Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Paul Connett on Fluoride
By Dr. Mercola
After generations of misleading propaganda about the benefits of water fluoridation, the truth is finally getting some traction.
According to the former EPA risk assessment scientist, Dr. William Hirzy, water fluoridation still remains a government policy because of “institutional inertia [and] embarrassment among government agencies that have been promoting this stuff as safe.”
Indeed, contrary to popular belief, the science clearly demonstrates that fluoride is a toxic chemical that accumulates in your tissues over time, wreaks havoc with enzymes, and produces a number of serious adverse health effects, including neurological and endocrine dysfunction. Children are particularly at risk for adverse effects of overexposure.
Yet despite the scientific evidence against the practice, the United States lags far behind other nations in acknowledging the mistake and ending this tragic “public health” measure. As usual, the big lie must continue to protect faith in long term public health policies and agencies.
As a result, individual communities around the US have taken up the fight to end water fluoridation in their own local areas. Today, Dr. Paul Connett and I are pleased to report a number of victories, both in the US and abroad.
An 8-Year Long Fight Ends in Victory, Yet Trouble Brews
Dr. Paul Connett, PhD, a chemist and executive director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) is a recognized leader in the fluoride education movement, spearheading the organized efforts to remove fluoride from our water supply in the US and elsewhere.
One of the organization’s past victories took eight years to secure, namely the phasing out of sulfuryl fluoride, which is a toxic fumigant. In the face of defeat, the chemical industry has resorted to blatant political maneuvers to protect their toxic income stream.
“This was a major victory for us after [FAN] was formed in 2000. It took us eight years to get the EPA Pesticide Division to accept our objections to the use of sulfuryl fluoride by Dow AgroSciences as a fumigant on food,” Dr. Connett explains.
The idea of using sulfuryl fluoride as a food fumigant was extremely worrying as it not only leaves toxic residues on food, but can be lethal to humans in its pure gas form—the form in which it is applied to the food. According to Dr. Connett, people have died during the application of the fumigant.
When applied to food, it breaks down into free fluoride. Many American children are already heavily overexposed to fluoride, so this added source of exposure can only worsen matters. (Organic foods do not permit its use.)
FAN argued that the Food Quality Protection Act requires companies who want to market a pesticide to show that the cumulative dose—meaning the dose that will end up on the food as residues, plus already existing exposure from other sources—will not exceed the safe reference dose. Dr. Connett explains what happened in this case:
“We were able to show, very easily, that millions of children are already exceeding the safe reference dose of fluoride from a combination of sources – in the water, toothpaste and other dental products, pollution, and so on. No way should the EPA allow Dow to add more fluoride to the food supply.
Eventually, after going backwards and forwards for many years, and threatening legal action with the help of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Beyond Pesticides, we eventually got the EPA to agree to accept all our objections, and they announced that sulfuryl fluoride will be phased out in three years.”
Again, this was a major victory at the time, but Dow did not back down. Since then, they’ve done everything in their power to stop the implementation of the EPA’s decision—and in a manner that is quite worrying. First, they tried to introduce an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have allowed them to continue using sulfuryl fluoride, which meant subverting the EPA for doing its job.
“The EPA listened to the science. They agreed with us. They said, 'We’re going to phase it out.' But through the back door, Dow tried to get the Farm Bill to get it in.”
Fortunately, they didn’t succeed. Congress kept that amendment out. But, Dow came back again, this time using the 2014 House Appropriations Bill to cut back a lot of EPA’s work, including that relating to sulfuryl fluoride.1 In essence, the bill would prohibit the EPA from obstructing Dow’s use of this pesticide/fumigant!
House Bill Will Let Dow Chemicals to Keep Spraying Fluoride Pesticide on Our Food
The fact that a company has the power to even try to write its own laws in this way, and quite literally making it illegal for a federal agency to do its job with regards to a specific product, truly boggles the mind. And while many other industries have used similar tactics, infiltrating and manipulating politicians and the federal agencies for their own benefit, at just about any cost, this example is a particularly blatant circumvention. This is where it stands at the moment... FAN has issued a bulletin to its members to write to Congress and urge your Congressman to take action to avert this atrocity. I join FAN in this call to action. Click here to find your Congressman.
According to Dr. Connett, there’s every reason to be concerned about the use of sulfuryl fluoride gas on food, because some of the fluoride residues allowed by the EPA are “astronomical.” For example, the EPA was allowing 120 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride on wheat flour. Wheat flour is consumed in so many foods on a daily basis by most people that you not only need to be concerned about chronic effects of low-level fluoride intake, but also with its acute effects.
Dr. Connett goes so far as to say that you could potentially be in serious trouble simply by eating a pizza made from a recently fumigated batch of wheat flour. At one point, the EPA even allowed 900 ppm of fluoride on dried eggs. One-third of the eggs sold in the US are dried eggs for institutions like hospitals. If you were to eat an omelet or pancakes made with dried eggs recently treated with sulfuryl fluoride, carrying fluoride residue at 900 ppm, you’d be very close to the level of fluoride found in toothpaste, which is 1,000 ppm.
“And you know what you’re told about toothpaste: Don’t swallow; only use a pea-sized amount (which is a quarter of a milligram), and if you accidentally swallowed more, contact the Poison Control Center,” Dr. Connett says.
“I should point out that around the world, the only country that applies sulfuryl fluoride directly to food as a fumigant is Australia – no other country does it... In other words, it’s quite clear that modern agriculture can survive without using sulfuryl fluoride. You can use heat and cold control. You can use carbon dioxide. There are a number of ways.
One of the problems for America is a lot of our storage facilities and our food storage facilities, are hopelessly out of date. What we should be doing is to modernize those facilities, so that these other techniques used by most of the civilized world could be also used in America. [Using sulfuryl fluoride] is a cheap and dirty way around doing the right thing, which is to modernize food storage facilities in the US.”
Good News from Around the United States
I did promise you good news, and there is plenty to celebrate. In the US, FAN achieved a number of important victories:
- In Wichita, Kansas, they won 60 percent of the votes in the referendum, despite being considerably outspent by the fluoride proponents
- Porland, Oregon. Here,the proponents spent nearly a million dollars to get fluoridation into Portland (about three times the amount spent by the anti-fluoridation side), yet they lost the vote at 40 percent. One of the most disturbing challenges was that huge amounts of money were given to minority groups by the fluoride proponents, ostensibly to support fluoridation. Essentially, they bought the support of the very minority groups that fluoridation actually hurts the most!
- The states of Connecticut, South Carolina, and Minnesota are also looking at lifting mandatory fluoridation rulings.
Dr. Connett recently travelled to Hartford, Connecticut and gave a presentation at the Legislative Office Building in Connecticut at the request of Representative Markley, who is trying to introduce a bill to lift mandatory fluoridation in Connecticut. Markley also invited the proponents of fluoridation, including the dental society and various public health authorities, to debate the issue with Dr. Connett.
“To begin with, they said that they would do it. And then the day before, they said, no, they weren’t going to participate. They refused to debate and refused to come,” Dr. Connett says. “So, I was given a solo platform for an hour. I gave the arguments why fluoridation should never have started and why we shouldn’t use the public water supply to deliver any medicine – lithium, statins, or fluoride – because you can’t control the dose, you can’t control who gets it, and you are violating an individual’s right to informed consent to medication.
Then I gave seven relatively recent events which should have ended fluoridation... One of the key ones was when the proponents admitted that fluoride works topically – on the surface of the teeth – not from inside the body. When they admitted that, in my view, it should have ended fluoridation.”
In addition to FAN’s book, The Case Against Fluoride,2, 3 which contains about 80 pages worth of scientific source listings, print copies of key scientific papers were also given to those attending the meeting. (The book can currently be found on sale at Chelsea Green Publishing4.) All of this now easily available research clearly shows that:
- Water fluoridation does not work to prevent cavities
- Fluoride works when topically applied only
- There are unacceptable risks involved in the practice of water fluoridation
With all this documentation, it’s not surprising that the defenders of water fluoridation opted out of the debate. They simply do not have the science on their side, and they know an open debate will expose that fact. In the video below, Dr. William Hirzy was invited to give testimony to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water on behalf of the National Treasury Employees Union. At the time, Dr. Hirzy was serving his sixth term as the Senior Vice-President of the Union. In his presentation, titled: "Why EPA's Union of Professionals Opposes Fluoridation," he discusses the reasoning behind the professional and official stance of his Union members, which is in direct opposition to the EPA's support of fluoridation.
Dr. William Hirzy & EPA Union on Fluoridation
The Bullies of Brooksville, Florida
A similar situation has developed in Brooksville, Florida. When Pinellas County stopped fluoridation, some of the local dentists, and one in particular named Johnny Johnson, set out to boot all of the commissioners who voted against fluoridation out of office. They succeeded. And, needless to say, put “the fear of God” into everybody else. Now they’re trying to do the same thing in the little town of Brooksville, which is about an hour from Tampa Bay.
The Brooksville mayor, Lara Bradburn, who is working on getting fluoridation out of her town, has subsequently become the victim of the same bullying tactics. After dentists accused her of being over-emotional and disregarding the science, Dr. Connett offered to hold a meeting in Brooksville, which she accepted. Johnny Johnson was invited to present his evidence alongside Dr. Connett.
“True to form, Johnny ran for cover. He has refused to participate,” Dr. Connett says. “It didn’t stop him insulting me. I just find this all so unacceptable, but it’s typical of the bullies, which are usually cowards. That’s what we’ve got in this case... Again, the reason for the cowardice is he simply doesn’t have the science.”
The proponents of fluoridation are very good at two things though:
- Persuading you that every health and dental body in the world is pro-fluoridation. They hold the endorsement of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Public Health Association (APHA), for example. All these organizations endorse fluoridation, and they cannot all be wrong, the argument goes. It appears to be a strong argument, but the fact is that most of these organizations have never reviewed the full body of available literature. Still, the argument works when addressing the general public.
- Conveying to the public that the opponents of fluoridation are a bunch of “Looney Tunes” who get their facts from the Internet or other paranoid nut-jobs. What they do not address is the scientific literature itself, which overwhelmingly support the anti-fluoride stance. As mentioned earlier, The Case Against Fluoride lists 80 pages of references, and the FAN health database5 is the most extensive database on fluoride in the world. There’s no shortage of scientific evidence to back up the claims that a) swallowing fluoride does not reduce tooth decay, and b) it poses potentially very serious health risks. When was the last time you heard a fluoride proponent cite published studies in support of their own claims of benefit and safety?
Good News from Down Under
Over the past five years, a literal avalanche of Queensland communities has stopped fluoridating their water supplies. There are now 15 regional councils in Queensland that are either stopping fluoridation or refusing to start. That affects about 50 different townships. That, of course, has encouraged people not only in Queensland, but throughout Australia. In New Zealand, several communities have also stopped fluoridation over the last few years. The most recent was Hamilton, which is the second largest city in New Zealand. At the end of an exhaustive four-day process, the Hamilton council voted seven to one to stop fluoridation.
Also worthy of note is the news that the Ministry of Health in Israel recently announced it will lift the mandatory requirement for fluoridation in 2014.6 Not only that, but the Supreme Court of Israel also ruled that the new regulations will put an end to all fluoridation, whether mandatory or voluntary.
Take Action to Keep Fluoride Out of Our Food Supply
In closing, please take a few moments to contact your US Congressman to make sure the EPA restriction keeping sulfuryl fluoride out of your food supply remains in place. Also, of particular benefit would be to contact members of the Senate on the appropriations committee.
“That will be our last line of defense – to get the Senate to overrule the House on this issue,” Dr. Connett says. “In my talks, I close by saying, 'Affecting change is like trying to drive a nail through a piece of wood. The expert can sharpen the nail, but he or she cannot push the nail through the piece of wood. I’ve helped to sharpen the nail by giving you the facts that can end fluoridation. But we need you. We need the weight of public opinion to drive that nail home.'