Greetings again from the darkness. Documentary director Jeremy Seifert made some noise in 2013 with his creatively titled GMO OMG, which along with his latest fit snugly into a sub-genre I call “Wake up, sheep!” Mr. Seifert has a gentle approach in alerting us to topics which the general public mostly never even considers … at least until enough people are talking about it, and we are forced to learn something.
Since 1945, fluoridation of public water systems has been commonplace and widely accepted as a process that reduces dental breakdowns (cavities) by as much as 25% (roughly one cavity per person). It’s only recent scientific studies that have categorized fluoride as a “Developmental Neurotoxin” and “Endocrine Disruptor”. In English, those two terms are defined respectively as a substance which negatively impacts brain development in children, and negatively impacts thyroid function. Mr. Seifert states that these studies prove that it’s time to re-think the national position on water fluoridation.
We learn that Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first city to add fluoride to its drinking water, but of course, one would be hard-pressed these days to find even a small scale municipality that provides un-fluorinated water to its populace. Scientists and doctors in the film (somewhat surprisingly) categorize fluoride as a poison rather than a nutrient, and that is certainly an attention-grabbing term. Their stance is that inclusion in our drinking water means it contradicts the “informed consent” doctrine that covers health care, and the real risk seems to be in dosage control. See, most water systems can’t even measure the amount of fluoride used, and there is no accurate way to track any person’s actual intake – given that water is used in so many food and drink products.
Asbestos, Lead, Arsenic, and Vioxx are all provided as examples of substances that were once deemed safe. Sure, Mr. Seifert’s approach might be considered a “scare tactic” or overreaction, but his point really is that it’s time to question the use and, if nothing else, allow consumers to make their own educated decisions. When he states 97% of Western European countries do not fluoridate water, many jokes on British dental work spring to mind … but this is also a pretty hearty statistic leading credence to Seifert’s call for more and better research.
The filmmaker even includes a Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb reference as acknowledgement that some will wave this off as just another conspiracy theory; however, if his 20 minute film can wake enough sleeping sheep, then perhaps some serious dialogue can be had.