The University of Calgary’s forced-fluoridation marketer Lindsay McLaren is the lead author of a recent (February 2016) “study” comparing dental statistics in children in Calgary and Edmonton. The Fluoride Action Network and Trevor Sheldon have written about some of the study’s major problems. I could go into more detail, but the failure of the study to demonstrate any causal link is so obvious it seems redundant. Instead, I will draw your attention to the contrasting conclusions of McLaren’s own journal article and her statements in the media.
The journal article
- Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Measuring the short-term impact of fluoridation cessation on dental caries in Grade 2 children using tooth surface indices
CONCLUSIONS: Trends observed for primary teeth were consistent with an adverse effect of fluoridation cessation on children’s tooth decay, 2.5–3 years post-cessation. Trends for permanent teeth hinted at early indication of an adverse effect. It is important that future data collection efforts in the two cities be undertaken, to permit continued monitoring of these trends.
Note the lack of any claim of having demonstrated a causal link.
The media statements
- University of Calgary website
Study shows tooth decay worsened in Calgary children after fluoride removal: Cumming researcher Lindsay McLaren finds fluoridation is a public health measure worth maintaining
“This study points to the conclusion that tooth decay has worsened following removal of fluoride from drinking water, especially in primary teeth, and it will be important to continue monitoring these trends,” says Lindsay McLaren, PhD, the study’s lead author from the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine and O’Brien Institute for Public Health.
- Edmonton Journal
Since Calgary stopped fluoridating water, children have more tooth decay than in Edmonton, study says
“Our results show that even after a relatively short period of time, we have seen a negative effect of removing fluoride from the drinking water,” said Lindsay McLaren, a public health researcher at the University of Calgary and lead author of the study.
- CTV News
Study shows dental health in Calgary children suffering from fluoride cessation
“This study points to the conclusion that tooth decay has worsened following removal of fluoride from drinking water, especially in primary teeth, and it will be important to continue monitoring these trends,” she said.…
“It’s a statistically significant finding, which means that it’s unlikely to be a random or a chance finding,” said McLaren.
- The Globe and Mail
Calgary study suggests kids have more cavities without fluoridation of water
“We believe that the reason [the rate of tooth decay] got worse in Calgary than in Edmonton was because fluoridation was stopped,” Lindsay McLaren, a professor and researcher in the department of community health sciences at the University of Calgary, said in an interview.
Lack of fluoride in Calgary drinking water leads to rise in kids’ tooth decay, study indicates: University of Calgary study shows rise in decay worst in baby teeth
“We designed the study so we could be as sure as possible that [the increased tooth decay] was due to [fluoride] cessation rather than due to other factors,” she told the CBC.
“We systematically considered a number of other factors … and in the end, everything pointed to fluoridation cessation being the most important factor.”
- Huffington Post
Calgary Removed Fluoride from Water and Saw an Increase in Tooth Decay
“We designed the study so we could be as sure as possible that [the increased tooth decay] was due to [fluoride] cessation rather than due to other factors,” said Lindsay McLaren, a researcher at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine who led the study. “We systematically considered a number of other factors and in the end, everything pointed to fluoridation cessation being the most important factor.”
Make your own judgement. My judgement is that Lindsay McLaren is a bald-faced liar who should lose her job at the University of Calgary. Her media statements flatly contradict the conclusions, methods, and results of her own study, which is itself of such poor quality it is virtually meaningless. This is something we see time and time again from the professional fluoridationists. The mainstream media have fulfilled their usual role of corporate shills, with some outlets being more rabid than others.
update: A response to Lindsay McLaren’s nonsense has been published in a dental journal (Neurath et al 2017).
Discussing forced-fluoridation is all well and good, but the main point of the exercise is to get rid of it. Click below for some ideas on how to end the fluoride-spiking insanity.
Neurath C, Beck JS, Limeback H, Sprules WG, Connett M, Osmunson B, Davis DR (2017). Limitations of fluoridation effectiveness studies: Lessons from Alberta, Canada. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 45(5): 7 pages [before print].