March 1, 2015

Understanding the “Experts”

I will say this now – I never want to be classified as an “expert.” I see “experts” making irrational statements, promoting statements either based on lack of evidence, or constantly denying studies that refute their beliefs or would jeopardize their status and from whom they receive monetary incentives (conflicts of interest). I would much prefer being an ordinary citizen that can see the lies and conflicts of interest and be able to write about these harms that the “experts” advocate.

An example of this happening is this British study. The study has found a correlation between the amount of fluoride in public drinking water and a rise in incidence of hypothyroidism. The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The researchers found that in locales where tap water fluoride levels exceeded 0.3 mg/L, the risk for having an under active thyroid rose by 30%. The research team also found that hypothyroidism rates were nearly double in urbanized regions that had fluoridated tap water, compared with regions that did not. The key here is a correlation and this does not mean a cause.

However, a representative of the American Dental Association (ADA) took issue with the British report. "Public health policy is built on a strong base of scientific evidence, not a single study," Edmond Hewlett, DDS, ADA representative and a professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry, told HealthDay. "Currently, the best available scientific evidence indicates that optimally fluoridated water does not have an adverse effect on the thyroid gland or its function."

Yes, I agree that the ADA has strong evidence because Big Chemical paid for most dental studies about fluoride and when I have asked dentists about the health side effects of using fluoride in the past, I was always told that there are many studies showing the healthful benefits of using fluoride and having fluoride in the city water supply. When I have asked for copies of these studies, I was just told that the studies were not for the public, but they did exist. In the recent past, several cities have debated eliminating fluoride from the water supply. This brought out the dental profession in full force to argue against this happening.

Conflict of interest keeps rearing its ugly head without me having to look for it lately. I guess having been a bean counter and technical writer makes me more aware of information that appears on the surface as being correct, but on further investigation, the conflict of interest is exposed. This is often not the most comforting and too often, I choose not to write about a topic as a result.

The above statement by Edmond Hewlett, DDS, ADA representative when he said, "Public health policy is built on a strong base of scientific evidence, not a single study," really bothers me and points out how poor scientific evidence can be. If the USDA and its Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) used strong scientific evidence for the food guidelines, maybe we would not have the obesity epidemic we have today. This is the reason for the Healthy Nation Coalition which is calling on the DGAC to pay attention to scientific evidence which at present still is very conflicting because Big Food still calls the tune.

What this means is that research needs to be done without the influence of Big Food and their minions. Pure independent research is the answer.

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