Suppose you heard these statements about a substance — let's call it X — added to your drinking water:
In addition, they determined X was an endocrine disruptor, lowered thyroid function and increased bone fractures and dental and skeletal fluorosis; it also called for further studies on X's connections to cancer, kidney disease and diabetes.
Although X's neurotoxicity is established, questions on dose, age of exposure and individual susceptibility remain. Most scientists, including those above, called for more research.
Based on the above, which best describes your thinking?
1. Although all specifics aren't known, X obviously harms the brain. I don't want it in my water, and I don't think pregnant women should have to drink it. Better safe than sorry.
2. In spite of all these studies, I want to see more proof. Until then, I'm fine with X added to the water. Pregnant women shouldn't worry, but if they do, they can always buy bottled water.
By now, you may have guessed that X is fluoride. All the above scientific statements are fully documented at: fluoridealert.org.
If you picked No. 1, you probably voted no in Portland's decisive defeat of fluoridation in 2013. If you picked No. 2, you probably voted yes, trusting authority figures who said it was safe.
By 1950, several studies had linked fluoride to dental and skeletal fluorosis and bone, kidney and thyroid disease. There were no significant studies on neurotoxicity, cancer or diabetes. Nevertheless, the U.S. Public Health Service endorsed fluoridation that year, quickly followed by the American Dental Association and American Medical Association.
Many other organizations climbed on the bandwagon. All asserted fluoridation was safe, and the U.S. government has never wavered in promoting it as such, despite the substantial evidence to the contrary. Based on health, ineffectiveness, cost and ethical concerns, there never was a consensus favoring fluoridation. Most nations, in fact, reject it.
The need for more research directly contradicts safety declarations. You can't have both. "Fluoridation is safe" misrepresents an uncertainty as a certainty, falsely twisting sound science into a sound bite.
Since 1950, fluoridation opponents have been speaking this truth to power. It's long past time for power to listen.