Shown in black font below is the transcription of the first 10 minutes of the Joint Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee meeting on October 5, 2015 regarding water fluoridation in Arkansas. Representative Kelley Linck and Dr. Nate Smith of the Arkansas Department of Health were the only speakers during those first 10 minutes.
The text in red font shows Secure Arkansas’ written comments about each speaker’s statements after the fact. Our intention is to offer a rebuttal. Stay tuned for future alerts, as we will be addressing and refuting more of their statements that were made during this meeting.
House Chair for Public Health Cmte – Rep Kelley Linck speaking:
“…who’s leading this or whatever, and I’ll say no one’s leading anything. This isn’t anything we requested from the legislature. This is Dept. of Health along to give a report on… on what the effects that they’ve seen… Matter of fact, it was Dr. Smith – I believe it was his idea to bring this up and ‘let’s chat about this’. And no, this isn’t legislatively driven, it’s not driven by any lobbyists or anything else, it’s just a (reporting?), so I think it’s a great idea and… if everyone at the table would introduce yourself for the record and Dr. Smith, you’re recognized to start this off.” ( Rep Linck was trying to say that it was the Health Department who had asked for the meeting to bring the legislature up to date, and not that the legislature was reviewing the issue. However, I recall he went on to say that since it was such a controversial issue, that they were going to let us speak. – S. Young MD )
Dr. Smith speaking:
“Thank you sir. I’m Dr. Nate Smith, director of the Arkansas Department of Health. I have to my immediate right Dr. Lyn Bollen who’s our State Public Health Dentist, and to his right is Jeff Stone, our chief engineer at the Arkansas Department of Health. And (inaudible)… we are here to talk about fluoridation and the progress that we have on Act 197 of 2011. I think you all have the handout. I want to start with a… a brief background on fluoride and fluoridation. For many, water fluoridation is considered one of the top public health achievements of the last 100 years. [Considered such by the Oral Health Division of the CDC who sets the policy for the Dept of Health. It is the CDC that is deceiving them. – S. Young MD] But many people have some misconceptions about exactly what it is or what the benefits are. I want to start by saying that fluoride is a naturally-occurring element, and it’s present in all drinking water sources. [Jeff Stone, ADH Engineer, later stated that natural fluoride is not present in all drinking water sources in Arkansas. We were under the impression that all water sources contain some level of natural fluoride, so we are requesting that Jeff Stone enlighten us on the water sources in Arkansas that have 0.0 ppm. (Jeff Stone later tells us where in Arkansas the water contains high levels of naturally-occurring fluoride. – S. Young MD) See this link to read about naturally-occurring fluoride which can be highly poisonous, too.] In some water sources, it is higher than a recommended level and can cause potentially… some health… adverse health effects. But in most water sources, drinking water sources in the U.S., the level is actually below that which is needed for optimal dental health which is why we supplement our drinking water sources. Now, the first look right there is to point out fluoride is not the only (fortification?) to foods or beverages that we use here in the United States. For example, we put iodine in the salt to protect people against goiter which is caused by iodine deficiency. We also add chlorination to water because that’s what makes it safe to drink. Without chlorination, you would not be able to safely drink the water coming out of your tap. We also add Vitamin D to milk, and we add folic acid to flour, so there are many types of things that are added as fortification, and fluoride is just one of them. (Iron, Vitamin D, and folic acid are known essential nutrients. Fluoride is not. All of those substances have large margins of safety between their toxic levels and their beneficial levels. Fluoride does not. People who do not want those supplements can seek out food that does not contain them. It is much more difficult to avoid tap water. Low income families cannot afford bottled water or expensive fluoride filtration systems. – S. Young MD) We have been adding, in the U.S., fluoride to public water supplies for almost 70 years, and many communities in Arkansas have been benefiting from that for a long time. (How long have we been adding fluoride to public water supplies in Arkansas? Has anyone done any epidemiological studies to find out if there is a difference in the health in those communities? Epidemiology is difficult as people move around frequently, but in Arkansas, we have the advantage that people tend to stay in one area more than other parts of the country. It would be interesting to see if there is a difference in the incidence of hip fractures, ADHD, neurological diseases, cancer, hypothyroidism, and other diseases that are claimed to be caused by fluoride in those areas. – S. Young MD) Fluoride concentration is a critical issue to discuss before we go on to the progress we’ve made. Any compound in high enough levels becomes a toxin or a poison. For example, you may remember from high school chemistry, sodium chloride is table salt. At a concentration of .9%, it’s what we give in IV solutions. If you have 9% which is what you have in ocean water, it’s toxic even to drink. So, concentration is critical when we’re talking about fluoride as well as other similar compounds. [Concentration is important but not as critical as individual dose!] (And concentration does not equal dose. An adult may drink 2 liters of water, so would get 1.4mg of fluoride –assuming the concentration was 0.7ppm. But that adult may weigh 154 pounds (70kg), so they are getting 0.02mg/kg. A 22 lb (10kg) infant will drink 1 liter per day. The 0.7mg is a much higher dose for that individual. The infant is getting 0.07mg/kg of fluoride, 3.5 times greater dose than the adult. – S. Young MD) The recommended levels for fluoride are 0.7 parts per million. At that concentration, we get optimal oral health with essentially no health hazards at that level. [But fluoride is a neurotoxin, so an optimal level would be zero. See recent publication of the Lancet Neurology confirming that fluoride has been added to the list of known neurotoxins. Fluoride is not a nutrient but a drug. The Food and Drug Administration even says so.] (Absence of a study is not the same as absence of harm. The CDC and ADA have a history of ignoring or discounting animal or human studies that show adverse effects to fluoride. This includes studies showing neurotoxicity. The journal Fluoride carries articles that show harm of fluoride, but it is ignored by Pubmed so does not show up on a search. The 2006 NRC [National Research Council] report on the toxicology of fluoride quoted the Fluoride journal more than any other journal. Back issues can be accessed at www.fluorideresearch.org/
A Critique of Recent Economic Evaluations of Community Water Fluoridation
By Lee Ko & Kathleen M. Thiessen
Background: Although Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) results in a range of potential contaminant exposures, little attention has been given to many of the possible impacts. A central argument for CWF is its cost-effectiveness. The U.S. Government states that $1 spent on CWF saves $38 in dental treatment costs. Objective: To examine the reported cost-effectiveness of CWF.
Methods: Methods and underlying data from the primary U.S. economic evaluation of CWF are analyzed and corrected calculations are described. Other recent economic evaluations are also examined. Results: Recent economic evaluations of CWF contain defective estimations of both costs and benefits. Incorrect handling of dental treatment costs and flawed estimates of effectiveness lead to overestimated benefits. The real-world costs to water treatment plants and communities are not reflected.
Conclusions: Minimal correction reduced the savings to $3 per person per year (PPPY) for a best-case scenario, but this savings is eliminated by the estimated cost of treating dental fluorosis.]
(Authors of the report stating that there was a $38 savings of dental costs for every $1 spent on fluoridation ignored the costs of any side-effects, including dental fluorosis. Cosmetic veneer treatment costs up to $1000 per tooth. They also allowed a loss of earnings of $18 an hour for time off work to get a dental filling. Not all people lose pay when they get dental treatment, and certainly children don’t. Two of the three were the same authors that said that fluoridation is one of the top ten public health achievements of the twentieth century, though this may have been heralded earlier. – S Young MD)
There are not too many things in public health or in any other arena where we get that much of a dividend on our investment. The typical cost for a water system fluoridation is very low. It’s around a dollar per person per year, and the average lifetime cost per person to fluoridate a water system is less than the cost of even a single dental filling. (Still there’s no freedom of choice. Many people do not want to consume, much less pay for toxic fluoride that is being forced on us.)
I wanted to update you on the progress from Act 197 of 2011. Seventy percent of the water systems subject to the Act are now in full compliance and are fluoridating at the recommended level of .7 parts per million. Progress is being made on almost all the other remaining water systems, and that means that currently about 76% or over 2 million people in Arkansas are now on public water systems that have the recommended fluoride concentration of 0.7 parts per million. That’s up from only 62% before Act 197. I want to mention here briefly that funding for this has been supplied by Delta Dental, and they’ve done an incredible job to help advance oral health in our state. [Be sure to search our Secure Arkansas website for information on Delta Dental.] If that were the end of the story, I probably wouldn’t have brought this up for you all to hear and talk about. If you get on the internet, though, you’ll see a lot of stuff on fluoridation that, just to put it bluntly, is just not true. [Definitely can’t believe everything ADH has posted on the internet about water fluoridation!] It’s not scientifically valid. Just like not every rumor is true, not every article that’s published or is out there on the internet has scientific validity. When we at the Department of Health are looking at the science, we’re looking at peer-reviewed journals; we’re looking for articles that have sound, scientific methodology; and we’re looking at findings that have been replicated and are widely-accepted and endorsed by other credible scientific organizations, and the body of evidence supporting the benefits and the safety of community water fluoridation are overwhelming. Essentially all of the valid scientific organizations in our country have endorsed community water fluoridation, and none of them have… have opposed it. [We can’t simply rely on endorsements; we need current, reliable scientific data.] There are not too many things in public health that I can say that about. At the Arkansas Department of Health, we look to high quality, high impact scientific publications for our public health policy, our evidence-based interventions. In addition to that, we actually look at the articles ourselves, look at the methodology. To assist me in that, I’ve got Dr. Joe Bates as my chief Deputy State Health officer, Dr. Namvar Zohoori, my Deputy Chief Science Officer, and our scientific advisory committee, so this is something we take very seriously. We don’t make claims that we’ve not looked at carefully and have the endorsement of other scientists around the country. Our experience with community water fluoridation has been considerable.
FLUORIDE POISONING: is fluoride in your drinking water—and from other sources—making you sick?
Forward to the book written by Professor Emeritus Albert W. Burgstahler:
“Although dental public health officials in countries promoting water fluoridation adamantly deny the existence of illness caused by fluoride in drinking water, undeniable medical ill effects from fluoride added to drinking water have been known and reported since the start of water fluoridation over 50 years ago. Even today, those who experience these adverse effects, whether from fluoride in their drinking water or from other sources, know only too well how insidious these ailments can be, what a relief it is to find out what is causing them, and how easily they can often be overcome simply by reducing excessive intake of fluoride.
Those who deny reality and persist in discounting sensitivity to fluoride in drinking water are like ostriches with their heads in the sand. They would do well to heed what Dr. Spittle has reported here and stop continuing to promote and be misled by scientifically indefensible claims that do not hold up under scrutiny.”
Dr. George L. Waldbott – image credit
Dr. George L. Waldbott foresaw an end to the controversy but only when medical practitioners recognized the existence of the chronic fluoride toxicity syndrome and water fluoridation was made illegal. In 1978, four years before his death in 1982, he wrote:
“As I enter the twilight of my long and active medical career, I know that the path I chose long ago, though strewn with many obstacles, is the only one I could have taken. No more satisfying nor humane goal can be attained than the truth which alleviates the suffering of mankind. When medical practitioners everywhere also recognize the severity of the problems of chronic fluoride toxicosis, and laws mandating truly safe drinking water are sincerely enforced, the health of millions will dramatically improve. Only then will fluoridation cease to be The Great Dilemma.”
Some of the other fluoride publications of George L. Waldbott, MD can be found by clicking here.
Dr. Nate Smith still speaking:
As I mentioned before, communities have been fluoridating their water – that means bringing the concentration of fluoride up to that recommended .7 parts per million – for over seventy years. [Fluoride has not been maintained for 70 years at the levels he mentions!] Around the country, we have over 200 million who have… who are drinking fluoridated water, and in Arkansas, it’s over two million, so for over seventy years, and that many folks, we have lots and lots of data. Where’s all this data? Endorsements and reviews are not what we call evidence based science! How could ADH possibly know that 2 million people in Arkansas are actually drinking fluoridated tap water? Where’s the data for that statement?
Harvard IQ Researchers Respond to Pro-Fluoridation Criticism
The authors of the 2012 Harvard Meta-analysis (http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-
“We are therefore concerned that the safety of elevated fluoride exposure is being exaggerated in ways similar to those employed by vested interests to misconstrue the scientific evidence of other neurotoxicants, such as lead, mercury, and certain pesticides. Firm dismissal of fluoride as a potential neurotoxic hazard would seem premature.”
This isn’t the first time Grandjean has responded to pro-fluoridation efforts to downplay the impact fluoride has on IQ. In December, he challenged the spin being used by fluoridation promoters. Grandjean’s commentary (Mottled fluoride debate) appears on his website (Chemical Brain Drain) and is printed in full below. Grandjean explained that for the children tested,
“Their lifetime exposures to fluoride from drinking water covered the full range allowed in the U.S. Among the findings, children with fluoride-induced mottling of their teeth – even the mildest forms that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests. This observation runs contrary to popular wisdom that the enamel effects represent a cosmetic problem only and not a sign of toxicity. At least one of five American children has some degree of mottling of their teeth.”
In many cases where we’re studying an intervention, you know, we may not have all the data that we need… this is one case where we have enough data to find any association that would be significant.” And there have been well over three thousand published studies related to community water fluoridation, and, again, they have established clearly the benefits and the safety. [The ADH should be good stewards with the health of Arkansas residents, so it shouldn’t be a problem for them to prove to “We The People” with peer reviewed scientific studies which confirms that fluoridation is safe and effective for all water consumers at all ranges of consumption. We demand that the Department of Health prove its safety and effectiveness… or take it out of the water. So… is it a toxic drug made from hazardous waste, or is it a nutrient? Is it a beneficial nutrient? Remember, the FDA says that fluoride is a drug. It is detrimental to our health and poses serious health risks. The CDC has spread propaganda long enough! Secure Arkansas believes fluoridation has poisoned our drinking water, our environment, and our health. Honestly, we deserve clean pure water. Our health will never improve as long as we are drinking fluoride tainted water.]
Many of the issues brought up by the Arkansas Department of Health were based on “bad science and powerful politics”. A response to the Arkansas Department of Health pro-fluoridation claims can be found in the following PDF document: “The_Case_Against Fluoride”.
Quoting the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, we believe he identified the problem of propaganda when he wrote:
“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”
Secure Arkansas believes that if there is the slightest possibility of doing harm to humans, animals, or the environment, we should stop putting fluoride in the tap water!
“First do no harm” … It’s time to call for a moratorium on water fluoridation in Arkansas before any more harm is done!
(end of this transcribed section; 10 minutes 12 seconds)
Click here to listen to the audio-only of the first 10 minutes.
Click here to view some video from the meeting.
Stay tuned for Part 2…
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Securing the blessings of liberty,