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Disgraceful Behavior of Fluoridation Proponents

Ad hominem attacks are the modus operandi of many fluoridation proponents

"Prior to my hearing this case, I gave the matter of fluoridation little if any, thought but I received quite an education, and noted that the proponents of fluoridation do nothing more than try to impugn the objectivity of those who oppose fluoridation." (Supreme Court Justice J.P. Flaherty, former Chairman of the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences, in a 1979 letter to the Mayor of Auckland, N.Z.)

NOTE: the bone of contention for Calgary's fluoridation proponents, on July 15th, in front of Council's Operations and Environment Committee, was my article, Evidence backs turning off fluoride taps, published in the Calgary Herald, 04/22/98. They spent an inordinate amount of time slamming the alleged "misleading" information in this article. Below is a partial response

Health Action Network Society, Alberta Chapter

an open letter

July 27, 1998

The Honorable Al Duerr
and Calgary Councillors

RE: July 15th Operations & Environment Meeting

Dear Mayor Duerr and Council Members:

The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) asked Council for an opportunity to speak on fluoridation because they claimed they were unaware of our earlier process. Council thus voted to send this request and the wording of the ballot question back to Operations and Environment (O&E). Despite CDA's request to address O&E, both the CDA and the Councillors who voted in favour of sending this back, were conspicuous by their absence.

When we walked in, Calgary Regional Health Authorities (CRHA) rushed to the phone to call in the troops. It was downhill from there. CRHA and their staff digressed from arguing their exaggerated pretexts, to attempting to use the law, and, when all else failed, they resorted to impugning the credibility and integrity of fluoridation opponents -- myself in particular. It then degenerated further. Ms. Smorang, the CRHA employee responsible for the 1989 fluoridation campaign, maligned the Minority Panelist, Professor Miloslav Nosal -- a man CRHA themselves approved of for the review.

Ms. Smorang mentioned her Masters Degree and claimed she was "familiar with research methodology". Yet, paradoxically, she used the "Report of the Second Alberta Dental Health Survey, 1985" as "proof" that I and/or Professor Nosal could not conclude what any high school student with Math 30 is capable of doing. Although it defies explanation, she falsely claimed: "there was no mention of Calgary and Edmonton anywhere" in this Report.1 She slanderously insinuated that Professor Nosal either fabricated numbers, or combined data from two surveys to compare decay rates between Calgary and Edmonton. Clearly, according to Professor Nosal's references, he combined information from the same survey, but from two different sources. Because only one survey was done, could it be that like so many fluoridation proponents, Ms. Smorang did not read the material carefully?

Alderman Hawkesworth specifically asked Ms Smorang -- not once, but twice -- if the Minority Panelist listed a second reference for his calculations. Contrary to Smorang's libelous "no", two references are given in the Calgary "Report of the Expert Panel For Water Fluoridation Review" (pages 35-36). A quote from the second reference for the same 1985 Survey data is:2

"d) Alberta Dental Health Survey
"Also, with a survey result of 2.80 (DMFT) teeth decayed, restored and missing for the City, it is encouraging to see how close this is to the internal survey results (2.885)."2

Knowing that Edmonton's Decayed, Missing, Filled, Teeth (DMFT) rate in the Survey was 2.80, and that the combined rate for Calgary and Edmonton was 2.90 -- hidden in the Alberta Report under the title "Metropolitan" -- anybody with elementary math can calculate Calgary's rate of 3.0 (see below). Additional data needed to show the lack of statistical significance is also in the Report.

Decayed, Missing, Filled, Teeth Rate (total number of children examined=3,1171)
Edmonton2 Calgary & Edmonton1 Rural1 Urban1
2.802 (7981) 2.901 (1,634) 3.37 (893) 3.19 (590)

Ms. Smorang was partially right about the Alberta Report not containing all the data. Her misleading semantics about our alleged misuse of the Report only confused the issue. Of course the Report doesn't have all the survey data. It was written by fluoridation proponents. They selectively omit data which doesn't support their indefensible and absurd claim of fluoridation's huge benefit. The omission of both Edmonton's 2.80 rate and Calgary's 3.0 rate from the Alberta Report appears to be deliberate. Is CRHA desperately trying to impugn my integrity because I discovered that their own data doesn't support their claims? How could CRHA's Ph.D's miss this? What else are they overlooking in their over-zealous misguided efforts to force-feed us fluoride in our water? I ask you again, who is guilty of misrepresentation, myself for bringing this to your attention, or, those people who betrayed public trust in 1989 by not giving citizens all the facts?

CRHA have yet to explain why it took so long to complain. I first gave O&E the tooth decay rates for Calgary/Edmonton children last September. I also submitted them to all panelists last December. The proper and ethical approach would have been to ask Professor Nosal to clear up what is an obvious blunder on their part. Could it be that CRHA did not complain earlier because they believed their 5 hand-picked panelists would endorse the status-quo? By slamming the Minority Panelist, CRHA's agenda is crystal clear -- it's a self-serving excuse to ignore or misrepresent his recommendation that fluoridation should be stopped because of serious health risks and marginal to no benefit. Why are we paying public servants salaries for such disgraceful tactics? Why are CRHA playing Russian Roulette with our health when 20% of the gun's chambers contain bullets?


Elke Babiuk

Foortnote 1:
REPORT OF THE SECOND ALBERTA DENTAL HEALTH SURVEY, 1985, A Status Report of the Dental Health of 13 year old Alberta Schoolchildren, published in January, 1987, pp 1-53.
NOTE: Calgary and Edmonton are mentioned several times. Moreover, Calgary & Edmonton's combined DMFT rates are hidden under the heading "Metropolitan" (see pages 6, 7, 36, etc. for more info). This report was conducted/prepared by the Health Unit Association of Alberta with other Health Units in AB, the AB Community&Occupational Health, and the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Alberta).

Footnote 2:
Edmonton Board of Health's 1985 Annual Report (p. 56); Here's another statement: "The Dental Division of the Edmonton Board of Health participated, as requested, very actively in that historical event [the 1978 dental survey]. In 1985 the first follow-up dental health survey took place, with the dental division of the Edmonton Board of Health as involved as in 1978."