In an article in the Telegraph titled “Fluoride in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain, warn scientists” and touted by Matt Drudge on Drudgereport, gives rise to the anti-fluoride movement that is couched in the so-called peer reviewed scientific community. The scientist who did this study claimed that fluoride treatment of water in one area of the UK showed that people exposed to that fluoride have had depression and weight gain, as opposed to those who are not exposed to it in another area. However, the one thing missing from this article is that the scientist involved in the study is part of a anti-fluoride movement. Professor Stephen Peckham who is the Professor of Health Policy at the Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, championed the study that claimed that fluoride was, in fact, dangerous and toxic to the body. The one fact that was not disclosed was that he has been an activist campaigner against Fluoridation since 2011.
In an article about Peckham’s credentials the author stated this:
Frankly I do not think this is good enough. In this case Stephen Peckman (the senior author) is a former chairperson of the activist group Hampshire Against Fluoridation. He is an active political campaigner on the issue of fluoridation – see, for example, this TV debate on the BBC a few years ago. Perhaps this should have been declared in the “Conflicts of interest” section? At least awareness of this activism is a warning to the intelligent reader to be vigilant in their reading of the paper.
Of course, this doesn’t stop right wingers like Matt Drudge from headlining this on his website as facts against fluoridation. As a matter of fact, the anti-fluoride movement is akin to the anti-vax movement presently being debated in the United States. Those who ascribe to these movements always believe that anything that the government puts in our water or even into our bodies are, in fact, bad for us. The conspiracies that are hatched out of these groups are staggering, and go from one extreme to the next, often causing diseases once eliminated to resurface and then to get out of control. In the matter of fluoridation, this debate has been ongoing since the early 1960’s when it was addressed in the movie Dr. Strangelove:
Yes, Fluoride is the most monstrously conceived communist plot ever. And this ‘debate’ continues to this day.