Saturday, October 3, 2015

#1479: Paul Connett

Paul Connett is the executive director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), an anti-fluoridation activist group that has been somewhat successful in rallying doctors and dentists – people who look like they might have credentials (Connett himself, though, is a retired professor of chemistry) – together in his mission to destroy any attempt to add trace amounts of fluoride in water for the betterment of children.

Connett has been in the game for over 30 years, and his impressively large output has succeeded in scaring many local communities. A typical example is his pamphlet (created with the late John Yiamouyiannis) “A Lifesaver’s Guide to Fluoridation,” widely distributed to policy makers and concerned citizens (avoiding scientists, of course), which provided 250 references that supposedly backed up the claim that fluoridation is ineffective and dangerous. Though when a Ohio team traced the references, they found that almost half had no relevance to community water fluoridation and many others actually supported fluoridation but were selectively quoted and misrepresented. Which, of course, is how health scares and hysteria mongering work.

Connett’s masterpiece, 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation, lays out his reasons for why the scientific consensus is mistaken. Predictably, the reasons range from the ridiculous to professional twisting of statistical data and denying the clear and substantive evidence in a manner worthy of the fringe of the global warming denialist movement. He even has, prominently on the front of his webpage, “3,209 Medical, Scientific, and Environmental Professionals Sign Statement Calling for End to Fluoridation Worldwide.” Oh, weee. A better indication of crankery you’ll struggle to find. Heck, Connett even admits that among the signatories there are 458 chiropractors and 138 naturopaths. Counting as “Medical, Scientific, and Environmental Professionals”. Seriously.

The sordid story of his book The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There, coauthored with James S. Beck and H. Spedding Micklem, is related here. At least he’s popular with Joe Mercola, Mike Adams, and Alex Jones, and he has been showing up at the antivaxx quackfest Autism One.

Diagnosis: Oh, yes; yet another example of the bullshit that feeds Alex Jones and And yes, it is pseudoscience, crackpottery and conspiracies through and through.

1 comment:

  1. "Fluoridation, Mandrake, Fluoridation! Substances added to your water without you knowing it!! That is the way your hard core commie works!!"
    Gen. Jack T Ripper
    Dr Strangelove