Posts Tagged “appeal to debate”

'PARANOIA ... because we all know that the flying monkeys are coming to get us' / Funny Demotivational PostersWater supplies in the US have been fluoridated for decades. It’s a great way to fight tooth decay. It also happens to be safe and effective, and this has been demonstrated repeatedly since the practice began. The science is in; the matter is settled; and it has been settled for years.

But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been wingnuts, cranks, lunatics and freaks wailing and fuming over it. “It’s a Commie plot!” was a common battle-cry against it, in the 50s, and the Communist conspiracy angle remained a popular facet of the anti-fluoridation movement.

The Cold War has been over for more than two decades, but that doesn’t mean opposition to fluoridation went away. No, it took on other angles. For example, some think it’s a Big Pharma conspiracy to stuff corporate coffers with ill-gotten booty at the expense of public health. That anti-fluoridators make their own profits being anti-fluoridators — selling books, hosting seminars, raking in speakers’ fees — doesn’t seem to matter much to their fans. They refuse to see the contradiction and will not admit their heroes are hypocrites.

Here in Connecticut, it seems anti-fluoridators have found a fan in Republican state Senator Joe Markley. The Hartford Courant reports he recently hosted a fake hearing in the state capitol to roll back a law mandating fluoridation in the Nutmeg State (WebCite cached article):

Saying the practice takes away the right of consumers to make medical choices and possibly inflicts serious harm on children, opponents of adding fluoride to public water argued Wednesday that a glass of water should contain water — and nothing else.

At an informal hearing at the state Capitol called by state Sen. Joe Markley, chemist Paul Connett called on state lawmakers to abolish the state’s flouridation law and forbid communities from putting additives in water supplies to improve public health.

“We should never use the public water supply to deliver medicine,” said Connett, a retired Dartmouth professor and leading fluoridation critic. “No doctor could do to us what the state of Connecticut is doing.”

I have to wonder if Connett is a member of the John Birch Society, since one of the pretenses upon which they opposed fluoridation was that it was an impermissible, involuntary, mass medical treatment.

At any rate, the Courant lays out the background behind Connecticut’s fluoridation mandate, and adds:

But Markley, a Republican from Southington, put forth legislation this year to abolish Connecticut’s policy, saying that it unfairly adds an extra expense to cash-strapped town budgets. The bill failed, but Markley said he’ll bring it back next year. On Wednesday, he said he wanted both sides of the fluoridation debate to make their case.

“As a principle, politically, I try to listen to everybody as much as possible,” Markley said. “I like to hear people who know what they’re talking about differ on a topic.”

Note Markley’s brazen appeal to the false debate (aka “teach the controversy”). What the senator doesn’t know — or perhaps he does know, and he’s just lying about it — is that there is no longer any “debate” about the safety or effectiveness of fluoridation. It is safe, and it is effective. Period. Markley’s suggestion that there is any remaining question about it, is disingenuous.

That article makes a point of mentioning that dentists had been invited, but did not come:

Connecticut State Dental Association President Mark Desrosiers said in an interview that his group had accepted an invitation from Markley. But they backed out when they heard Connett would be there.

The reason why dentists wouldn’t bother coming to Markley’s fake hearing starring Connett should be obvious. It’s the same reason that geophysicists don’t show up to meetings of the Flat Earth Society: There’s no point in going! They wouldn’t be welcome, their input isn’t wanted, and there’s nothing they could say that would have the slightest effect on any of the anti-fluoridators there.

Photo credit: Funny Demotivational Posters (defunct).

P.S. Watch the credentials here. Connett is a scientist, yes … but he’s a chemist, not a physician or dentist. Woops!

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