(NaturalNews) The American Dental Association (ADA) publishes a booklet titled Fluoridation Facts, the prior edition of which claimed, "Water fluoridation is practiced in approximately 60 countries." Phone calls to the ADA headquarters showed that, while the ADA insisted this was true, they could not provide a list of the 60 countries.
Next, the ADA said the 60 countries number came from the British Fluoridation Society (BFS). The BFS data showed that roughly 30 countries were adding fluoride to water and about 30 more had natural water fluoride levels in "optimum" amounts. So the ADA added both together to get 60. However, just because a nation has an "optimum" level of natural fluoride in the water does not mean that nation is practicing water fluoridation. The definition of fluoridation is to add fluoride to water. There is no dictionary definition that says water with natural fluoride in it means there is fluoridation going on there.
Public knowledge of the doublespeak led the ADA to change their words
In the current edition of Fluoridation Facts, the wording was changed to this: "Over 405 million people in more than 60 countries worldwide enjoy the benefits of fluoridated water."
The ADA is again combining natural and artificial together but now calling it "fluoridated water" instead of "practicing water fluoridation." They still have the wrong number, although it may not be their fault. In the current edition of the BFS One in a Million there are only 53 nations listed as having fluoridation or "optimal" natural water fluoride levels. The ADA document says they accessed the BFS publication in 2004, an earlier edition. The BFS in that earlier edition listed more nations as having fluoridation. No explanation was ever offered as to the nations that supposedly had fluoridation in the earlier BFS document but not in the more recent BFS document.
Sneaky use of a new unspecified definition of fluoridated water
The ADA statement does not define fluoridated water. Let's ignore the dictionary definition and look at ways the ADA may have defined fluoridated water in this case. If they say that fluoridated water is any water with some fluoride in it, then the statement is very misleading. Almost all nations have water sources with at least tiny amounts of fluoride. So with this definition of "fluoridated water," a more straightforward statement would be "almost all the world's 7 billion people in 195 nations enjoy the benefits of fluoridated water."
Now, let's assume the ADA meant that only "optimal" levels of natural fluoride designate water as fluoridated. That means water with a 0.7 ppm fluoride level and above is fluoridated, and water with 0.6 ppm and below is not fluoridated. And the fluoride level used to determine whether water is fluoridated or not depends on what is considered "optimal" in that particular region and era in history. A water fluoride level considered not fluoridated one day could instantly become fluoridated with a new, lower government recommendation.
If the ADA had merely inserted the word optimal before fluoridated water in the statement, it would not be objectionable. But with the correct definition of the word fluoridated, the statement is deceptive, as it falsely implies that 60 nations are adding fluoride to drinking water.
A future article will look at more doublespeak from the ADA -- their unique statement that "No European country has imposed a 'ban' on water fluoridation."