This letter is in response to Dr. Johnny Johnson’s, “Community will hold commissioners accountable for fluoride rejection”. I have no doubt that Dr. Johnson, a pediatric dentist, provides excellent dental care to his young patients and is passionate about fluoridation as it relates to cavity prevention and overall tooth health. I assume the ultimate purpose of Dr. Johnson’s letter is to educate the readers as to why the commissioners need to reverse their position in rejecting fluoridation of our water supply.
Yet there was not one verifiable fact in his opinion piece. Instead, Dr. Johnson relied on fallacious arguments to convince the reader. First, he opened with comments about “the impressionable students” learning they were not valued by certain segments of society. Second, he decried “good ole boy” politics. His personal attacks on the commissioners portrayed them as ruthless individuals with no regard for poor families. His comments progressed from their (commissioners) “total lack of compassion for the families who live in poverty and have no dental care whatsoever” to “These families depend upon whatever help that they can get to make it through a single day with a meal to eat and a roof over their head..”
In the following paragraph, he applies his “meal-to-eat and roof-over-their-head” argument to a totally unrelated topic – the fire tax increase – to further vilify the commissioners. Next he piously calls down the very wrath of God upon the unrepentant heads of the commissioners when he states: “God has a special conversation waiting for these four one day, and I hope to be close enough to witness it.” In his closing sentence he again pronounces eternal judgment admonishing the commissioners that God will hold them accountable.
Dr. Johnson relies on sarcasm, exaggeration, ad hominem attacks, and builds to a drum roll climax any short-story author would admire by playing on the readers’ emotional heart strings to evoke pity for the “unfluoridated” poor. But nary a fact about fluoridation. His statement, “.every major scientific group in the world supports water fluoridation as safe and effective” implies the science is settled. The science is not settled.
I refer Dr. Johnson to the March 2014 Journal Lancet Neurology article entitled, “Neurobehavioral effects of developmental toxicity”. It discusses the vulnerability of the developing brain (in utero through early childhood) to industrial chemicals and describes a “global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity” which presents in neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, dyslexia, and ADHD.
This timely article updates the scientific research and specifically labels fluoride a neurotoxin: “Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants – manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifox .”
The article directly cites from a paper on developmental fluoride neurotoxicity published in Environmental Health Perspective, 2012: “A meta-analysis of 27 cross-sectional studies of children exposed to fluoride in drinking water, mainly from China, suggests an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations.”
Fluoride is a neurotoxin – not healthcare for the poor.
Pamela Johnson is a Spring Hill resident who is retired from the U.S. Marshals Service