Ken Perrott

Dr Ken Perrott trained as a chemist and his research background is in surface chemistry, soil science and fertiliser chemistry. After working in the DSIR (Chemistry Division and Soil Bureau), MAF, MAFTech and AgResearch he is now retired. Ken enjoys discussion of the wider social and philosophical issue surrounding science. Unfortunately these issues are often misrepresented in our society and he believe scientists have a responsibility to counter unscientific thinking and movements. This is one of the reasons Ken got into blogging, starting up Open Parachute in the middle of 2007.

Blatant misreporting of latest OPCW report on chemical weapons in Syria - Open Parachute

Jul 10, 2018

BBC caught out promoting fake news about OPCW report The Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reports no evidence of banned chemical weapons use by the Syrian government in Douma last April. This conflicts with the strong claims of NATO states and most of the mainstream media at the time. It also shows that the illegal missile attacks by France, UK and USA (FUKUS) on Syria at the time (see The “heart of the Syrian chemical weapons programme” destroyed?) were completely unjustified. While the NATO governments involved have yet to respond to the OPCW report (let alone make apologies for their actions) many mainstream media outlets seem determined to continue promoting fake news when it comes to Syria. Some major news outlets have completely misrepresented the OPCW findings. OPCW has problems but got this one right I … Read More

June ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking - Open Parachute

Jul 01, 2018

I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or the numbers seem very low please check this out. After correcting send me the URL for your site meter and I can correct the information in the database. Similarly, if your blog data in this list seems out of whack, please check your site meter. Usually, the problem is that for some reason your site meter is no longer working. Sitemeter is no longer working so the total number of NZ blogs in this list has been drastically reduced. I recommend anyone with Sitemeter consider transferring to one of the other meters. See  NZ Blog Rankings FAQ. This list is compiled automatically from … Read More

Anti-fluoride campaigners exhaust their legal channels with another loss - Open Parachute

Jun 28, 2018

The NZ Supreme Court has delivered its judgments and local anti-fluoride campaigners (and their big business supporters) seem to have come to the end of the line with their legal actions to prevent community water fluoridation (see Supreme Court rules against Taranaki anti-fluoride campaigners and Supreme Court rules South Taranaki fluoridation allowed). Specifically, the Supreme Court delivered two judgments rejecting three appeals by NZ Health Inc. These appeals arose from High Court rejection of challenges by New Health NZ to prevent South Taranaki District Council from fluoridating drinking water in Patea and Waverly. While dealing with local situations these legal actions, ongoing since the end of 2012, inhibited other councils throughout New Zealand from making fluoridation decisions for fear of the cost involved in possible legal defences. In effect, the Supreme Court judgements free up other councils to go ahead with … Read More

May ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking - Open Parachute

Jun 01, 2018

I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing please check this out. Send me the URL for your site meter and I can correct the information in the database. Similarly, if your blog data in this list seems out of whack, please check your site meter. Usually, the problem is that for some reason your site meter is no longer working. Sitemeter is no longer working so the total number of NZ blogs in this list has been drastically reduced. I recommend anyone with Sitemeter consider transferring to one of the other meters. See  NZ Blog Rankings FAQ. This list is composed automatically from the data in the various site meters used. Read More

Anti-fluoridation activists buy scientific credibility using a predatory publisher - Open Parachute

May 30, 2018

A group of well-known anti-fluoride activists have just published some new research. Well, this is what their social media publicity will tell us. In fact, this is not new research. It is simply the republication of a shonky paper from two years ago as a  chapter in a book produced by a predatory open access publisher. It is a clear example of anti-fluoride activists attempting to buy scientific credibility. This book chapter cost them GBP £1400! The “new” paper, or book chapter, anti-fluoride people will be promoting is this: Hirzy, J. W., Connett, P., Xiang, Q., Spittle, B., & Kennedy, D. (2018). Developmental Neurotoxicity of Fluoride: A Quantitative Risk Analysis Toward Establishing a Safe Dose for Children. In J. E. McDuffie (Ed.), Neurotoxins (pp. 115–131). Rijeka: InTech. In fact, this is simply a slight rehash of the paper published 2 … Read More

Not just another rat study - Open Parachute

May 09, 2018

A new high-quality study of the effect of fluoride on the memory and learning behaviour of rats has produced definitive results. Anti-fluoride campaigners had great hopes this study would bring an end to community water fluoridation (CWF) – but their hopes have been dashed. The study showed no effect of fluoride on the memory, learning and motor skills of rats thus reinforcing the consensus that CWF is safe. Animal experiments are commonly used to investigate possible health effects of chemicals like fluoride. This enables strict research protocols without the ethical problems faced by human studies. Consequently, there have been a large number of investigations of the effect of fluoride on animals. Some of these have suggested harmful effects. The US anti-fluoride activist organisation, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) lists 45 studies “where mice or rats treated with fluoride were found to suffer impairments in their learning and/or memory … Read More

April ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking - Open Parachute

May 01, 2018

I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing please check this out. Send me the URL for your site meter and I can correct the information in the database. Similarly, if your blog data in this list seems out of whack, please check your site meter. Usually, the problem is that for some reason your site meter is no longer working. Sitemeter is no longer working so the total number of NZ blogs in this list has been drastically reduced. I recommend anyone with Sitemeter consider transferring to one of the other meters. See  NZ Blog Rankings FAQ. This list is composed automatically from the data in the various site meters used. Read More

Mainstream media-political alliance gets vindictive - Open Parachute

Apr 24, 2018

Hala Jaber, highly Respected Middle East correspondent and author of  The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles: A Woman’s Fight to Save Two Orphans.” Image Credit: Goodreads. Several things have come together in the last few months – centred around news about the war in Syria, chemical weapons, the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury and the ongoing geopolitical information war: Government propaganda and claims have become more aggressive – particularly from the UK and USA; Syria and chemical weapons have become central to the Russophobic arguments of these governments; The mainstream media has enthusiastically and unquestioningly promoted these claims; Alternative media, journalists and critics of this propaganda and government policies are being singled out for personal attack, and Readers and viewers are aggressively being directed away from alternative news sources. OK,  readers here will have picked up … Read More

Anti-fluoridationist Paul Connett misrepresents NZ data - Open Parachute

Apr 12, 2018

Here is another post in my series critiquing a PowerPoint presentation of Paul Connett – a leading US anti-fluoridation activist. Slide 110 from Paul Connett’s presentation prepared for his planned meeting at Parliament Buildings last February. Paul prepared this for a meeting in New Zealand Parliament buildings last February. Although only three MPs turned up his presentation is important as it summarises almost all the arguments used by anti-fluoridation activists. Connett claims NZ data shows fluoridation ineffective Connett argues the evidence community water fluoridation (CWF) is effective in reducing tooth decay is weak. He covers this in slides 96-110 but in this post I will deal only with the New Zealand evidence he uses (slides 108-110).  Paul’s presentation can be downloaded for those wishing to look at it in detail – see Prof Paul Connett Power Point Presentation to Parliament 22nd Feb 2018. The … Read More

Anti-fluoridationists rejection of IQ studies in fluoridated area. - Open Parachute

Apr 04, 2018

US anti-fluoride activist Paul Connett claims studies cannot detect an IQ effect from fluoridated water because total fluoride intake is the real problem – but still campaigns against community water fluoridation. Image credit: MSoF “Activist Spouts Nonsense – The Evidence Supports Fluoridation” This is another article in my critique of the presentation Paul Connett prepared to present to a meeting at Parliament in February. I deal with his coverage of the studies of IQ effects where community water fluoridation (CWF) is used. There are now actually three such studies (Broadbent et al. 2015, Barberio et al. 2017  and  Aggeborn & Öhman 2016), but Connett pretends there is only one – the Broadbent et al. (2015) New Zealand study. Maybe because it was the first one to provide evidence challenging his extrapolation of the fluoride/IQ studies (see The 52 … Read More