News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Making Sense of Fluoride

Scientists are dismissing claims that fluoride will be removed from New Zealand's water supplies within the next two years following a series of lectures by Dr. Paul Connett, executive director of the Fluoridation Action Network, that begin in Wellington tomorrow.

Making Sense of Fluoride spokesperson, Dr. Ken Perrott said "Connett is substituting wishes for reality and using unsubstantiated studies to fuel his argument."

Dr Connett is ignoring the results of recent referenda showing a large groundswell of support for fluoridation of community water supplies as a social health measure.

This one-sided approach is typical of Dr. Connett, who often cherry-picks studies to fit his bias and ignores, or downplays those who contradict his opinions said Dr. Perrott.

In a recent online debate between the two, Dr. Connett claimed that fluoridation lowers IQ, causes cancer and many other illnesses. It also considered his claim that fluoridation is ineffective in reducing tooth decay.

"Dr Connett's activist organisation FAN searches intensively for any scientific reports that can be interpreted as critical of fluoride. Consequently he relies on research that is often poorly done and reported in unknown foreign language newsletters or journals well out of the mainstream scientific literature."

The claims of effect on IQ are based mainly on poorly executed Chinese research that ignored confounding influences of parental education, breast feeding and heavy metal contamination - all known to influence IQ.

Dr Connett uses a single study based on poor evidence of fluoride intake for his cancer claim while ignoring more recent, larger studies showing no effect of fluoride on cancer incidence.

Connett takes a similar selective approach in his claim of fluoride causing hip fractures - ignoring recent studies showing no effect at normal concentrations used in drinking water fluoridation.

"The scientific research on fluoridation is extensive and complex," said Dr Perrott.

"It must be approached critically and intelligently and unfortunately Dr Connett's approach is selective. His anti-fluoridation bias leads him to overlook important factors like the fluoride concentration used in animal studies, the importance of confounding factors and the quality of the research itself."

The Making Sense of Fluoride group was formed recently to help counter misinformation on fluoride being promoted by activist groups such Dr Connett's FAN in an attempt to encourage the public to think critically about scientific claims being made by radical groups.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Fringe Review: Rossum’s Universal Robots

Written in 1920 by Karel Capek in a newly independent Czechoslovakia, its prophetic tale of artificial intelligence, automata and human morality was initially a big hit, but it then vanished from view, in New Zealand at least, before being revived in Hamilton last year. More>>

SELECT FRINGE SHOWS:

Pictures Of Media: Call For Photographs For Reimagining Journalism

In August this year Freerange Press is launching its next big book. This time we are gathering the best writers and thinkers in the country to look at the changing media landscape in New Zealand. To illuminate and give voice to the writing we want to include around 25 excellent photos. We want these photos to document the different aspects of how journalism is made, how it used to be, and how it is changing. More>>

Safer Internet Day: Keeping Safe Online More Important Than Ever

Tuesday 9 February marks Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is designed to create awareness about the importance of Internet safety and encourages positive use of technology - with a strong focus on young people. More>>

ALSO:

We Have The Technology: Zephyrometer Up And Moving

“The needle’s stoppers had to be repaired because of the extra impact caused by the balance not being correct. We also added an extra 300kgs counter-balance – made from zinc coated steel triangle plates. These adjustments will now stop it bending low over the road in high winds.” More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Day: Treaty Of Waitangi - Found In Translation

To celebrate the Society of Translators and Interpreters's 30th anniversary, over 90 translators will work together to translate the English and Māori versions of the Treaty of Waitangi into 30 languages... More>>

ALSO:

Northland Development: Trust Applauds $4m Government Funding For Art Centre

Today's announcement of central government support, made by Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce, provides a key step forward in funding for Whangarei’s Hundertwasser Art Centre & Wairau Maori Art Gallery. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news