to stop water fluoridation in Sweden (and) argued that public water supplies were not an appropriate vehicle with which to deliver 'pharmacologically active' drugs to the entire population. According to Carlsson: 'I am quite convinced that water fluoridation, in a not-too-distant future, will be consigned to medical history. . . The addition of drugs to the drinking water means exactly the opposite of an individualized therapy. Not only in that the dose cannot be adapted to individual requirements: it is, in addition, based on a completely irrelevant factor, namely consumption of drinking water, which varies greatly between individuals and is, moreover, very poorly surveyed.'"

Since the 1950's, we have learned a few things. Everyone now knows that nuclear radiation is dangerous; most know that heavy metals are poisonous. Although dentists still implant mercury into teeth, at least lead is no longer added to gasoline. You'll like this one: in his book, Bryson shows that "the man who reassured the nation as to the safety of lead in gasoline, Robert Kehoe, Director of the Kettering Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati, simultaneously reassured us of the safety of water fluoridation. . . . He testified in a federal court there had been no cases of fluoride disability in US industry. His own laboratory, however, had confidentially reported numerous cases."

What a story, and it's just one of many more to be found in The Fluoride Deception. Christopher Bryson's narrative has captured the feel of the progress-patriotism-and-profit postwar years with his comprehensive, interview-based history of fluoridation. The Fluoride Deception is genuinely interesting, impeccably referenced, and scary. For those who still believe that fluoridation is the public's passive panacea for tooth decay, here's the book that may finally set them straight.

The Fluoride Deception, by Christopher Bryson

NY: Seven Stories Press, 2004. (ISBN: 1-58-322526-9)

Christopher Bryson, author of The Fluoride Deception

DY News: So, Mr. Bryson: How do you get along with your dentist?

Christopher Bryson: Very well. He has no idea I am the author of The Fluoride Deception. I cannot abide those one sided so-called "conversations" in the chair, talking with a mouthful of metal.

DY News: Questioning fluoridation is the kiss of death for many a scientist. Almost all of the over 5,000 fluoride-related scientific papers indexed on Medline are openly in favor of the practice. A search for "fluoride dangers" brings up only two papers; "fluoride toxicity" gets you a handful more. Where has there ever been any fair and reasonable discussion of fluoridation, pro and con?

Bryson: Perhaps the most balanced review I came across was a long article in Chemical and Engineering News, from August 1, 1988, by Bette Hileman. (Vol. 66, p 26-42.)

DY News: Agreed. That article that showed that fluoridated water reduces dental caries by about 1/2 filling per person per lifetime ( It is not indexed on Medline. There has also been what I consider to be a very good article on the cancer risk of fluoridated water published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, also posted at That is not on Medline, either.

Now for a standard question: how did you come to write this book?

Bryson: I was a BBC radio reporter in New York in 1993 and was asked by a London producer to find an American "angle" on water fluoridation. I interviewed two dissident government scientists, Robert Carton and Bill Hirzy, with the US Army and the EPA respectively. They explained that the science underpinning the US government fluoride safety standards for drinking water was fraudulent. At the same time I read an extraordinary piece of journalism, "Fluoride: Commie Plot or Capitalist Ploy," from the fall 1992 issue of Covert Action Information Bulletin, by the medical writer Joel Griffiths. (The full text is posted at He explained how industry had long manipulated health information about fluoride to launder fluoride's public image, with the secret agenda of defending itself from lawsuits being launched by workers and farmers alleging fluoride pollution.

DY News: You researched and developed this into a major portion of your book. To shift gears: Is your community's water fluoridated?

Bryson: Yes, New York City's water has been fluoridated since the mid 1960's, when the father of public relations Edward L. Bernays secretly worked the New York's Public Health Commissioner Dr. Leona Baumgartner, to "engineer consent" as he put it, for water fluoridation.

DY News: What steps have you taken, personally, to limit fluoride intake for your family?

Bryson: I do not use fluoridated toothpaste, and have a fluoride filter for drinking water.

DY News: In your book, one cannot help but notice how many personal interviews you conducted with your sources. What can you tell me about interviewees who did not wish to go on the record?

Bryson: Most everyone went on the record. Some of them, I'm sure, had no idea that my book would be as critical of fluoridation. Director Jack Hein of the Forsyth Dental Center was reluctant to a formal interview, but was drawn out in a telephone conversation, and ended up telling me a great deal. Attorney Pete Johnson who represented the Reynolds Metals Company in the 2000 Hurricane Creek lawsuit did not return my phone call. Arnold Kramish of the Manhattan Project also declined a request for an interview.

DY News: Your book, with its very commendable 110 pages of notes, might be well described as sort of a "Fahrenheit FL." What facts, what parts of your book are your critics specifically attacking you over?

Bryson: I don't know that I have any critics. If they exist, they have been profoundly silent, well aware that any attack would be good publicity for the book.

DY News: I think your book is so tightly documented that they haven't a leg to stand on if they try. I noticed that there was an advertisement for your book in the NY Times, but am unaware that the Times ever reviewed it. Where may we find and read major media reviews of The Fluoride Deception?

Bryson: Thus far, there has not been a single mention of the book in the US media, with the exception of Publisher's Weekly. I'm certain industry would love to keep it thus.

DY News: The Publisher's Weekly notice (May 2004) was favorable, saying in part: "Investigative reporter Bryson revisits the decades-long controversy, drawing on mountains of scientific studies, some unearthed from secret archives of government and corporate laboratories, to question the effects of fluoride and the motives of its leading advocates. . . Fluoride in its many forms may be one of the most toxic of industrial pollutants, and Bryson cites scientific analyses linking fluoridated drinking water to bone deformities, hyperactivity and a host of other complaints." Thank you for getting the word out.

Bryson: Thanks for your interest in the book.

MERCURY AMALGAM Quotes and Notes, referred to in the above review:

1. "Dental amalgam (silver filling) is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. . .The ADA's Council on Scientific Affairs' 1998 report (J Am Dent Assoc. 1998 Apr;129(4):494-503.) on its review of the recent scientific literature on amalgam states: 'The Council concludes that, based on available scientific information, amalgam continues to be a safe and effective restorative material.' The Council's report also states, 'There currently appears to be no justification for discontinuing the use of dental amalgam.' . . . (T)he ADA continues to believe that amalgam is a valuable, viable and safe choice for dental patients and concurs with the findings of the U.S. Public Health Service that amalgam has 'continuing value in maintaining oral health.'"

(American Dental Association, revised January 8, 2003, accessed July 31, 2004)

2. "No valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy." - U.S. Food and Drug Administration, accessed July 31, 2004)

3. "The U.S. Public Health Service believes it is inappropriate at this time to recommend any restrictions on the use of dental amalgam . . . (C)urrent scientific evidence does not show that exposure to mercury from amalgam restorations poses a serious health risk in humans." (CDC/National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. - Oral Health Resources, accessed July 31, 2004)

See also related:

Fluorides: Their Effect on the Thyroid, Alzheimers and CFS

Executive pulls plug on fluoride in water
By SAM HALSTEAD - - 13 November 2004
CONTROVERSIAL plans to introduce fluoride into the public water supply in Scotland are set to be abandoned, it emerged today.

Articles on this site relating to fluoride

Fluoride In Our Water: Is It Helpful Or Harmful?

Food, Not Fluoride, Reduces Cavities

Fluoride Action Network

Teething Trouble - Why the Fluoride Debate is Set to Rage Again

Fluoridation for all of England and Wales
The "mass medication" of UK's drinking water with a listed poison will cost London's health authorities alone more than £21 million. Sam Burcher reports

Toxic chemicals: the case against fluoride
By Mark Diesendorf - posted Wednesday, February 09, 2005
The use of fluorides in dental public health is an example of a class of chronically toxic chemicals that escapes the usual regulatory and assessment processes, avoids the fundamental principle of toxicology (namely to protect those at greatest risk) and violates medical ethics. Furthermore, it is argued here that the promotion of fluoridation uses the image of science while avoiding and misrepresenting its substance.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Saturday August 7 2004
updated on Friday December 3 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

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The UK government is pushing to lace drinking water with fluoride The way is being prepared by a law which will exempt water companies from legal responsibility for adding an industrial poison to communal water supplies. The International Fluoride Information Network, in its latest bulletin, says that "unfortunately, it is too late to influence the House of Lords who incredibly voted to modify the water bill to allow water... [read more]
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Readers' Comments

From a recent e-mail:

I've just finished putting articles from the links below into a Word doc, which I've attached. I had reasonable quality colour copies of the dental fluorosis photos that appeared in the first article. I hope you find it of interest. 

Regards John

Here are the links:


CRITICAL REVIEW of Colquhoun's article, by Howard Pollick, School of Dentistry in San Francisco


IN MEMORIAM - John Alexander Colquhoun, B.D.S., Ph.D.
4 January 1924 23 March 1999

Posted by: Sepp Hasslberger on August 10, 2004 12:34 PM


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