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an anti-fluoride view: democracy is ok as long as it delivers what we want

At least, that's how it sounds in this Waikato Times report on the first day of presentations relating to submissions on Hamilton City Council's draft annual plan. One of those submitting was quoted as saying 

The democratic argument is flawed in this instance. Sometimes democracy is not enough, we need wise leadership.

Democracy is a dangerous game when the community is so uninformed.

There is, of course, an alternative possibility: that those who voteda for the resumption of community water fluoridation (CWF) in Hamilton are actually well-informed, and rejected the misinformationb put out there by many of those opposed to fluoridation.  

 

2/3 of those who voted, and given the sample size, this is a good representation of the population as a whole.

b Something that I see is continuing apace, in the wake of this research paperc that clearly demonstrates no negative impact from CWF on children's IQs. For example, Fluoride Free NZ's Mary Byrne has claimed that the study lacks 'integrity' as she believed that 

...they have included children taking fluoride tablets in the already much smaller sample of children drinking unfluoridated water. Children taking fluoride tablets would have a similar dose of fluoride than the children drinking fluoridated water.

However, the lead author has said that the research included a control for the use of fluoride tablets. 

What's more, 

Ms Byrne said Dr Broadbent's public advocacy of fluoride's oral health benefits meant the findings carried less weight.

Is she suggesting (in a comment that sails pretty close to the wind) that not only was Dr Broadbent likely to be biased in his approach, but also that this applied to all other researchers and to the reviewers of this paper?

cThere's an interesting commentary here on Ars Technica, and another review by Steven Novella on the NeuroLogica blog.

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1 Comments

Democracy is a dangerous game when the community is so uninformed.

Indeed! Next thing you know, you go off on a $3 Trillion War!
~

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