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August 8, 2013 Archives

This week's Hamilton Press (a local free newspaper) has a lot of fluoride-focused letters in its opinion pages. After reading them I must ask, again, why those opposed to fluoride need to misrepresent the evidence if their case is so strong.

For example, we're told about Amsterdam GP Dr Hans Moolenburgh, who apparently noticed those children in his practice who were drinking fluoridated water were developing colic. (Ulcers & eczema were also attributed to this ion.) Incidentally much of the letter's content seems to be cribbed from on-line sources such as this.

"These sudden pains only took place in fluoridated Heemstede, and the cure was easy: Non-fluoridated water."

Now - aside from the issues of why fluoride, in the very low concentrations added to drinking water, would cause colic, and how likely it is that we're seeing confirmation bias - this 'cure' would seem quite significant. So, where are the publications relating to it, that would draw the attention of the medical world? Yes, I know he's written a book. But a search of pubmed and the NIH database (using the terms moolenburgh+holland+fluoride+colic) drew a blank. Searches using scirus.com & google Scholar brought up a paper citing Moolenburgh, but no actual peer-reviewed publications. (Incidentally that paper is in the publication Fluoride, which does not appear to be an independent journal.)

This is really odd, because the letter writer goes on to say that Dr Moolenburgh got together a research team that 

eventually conducted a double-blind experiment, the results of which clearly established there was a definite relationship between the symptoms and fluoride in water. Following publication of their research results, water fluoridation in Holland was discontinued in 1976.

I would really quite like to read this research paper, except so far I've not been able to find anything that matches what our writer describes. Just what was their double-blind set-up, and their intervention? For it to be a double-blind study then none of the researchers should know where their patients came from, for example.

Also, while it is correct that the Netherlands no longer fluoridate their municipal water supplies, fluoridated salt is available. Indeed, as the paper I've just linked to points out, if a country's major discounters sell only fluoridated salt, then that's what everybody gets.

I'll get onto the next letter later. 

 

 

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