Many of us are celebrating the fact “science-based” is no longer a banned phrase in our new national administration. Not surprisingly, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, has an impressive background in her science-based profession. She served previously as the chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and as professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. We trust she shares the pro-science values of the president and others in the administration and hope she will allow science to speak clearly without fear or favor in directing the CDC.

As a start, the administration’s pandemic response gives every indication of a science-based effort, as does its emphasis on the threats of climate change. However, the CDC, in particular, must do more than place science at the front of the highly visible COVID-19 assault. If it wants the public to understand science as more than a convenient political ally, it must move on a broader front.

I say that as someone whose faith in our system has declined appreciably while studying the science and history of community water fluoridation. In short, the 70-plus-years chronicle of this practice has convinced me inertia, commercial interests and apparent fear of admitting error can stifle the clear warning signs of science.

The CDC is at the forefront in the ongoing promotion of the misguided “public-health measure” known as fluoridation. Particularly egregious is the CDC’s thinly supported declaration that fluoridation is one of the “10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” Though demonstrably untrue, it stands like a commandment engraved in stone, blocking any re-evaluation of the practice.

My hope is, led by the CDC, the country will not only prevail against COVID-19 but will show the fortitude to face other health issues, like fluoride neurotoxicity, that vested interests prefer to ignore.

Jack Crowther lives in Rutland.

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(5) comments


Jack Crowther – There is absolutely no legitimate scientific evidence that fluoridation is a “misguided ‘public health measure’”’.

What exactly is your scientific training that would enable you to exhaustively study over 75 years of scientific evidence and come to a conclusion that is completely opposite that of the scientific consensus that Community Water Fluoridation (CWF) is a safe and effectiveness public health measure to reduce dental decay and related health problems? It is the responsibility of the CDC to follow the science – not unsupported outlier opinions.

Fact: The overwhelming majority of relevant experts continue to support CWF. The safety and effectiveness of CWF is recognized by the World Health Organization and major and respected science and health organizations worldwide, including in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Health agencies of all 50 states in the U.S. a number of health insurance companies and the States/Provinces in Australia and Canada also support CWF. Here is a list of over 100 supporters of fluoridation.

Fact: In stark contrast to the widespread support for CWF by respected science and health organizations worldwide –– and the hundreds of thousands of scientists and health professionals they represent –– I am aware of no major, recognized science or health organizations that have publicly stated CWF is harmful or ineffective, and there are relatively few scientists and/or health care providers that support the anti-fluoridation opinions.

Fluoridation opponents have no rational explanation for those facts!

Bottom Line: Trust The Experts!


First, readers are advised to read the disclaimer at the website, and note the founder/author of that site appears to be the RRJohnson who submitted the comment above, and that the site was last updated in 2015, long before the most recent and rigorous, high quality scientific studies and expert testimony were presented in a lawsuit in federal district court last summer, now awaiting final ruling on a petition to ban the addition of fluoridation chemicals to public water supplies. Second, I have also read, for example, that only four out of 48 European countries fluoridate; none of the largest Asian nations fluoridate; out of 54 countries in Africa, only one fluoridates; and out of 196 nations worldwide, only 24 have any fluoridation. So RRJohnson has misrepresented the truth when claiming overwhelming worldwide support for CWF. Is that a violation of this site's rules for discussion? Science is never static, and to claim that the science of fluoridation is settled is naïve. What is now needed in light of the more recent and ongoing, high quality, scientific studies is a formal and proper Risk Assessment to determine the lowest concentration that is safe for consumption by the more vulnerable populations, e.g., diabetics and many others who drink much more water than most, kidney patients, infants and young children who drink proportionately more water per body weight than the standard of adults drinking 2 liters a day. Current science should prevail, not 75 years of merely what are only endorsements. A few years ago I challenged an American Fluoridation Society member (AFS seems to have only 5 or 6 members) to present any studies that controlled for relevant confounders. He shot back a list of studies, but when I perused the first study on the list, I found nowhere did it control for those important and highly relevant confounders. When I brought that to the AFS member's attention, he never replied and his commenting went silent.

The federal lawsuit will hopefully conclude in the next few months, and the judge's final ruling will be very important, after the weight of evidence presented was very compelling, needless to say, against CWF.


All of the above being considered, the most responsible course of action would be a moratorium on fluoridation until a Risk Assessment can resolve the controversy. Both sides should welcome that action in the name of intellectual honesty, as it would give CWF promoters an opportunity on a level playing field to prove CWF’s safety and effectiveness, if those attributes truly exist. For the sake of their own integrity, promoters like RRJohnson should welcome that opportunity; to be sure, lack of fluoridated water can cause no harm.


Fluoridation opponents have had over 75 years to provide evidence that fluoridation is a risk to health that would trump the well-established benefits of reducing the risk of dental decay. They have been completely unsuccessful at changing the scientific consensus. That is why they have abandoned working within the scientific community and taken their arguments to courts and members of the public - most of whom do not have the training and experience to personally understand and evaluate 75 years of studies.


JMueilier - You are a perfect example of the misrepresentation of facts by anti-science activists. The website that lists over 100 science and health organization worldwide was updated earlier this year, 1/26/2021.

Whether or not countries fluoridate their water or not is generally based on politics or situations that make fluoridation unfeasible. The scientific consensus worldwide - as evidenced by the 100+ organizations listed that support fluoridation. As noted in my other reference, there are no reputable science/health organizations in the world I am aware of that support the anti-F opinions.

Fluoridation opponents have no explanation for those facts.

It is true that "science is never static" - that is exactly how science progresses. It is also true that there is no legitimate scientific evidence evidence after 75+ years that proves (or even suggests) fluoridation is harmful or ineffective. That is why there are no respected science/health organizations in the world that support the anti-F opinions.

The "federal lawsuit" initiated by FAN and other anti-F activists, is not anything that will change the scientific scientific consensus - regardless of how it is resolved. It only represents the effectiveness of those presenting evidence to a non-scientist.

The NTP Monograph which is evaluating the studies you seem to believe support your position has concluded, "findings from studies with exposures in ranges typically found in drinking water in the United States (0.7 mg/L for optimally fluoridated community water systems) that can be evaluated for dose response, effects on cognitive neurodevelopment are inconsistent, and therefore unclear.”

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