Hypocrisy on tap: Michael Gannon, Australian Medical Association president

No credible sources

So Michael Gannon provides absolutely no evidence or coherent argument to back up his assertions, but what about the sources he mentions? He seems to be allergic to journal articles, but fond of Rupert’s shitty rags. We have seen that there is nothing intelligent from Gannon in The Daily Telegraph article which quotes him, and the rest of the article is no better. It provides the grand sum total of zero evidence, and starts by calling Pete Evans a “fluoride denier”, apparently oblivious to the fact that the term would indicate someone who denies the existence of fluoride. I don’t know how someone is supposed to deny the existence of something and at the same time, not want it to be dumped into public water supplies. The article goes on to get the name of Fluoride Free WA wrong, calling it “Fluoride Free”, and describe it as a “renegade group”, which is hardly an apt description. It refers to “fluoride tap water”, and says that the “renegade group believes… that it accumulates in the body”. In reality, Fluoride Free WA and others who actually have some knowledge of the issue do not claim that tap water accumulates in the body, they point out that fluoride accumulates in the body, which has been known for a long time and is an easily verifiable fact, which the authors of the article would have known if they had bothered to take a little time to educate themselves. Gannon’s 17 September 2016 tweet appears to refer to an 8 September article in the Herald Sun (O’Brien 2016), which is Melbourne’s version of Sydney-based The Daily Telegraph. The article is not about fluoride, merely mentioning that “[Pete] Evans has also come out against fluoride”, so there is no evidence to be had there. It gets even worse. His 14 March 2017 tweet refers to kids being denied fluoride, with a link to another article from The Daily Telegraph (Hansen 2017), but the article is about vitamin K and vaccinations and does not mention fluoride at all. Of course the idea that anyone is being denied fluoride as a result of it not being dumped into public water supplies is laughable. According to that argument, kids are being denied every medication there is apart from fluoride, because no other medication is delivered via public water supplies.

Rupert Murdoch “journalist” Paul Syvret

But wait, all is not lost, because the “excellent” article from The Courier Mail by Paul Syvret (2016) can still come to the rescue. The Courier Mail is Murdoch’s tabloid newspaper based in Brisbane. (For readers who aren’t Australian, Sydney is Australia’s largest city, Melbourne is the second largest city, and Brisbane is third largest. These three cities account for around half of Australia’s population.) Syvret starts by claiming that his “remarkably healthy teeth” are a “testament to [his] scientifically grounded mother”, who gave him and his sister fluoride tablets as kids. He doesn’t mention his sister’s dental health – apparently a sample size of two would be overkill. He also doesn’t explain what he means by “scientifically grounded”. I’m guessing mother and son have exactly zero scientific qualifications between them. So Syvret relies on a sample size of one and confuses correlation with causation, just like Gannon – no wonder Gannon likes him so much. Syvret goes on to claim that “anti-fluoride ratbags” would describe his mother’s tablet-toting as “medication without informed consent”. I have to admit, I can’t remember hearing that particular strawman argument before. People who are pro-choice on taking fluoride point out that delivering medication via public water supplies is medication without informed consent, and often contrast that with conventional means of taking drugs, such as taking tablets, which do allow for individual choice. It could be argued that there was no informed consent because Mamma Syvret was not properly informed of the likely consequences of giving her children fluoride tablets, but from what I have seen the medication without informed consent argument is, in practice, reserved for the fluoridation of public water supplies. Sometimes those on my side of the argument do oppose the sale of fluoride tablets, but on the grounds of some combination of physical harm, lack of efficacy, and lack of regulatory approval. Neither the US Food and Drug Administration nor the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration have approved fluoride tablets or any other systemic fluoride medication.

Syvret is back on the beaten path with his next attack. He makes the routine fluoridationist appeal to nature, and then accuses “fluoride opponents” of claiming that fluoride “leaves those exposed more susceptible to mind control and propaganda”. You won’t find that claim coming from me, or the Fluoride Action Network, or Fluoride Free WA, or Queenslanders for Safe Water or its president Merilyn Haines (both are mentioned later in the newspaper article), or the book The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson (2004), or many other forced-fluoridation freedom fighting individuals, websites, organisations, and books. Syvret conveniently fails to mention that the claim comes only from the least credible “fluoride opponents”. He then reveals what has provoked his ire, namely the decisions of many Queensland councils to get rid of, or never begin, forced-fluoridation. The focus is on Mackay Regional Council, being the latest culprit. He castigates all of the Mackay councillors who “voted to remove fluoride” for not having backgrounds in “medicine, dentistry or any other scientific field” and proceeds to accuse Merilyn Haines and others of bombarding the councillors with “agitprop”, and describe one of the offending councillors as a “cane farmer and sugar chemist”. I have not checked whether or not Deputy Mayor Amanda Camm has a chemistry qualification, but Paul Syvret does not appear to understand that chemistry is in fact a scientific field. He also conveniently fails to mention that Merilyn Haines and many more of the sane individuals who oppose forced-fluoridation do have scientific backgrounds. And somehow it did not occur to him that if the councillors are not medical professionals and have no relevant qualifications, it does not make sense for them to dispense medicine, let alone dispense an entirely unproven medicine in a highly irregular and unethical manner. Why should politicians do the dirty work?

Next up is an appeal to authority, one of the fluoridationist freaks’ favouritist arguments. The word “evidence” is trotted out, and evidently Syvret thinks that reeling off the endorsements of “the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Dental Association, the World Health Organisation, and the Australian Medical Association” amounts to evidence, but yet again he is wrong. His complaints of junk science, fearmongering, and repeating a lie are pure hypocrisy, and his reference to “anti-vaccination cultists” is just another way of avoiding the issue which his article is supposed to be about. He refers to “anti-fluoride fringe-dwellers”, conveniently ignoring the fact that only 5% of the world’s population is subjected to forced-fluoridation (Awofeso 2012), the facts that even in the US the people of Portland, Oregon voted against forced-fluoridation (for the fourth time) 61% to 39% in 2013 (Schmidt 2013) and the people of Wichita, Kansas voted against forced-fluoridation (for the third time) 59% to 41% in 2012 (Lefler and Calovich 2012), the fact that Australian politicians do not allow the people to vote on the issue because they are afraid of the result, and other relevant facts. He says it is almost impossible to debunk every claim we make, oblivious to the fact that he has not come close to debunking a single claim. Apparently when “the antis (sic)” claim that fluoride is a poison, or the toxic byproduct of industrial processes, it is “patently misleading”. We are supposed to believe that straightforward, highly relevant facts are misleading, in other words. Admittedly some opponents of forced-fluoridation do argue that it is harmful simply because fluoridation chemicals are highly toxic industrial waste products, which although highly plausible is by itself is a weak argument, but again, it is a case of picking on easy targets. Syvret’s claim that “fluoride can be toxic, but in the same way that any substance taken in an incorrect dose can be toxic” is false. Most substances are not viable rodenticides or insecticides, for example, unlike fluoride, which is cheap, effective, and lethal at low doses. Some substances are categorised as “generally recognised as safe”, whereas fluoride is highly toxic to humans. Not only does fluoride have a high acute toxicity, it is a cumulative poison, unlike many other poisons. Fluoride is neurotoxic (FAN 2017), unlike many other substances. A 2014 review article in The Lancet Neurology (Grandjean and Landrigan) identified fluoride as one of 11 industrial chemicals which are known to be developmental neurotoxicants. Fluoride is an endocrine disruptor, unlike many other substances. An article in Endocrine Reviews (Vandenberg et al 2012, 13) identified sodium fluoride as one of 28 reported low-dose endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Fluoride is a potent enzyme poison, unlike most substances, and has been found to interfere with 79 different enzymes (Adamek 2005). The concentration of fluoride in the Earth’s crust is far higher than the concentrations of the comparable naturally occurring poisons lead, arsenic, and mercury. Fluoride is one of the most damaging industrial pollutants, unlike the vast majority of substances, and was already one of the most damaging industrial pollutants before forced-fluoridation started in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1945 (Bryson 2004). There is no known safe dose of fluoride, unlike many other substances. So the idea that the toxicity of fluoride is not quantitatively and qualitatively very different from that of any other substance is laughable. Syvret also fails to mention what he thinks the correct dose of fluoride is, and if he were to specify any particular “correct dose” the doses to which a large proportion of any sizeable population subjected to forced-fluoridation are exposed would differ substantially from that specified dose, because people’s exposure to fluoride from fluoridated drinking water and other sources is random and highly variable.

Treating a headache with a couple of aspirin is not “fine”, as Syvret blithely states, if you are salicylate sensitive. I mentioned salicylate sensitivity earlier, and aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, which is a salicylate. For once Syvret gets something right when he says that taking a whole box of aspirin would be a “stupendously dangerous idea”. Dumping aspirin into public water supplies to prevent headaches would be a dangerous and stupendously stupid idea, for some of the same reasons that dumping fluoride pollution into public water supplies is a dangerous and stupendously stupid idea. The article goes on to make another appeal to nature, pointlessly state that table salt can come as a byproduct of other processes, and try to imply that the toxicity of fluoride is no different to that of table salt. In reality, the acute toxicity of fluoride is far higher than that of either sodium or chloride, and sodium and chloride are not cumulative poisons, unlike fluoride. Syvret could have done a little research, and started by discovering that the acute toxicity of sodium fluoride (which is one of the fluoridation chemicals dumped into public water supplies) is many times higher than that of sodium chloride (ATSDR 2003, 74; Whitford 1990; Dart 2004, 1057), but obviously that would require more intelligence than he can muster. The “certainly lethal dose” is estimated to be “5–10 g sodium fluoride (32–64 mg fluoride/kg) in adults”, while the “estimated fatal dose of sodium chloride is approximately 0.75 to 3.00 g/kg [i.e. 750 to 3000 mg/kg]”. So the acute toxicity of sodium fluoride is more than 10 times that of sodium chloride, and the acute toxicity of fluoride itself more than 30 times that of sodium chloride. According to Gary Whitford, the “probably toxic dose” of fluoride, which can be fatal, is only 5 mg/kg. Sodium and chloride are also essential nutrients, unlike fluoride, but dumping table salt into public water supplies in order to provide those nutrients would also be a stupid idea. As with nearly everything Syvret has to say, “the dose makes the poison” argument and the comparisons with aspirin and table salt are common fluoridationist ploys which I have encountered many times before. They don’t become any more sensible with repetition, or time.

So far Gannon’s golden boy has racked up plenty of points in the stupid column, with nothing in the ethics or evidence columns, but now he actually makes mention of safety studies. For most fluoridationists, just using the term “safety studies” is anathema, but our intrepid Courier Mail journalist is undaunted. Will wonders never cease? So is he about to cite some safety studies which show that the fluoridationists have been right all along? I can hardly contain my excitement. But wait, what is going on? He hasn’t actually cited any studies at all. All he has done is provide a link to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) website. Oh well, I’m sure that when I go to the website I will find as many high-quality safety studies as I could possibly wish for.

Um, well, actually, it seems like there might be a little bit of a problem. There aren’t actually any high-quality safety studies on the NHMRC website which indicate that forced-fluoridation is safe, including the studies cited in its systematic reviews. In fact there is no credible evidence for safety at all, or for efficacy. I haven’t been fooling anyone, have I, so I may as well admit that I have been familiar with the NHMRC website and its reviews relating to forced-fluoridation for years, and known that Paul Syvret and the rest of the fluorigangsters have been full of shit all along. Using systematic reviews as a smokescreen is another tired old fluoridationist tactic. Syvret actually brought up the NHMRC in response to a claim that “no health and safety studies have been done on water fluoridation in Australia”, which he says is on the Queenslanders for Safe Water website. Maybe he doesn’t understand the difference between a systematic review and original research. Anyhow, I haven’t been able to find a single study cited by the NHMRC which was conducted in Australia and which indicates that forced-fluoridation is not harmful. Syvret describes the NHMRC reviews as “lengthy”, presumably as an attempt to impress the reader, deter the reader from bothering to read the reviews (though I don’t think the typical Courier Mail reader has any inclination to read systematic reviews of any subject anyway), and provide an excuse for not bothering to read them himself. Everyone who has read both the 2006 US National Research Council report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards (NRC 2006) and the latest NHMRC review from 2007 knows that the 2006 NRC report is a far more comprehensive review of fluoride toxicity than the pathetic NHMRC effort, which is fundamentally fraud. It is also much longer, but that didn’t win it Syvret’s favour, probably because, despite being seriously flawed itself, it is at least not straight out pro-forced-fluoridation propaganda. The 2016 draft NHMRC review is no better than the 2007 effort.

Our Courier Mail con artist needs to find something to pad out his little article, in lieu of any evidence or meaningful argument, so it’s back to conflation. He makes irrelevant comparisons between fluoride and vaccines, aluminium sulfate, and chlorine. Again, there is nothing new in that. He finds it strange, he says, that “fluoride is singled out as a nasty”. Maybe if he gave it some serious thought he might be able to come up with some reasons why many people are particularly concerned by forced-fluoridation, although thinking is obviously not Paul Syvret’s forte. For a start, there is the fact that fluoridation chemicals have been singled out by fluoridationists as the only medications which are delivered via public water supplies. Why? What is the compelling reason for dumping the stuff into public water supplies instead of delivering it by conventional means, like every other medication? The reasons given by fluoridationists don’t add up, and many people justifiably object to having their human rights gratuitously abused. There is also the fact that it is harder to remove fluoride from water than it is to remove many other contaminants. Relatively cheap carbon filters are effective for aluminium sulfate and chlorine removal, for example, but not fluoride removal (Konno et al 2008). For the latter you need something like reverse osmosis or distillation, which are much more expensive and which provide water painfully slowly. If you want relatively low-fluoride water for showers you need a whole house system, which is very expensive and requires more space than many people can spare. Just on those two points, forced-fluoridation is a really good way of pissing off a lot of people. And I’m sure I’m not the only pro-choice activist who knows that chlorine is often added to public water supplies for the purpose of sterilisation, that chlorine is toxic, and that chlorine gas was used as a chemical weapon during World War I. Apart from the differences in purpose and purification options already mentioned, chlorine does not accumulate in the body the way that fluoride does, and fluoride has a lethal dose lower than chlorine’s lethal dose of approximately 86–170 mg/kg (ATSDR 2010, 13). (In other words, fluoride is more toxic no matter which way you look at it.) Large numbers of people have now been subjected to forced-fluoridation for decades in Australia and elsewhere, and another reason for many people’s anger is that they have personal experience of harm from fluoride to themselves and/or to people they know. There have also been many well-qualified and very rational individuals who have spoken out strongly against forced-fluoridation on scientific grounds, including senior scientists at the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Nobel Prize winners. When comparing the compelling reasons they have given to the twaddle coming from the fluoridationists who are supposed to be experts, there really is no comparison. Finally, just because Syvret doesn’t “hear a peep” about other toxic substances in Australian public drinking water does not mean that people have no concerns regarding those substances. Many public grievances are not expressed as distinct political movements.

The title of Paul Syvret’s drivel is All the Rot Is Ruining Our Teeth, but by the end of the article he has provided no evidence at all to support his opinions, or Michael Gannon’s opinions, regarding forced-fluoridation. Of course that doesn’t stop him parroting the “science” word again, or claiming that “our dental health will be all the poorer”. Notice the change in tense – the title is in the present tense, but apparently does not require any supporting facts because all will be revealed in the never never. So much for Rupert’s stooges.

The Australian Dental Association and Australian Medical Association

What about other sources? Gannon’s 18 August 2016 tweet includes a picture of a short article from The West Australian newspaper. (Perth, Western Australia is Australia’s fourth largest city, and Western Australia is the largest newspaper market in Australia which is not dominated by News Corporation.) The article does not mention fluoride at all, and is just about Gannon warning people not to get their information from “Dr Google”, a term used previously by Tanya Plibersek in relation to forced-fluoridation when she was federal health minister in the Labor government (ABC 2012). Perhaps he doesn’t realise that journal articles can be read online, not having any interest in journal articles himself, and that “Dr Google” is a much better source of information than Dr Gannon, as are other sources, including other search engines, books, and libraries. He loves firing off the tweets, so maybe he’s too busy with that. The ADA website has an unreferenced public relations puff piece titled “Fluoride” which is not just completely vacuous, but also littered with lies. Its first heading is “All natural and effective”. The claim that the industrial fluoride pollution which is dumped into public water supplies, which is toxic waste from phosphate fertiliser and aluminium production, is “all natural” is comical. The article states “Fluoride is not an artificial compound or some sort of medication”. Fluoride itself is the ionic form of fluorine, which is a naturally occurring chemical element. However, the main fluoridation chemicals which are used for forced-fluoridation are artificial silicofluoride compounds, namely hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) and sodium fluorosilicate (Na2SiF6). There is no such thing as fluoride all by itself, except as an abstract concept or as shorthand for some fluoride compound(s). The appeal to nature being made by the ADA would be a completely bogus argument even if the fluoride compounds used were entirely natural, because whether or not delivering medication via public water supplies is either an abuse of human rights or safe has nothing to do with whether or not the medication is natural, but the fact is artificial fluoride compounds are being dumped into the public water supplies of Australia’s cities, and they are clearly trying to mislead the public. The claim that fluoride is not a medication is a lie. When it is used for the claimed purpose of preventing tooth decay it is a medication, whether or not it actually provides the benefit it is supposed to provide. The ADA and other fluoridationists want to have it both ways. They demand that people trust the so-called medical experts when they say that taking fluoride in water prevents tooth decay, but won’t own up to the fact that it is medication. That enables them to pretend that forced-fluoridation does not violate the ethical and legal principle of informed consent to medical intervention.

The ADA article states “Fluoride is crucial to combatting (sic) tooth decay”, which is another lie. It says “It gives your teeth extra strength when they’re developing so they’re better able to resist the bacterial acid that causes tooth decay”, revealing a lack of understanding of materials science, as explained above. It goes on: “While brushing with fluoridated toothpaste is the most effective way to receive fluoride, taking it through tap water has a considerable effect on the ability of your teeth to fight decay.” If brushing with fluoridated toothpaste is more effective than taking it in water, it obviously begs the question as to why the hell the stuff is being dumped into public water supplies. I have come across fluoridationists who have claimed that taking fluoride in water provides an extra benefit to brushing with fluoridated toothpaste alone, but they either assumed that forced-fluoridation is rational and worked backwards from there, or deliberately lied, because there is no evidence for it. The obligatory appeal to authority is in the form of “health and dental organisations around the world such as the Centers for Disease Control (sic), and the Australian Medical Association strongly back its use” in this particular PR effort. The “around the world” phrase obscures the fact that more people are subjected to forced-fluoridation in the US than in the rest of the world combined, and by “Australian Medical Association” they really just mean “Michael Gannon”. “Fluoride consumption has been scientifically-proven to be of extensive benefit to consumers, with negligible adverse reactions” my arse. The claim for scientific proof is an outright, massive lie. There is no such proof provided on the ADA website or anywhere else. Fluoridationists can’t even provide any credible supporting evidence at all, let alone scientific proof. That sentence is followed by one which claims that dental fluorosis, which is put in inverted commas for some reason, is “rarely visible”, “does not damage teeth”, and “usually only results when young children are exposed to large amounts of adult strength fluoride toothpaste”. So that’s five lies in two sentences, which is pretty impressive stuff.

Most of the article conflates topical and systemic fluoride treatments, and the conclusion is no different. It asserts that fluoride is the “most cost-effective, fair and naturally-occurring way to keep your teeth healthy”. With respect to forced-fluoridation, the claims for cost-effectiveness and fairness have been debunked, so why not throw in another appeal to nature for good measure? The ADA has proven itself to be even more dishonest than Rupert’s slaves, which is quite an amazing accomplishment. That is just the start of the nonsense on the ADA website, though.

The PR puff piece destroyed above is in the “Your Dental Health” section, but there is another PR puff piece titled “Fluoride” on the site which is in the “Issues at a Glance” section. The second sentence of that article, which is also unreferenced, is “As far back as 1909, when a U.S. dentist Frederick McKay commenced a 15 year study with fellow dentist A. V. Black (sic) to determine if the decay-resistant teeth of residents in one Colorado town were the result of fluoride in the water, the naturally-occurring mineral has demonstrated its efficacy in inhibiting the incidence of dental decay.” So we have another appeal to nature and another meaningless claim of efficacy without any supporting evidence, which is actually the second such claim on the page already, because that is also what the first sentence is devoted to. The collaboration of US dentists Frederick McKay and Greene Vardiman Black (G. V. Black, not A. V. Black) was for the purpose of determining the cause of mottled teeth (now referred to as dental fluorosis or enamel fluorosis) in a number of towns, homesteads, and other settlements in Colorado and elsewhere, including Italy. They wrote many letters to each other which are now publicly available on the Northwestern University website, and published a long journal article on the subject (Black and McKay 1916), and the idea that that their work was about supposed decay resistance is laughable, and another lie. Many people suspected that mottled teeth were the result of some characteristic of the drinking water, and by 1916 McKay had come to the conclusion that it was due to some trace element in the water, but there is no evidence that anybody had any idea at that time that the offending substance was fluoride. (G. V. Black died in 1915. The first part of the journal article was written by Black and published in February 1916. The rest was written by McKay and published in May 1916. 101 years later, the ADA is failing Ethics 101.) The phenomenon of mottled teeth was described as a “dystrophy of the enamel” (130), “deformities”, an “injury” (134), and a “lesion of the enamel” (477). The term “dystrophy” was explicitly defined in the article as follows: “The condition resulting from imperfect, defective, or bad formation of growth constitutes a dystrophy; dys– imperfect, defective, bad; trophy– growth, development.” (145) There is very little discussion of dental cavities in the article, with the following being the most detailed statement on the subject: “As to caries, the teeth of these children [in the Rocky Mountain area in Colorado] compare favorably with those of other communities where endemic mottled enamel is unknown. They have a mild climate and almost continuous sunshine during the day. The children are out practically every day the year round, and this in itself certainly has its effect in limiting the amount of dental caries. But when the teeth do decay, the frail condition of the enamel makes it extremely difficult to make good and effective fillings. For this reason many individuals will lose their teeth because of caries, though the number of carious cavities is fewer than elsewhere.” (145) (Black appears to be saying that abundant exposure to sunlight reduces caries rates. We now know that exposure to sunlight generates vitamin D, which is essential for dental health, but vitamin D was discovered and named in 1922 (DeLuca 2014, 2). Whatever his reasoning, which may well have been sound, he clearly did not attribute a relatively low rate of dental caries to mottled teeth. He did overlook another obvious potential reason, which is an increased awareness of dental health among affected populations, leading to changes in behaviour.) Reports in the same article from other endemic areas for mottled teeth either made no mention of caries, or indicated that increased susceptibility to dental decay did not appear to be part of the condition, but made no suggestion that rates of dental decay were lower in those areas than in areas in which mottled teeth were not endemic, let alone suggesting a causal relation (643-44, 785, 897-900). Neither Black nor McKay, nor any of their colleagues whose opinions they related or reproduced, indicated that there was any benefit to be gained from having mottled teeth, or from being subject to whatever caused mottled teeth without actually having mottled teeth oneself. The conclusion of the article makes no mention of caries. The cause of mottled teeth was finally demonstrated by other researchers in 1931 to be fluoride exposure (Roholm 1937, 4). In 1939 McKay (900) had an article published which described the “complete cessation of mottling of the enamel” in Oakley, Idaho and Bauxite, Arkansas resulting from changes from high fluoride to low fluoride water supplies as a “humanitarian service”. In another 1939 article (Dean and McKay) he co-authored with H. Trendley Dean, Andover, South Dakota was added to the list of liberated towns. Unfortunately in later years he started talking about a supposed benefit of fluoride in drinking water, perhaps as a result of being corrupted or going soft in the head in old age (he was born in 1874).

Equally dishonest is the ADA’s claim that “water fluoridation has been responsible for a dramatic reduction in dental decay among the general population since its initial introduction into US water supplies in 1945, and in Australia at Beaconsfield, Tasmania in 1953”, which is yet another claim for efficacy without evidence. Recall the earlier statement that “brushing with fluoridated toothpaste is the most effective way to receive fluoride”. That has fallen by the wayside, and other confounding factors, such as intakes of sugar and nutrients which are essential for dental health, are never mentioned. Then there is another appeal to authority in the form of a list of endorsements, and a meaningless claim of “long-demonstrated negligible adverse reactions”. It isn’t clear whether they mean that it is long-demonstrated that there are adverse reactions but that the severity of the reactions is negligible, or that it is long-demonstrated that there are adverse reactions but the lives of those affected are negligible. That is followed by yet another meaningless claim of efficacy, in the form of a meaningless claim of equity. After all of that drivel, they shamelessly use a “Myths and fallacies” heading. The first sentence under that heading is “There is however a virulent, loud minority who decry the benefits of fluoridation, despite its effectiveness being corroborated by many scientifically-backed studies over five decades or so.” Fluoridationists love describing themselves, so that is where “virulent, loud minority” comes from. Decrying the benefits of something is an oxymoron. The point is there is no credible evidence of any benefit, and overwhelming evidence of harm, and even if that were not the case forced-fluoridation would still be an abuse of human rights. The latter part of the sentence is yet another meaningless claim for efficacy. They just keep hammering that drum. And “they routinely use inconclusive evidence to make definitive statements on the alleged health implications of fluoride ingestion”. I could hardly have said it better myself; that is exactly what fluoridationists do, though “inconclusive” is perhaps a little generous. Apparently state governments are more consistently corrupt than local governments, or as the ADA puts it, “better equipped to evaluate the well-established use of fluoride in bolstering community oral health”. Yes, why not finish with another meaningless claim for efficacy? After all, it’s all they have.

So much for the ADA. What about the AMA itself? I could only find one vague attempt at presenting some kind of evidence relating to forced-fluoridation on the AMA website, in the form of a short article (AMA 2011) about a 2011 report titled “Evidence gathered on health and the environment” from The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW 2011). The article itself merely mentions water fluoridation as something which is included in the report, but has a link to the AIHW website, where the report can be found. The report has a whole two pages of text and one page of graphics on forced-fluoridation, and is just standard fluoridationist propaganda, with appeals to authority and nature, misinformation regarding dental fluorosis, no credible evidence, and a comical failure to distinguish between correlation and causation.

The attitude of the fluoridationists is that they can either ignore the question of evidence altogether, which is Gannon’s approach, or present the most spurious evidence possible, and get away with it. Many of them have a fallback position, which is to place the burden of proof on their opponents when their lies are exposed. In other words, they adopt the “show me the data” mentality which made Robert Kehoe infamous (Nriagu 1998). Kehoe was an American corporate-funded pathologist and “researcher” who defended the addition of lead to gasoline for decades, and was also a key promoter on the safety side of the issue in the early years of forced-fluoridation, perhaps second only to Harold Hodge, another inhuman experimenter on humans (Bryson 2004). The pro-choice argument does not depend on the health effects because forced-fluoridation is unethical regardless. When fluoridationists abandon their “safe and effective” mantra in favour of “show me the data”, they are implicitly admitting that they are violating the Nuremberg Code with their human experiment.