Why do anti-fluoride candidates standing for District Health Boards (DHBs) shy away from proper discussion of community water fluoridation? After all, they have usually raised the issue themselves – and often claim that those supporting community water fluoridation avoid the discussion.
In my article Fluoridation & democracy: Open letter to DHB candidate Andrew Buckley I raised this with Andrew Buckley who is standing for the Waikato DHB. Despite writing an article on the issue on his webpage he refused to allow any proper discussion of the issue there. He allowed slavishly anti-fluoride comments but nothing from anyone who specifically disagreed with his (often incorrect) claims. My open letter to him was an attempt to get that discussion going. I even offered him the right of reply and space here – but he refused. He effectively ran away from an issue he had raised himself.
Now this is also happening with Stan Litras, a candidate for Capital and Coast DHB. Stan is a well-known anti-fluoride campaigner – often producing anti-fluoride press releases from his astroturf one-man group “Fluoride Information Network for Dentists” (FIND). He is clearly standing on an anti-fluoride ticket and the discussion on his campaign Facebook page makes that clear.
Notice specifically his claim of knowing the subject and claiming he can “defend” his “opinion.” Also, notice his claim that supporters of community water fluoridation (CWF) “cannot defend their views in an open discussion with any reliable evidence.”
That is completely misleading. I have often critiqued his claims and have particularly taken issue with his misrepresentation and distortion of the science. I have always offered him a right of reply and he has always rejected it. If he can “defend” his “opinion” why does he run away from such discussions?
This post of his is typical of the way he distorts the science:
Preventing discussion and banning critics
Far from welcoming discussion of their claims these candidates actually do everything to prevent proper discussion. Andrew Buckley banned any comments from me (and presumably anyone else critical of his claims) on his page. And now Stan Litras has done the same. He removed some comments taking issue with his claims (one of them was mine) and has presumably banned the commenters. He has certainly banned me from further comments.
This is how he justifies his actions.
So he is backing away from claims that are still on his page and labelling anyone critical of his misinformation as a “pro-fluoride zealot!”
And isn’t it hypocritical for him to label others as “pseudoscientific” and blame them for the fact that he is standing specifically as an anti-fluoride candidate?
Oh, here are some of my articles on Stan’s misrepresentations and distortions – and I have always offered him the right of reply to these:
Anti-fluoridation campaigner, Stan Litras, misrepresents WHO
Cherry-picking and misinformation in Stan Litras’s anti-fluoride article
Anti-fluoride campaigners cherry-pick irrelevant overseas research but can’t find relevant New Zealand research
Anti-fluoridation cherry-pickers at it again
Misrepresentation of the new Cochrane fluoridation review
Fluoride Free NZ report disingenuous – conclusion
A challenge to anti-fluoridationers to justify their misrepresentation of New Zealand research
Fluoridation: News media should check press releases from anti-fluoridationists
Have you voted yet?
I know how confusing it is so hope you haven’t been fooled by any of these anti-fluoride candidates.
A Spinoff article Quack hunt: Our vital tool for stopping anti-science crackpots infiltrating your DHB is useful guide to the candidates for DHB positions.
Feature image credit: Overcome Excessive Shyness Once And For All