Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Fluoride Deception

After documenting all the scientific evidence for why fluoridation is a bad idea, a common response has been: "If it's so obviously bad, why do my dentist, the Surgeon General, and my toothpaste company all say it is so wonderful?"

In his book, "The Fluoride Deception," Chrisopher Bryson begins his research as an investigative reporter to discover mountains of scientific evidence that point to a cover-up concerning fluoride's potential for human harm. He uncovers secret government and industry documents showing that the aluminum, steel, atomic weapons, phosphate fertilizer, and other industries all have been aware for more than 50 years that one of the most serious and costly pollutants these industries release is airborne fluorides. The cold war obsession with building ever more nuclear weapons to win the "arms race" cemented cooperation between government and industry to promote fluoridation. The US Public Health Service during the 1940s was still a division of the Department of Commerce and its head was a top attorney for Alcoa. Bryson found meetings and letters between the military, Public Health Service, and industry where the idea of putting a shiny public relations image on fluoride by adding it to water first surfaced.

In an interview with Christopher Bryson, he put it in his own words.
I'm a reporter. I don't know how many modern stories have the same epic reach of history and rich cast of characters as you will find in "The Fluoride Deception."
I stumbled on the story in 1993. I was working in New York as a BBC radio producer and was asked to find "an American angle" on water fluoridation. Ralph Nader put me in touch with a couple of government scientists (William Hirzy at the EPA and Robert Carton at the U.S. Army) who opposed water fluoridation, and explained how the science underpinning the nation's fluoride safety standards was fraudulent.
I met the medical writer Joel Griffiths whose 1992 story in Covert Action Information Bulletin laid out the monumental scale of industrial fluoride poisoning, and explained how industry had long manipulated the public debate over water fluoridation.
I just kept reporting.
I interviewed the famous chemist Philip Sadtler. He told me how he had investigated in the aftermath of the most notorious air pollution disaster in U.S. history, the 1948 Halloween tragedy in Donora, Pennsylvania, in which a couple of dozen people were killed and hundreds were injured. He had measured high levels of fluoride in the blood of local citizens in the disaster aftermath. His work was dismissed at the time, but after Sadtler's death I uncovered a secret autopsy report on one of the Donora dead, performed by Alcoa, which found similar levels of fluoride in the blood. Sadtler had been right, it seems.

With today's increasing revelations about drug industry manipulation of science and government campaigns of deception, maybe the time is ripe for Bryson's book. Some people won't be willing to believe that their own dentist may have been duped. They won't feel comfortable reading this book. But for everyone curious enough to glimpse into the dark side of science manipulated for profit, this book is for them.

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