KRA Calls for Correction of False Information in Wichita Eagle
The KRA Calls for Immediate Correction of Dangerously False Information in Wichita Eagle Editorial
WICHITA, KANSAS, February 27, 2013: The Wichita Eagle headline sets the tone; “Lawmakers gone wild”, and the editorial goes through a laundry list of bills that the writers do not want to become law.
Every editorial writer certainly has a right to their own opinion, but not to their own facts. Especially when the dispersal of their false information, is presented as if it were scientific fact, and it could do a lot of irreversible harm to the public.
Referring to a bill initiated by the Kansas Republican Assembly, HB2372, the Sunday, February 24th Wichita Eagle editorial states, “There’s a measure requiring communities with fluoridated water to provide residents with the bogus warning ‘that the latest science confirms that ingested fluoride lowers the IQ in children.'”
The word “bogus” in this context means, “not true.”
However, while the KRA spent months of time in research to making sure that the latest science does show that ingested fluoride lowers IQ in children, and readily provides that information to anyone interested, The Wichita Eagle offers no basis whatsoever for their claim to the contrary!
Instead, The Wichita Eagle editorial writers made an unsupported claim which implies that they know better than the scientists at Harvard’s School of Public Health in Boston, and better than the many other scientists in the USA and around the world -- all who have come to the same conclusion that ingested fluoride lowers IQ in children.
In fact, not one scientific study anywhere in the world supports a position to the contrary, i.e., that ingested fluoride is safe for human consumption and that it does NOT damage the IQ of children. The only scientific question in this regard, not yet confirmed, is how much is the average IQ loss in children versus the overall dose of systemic fluoride from all sources including fluoridated water.
Most likely, fluoride also negatively affects the memory of adults as well, but the KRA is very careful to distinguish between a proven fact, and yet-to-be-proven theories. More study is urgently needed, but the national political scene is such that any federally funded study that might shed a negative light on water fluoridation is not likely to happen any time soon.
The appearance is that there is so much money to be made selling the fluoride compounds to municipalities, that the profit motive easily trumps the public health and safety aspects of water fluoridation.
That is not how America is supposed to work!
Truth and science should prevail. No one’s agenda should stand in the way of scientific fact! And, no one’s financial gain should come at the cost of the health of others!
But unfortunately, where a lot of money is involved, too many otherwise good people, who should put the health of all citizens as their highest priority, are tempted to turn a blind eye to the facts.
Coincidentally, while working on this story, a resident in Pinellas County Florida called attention to the fact that Pinellas County Commission had recently voted to reinstate a fluoridation program that had been discontinued in 2011. Although made aware of the Harvard School of Public Health meta-analysis and other studies showing a link between fluoride and lowered IQ, the Pinellas County Commission changed their mind, based in part on reassurances to the contrary by local dentists using the false information from a September 12, 2012 Wichita Eagle article, headlined, “Harvard scientists: Data on fluoride, IQ not applicable in U.S.”
That same 2012 Eagle article which had been used by the pro-fluoridation forces in Florida to undermine the Harvard meta-analysis, that is supporting the KRA’s current legislative efforts in Topeka, is apparently the only reason that the Eagle Editorial Board now calls our efforts “bogus”.
But just who, and exactly what, is bogus?
Earlier this month, the senior author of the Harvard study entitled, “Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Dr. Philippe Grandjean, wrote a rather firmly worded rebuttal to that September 2012 Wichita Eagle article which attempted to undermine his study. In it, he corrected the very misconceptions that were the basis of the Sunday editorial, calling HB2372 “bogus”!
Unfortunately when I spoke to Phillip Brownlee and Rhonda Holman of The Wichita Eagle Editorial Board, neither of them were aware of this rebuttal by the Harvard scientist!
So, we have a situation where The Wichita Eagle Editorial Board wrote an editorial based on the false information contained in their own erroneous September 2012 Eagle news article which was written in an attempt to influence the vote on the on the Wichita Water Fluoridation Referendum in 2012, but which has since been firmly refuted by one of the scientists who did the original work!
It should be noted that on January 5, 2013, upon learning of the KRA’s plan to take action on the fluoride topic at the state level, The Kansas City Star also wrote a misleading article which repeated some of the falsehoods contained in the 2012 Wichita Eagle article.
Here is what’s happening: Since there is no scientific evidence whatsoever to refute the Harvard determination that fluoride reduces I.Q. in children, both the erroneous 2012 Wichita Eagle article, and The Kansas City Star article are showing up in Portland, Oregon, because Portland is currently in a similar fluoride battle as was Wichita in the fall of 2012, and the proponents of fluoridation are completely empty-handed and unable to refute the Harvard meta-study, except for the false information in these Kansas newspapers! They have nothing else on their side – no science whatsoever!
In his mannerly but unyielding way, Harvard scientist Dr. Philippe Grandjean scolded both Kansas newspapers, saying:
“However, neither newspaper checked their information with the authors, even though statements were attributed to them.
Here is what the study showed: On average, the children with higher fluoride exposure showed poorer intelligence test performance. The high exposures generally exceeded the concentrations normally occurring in fluoridated drinking water, but only 4 of 27 studies reached an excess of 10-fold, and clear differences were found also at much lower exposures.”
The entire rebuttal by the Harvard Scientist is reprinted at the end of this News Release. It leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind, that what the Harvard School of Public Health said in the first place, in July of 2012 is exactly what the scientific evidence dictates. With the rebuttal in hand, now even a grade-schooler can clearly understand without a doubt that ingested fluoride lowers the IQ of children.
Today, the Pinellas County Commission requested a copy of Dr. Philippe Grandjean’s rebuttal to the false and misleading information given in the 2012 Wichita Eagle article. This new information should make for an interesting Commission meeting because they are scheduled to turn the fluoride tap “ON” on Friday, March 1st. The thought of legal ramifications comes to mind . . . if children in Florida suffer a lowering of IQ based on carelessly-given and dangerously false information from a Kansas newspaper.
In any case, legal concerns aside, it is somewhat embarrassing to be from Wichita and thereby connected to a newspaper whose own political agenda seems to override any concern for accuracy in reporting. This is especially so when the falsehoods printed in that paper are being used from Florida to Oregon, and likely in many places in-between, by the desperate pro-fluoride forces who have no other ammunition against the solid scientific determinations of Boston’s Harvard School of Public Health.
Therefore, since every newspaper reader deserves the whole truth, the KRA requests the following from the Wichita Eagle:
1. A complete retraction of the lie, that HB2372 contains any “bogus” information, and an admission that the only thing bogus was the Sunday Eagle Editorial statements pertaining to fluoride. Since this was printed weeks AFTER the Harvard scientist made his corrections known to the Wichita Eagle, an explanation of how this error happened would be welcome as well. And,
2. From both The Wichita Eagle and The Kansas City Star, a new article written on the topic of fluoride which publishes the entire rebuttal and correction from Dr. Philippe Grandjean, as shown here:
Fluoridated water and brains
by: Philippe Grandjean
11 February 2013. When an article on fluoride neurotoxicity was published in the summer of 2012, it went virtually unnoticed beyond the research community, at first. The article summarized 27 studies, mainly from China, on IQ in relation to fluoride concentrations in drinking water.
But in the fall, fluoridation of drinking water was on the agenda in the two largest cities that are not fluoridated – Wichita, Kansas and Portland, Oregon.
With Election Day approaching, a Kansas newspaper reported on the controversy regarding alleged fluoride benefits and risks: “Harvard University scientists say that Wichita voters shouldn’t depend on a research study they compiled to decide whether to put fluoride in the city’s drinking water to fight tooth decay. While the studies the Harvard team reviewed did indicate that very high levels of fluoride could be linked to lower IQs among schoolchildren, the data is not particularly applicable here because it came from foreign sources where fluoride levels are multiple times higher than they are in America tap water.”
The article did not explain why studies from another country would not be relevant, and why effects observed at increased exposures could be disregarded.
Another Kansas newspaper stated: “But the study’s authors acknowledged that their report – actually a study of other studies – showed slightly lower IQ levels in kids who drank water with fluoride levels 10 times what is found in U.S. water supplies.”
However, neither newspaper checked their information with the authors, even though statements were attributed to them.
Here is what the study showed: On average, the children with higher fluoride exposure showed poorer intelligence test performance. The high exposures generally exceeded the concentrations normally occurring in fluoridated drinking water, but only 4 of 27 studies reached an excess of 10-fold, and clear differences were found also at much lower exposures.
Addition of fluoride to drinking water has been controversial since the very beginning in the 1940s. As noted in a National Research Council report, neither benefits nor risks have been thoroughly documented. Current dietary intakes of fluoride and dental hygiene practices differ from the circumstances first studied in the mid-20th century. By now, less than 6% of the world population receive what some dentists call “optimal” fluoride concentrations in drinking water, and safety concernscontinue to linger.
At the same time, many millions of people receive drinking water with fluoride concentrations that are clearly toxic. Benefits and risks, and their dependence on dose and individual susceptibility, need to be carefully evaluated, also in regard to alternative interventions, when relevant.
Chemical brain drain should not be disregarded. The average IQ deficit in children exposed to increased levels of fluoride in drinking water was found to correspond to about 7 points – a sizable difference. To which extent this risk applies to fluoridation in Wichita or Portland or elsewhere is uncertain, but definitely deserves concern.
2013-Feb-25: EPA Scientists Oppose Water Fluoridation
2013-Feb-11: Chemical Brain Drain
2013-Jan-28: Huffington Post - FLUORIDE LOWERS IQ
2012-Aug-20: Fluoride Makes You Stupid
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