Monday, 30 April 2007

AGM: How I discovered Fluoridation

Saturday saw our AGM in the British School and apart from an excellent discussion resulting from questions we had two fascinating speakers: Rissa Mohabir, a local homeopath talking about the effects of fluoride and Bernard Seward, a long term campaigner against water fluoridation.

Photo: Rissa left and Bernard below

The meeting kicked off with some live music and a protest song about water fluoridation - I'll add a post re that and the words in next few days. Rissa then gave a fascinating talk about how homeopathy has considered water fluoridation which was followed by Bernards talk which is enclosed below. Sadly this blog is rejecting paragraphs and running all the text together - this makes it difficult to read - any thoughts on how to stp this would be welcomed!

How I discovered Fluoridation
Bernard J Seward 2007

The Esher News and Advertiser, the weekly newspaper in Surrey at whose print works I served my trade apprenticeship, carried a well subscribed letters page.

A regular contributor was a retired RAF officer, Mr P Clavell Blount who seemed to be conducting a one-man campaign of resistance to us all having something called fluoride in our drinking water.

The ‘fluoride’ at that time was Sodium Fluoride and, according to Clavell Blount, was the poisonous by-product of the aluminium smelting process. His argument against fluoridation stemmed first and foremost from his indignation of having a medicament forced upon him and his family by Government edict although, at that time (the late 1950s), fluoridation had not reached our local waterworks.

It was, nonetheless under discussion at the former Ministry of Health and the Secretary of State for Health at that time was Mr Richard Crossman of then ruling Labour Party.

Clavell Blount didn’t have the topic to himself; it was replied to by various local residents, one of whom was Sir Gerald Dodson QC who occupied a prestigious legal position as Master of the Rolls. Dodson famously wrote, “I have no objection to having my water fluoridated, but my preference is to take it with a measure of Scotch.”

That pompous statement irritated me and I thought to reply to it myself. I approached the chief sub editor who simply said “Write whatever you like; if there’s space we’ll consider printing it” And he did. He published everything I wrote from then onwards, not necessarily to do with fluoridation, but with many other aspects of the local culture.

I think I should point out that my dad was no slouch with the typewritten communication to various individuals, journals and newspapers, so I guess I was following in his footsteps. Writing school essays had been my particular strength;

I won’t bore you with my scholastic weaknesses.

It was obvious that pro-fluoride debate at local government level was proceeding on the strength of the ‘received wisdom’ perpetrated by the USA, that fluoride was a naturally occurring mineral. Where it was deficient in concentration, the benefit to children in respect of the resistance of their developing teeth to decay, justified its adjustment to no more than one part per million of water. As far as I was concerned, whatever the concentration, it set a dangerous precedent.

These days we hear a lot about ‘choice’ in connection with the health service. That was the word I used in my reply to the eminent legal brain of Sir Gerald Dodson.

I wrote:
Sir Gerald has the privilege of choosing of whether he takes whisky with his water or not. I demand the choice of consuming fluoride, or not. I do not choose to use fluoride toothpaste. With fluoride in the tap water, I am denied that choice. The proposals are immoral and unethical.

Shortly after that I wrote another letter to my paper with a copy to a larger circulation county newspaper, The Surrey Comet.

Sir, I would have you know I’m getting sick to death with all this clap trap about whether or not we should have fluoride in our tap water. The arguments, for and against, serve only to cloud the main issue, namely profit. Anyone with investments in the aluminium industry will tell you the same. If we allow these minority pressure groups and individuals to influence the case, we could all stand to lose and then where would we be? No, let us have our water fluoridated, and without further delay; and if the children are going to benefit from it as well, then jolly good luck to them. I signed it Filthy Capitalist

After this appeared in print, I had a phone call from Mr Clavell Blount, thanking me for my contribution. He said he wished he had written it himself.

He also took the opportunity of introducing me to the National Pure Water Association which I decided to join. Its succession of news bulletins convinced me that I had been on the right track from the start and that its supporting cast was somewhat greater than minority groups and individuals. People in positions of power in Parliament and elsewhere were rightfully concerned about the travesty, not only of the moral and ethical aspects, but the scientific ones as well.

I took this on board and when I came down to Bristol in 1967 to take up a technical college teaching appointment, I found the topic under review by the Bristol Community Health Council which, after a simple vote, had recommended fluoridation to the Avon Area Health Authority. I went to a BCHC meeting at Stockwood to ask specifically why they had reached that conclusion.

The lady chairman replied “We were thinking of the children” What else could she have said? So I asked whether the American fluoridation experience had been considered and taken into account in the discussion. She hadn’t a clue as to what I was talking about.

Then a voice from the back of the hall declared, There is nothing to be concerned about; fluoride is perfectly safe and will help to reduce children’s tooth decay.

I later identified this chap as Tom Dowell, a dentist who has now achieved a position as Chair of the Bristol Primary Care Trust. In more recent years, I received a letter from him stating there are no plans to fluoridate Bristol as “the natural fluoride levels are adequate and children in the region have generally good dental health.”

But, of course, there is a political undercurrent which, in the words of the former Chief Dental Officer, Professor Raman Bedi, suggests that pressure will be applied to ”…persuade the people to accept it ” This is not the customary form of words for a man purporting to lay the ground for an impartial public consultation. The morals and ethics of the case are still being violated. We must be on our guard against cunning plans.

This brings us up to date.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Launch of our new Beer Mat

The Safe Water Campaign for Gloucestershire, which is based in Stroud, will launch a beer mat campaign in the Angel Cafe in Stroud at 2.00pm on Thursday 19th April to raise awareness about the threat to our water supplies from possible fluoridation by health authorities.

Philip Booth, Secretary of the group said: "The Government wants our water supplies fluoridated to prevent tooth decay in children. Yet its own review admits it is not proven safe and calls for more research. Research shows fluoride is harmful. We believe we should each have a choice about whether we are medicated or not. There are safer ways to tackle tooth decay than fluoridation."

New campaign

Philip Booth said: "We have produced several hundred beer mats that we will be asking pubs and cafes in the area to use to highlight our campaign."

The beer mat has information about the campaign and reads: "FLUORIDE in the WATER MEANS FLUORIDE in your BEER".

The group have also organised a talk for 10.45 a.m Saturday 28th April at the British School, Painswick Inn , Gloucester Street, Stroud entitled "Is our drinking water still at risk?" It includes Rissa Mohabir, a local homeopath talking about the effects of fluoride and Bernard Seward, a long term campaigner against water fluoridation. More info from Philip Booth on 01453 755451 or R.Mehta 47, Bisley Old Road, Stroud, GL5 1LY.

Support from Top Green

Dr. Derek Wall, author and lecturer in economics and the Male Principal Speaker of the Green Party of England and Wales came to Stroud on Wednesday 11th April. His visit included a press conference at Star Anise cafe in Stroud, a public talk in the Old Town Hall plus visits to local green initiatives including meeting Dale Vince at Ecotricity, the nationally recognised Green Shop in Bisley, Stroud's co-housing project and a blacksmith in the Whiteway Colony.

Derek also met a representative of the Safe Water Campaign and offered his support to the campaign to prevent fluoridation of water supplies. His partner is a publican in Kent so he was particularly interested in the new beer mats that the Safe Water Campaign plan to launch on Thursday this week. More on that here soon!

Children's tooth decay caused by suger

Letter sent to the Telegraph:

It's official then, is it? Children's tooth decay really is caused by suger intake?

I am frankly amazed at the statement by Derek Watson of the Dental Practitioners Association who claims that cutting out sugar from our diet would end tooth decay.

Whatever happened to the 50-year old hypothesis which, by adding a toxic compound called "fluoride" to our water supplies, the same objective could be achieved without too much concern for sugar consumption? Not much concern for human rights, either!

At a January 2007 conference organised by the Fluoride Information Centre, a Professor Michael Lennon, representing the taxpayer-funded British Fluoridation Society, said he wished to see the number of UK citizens drinking fluoridated tap water increased from 10 to 30 per cent.

This would then total 18 million people receiving no-choice medication; in exchange for what?

An 18 month deferment of inevitable tooth decay and a whole portfolio of negative health conditions, too numerous to list in a short letter, but commercially attractive to drug producers pretending to offer remedies. I dare say the sugar refiners would be pleased as well.

Bernard J Seward

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Free water with a campaign leaflet!!

Last weekend Safe Water Campaign members hired a stall in Stroud Farmers Market to distribute fluoride free spring water and advertise our talk coming up in Stroud - see here for details. The Stroud News and Journal covered the story and I have spoken with them on the phone - they are planning a more in depth look at the subject in coming weeks. Meanwhile the stall prooved very popular - many trying the free water and ending up taking away a campaign leaflet! Philip Booth, Secretary, Safe Water Campaign.

A comment on scientists and fluoridation

The news that US scientists have been offered money to produce contrarian evidence to mitigate concern about global warming brings to mind a precedent (see Philip's blog item for 9th Feb 2007).

During World War 2, the team of defence scientists working on the Manhattan Project – the race to make the atomic bomb ahead of Germany – co-opted a dentist who was paid to fabricate a convincing case for the public consumption of gaseous Hydrogen fluoride, the spent chemical used for Uranium enrichment.

Hundreds of thousands of tons of this chemical, supplied originally by the DuPont de Nemours Corporation, was standing in holding tanks. It was so toxic and corrosive it could not be released into the environment and dumping it at sea was not an option, but adding it, a drop at a time, to everybody’s water supply, apparently was. Thus was born the practice of ‘fluoridation’.

The dentist? He was given the task of working up the theory (still unvalidated even today), that the presence of natural insoluble Calcium fluoride in groundwater somehow conferred a degree of resistance to tooth decay among children. The notion went like this: If Calcium fluoride was beneficial, why not Hydrogen fluoride? Ignoring the very grave and significant differences between the two materials, a thesis was concocted which ‘proved’ the theory. The US Environmental Protection Agency was leaned on to support it and a multi-million dollar programme was launched to promote ‘Fluoride – the Magic Bullet for Kids’ Teeth’ in all anglophile countries having a nuclear capability. This, of course, included us in the UK.

The flawed science supporting fluoridation was passed around in professional and academic circles and many students would have taken it on board as part of their studies, consolidating the thesis as a kind of ‘gospel’, immune from negative criticism.

Deeper thinking people, including uncorrupted scientists who opposed the idea, were overruled by the US Defense Department which insisted that fluoridation was necessary in the interests of national security. Even the 1500 white coats working for the EPA who jointly signed a lengthy and scientifically reasoned statement condemning fluoridation policy, were blasted by the American Dental Association which attempted to rubbish the integrities of all of them.

Today, those ADA members who took part in professional character assassinations have been replaced with a successive generation of younger and more enlightened personnel. A recent communiqué tells us that the ADA has issued a stern warning to the global trader Wal-Mart to stop selling fluoridated ‘baby-water’, promoted for making up formula feeds, on account of its threat to infant health. It should come as no surprise to learn that a substance, powerful enough in concentrated form to corrode glass would, diluted even at 1 or 2 mg per litre, also attack tooth enamel and displace bone calcium over a period of time short enough to guarantee dental fluorosis before teen age; and full scale skeletal fluorosis well before middle age.

So, will it take a new generation of scientists to lead the way to combat global warming where our present leaders, mired in economic theory, cannot ditch the spin to act fast enough; and have we enough time left to wait until they do?

Bernard J Seward,
Avon, Glos & Wilts Safe Water Campaign,

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Letter to Sunday Telegraph motoring

J M of Warrington cites the reduction of lead in the atmosphere as a health bonus. Indeed it is, but our autocratic nanny government is pressing for a further 12 million citizens to have their tap water treated with junk fluoride. If it goes through, they will each get back the lead excluded from their petrol along with traces of mercury, silicon, cadmium, arsenic and a whole raft of other dangerous chemicals our politicians would rather we didn't know about.

Bernard J Seward