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A disreputable trade-off: SCHER's Final Report

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A disreputable trade-off:

SCHER ignores the humanitarian impacts
of water fluoridation.

Doug Cross
22nd June 2011

Once again the seven members of the EC’s SCHER Committee have shown that they do not appear to appreciate the difference between knowledge and wisdom, between expertise and understanding. In a parody of the Three Wise Monkeys, they seem determined to see, hear and speak no evil of the practice of deliberately poisoning the public water supplies with toxic fluoridation chemicals.

SCHER’s ‘Seven Wise Monkeys’ stick rigidly to a safe and effective mechanistic approach in their meticulous dissection of a practice that, as they quite explicitly accept, causes socially devastating effects on the teeth and the lives of at least one child in twenty. And in doing so, they fail in their duty of care to the millions of children in the EC who are at risk from this repugnant and discredited form of unethical mass medication.

On not seeing the wood for the trees.

In examining the toxicology of fluoride, these near-sighted experts fail to see the wood for the trees. The issue is not how much fluoride we and our children can tolerate at the whim of the State, but how little is capable of disrupting the social relationships and mental well-being of our children during their most vulnerable childhood years.

This study explicitly accepts that the ‘trade-off’ between the destruction of the social welfare of one child in twenty, through the development of moderate or worse dental fluorosis, is considered to be acceptable if it also improves the dental health of far fewer ‘disadvantaged children’. But nowhere do these savants attempt to understand the devastating social impacts that these innocent trade-off victims are forced to endure, through the social rejection that confronts the many victims of this obscene practice for the supposed benefit of the few.

The fatal flaw in the SCHER Report is that it dissects the evidence in lofty isolation in its cozy academic ivory tower. With true scientific detachment the Wise Monkeys declare that in many areas there is insufficient evidence to support claims that fluoride damages human health and the ecology of our surroundings. Yet they accept without question that they should examine the toxicological implications of a practice that causes 5% of the population to develop moderate or worse dental fluorosis without also assessing whether or not such extensive social harm is actually acceptable to its victims.

SCHER’s double scientific standards

In its draft Report, issued over a year ago, and now again in its Final Report, these ‘experts’ have applied a double standard to their examination of evidence that is reprehensible in any tribal grouping claiming to call itself a member of the world community of scientists.

Does water fluoridation cause any adverse effects on humans, it asks itself, and concludes entirely correctly that
In children, a very narrow margin exists between achieving the beneficial effects of fluoride in caries prevention and the adverse effects of dental fluorosis.
Yet when asked to confirm precisely what these same ‘beneficial effects’ actually are, this befuddled troupe of specialists seems to have distanced itself from its initial conclusion that the evidence for these benefits is remarkably weak.

Whilst it applies the strictest possible criteria of scientific methodology to reject even the most reliable evidence of harm, it then endorses one of the most contentious claims by noting approvingly that
an advantage in favour of water fluoridation is that caries prevention may reach disadvantaged children from the lower socioeconomic groups. . . There appears to be some evidence that water fluoridation reduces the inequalities in dental health across social classes in 5 and 12 year-olds, using the dmft/DMFT measure.

Take a moment to examine that statement again. They employ vague statements like ‘caries prevention may reach’ and ’there appears to be some evidence that’. What sort of scientific rigour is this? The use of dmft/DMFT data (a measure of decayed, missing and filled primary teeth (dmft) and secondary teeth (DMFT) in children) is severely compromised by the evidence of the delaying effects of ingested fluoride on tooth emergence.

Yet despite irrefutable evidence of this confounding factor from Ziegelbecker and others, this wayward group of ‘experts’ has inexplicably declined to even mention the existence of a factor that invalidates any endorsement of what is undoubtedly the most disreputable claim made by the insidious promoters of fluoridation.

Dental inequality is not the only issue that must be addressed.

The unproven claim that ‘water fluoridation reduces the inequalities in dental health across social classes’ suggests strongly that, in consequence, other social inequalities are thereby also reduced. This is where the committee’s apparent total ignorance of the existence of any issue other than toxicology becomes painfully apparent.

Even if fluoridation worked, many of those children who might benefit from having one or two fewer dental caries as a result will also develop ‘dental fluorosis of aesthetic concern’ that is of far greater personal significance to them. Which condition is preferable - treatable and generally invisible dental caries, or extensive highly visible and untreatable disfigurement of the most prominent teeth in the mouth?

Who authorised this ‘trade-off’?

As the York Review authors noted over a decade ago, this ‘mild’ or worse fluorosis is socially unacceptable. Children afflicted by it are rejected by their playmates at school, whilst its social consequences in adolescence and later in life are invariably highly detrimental. Where is SCHER’s recognition that this so-called ‘trade-off’ has never been explained honestly and in detail to those who will be most intimately affected by it?

Yet by confining the analysis to take into account the supposedly reduced ‘inequalities in dental health’ resulting from water fluoridation, the ‘Seven Wise Monkeys’ refuse to admit the existence of the embarrassing problem of the social and financial inequalities caused by this State-imposed form of child abuse. Instead, they retreat into splendid abstruse academic isolation and consider only dental health as a factor in the spurious equation of this illegitimate medical ‘trade-off’.

The folly of ‘consultation’ on fluoridation.

The trade-off used to justify this unethical and unavoidable clinical intervention implies that the community has been consulted over whether or not the implications of the trade-off are actually fully appreciated and accepted to all who may be at risk. Consultation demands full disclosure - but it also demands that the proposition be both legally permissible and that it complies with all principles of medical ethics and clinical procedures. If it does not, then consultation is a charade, a diversion of public attention from the fact that the imposition of fluoridation is prohibited in law and unacceptable under the code of Human Rights.

And as the evidence from Southampton starkly exposed last week, even if the community expresses a clear refusal to accept the proposed trade-off, any such rejection may be brushed aside by the autocratic politicians of the State, its ignorant and mendacious Health Authorities, and their apparently scientifically and ethically illiterate ‘advisers’.

Fluoridation is an issue in law, not merely science.

Let us be quite clear about this - the administration of a toxic substance to a community with the intent of affecting the health of its members is ultimately NOT an issue for scientists, regardless of their credentials and motives. Even less is it permissible in the form of a ‘trade-off’ that allows many children to be damaged on the pretext of hopefully benefiting a few.

Permitting a troupe of scientific specialists to debate science in tedious and irrelevant detail whilst ignoring the human issues raised by this obscene practice merely prolongs the delay in protecting our children. Since the draft SCHER report was issued over a year ago, more than 15,000 children in England and Ireland have been condemned to a future life of discrimination and rejection, through damage inflicted on their growing bodies now that will become manifest in later years as unacceptable dental disfigurement.

Resolving the problem - liability for endorsing medical assault.

This entirely avoidable toll must stop now. No new legislation is necessary - all it will take is for the Commission to order these two rogue Member States to immediately implement the European law on medicines and foods, which prohibit the use of fluorosilicates in this arbitrary and improper fashion. The relevance of Human Rights legislation to the imposition of this form of degrading activity on communities should also be reviewed urgently.

In a political confrontation that the Establishment cannot afford to loose, science has no power to force the State to reform. Only the Courts have that ability, and there is a growing awareness that it will be the legal challenges that will eventually bring a whiff of sanity into this long-running - confrontation.

Health professionals who endorse this practice will be in the front line when issues of professional liability begin to emerge. When that happens, the fall-out will be enormous - as a very senior executive in the insurance underwriting business told me not long ago, “My God! This is the next asbestos!” The dental profession’s obsession with fluoridation, and the Commission’s and SCHER’s procrastination in recognising the social havoc that it causes, through its physical and psychological effects on around 15,000 thousand children each year, could prove embarrassing when this charade finally collapses and private actions for restitution finally move into the courts.


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