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Hull targeted for latest fluoridation offensive
there are three sorts of liars, the common or garden liar ... the damnable liar who is fortunately rather a [rare bird] in decent society, and lastly the expert (The Accountant (2), 1886)
Doug Cross, 1st February 2015
So, now Public Health England (PHE) has turned its malignant eye towards the East. targeting the good citizens of Hull, and especially their young children, for its latest public medical assault. Councillors have been galvanised into a frenzy of alarm by the revelation that í43.4% of the five year old children in Hull have bad teethí.
Mildly numerate Councillors and members of the public amongst you will look at that 43.4% and say, ďGosh - thatís really, really bad. And they must be right, if they can measure the extent of this rampant epidemic of rotten teeth to as close as a tenth of one percent. Thatís accurate to one kid in a thousand, that is! Such precision must mean that itís correct.Ē
And so they are encouraged to ĎDo Something About It.í Like, put fluoride in the water supply. Welcome to the corrupt world of statistical malpractice!
Youíre not going to like what Iím about to tell you now, but you Councillors in Hull need to wake up to some rather worrying news. No - not that your kids have bad teeth - some of them do, wherever you live.
The bad news is that governments mainly use numbers to deceive, not to educate you, and thatís whatís going on here, with this latest outburst of dental hand-wringing. In the latest report on childrenís dental health, issued by Public Health England in March last year, the level of deliberate deception in this already controversial field of public health plummets to new depths of depravity.
To put it simply, the figures that they are throwing around now are, for over half of the Local Authority areas in England, completely worthless. Oh sure, you can check how many kids in your area do have bad teeth, and you can say what the average is. But unless you check every child in the City, then what you get is not the truth: itís a guess.
And the smaller the proportion of kids you look at, the wilder that guess becomes. (And I wonít even begin to discuss what sort of average you should be using anyway - Iíll leave that little nugget for another time!)
So you need to ask yourselves, just how wild is this guess? The answer appears in a document produced by the NHS a couple of years back. This contains an enormous spreadsheet, tabling the figures for dental decay in 5 year olds in all the Lower Tier Local Authorities in England.
In it, youíll discover that that Hullís 43.4% is only the middle point of the Ďrealí answer. In fact the proportion of their 5 year olds with bad teeth could be anywhere between around 37% and 50%. So they could be a lot better, or even quite a bit worse - but how can you tell?
Well, suppose that. like PHE, you ask if your kidsí teeth really are the worst in the region? To answer that you have to look at the same spread of guesses about all the other 20 Local Authority areas in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. If any of them overlap at all then itís not possible to tell, with a releiable degree of reality, whether kids in those other areas are better or worse than your own kidsí teeth. And the NHS data appear to show that in 11 of those areas the kidsí teeth seem to be a bit better, and in the others theyíre not.
But hang on - thereís a problem. You see, to make those guesses the people who check your kidsí teeth for the NHS have to look at enough of them to get information that is meaningful. If they didnít examine enough kids then the guesses are worthless. And guess what - the examiners didnít look at enough kids in Hull to make a scientifically meaningful guess in the first place!
Unfortunately, inconvenient evidence can spoil a good story, so the NHS people doing the original study put a brave face on it and just carried on regardless. They ignored their own instructions that at least 250 kids needed to be examined (and many more if the results were to be used to devise dental health policy) and only looked at 219.
Well, thatís close enough, isnít it? No - if the evidence wasnít collected in the same way, then itís inadmissible - itís like comparing apples and oranges. And if 250 kids arenít enough to even make a reasonable guess on how many bad teeth the kids have, how many more do you need to look at to make sure that any actual policy you impose - like fluoridation, for instance - is scientifically and medically justifed? (Itís over a thousand. actually - and that has an ENORMOUS effect on this whole charade, as I shall be discussing later!)
So, good Councillors of Hull - youĎve been conned! There is actually no acceptable evidence whatever to show that your 5 year olds have the worst teeth in the region. They may or may not have, but this magic figure of 43.4% is a complete fabrication, and neither PHE nor you know what the real figure should be, and so whether thereís a big problem or not.
In fact, both the NHS Survey and that PHE Report are brim-full of statistical naughtiness. I donít know how much itís costing the health budget to mess around with these useless surveys, but Iím sure a Freedom eof Information request might unravel some interesting information. But when weíve Major Incidentsí popping up at hospitals around the country bcause the NHS funding is in crisis, I do wonder whether thereís some scope here for saving money on more urgent stuff.
It looks suspiciously like the main purpose of doing these dodgy surveys is propping up the governmentís obsession with fluoridating our drinking water. After all, the NHS surveys were originally done by a private sector group with a r4ather close relationship with the British Fluoridation Society. Coincidence, do you think?
The real costs of fluoridation to the public, as opposed to the public sector, are a closely guarded State secret. But youíd never suspect that, if you just go by PHEís bland dismissal of the true extent and impacts of dental fluorosis in its Report. Well, not until itís too late for the infants of Hull, if this mass medication fraud goes ahead - theyíll only begin to realise just what has happened to them some time around 2020 to 2025.
For some more comment on this fraud, including a passing mention to Hull, see the web page "From Hull and Hell and PHE, Good Lord deliver us!" (Apologies to Hull Council, but I couldn't resist it!)