Officials who loudly promote fluoridation of public water claim as their motivation the prevention of dental cavities. They frequently cite studies comparing tooth decay rates in fluoridated areas to unfluoridated areas, which purport to show dramatic reductions in tooth decay in children-as much as a 60 percent difference. If this were true, and fluoride were indeed safe, it would be a truly miraculous substance, but this still would not justify putting it in the water supply because we are being medicated and have not even been given a choice in the matter, as you will see. As it stands, there is in fact no credible evidence that fluoride added to the water supply reduces cavity rates at all, and several studies have convincingly demonstrated that the incidence of cavities is actually higher in fluoridated areas.
Shortly after the turn of the century it was noticed that children in certain areas of the country had a high incidence of damaged teeth. Further investigation disclosed that this mottling of their tooth enamel, now known as “dental fluorosis,” was caused by elevated contents of naturally occurring fluoride in certain water systems. This finding motivated the American Dental Society and the U.S. Public Health Department to call for the removal of fluoride in the water from these areas. H. Trendley Dean of the U.S. Public Heath Department in 1930 conducted the original work on this problem.
At this juncture, Dr. Gerald Cox took up the banner and suggested that using a smaller dose of fluoride could not only prevent dental fluorosis, but could even prevent cavities. He suggested adding 1 ppm of fluoride to the public drinking water. He made this proclamation without any studies, human or otherwise, to suggest that it would be effective or safe. What makes this so interesting is that Dr. Cox was on the staff of the Mellon Institute, and the Mellon family owned the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). One of the major waste products produced in the aluminum industry is fluoride. Because of its intense corrosive ability and extreme toxicity, disposal of fluoride had, up until that time, been a very expensive and controversial proposition. So what could the aluminum industry do with all of this toxic fluoride? After all, safe disposal cost the company millions of dollars every year.
Ironically, the answer was to come from government. Fortunately for Alcoa, Andrew Mellon, its founder, was also the Treasury Secretary. Interestingly, the U.S. Public Health Service at that time was under the direct control of the Treasury Secretary. Dr. Dean, who eventually came to support adding 1 ppm fluoride to public water supplies as a safe and effective way to reduce dental caries, became known as “Mr. Fluoridation,” and was chosen by the USPHS to head up the fluoridation studies. As Dr. John Yiamouyiannis noted in his excellent book, Fluoride. The Aging Factor, the American Medical Association (AMA), on September 18, 1943, (as fluoridation was first being proposed) cautioned that fluoride was a powerful protoplasmic poison, and because of its widespread presence in nature, toxic accumulation could be a major problem if water was fluoridated. On October 1, 1944, the Journal of the American Dental Association also noted that: “the potential for harm outweighed those for good.” It would behoove the Association’s present membership to remember that in this same article the ADA recognized that as little as 1.2-3.0 ppm of fluoride in drinking water was associated with “developmental disturbances in bones as osteosclerosis, spondylosis and osteoporosis, as well as goiter.”
Despite these cautionary warnings, Dr. Cox convinced Dr. J.J. Frisch, a Wisconsin dentist, to actively promote fluoridation of the water supply. According to historians of the era, Frisch led the charge with the frenzy of a religious zealot and turned it into a political crusade. These developments were, of course, just what Alcoa’s owners wanted. In 1944, according to Hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce held on May 25-27, 1954. Alcoa hired a powerful attorney, Oscar Ewing, and paid him an annual salary of $750,000, even though Alcoa wasn’t facing any major litigation. A few months after being hired, he left the company to accept a job as Federal Security Administrator, a position that put him in charge of the USPHS and under the direct control of, – you guessed it, Treasury Secretary Mellon. It should also be noted that he made a great deal of fanfare about leaving such a well-paid job to serve his country. Not surprisingly, Ewing launched a vigorous nationwide campaign to promote fluoridation of public water supplies.
The fluoridation effort was no small project, and certainly not one that Ewing intended to lose. He hired the best public relations master money could buy: Edward L. Bernays, labeled by The Washington Post as “the original spin doctor.” In addition to his other credentials, Bernays was also the nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays knew the best route to take was to get the endorsement of the dental and medical professionals, since the public depended on their wisdom in these matters, and generally trusted them. By using all of the powers at their command Mellon’s fluoridation team convinced the city council of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to allow its water supply to be fluoridated, with the city of Muskegon serving as an unfluoridated control in the experiment. The project was to begin on January 25, 1945, and would be the first U.S. city to add fluoride to its drinking water.
Two things need to be understood at this point. First, the recommendation was accepted just three months after the dire warnings expressed by both the AMA and the ADA. Second, even at that time there was significant evidence that fluoride was toxic to cells in small concentrations, yet these devious men proceeded despite the fact that no human studies had been published on the safety of adding fluoride to Grand Rapids’ water supply. The people of Grand Rapids were to be unwilling test subjects.
Opponents of the fluoridation project were quickly labeled by the masterminds of Alcoa’s PR group as loonies and right-wing extremists who saw fluoridation as a communist plot. I remember these charges very well in the ’50s, having grown up during that period. Suddenly making a complete reversal of their previous stance, the USPHS and the ADA began to endorse widespread fluoridation, even before a single study of the Michigan experiment had been completed that could show fluoridation was safe, much less that it reduced cavities. But there was a compelling reason they didn’t want to wait on the results of a study, namely because initial results were showing that tooth decay rates in unfluoridated Muskegon had decreased as much as fluoridated Grand Rapids. In fact, tooth decay rates were falling in all industrialized nations well before fluoridation. Why? Because of better hygiene and nutrition.
The fluoridationists’ shenanigans were recognized as early as 1952 by Dr. A.L. Miller, a U.S. representative from Nebraska who was also Chairman of the Special Committee on Chemicals in Foods. He noted how strange it was that high officials of the USPHS would do a complete about face on the acceptability of fluoridation and within only three months of advocating extreme caution. Dr. Miller also noted that he could find no original studies by the AMA or the ADA, or any other evidence for fluoridation’s usefulness. All those associations did was refer to each other for confirmation. Representative Miller also noted the convenient connection between Oscar Ewing in his position as Federal Security Administrator, and his representation of Alcoa, which was anxious to get rid of its toxic fluoride waste.
In his book on this subject, Dr. Yiamouyiannis also points out that dissenting dentists were either censured or lost their ADA membership. Dental scientists themselves were controlled by the power of USPHS grant money: those who criticized fluoridation simply saw their grant monies dry up, a very effective tactic still used in many other areas of politicized science. The list of people involved in the fluoridation conspiracy reads like a rogues’ gallery. For example, there is John Small, the USPHS’ fluoridation expert since the 1960s. His sole job is to stem any criticism of fluoridation from any quarter, and he does his job very well. One of his major tasks is to harass, intimidate and virtually destroy anyone who dares to publicly speak or write about the dangers of fluoridation. As an’ example of his viciousness, I will share the story of Dr. Yiamouyiannis, who was once the biochemical editor of the Chemical Abstracts Service, the world’s largest chemical information center. When John Small learned that Dr. Yiamouyiannis was writing critical reviews of fluoridation, he contacted the problem doctor’s immediate superior and expressed his displeasure. In ensuing conversations with this superior, Dr. Yiamouyiannis was told that $1.1 million in federal funding was in jeopardy if he did not cease and desist his criticisms of fluoridation. The good doctor was warned several more times and finally unwilling to suppress the truth about fluoridation dangers-he was forced to resign. So much for the independence of science.
” Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century. “
Robert Carlton, Ph.D., former EPA scientist, 1992
“Regarding Fluoridation, the EPA should act immediately to protect the public.
Not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures,
arthritis, mutagenicity and other effects. “
William Marcus, Ph.D., Senior EPA toxicologist, 1992
Unfortunately, this world is inhabited by some people who seek a profit at any cost and have no concern for public welfare and safety. The fluoride story powerfully demonstrates that we are indeed correct to be suspicious of megacorporations. We have seen how these institutions have done everything in their power to avoid civic responsibility and to manipulate the government, scientific institutions, and the medical and dental professions, all in the name of empty profit.
Most of us have been led to believe by a powerful propaganda network that fluoridation of drinking water, regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and regular fluoride treatments are not only a good way to prevent cavities, but that the practice of fluoridation itself is very safe. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Those who promote this viewpoint have an ulterior motive and, it is not your health.