I closed the last sandpit because it had collapsed into a string of personal attacks – if I get time I’ll go through and delete them. I’m opening a new one, but restating the need for civil discussion, which includes a requirement for no personal attacks on other posters. I’m going to be enforcing this more stringently from now on.

104 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. As I said above, my own anecdotal experience (2 extended families, nine children in sample) is that fluoride tablets seemed useless; harmless but useless. Wide individual variability in susceptibility to dental caries seemed to be the norm in these families and did not correlate with fluoride tablet use or non-use in an area without fluoridated water. I believe (just a belief) that it correlates with inherited predisposition to have good enamel or poor enamel. It’s in the genes in other words.

    I ask this in all innocence and ignorance of the studies supporting fluoride use. How good are the studies? How good are the statistical methods used? Do they account for the fact that correlation does not necessarily equal causation?

    True, the public is highly susceptible to fear campaigns but also to disinformation campaigns. The Linus Pauling Vitamin C fraud is a good example of the public being convinced to do something useless. Namely, to take excessive Vitamin C (which is simply excreted) in the false belief that it confers extra resistance to colds and flu.

    The same could apply to much of the Vitamins and “natural remedies” section of the pharmaceutical industry. Unless a specific deficiency exists (for dietry or health reasons) vitamin supplements are useless and a waste of money.

    An interesting one the protestors never seem to get hold of (thank goodness) is iodine in iodised salt. Iodine deficiency causes goiter and cretinism. Where soils are deficient in iodine the salt is iodised. Our salt is iodised; at least the common brands are. In Bangladesh, iodised salt assisted greatly in reducing cretinism incidence.

    But back to fluoride how good is the science? I admit I ask this in ignorance of the studies. Please note, it is not enough to demonstrate correlation, it is not enough to even demonstrate strongly inferred causation. The chemical, biochemical and structural matrix basis of protection must be established. Chemically, how is fluoridated enamel matrix different from non-fluoridated enamel matrix? How does this confer resistence to dental caries? Does this high level, high quality proof exist?

  2. The claim that the Right is more prone to anti-science nuttery than the Left is clearly nonsense. This thread, with its falsehoods, distortions and wilful ignorance about fluoridated water is proof of that.

    I also note with some considerable mirth and merriment that the Queensland Greens website contains a candidate profile for Geoff Holland, who says he would:

    Cease fluoridation of the water supply. Whatever the supposed benefits of fluoride, it should not be forcibly imposed, or used as an excuse not to fund dental health. There is also considerable evidence to suggest fluoridation is bad for our health.”


  3. Australian Greens policy on Genetically modified organisms (GMO):

    “A moratorium on the release of GMOs into the environment until there is an adequate scientific understanding of their long term impact on the environment, human and animal health. This includes the removal as far as possible of all GMOs from the Australian environment and food supply while the moratorium is in place. ”

    “Publicly-funded agricultural research and development to prioritise sustainable production methods not genetic manipulation.”

    Sadly, the Greens, a party to which I once belonged, is now in the vanguard of the science hating Left.

  4. The same could apply to much of the Vitamins and “natural remedies” section of the pharmaceutical industry. Unless a specific deficiency exists (for dietry or health reasons) vitamin supplements are useless and a waste of money.

    Crony capitalists will sell anything to make a buck. They often rely on false claims and whip up subtle fears, to peddle products at exorbitant prices.

    However my dentist is a firm advocate of fluoride as a public health measure.

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