Synopses & Reviews
When the U.S. Public Health Service endorsed water fluoridation in 1950, there was little evidence of its safety. Now, six decades later and after most countries have rejected the practice, many cities and towns across the United States continue to fluoridate their water supply and the Center for Disease Control and the American Dental Association continue to endorse it, despite increasing evidence that it is not only unnecessary, but potentially hazardous to human health.In this timely and important book, Dr. Paul Connett, Dr. James Beck, and Dr. H. Spedding Micklem take a new look at the science behind water fluoridation and argue that just because the medical establishment endorses a public health measure, that doesn't mean it's safe. In the case of water fluoridation, the chemicals used to fluoridate the water that more than 180 million people drink each day are not pharmaceutical grade, but rather hazardous waste products of the phosphate fertilizer industry; it is illegal to dump them into rivers and lakes or release them into the atmosphere. And water fluoridation is a prime example of one of the worst medical practices possible-forced medication with no control over the dose or who gets it. Perhaps most shocking of all, it is not subject to any federal regulation.At once painstakingly-documented and also highly-readable, The Case Against Fluoride brings new research to light, including links between fluoride and harm to the brain, bones, and kidneys, and argues that while there is possible value in topical applications like brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the evidence that swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay is surprisingly weak. The Case Against Fluoride doesn't question the good intentions of dentists who support fluoridation, but rather explores the poor science, bizarre tactics, biased reviews, and puzzling motivations of a relatively small number of influential people who continue to push this practice on a largely ill-informed public.
For anyone who has ever wondered why cities add fluoride to water-and questioned whether they should. Written with clear and easy-to-read prose, and supporting citations, The Case Against Fluoride carefully lays out the arguments against fluoridation and reasons why it should be discontinued. The authors examine the evidence on fluoridation and conclude convincingly that it should now be considered 'harmful and ineffective.'--Dr. Hardy Limeback, Professor and Head of Preventative Dentistry, University of Toronto
"Alfred North Whitehead said the scientific method means leaving 'options open for revision.' An ancient Roman adage says that 'whatever touches all must be approved by all.' These characterizations of science and democracy are the reasons for reading this book. Especially if you and your family are drinking administratively mandated fluoridated water."--Ralph Nader
"This book clearly shows that water fluoridation is poor public policy and must end. As a concerned citizen, I applaud the authors for bringing this issue to the world's attention."--Ed Asner
"Sweden rejected fluoridation in the 1970s and, in this excellent book, these three scientists have confirmed the wisdom of that decision. Our children have not suffered greater tooth decay, as World Health Organization figures attest, and in turn our citizens have not borne the other hazards fluoride may cause. In any case, since fluoride is readily available in toothpaste, you don't have to force it on people."--Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology (2000) and Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, University of Gothenburg
Booklist *Starred Review*-On the eve of the new millennium, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), listed water fluoridation as one of the twentieth-century's 10 greatest public-health achievements. Yet according to the authors of this painstakingly researched exposé of fluoridations overall ineffectiveness and toxicity, endorsements such as these from the CDC and other health organizations are motivated more by face-saving politics than credible research. Fluoridation advocates who have previously branded detractors as conspiracy theorists and shills for junk science will be hard pressed to debunk the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and sound scientific reasoning presented here. In demonstrating fluoridations ineffectiveness, the authors cite exhaustive evidence proving fluorides only benefits are topical, as in toothbrushing, as opposed to swallowing. But the case against fluorides alleged safety, even in small doses, is more alarming, with multiple studies showing fluorides probable complicity in lowered intelligence scores, thyroid dysfunction, hip fractures, and the ominously rising incidence of osteosarcoma in boys. The authors academic, hyperbole-free writing style serves them well in marshaling a series of facts that, all by themselves, expose fluoridation as a false panacea. It remains to be seen, however, whether the public-health community will give this landmark work due credit or continue to rubber stamp an outdated policy that, like bloodletting and trepanation, properly belongs on the scrap heap of sham medical interventions.
About the Author
Dr. Paul Connett, author of The Case Against Fluoride, is the Director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), and the Executive Director of its parent body, the American Environmental Health Studies Project (AEHSP). He has spoken and given more than 2,000 presentations in forty-nine states and fifty-two countries on the issue of waste management. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Dartmouth College and is a retired professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology at St. Lawrence University. He lives in Binghamton, New York. Dr. James S. Beck is a Professor Emeritus of Medical Biophysics at the University of Calgary and holds doctorates in medicine from Washington University School of Medicine and biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. H. Spedding Micklem is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. He holds a D.Phil from the University of Oxford. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.