Monday, June 25, 2012

Fuck off Flouride

Poison is Treatment: The Campaign to Fluoridate America

by Prof. James F. Tracy

The wide scale US acceptance of fluoride-related compounds in drinking water and a wide variety of consumer products over the past half century is a textbook case of social engineering orchestrated by Sigmund Freud's nephew and the “father of public relations” Edward L. Bernays. The episode is instructive, for it suggests the tremendous capacity of powerful interests to reshape the social environment, thereby prompting individuals to unwarily think and act in ways that are often harmful to themselves and their loved ones. The example is especially pertinent today as Western governments withhold data and utilize propaganda techniques to suppress knowledge of new technologies and life-threatening disasters such as the still-unfolding nuclear breakdown in Fukushima.
Today the battle over water fluoridation remains obscured in caricature and falsification often perpetuated by the mainstream press itself. The potential for popular myth to eclipse historical fact is greatly accelerated when the political and informational pillars of civilization actively support such distortions. For example, a recent New York Times editorial points to “that cold war paranoia about fluoridation in drinking water [sic].” Citing the Center for Disease Control’s claim that fluoridation is one of the top accomplishments in public health over the past century, the Times evokes fluoride’s difficult struggle with purportedly uninformed segments of the public. “Critics no longer contend that fluoridation is a Communist plot. Instead, they express concerns about the costs involved, improper government control over a personal decision, and potential health dangers.”[1]
The refrain is familiar throughout a corporate-controlled media that unquestioningly amplifies the pronouncements of government agencies concerning fluoride's alleged safety and value for dental health. Having been seemingly vetted and upheld by the newspaper of record and its counterparts, such sweeping declarations are seldom interrogated further by readers, much less the broader public.
In fact, sodium fluoride is a dangerous poison and has been a primary active ingredient in a wide variety of insecticides and fungicides.[2] The substance bioaccumulates in mammals, has been linked to dulled intellect in children [3] and is a cause of increased bone fractures and osteosarcoma. Further, recent studies indicate that fluoride's role in preventing cavities through ingestion [4] or even topically [5] is close to non-existent.
Metal Industry's Pollution Liability
Historical evidence indicates how the many concerns over water fluoridation were wholly warranted. Indeed, fluoridating the nation’s water supply one locality at a time appears to have been a carefully coordinated plan that sought to shield major aluminum and steel producers from the countless liabilities caused by the substantial fluorine pollution their plants generated. This pollution increased alongside stepped-up military aircraft and armaments manufacture during World War Two. The steel factories in California and Utah, and aluminum producing plants in Washington and Oregon, generated fluorine-saturated air that inevitably poisoned livestock, crops, and farming families.
In the postwar era $30 million in damage suits were filed in Provo, Utah alone, with metal manufacturers paying $4.5 million to settle out of court. Thus American industrial interests were the chief forces behind water fluoridation, not because of greed or altruism, but rather through fear of continued and potentially increased pollution liability as the Second World War drew to a close and the Cold War began. This was the conclusion of Dr. F. B. Exner, a steadfast public health advocate and opponent of water fluoridation, who observed that at the turn of the century
“the very existence of the smelter industry, both in Germany and Great Britain, was threatened by successful suits for fluorine damage and by burdensome laws and regulations. Today that same threat hangs over the bulk of American big-industry; and fluoridation offers both camouflage and scapegoat. Hence the relentless and uncompromising drive for universal fluoridation.”[6]
In a discerning 1955 essay Exner points to the unusual absence of research on fluorine in US medical literature beginning in the late 1930s, whereas “the foreign medical literature has contained hundreds of articles on a wide variety of troubles that can be caused by fluorine. The same was true of the veterinary literature in this country. “
Exner further points to the apparent strategy behind fluoridation—one that may be occurring along similar lines in the Japanese government’s efforts to distribute and incinerate radioactive waste from the March 2011 nuclear disaster throughout the archipelago.[7] “There has been constant danger," Dr. Exner observed, "that someone would analyze tissues in both high and low fluoride areas and find that fluorine poisoning is common [in those residing in high areas]. But if every community can be fluoridated there will be no fluorine-free areas for comparison.”[8]
The PR Campaign to Sell Fluoridation
In the 1930s Edward Bernays was public relations adviser to the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). Alcoa’s principal attorney, Oscar Ewing, went on to serve in the Truman administration from 1947 to 1952 as head of the Federal Security Agency, of which the Public Health Service was a part. In that capacity Ewing authorized water fluoridation for the entire country in 1950 and enlisted Bernays’ services to promote water fluoridation to the public.[9]
Still, the campaign to fluoridate the nation’s water supplies took place mainly in individual cities and townships, necessitating a sophisticated propaganda campaign to persuade local officials to proactively support fluoridation. Bernays recognized New York City as the foremost battleground and a particularly valuable tactical prize given the prevalence of liberal media outlets. Once the New York press was abuzz about the city’s prospective fluoridation other municipalities would be more easily persuaded to form ranks.[10]
Bernays recalled the fluoridation campaign in which he was involved as merely another assignment. “The PR wizard specialized in promoting new ideas and products to the public by stressing a claimed health benefit,” explains journalist Christopher Bryson, who interviewed Bernays on the fluoride campaign in 1993.
“’You can get practically any ideas accepted,’ Bernays told me, chuckling. “If doctors are in favor, the public is willing to accept it, because a doctor is an authority to most people, regardless of how much he knows, or doesn’t know … By the law of averages, you can usually find an individual in any field who will be willing to accept new ideas, and the new ideas then infiltrate the others who haven’t accepted it.’”[11]
Yet in the early 1950s, just as Bernays’ was brought on board, public sentiment toward fluoridation was clearly on the side of the anti-fluoridationist camp that included leading doctors and researchers. Arrayed against those opposing fluoridation were the New York City Health Department Commissioner, New York State’s Health Commissioner, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Public Health Service. “All of this intrigues me to no end,” Bernays elatedly remarked to the City Health Commissioner, “because it presents challenging situations deeply related to the public’s interest which may be solved by the engineering of consent.”   read on...

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