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Fluoridation report “just smoke and mirrors”

Fluoridation report “just smoke and mirrors”

The long awaited report on the Far North fluoridation trial has finally been released, following presentation to the Far North District Council last Thursday.

A highlight of the report was the results from unfluoridated Kawakawa and Moerewa. These showed a remarkable improvement compared with the fluoridated towns, which showed far less.

The conclusion and recommendations were as written, and announced, in 2006 – the year before the trial began. “The researchers pre-determined the outcome, and have not let facts get in their way” says Mark Atkin of Fluoride Action Network NZ, after analysing the report. “No wonder the DHB refuses to release the raw data for independent statistical analysis and peer review” he adds, “It would show what a sham this study is.”

By all decay measures, there were both increases and decreases in decay in both fluoridated and unfluoridated groups. The results varied by 30 or 40%. “To talk of 5% or 15% claimed improvements from fluoridation, when annual variation is up to 40%, is nonsensical” points out Mr Atkin, adding “So the researchers rely on radiographic pictures in 12 year olds’ teeth as the only evidence of benefit.”

Yet the most comprehensive study in Australasia (published in 2004) showed no benefit in 12 year olds. “This study was conspicuous by its omission from the literature review section of the report. A review that also misrepresents two NZ studies as showing benefit when they actually found none” says Mt Atkin. “This is the height of academic dishonesty” he adds.

The section on study weaknesses does not mention that there was no control for dental health improvement programmes in schools, which co-researcher Dr Croucher has described as highly successful. The data on some, but not all, programmes were apparently collected, but not allowed for in the results.

“This makes the results worthless” points out Mr Atkin, a qualified scientist, noting “how can you say what caused the change in decay if you don’t know who received extra dental health care?”

And to top it off, the fluoridation plants never delivered the right amount of fluoride. “Incredible!” exclaims Mr Atkin, “a quarter of a million dollars and in 2 years the equipment never worked properly! All in all, this illegal medical experiment has been a total waste of taxpayer money”.

 
ends

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