Anti-Fluoride Propaganda as News

A news article in the Sacramento Bee declares: “Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers IQ – Published in Federal Gov’t Journal.” Except – this is not a news item, and it’s not really a study. The article is about a recently published systematic review and meta-analysis – not new data. The term “study” is vague, and I find it often causes confusion.

Far worse than this common imprecision is the fact that this article, under the “News” tab on the Bee website, is not actually a news report. It is a propaganda article written by the NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. and distributed as a press release. The Bee does post a disclaimer at the top of the page, reading:

This section contains unedited press releases distributed by PR Newswire. These releases reflect the views of the issuing entity and are not reviewed or edited by the Sacramento Bee staff. More information on PR Newswire can be found on their web site.

That’s better than nothing, but I wonder how many people reading the press release will notice and read the disclaimer. In my opinion, a news outlet should not reprint press releases sent out from advocacy organizations clearly intended to promote an agenda. They especially should not print them under the banner of “News.” The disclaimer is not adequate.

The review itself is being spread around the internet and multiple readers sent me links to the article or reporting about it. Not surprisingly … (keep reading) NeuroLogica Blog » Anti-Fluoride Propaganda as News.

4 responses

  1. Are fluorides approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration????

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/Pages/FluorideandApproval.aspx

  2. I read the original article concerning this, and I was skeptical of it at first, and it looks like I had good reason to be…

  3. One thing that should have looked at was how the educational facilities are like, and maybe other environmental factors as well.

    1. How else does the anti-fluoridation lobby go about spreading their misinformation? Generally they distribute an eight page pamphlet written by Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, the grandfather of anti-fluoridation activism. Dr. Yiamouyiannis was a naturopath who rejected modern medicine, and was the principal originator of the claim that fluoridation causes cancer. He raised his family with an emphasis on a
      fluoride-free diet to avoid cancer. And, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, Dr. Yiamouyiannis died of cancer in 2000, which he had refused to treat in accordance with his naturopathic philosophy. His type of cancer has a 95% 5-year survival rate, when properly treated.

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