Gazette's Introductory Note:  In January, 1999,  the City Council of Allentown, PA voted to fluoridate the city's drinking water after  heated public controversy.  The following article by columnist Paul Carpenter appeared in the Allentown Morning Call in late January.

 

Once Again, the Kooks Are Vanquished

by Paul Carpenter

Doctors recommend Camels by a margin of 2 to 1.

Not only that, but the federal government enthusiastically supports the tobacco industry with enormous subsidies and official studies proving that smoking is good for you and that critics of the tobacco industry are a bunch of kooks.

I didn't make that up. In my youth, as far as the American Medical Association and the government were concerned, there was something wrong with anyone who said smoking was harmful.

I was happily smoking up a storm at that time -- Camels, you betcha -- and some kook researchers came up with outrageous claims about a link with cancer and heart disease. I clearly remember the term that federal officials then used to describe those claims: "pseudo science."

The tune has changed, of course. Eventually, the kooks' claims about the virulence of smoking could not be ridiculed away. In the meantime, one wonders how many were killed by the poisons in tobacco smoke.

During Allentown's fluoridation debate, I again heard the term "pseudo science," this time to describe the claims of anti-fluoridation kooks.

As I noted Friday, the feds and the American Dental Association finally won their 40-year fight to get Allentown to join other righteous communities that add the industrial toxic waste known as fluorides to water.

Dentists recommend it by a margin of 2 to 1, you know. The ADA says it prevents cavities, and dentists will be glad to give up cavity-fixing profits out of the kindness of their hearts.

One of the things I mentioned in Friday's article was a claim by one of the anti-fluoridation people who spoke during the public portion of Wednesday's City Council meeting. (Following that portion, council approved fluoridation in a 5-2 vote.)

Rosemarie Doward said the ADA itself had admitted that dentists' profits increase when their area is fluoridated. (I said that may be because a dentist gets $57 for fixing a cavity while raking in up to $700 per tooth for fixing fluorosis, a discoloration problem caused by fluoridation.)

That's a kook's claim if ever there was one, but I later tracked down the ADA publication upon which Doward based her statement.

The nice people at Lehigh Valley Hospital keep back copies of the Journal of the American Dental Association, and there it was on page 364 of Volume 84, February 1972.

The net income of dentists in fluoridated areas and "fluoride-deficient" areas were compared, JADA said, and the income in fluoridated areas is 17 percent higher. That crass admission was embarrassing back in 1972, obviously, and the ADA never again released such data.

Also Friday, I mentioned a California dentist, David Kennedy, who founded an anti-fluoridation group, Citizens for Safe Drinking Water.

I telephoned Kennedy in San Diego and he didn't seem like a kook. His grandfather was a dentist, his father is a dentist and he is a dentist.

"I used to support fluoridation," he said. "When the science became clear that it was not a benefit, I stopped supporting it."

Kennedy said respected studies in America, Europe and elsewhere have revealed links to cancer, bone fractures and other problems, but are being ignored here. "From the very beginning, it (fluoridation) is a scam. It's a way to dispose of a hazardous waste (by) claiming a benefit," he said. "There is a profit motive for the ADA. The ADA is paid by companies that have a fluoridated product."

Kennedy also noted that the only country in Europe that still has widespread fluoridation is Ireland. Take a wild guess which European country now has the worst dental health.

While you're at it, consider that the fluoridation industry is pouring $50 million a year into campaigns to get California communities fluoridated. That's because only 15-1/2 percent of Californians are forced to drink fluoridated water, compared with half of the people across the nation.

Take another wild guess about how California's dental health, including cavities, compares with that of the nation as a whole.


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