The internet is infamous for spreading misconceptions, myths and blatant lies in between some truth. As explained by Mitchell Kapor “getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” So I set my sights on a “social-awareness” campaign in my neighbourhood “Barwon Freedom from Fluoridation” (BAFF)
Straight up I would like to say, the site uses confusing signifiers to indicate which side they are on, the acronym doesn’t even make sense and from a communication’s perspective – it’s pretty low even on the fringe nutty scale.
To the untrained eye the issue appears to be asbestos and cigarettes all over again, and that’s what proponents want you to think. In general, if “scientific amateurs” claim that governments, scientists, health organisations such as the AMA, ADA, WHO and independent industry bodies are all wrong the red flag should go up! As in most scientific debates it is difficult for anyone in the general public to make an informed decision but instead do some research and look at what has been proven.
These sites link to each other in circles, echo each other and make the same outlandish claims with no proof at all. And when they claim to have proof it’s usually a “private email” or a misquoted statement from a long winded report.
The Baff website throws out so many fallacies of logic that make it hard to combat. For instance the argument from authority “1700 Professionals call for an end to water fluoridation.” Despite the fact that this list calls for any professional to sign it also includes chiropractics, acupuncturists and PhD’s. How are these people expected to be more educated then trained professionals who have actually conducted rigorous studies on the topic?
The site also echoes some pretty typical claims that have no scientific evidence to support them;
Fluoride causes cancer
Fluoride causes allergies
Fluoride causes arthritis
Water fluoridation is banned in Europe
Fluoride causes bone fractures
Water fluoridation is bad for babies
These myth’s have been floating around for decades and have also incorporated the spread of aids, autism and probably any other illness with an unidentified cause. The people that initiate these scams are doing just that - trying to scam people. The cause takes on a cult like following (without any evidence) once it takes a place in culture with many having the best intentions. The proof lies in this page from the Flouride Action Network– the old “donate now or buy my book to stop this undemocratic practice”
While I haven’t provided many sources, and I am not a scientist, I invite you all to do as I did and check out the following sites, visit your local university library and do a literary search or ask your own dentist what the facts are! Then if you haven’t made your mind up, have another look at this website and see how many of the claims still have any validity.