Forced Fluoridation of Community Water Supplies An Open Letter to a Concerned Correspondent - Part One

Gary G. Kohls, MD

Thanks for writing _____, I appreciate your expression of concern about my raising the issue of the fluoridation of Duluth’s municipal water supply and how raising that old “dead” issue might possibly harm my credibility in this community.

We both realize how political the fluoridation debate has become. But we also recognize how much new scientific evidence there is that refutes the repeated assurances we have all heard over our lifetimes from the lobbyists and pro-fluoridation special interest folks about the safety of fluoride ingestion. We have all heard the “fluoride is good for you” myths. It has been going on for a couple of generations now, so most of us believe that it must be true. And many of these myths have been adopted as sacred truths by many well-meaning advocates of fluoridation. I was once one of those advocates. Below are some of the reasons I have changed my mind on the subject.

Actually, my motivation in recently raising the issue with policy-makers and opinion-leaders recently was honorable. I was simply accepting the role of temporary spokesperson for a number of concerned citizens here in Duluth, who wanted me to raise the issue with some local leaders. Most people have, up until now, assumed that the fluoridation issue was settled. But after looking at all the evidence, I am now convinced that the issue needs to be re-opened and that there is a need to have a legitimate debate about the safety of forced drinking water fluoridation.

It’s easy to understand why fluoridation here in Duluth has gone unexamined for so long. Duluth is no different than most other American cities that fluoridate their municipal water system. They simply want to be in compliance with the Minnesota state law mandating it. And even though our law-abiding city leaders are generally open-minded and well-meaning, they might have, over the years, been listening only to the pro-fluoridation factions and therefore may not be fully aware of some of the new science about this important public health issue that should be raising red flags.
Before reading on, I hope that folks will watch the informative short video about the politics of water fluoridation at:, and, while on that site, will sample some of the other videos as well.

The deeply flawed
early research
on fluoridation

America is now two generations into the forced water fluoridation issue, which was initiated by the phosphate fertilizer and aluminum industries, both of which produce, as by-products, toxic fluoride-containing waste materials, which were ultimately turned, by hook or by crook, into a very profitable sideline industry, by selling it to municipalities to add to the drinking water. Eventually the toothpaste companies, the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association also came on board to help promote the “fluoride-is-totally-safe” myth.

The flawed early “science” on water fluoridation began in the 1940s and 50s with anecdotal reports of lower rates of tooth cavities in a community that had higher than normal sodium fluoride levels in the water supply.

An experiment was then done in a single community in Michigan by adding fluoride to the water supply, reportedly resulting in lower rates of dental caries in the children. No investigation into the possible adverse effects was done. By today’s research standards, the study was primitive and deeply flawed. But ever since this “research” was done, the lobbyists of these special interest groups have been repeatedly overstating the evidence with periodic advertising campaigns from the ADA and the toothpaste companies that has convinced almost everybody that fluoride is safe and effective in reducing tooth decay.  

the evidence

But whenever there is a political or economic issue that might wind up re-shaping public opinion about something, we should immediately start “following the money”. Back in America’s enthusiastic but naïve post-war boom years when everything was coming up roses, it was hard for most of us to be alert to the ulterior motives of con artists and big business. But now that we should be less naïve, we shouldn’t be afraid of re-examining and re-interpreting historical events. Indeed, re-assessing history should be mandatory!

Indeed, the flawed fluoride research of the 1940s and 50s needs revision. The corporations behind the pro-fluoride propaganda have profited handsomely by using all their cunning to obfuscate, create doubt in people’s minds, generate pseudoscientific studies supporting the old myths and viciously and unfairly attack the opposition. It is not hard to see why the fluoridation issue has been made to appear controversial. There is a lot of money at stake.

Cognitive Dissonance
and the difficulty in
changing minds

Cognitive dissonance is the psychological discomfort that is felt when a person’s deeply held belief system is de-stabilized by contradictory new information that refutes the old belief system. Consciously or unconsciously wanting to avoid the discomfort and the humiliation that might result if the person were forced to admit that the old beliefs were erroneous often results in fight, flight, fear, avoidance, denial (of the new truth), attempts to discredit the new science or, finally, attacking the bringer of the bad news. A good example might be the ADA’s adamant refusal to acknowledge the veracity of the overwhelming evidence that proves that the mercury (50% of the content) in traditional “silver” amalgam fillings is actually highly toxic to all human tissue, especially brain cells. Perhaps the resistance to new facts about the dangers of fluoride is another example.
There are many legitimate scientists and highly intelligent lay experts (listen to some of them testify at: who dispute the traditional notion that the supposed benefits of forced fluoridation (to children’s developing teeth) somehow outweighs the risks to the rest of the citizenry that are involuntarily swallowing uncertain amounts of a known toxin. These experts know what they are talking about and they are exhibiting great courage when faced with the cheap ad hominem attackers accusing them of being quacks.
Paying attention to the good science concerning the dangers of fluoride has convinced well-informed leaders in >95% of western European nations to refuse to fluoridate their drinking water. They happen to know that the incidence of dental caries in their children is no different from children growing up in the fluoridated United States!

The fluoridation
debate is hot in
Portland, Oregon

The residents of Portland, Oregon are currently debating the pros and cons of community fluoridation. There is a ballot initiative being voted on now that could cost the taxpayers $500,000 per year to fluoridate their water - after an initial taxpayer investment of 7.6 million dollars for the necessary equipment Some industries are going to make a lot of money on that deal. See why “200 Portland physicians are urging a NO vote” at:
Many other enlightened leaders around the world have actually looked at the poor risk/benefit analyses, and they know that there is nothing but risk for most of the folks that are beyond the early age of adult tooth development.
Perhaps the most concerning reality for me is the fact that the fluoride compounds that are added to municipal water supplies are totally unlike the sodium fluoride (which does in fact have a very narrow therapeutic range of safety) that was found in some water supplies back in the 1940s.

The fluoride used by communities are actually hazardous chemical waste products that used to be a burden to the company that generated them, but they are now sold – very profitably - to municipalities (by legislative mandate in Minnesota), turning an economic liability into a profit center for the phosphate fertilizer and aluminum industries. The “fluoride” powder dumped into the water is actually a mix of sodium silicofluoride compounds, primarily hydrofluosilicic acid that can, in its concentrated form, actually etch glass - as can the highly corrosive acid, hydrofluoric acid, known for its amazing ability to rapidly dissolve many metals and glass. Sodium silicofluoride compounds have NEVER been tested for safety in any human study!
Fluorine is the most electronegative element in the periodic table, meaning that it binds very powerfully to many other elements and molecules, especially animal and vegetable tissue (ie, carbon-based substances). The fluorine in fluorinated compounds CANNOT easily be catabolized by liver enzymes, which help to explain why the so-called metabolic breakdown products of Prozac remain physiologically and neurologically active no matter how many times the synthetic chemical drug has passed through the liver. Fluorinated compounds such as psychoactive drugs attach themselves extremely tightly to synaptic organelles and other brain tissue structures and are only removed from the body by slow fecal or urinary excretion.
One frightening example of how prolonged are the effects (and half-lives) of fluorinated drugs is the methamphetamine-like drug fenfluramine (1/2 of the now-banned flash-in-the-pan Fen-Phen weight loss drug popularized in the mid-1990s) that caused, in addition to the fairly well advertised heart and lung toxicity, widespread permanent serotonin brain cell death in experimental animals.
Fenfluoramine, as is true with the “antidepressant” drugs Prozac and Luvox, has three fluoride atoms in every molecule (in the form of a trifluoromethane moeity). All three compounds accumulate in animal brains, with one study showing that, over a 6 week period of time, Prozac concentrated in brain tissue to a level 20 times the level in the blood! Talk about your brain-altering drugs. Prozac had such a long serum and brain tissue half-life that Eli Lilly actually tried to market a once a week dosing version of the drug. A single 90 mg capsule per week was considered by Lilly to be equivalent to a dose of 20 mg per day! It was never a marketing or economic success and was quickly and quietly withdrawn. To my knowledge, Lilly has never released data to the medical community about the adverse post-marketing consequences of that risky experiment.