Thursday, January 06, 2011

Fluoride conspiracists at it again ~ By Phil Elmore

This study, like those before it, is weak. The correlation found between fluoride and IQ levels is not causation. The study's gross flaws are evident even in the raw data it presents, much less the unwarranted conclusions true believers have made from it. Reporting this study uncritically or, worse, as grounds to sound alarm, is nothing but more fluoride fear-mongering. If water fluoridation truly does have long-term health benefits, no one is served by making the case using "evidence" as poor as this.
Once again, Phil Elmore felt the need to debunk another fluoride-in-the-water conspiracy theory, thanks to a column in by Michael Carl (the article is linked below). And knowing Phil, he's surely prepared to be deluged in email that will probably not be very kind. Conspiracy theorists tend to not take it very well when people debunk their theories. Neither do people that believe in global warming, but that is a whole other story.

Fluoride conspiracists at it again

By Phil Elmore

January 06, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

I did not want to address this topic again. I really didn't. When a reader e-mailed me a link to Michael Carl's recent article in WorldNetDaily, however, I knew I would have to march once more unto the breach. Specifically, I must once again address the topic of fluoride conspiracy theories, about which I have written twice previously in Technocracy.

I first debunked popular conspiracies concerning the fluoride in Americans' drinking water in July of last year. In that column I forwarded the apparently bold notion that fluoride is not, in fact, a Nazi-era, brain-softening, mind-control industrial waste toxin poured indiscriminately into our water supplies by New World Order operatives bent on controlling the masses. Mail exhorting me to swallow large quantities of concentrated poison began to pour in (no doubt illustrating the devotion of conspiracy theorists to science, reason and logic). I addressed this and a conspiracy website's "open letter" to me in a follow-up article in August, entitled "Fluoride fear-mongers."

In that column, I spoke of the mission statement of Technocracy, a column devoted to identifying the many ways in which technology affects your life and especially your liberty. To this end, I frequently advise you of technology whose application or misuse may be cause for concern. For such warnings to have meaning, however, it is my responsibility to tell you when I believe a given technology or technological application is being vilified – being marketed as a consumable product by conspiracy theorists, who package fear in order to profit from its sale. This was my conclusion, again, regarding fluoride fear-mongering. While we may debate whether it is the appropriate role of government to add, remove, or regulate any chemical in public water supplies (my columns have not addressed this), the alarmism peddled over water fluoridation is nothing less than hysteria. This hysteria is groundless, yet it is girded by junk science and heralded falsely as scientific fact.

Michael Carl reported on Monday that "Research shows fluoride is IQ-killer for children." He based this conclusion on a Chinese study, touted as the strongest of a series of studies from "China, India, Iran and Mexico," of 512 children in two Chinese cities. Commentary on the study, as recounted in Carl's piece, came primarily from Paul Connett, Ph.D., director of the Fluoride Action Network (an agitator group devoted to conspiracy theories about fluoride). Carl also quoted Dr. Vyvyan Howard, an environmental activist who sits on the advisory board of the very same organization. Setting aside this biased presentation, there are very serious flaws in the study itself – flaws which should preclude definitive conclusions of causality as Carl has made in his article.


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1 comment:

  1. What! No comments? But the theory was that you would receive lots of comments. Oh well, that's another theory debunked!