Paul Connett, from the US anti-fluoride group, the Fluoride Action network, was interviewed today on the Radio new Zealand’s Jesse Mulligan programme.
The interview and Sir Peter Gluckman’s response is worth listening to. You can listen to it below or on the RNZ website at Complaints against anti-fluoride ads not upheld.
Unsurprisingly, Paul presented the same tired old arguments against community water fluoridation. And I can understand why he should once again promote his own anti-fluoride book. After all, it has 80 pages of references (most of them broken links to Fluoride Action Network web pages)! And it is surely natural for an author to be proud of their book.
But he seems to suffer from senior moments, or at least memory blocks, when he claims that the arguments in his book have never been confronted. That people refuse to debate with him about these arguments.
Has he really managed to eradicate all memory of our rather long on-line debate about those very arguments? He specifically required that our debate have the format of him advancing arguments from his book and that I would respond to them.
The full debate is available here (see Fluoride Debate) or it can be downloaded as a pdf document (see The fluoride debate). It’s a useful document – about 212 pages long – fully referenced and Paul’s arguments are presented completely unedited – just as he presented them.
I know Paul was unhappy at how the debate went. Since then he has asked me never to contact him again and I was immediately banned from commenting on all the local anti-fluoride websites and Facebook pages. I have also been blocked from commenting on the US Fluoride Action Network’s Facebook page.
OK, I can understand Paul may have felt disappointed with his response to my debunking of his claims – but to pretend the debate never happened?
Interestingly, this is not an isolated behaviour by anti-fluoride activists. Local anti-fluoride people have also made similar claims that no one will debate with them. However, they seem to run quickly in the opposite direction when they do get a response to their offer to debate. Stan Litras is one example where time and time again I have critiqued his anti-fluoride claims and offered him a right of reply. He always refuses but still publicly claims that no one will debate with him.
Paul lost it a bit in his interview today when Jesse mentioned the NZ fluoridation review carried out by the Royal Society of NZ and the office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. He made a few ill-advised disparaging comments which came across as shrill when compared with the explanations from Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Ministers Chief Science Advisor, who was given the opportunity to respond to Paul’s criticisms.