More Book Reviews

Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma, reviewed by: Dan Montgomery
Fluoridation and Truth Decay, reviewed by: Dan Montgomery
Dirty Medicine, reviewed by: Dan Montgomery

Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma, George L. Waldbott, M.D. with Albert W. Burgstahler, Ph.D. and H. Lewis McKinney, Ph.D., Lawrence, Kansas, Coronado Press, 1978, 423p., Reviewed by: Dan Montgomery.

Dr. Waldbott was one of the first allergy specialists in the United States. He had an unusual ability to trace the causes of diseases to toxic substances. He practiced allergymedicine in Warren, Michigan. Not long after Grand Rapids and other towns in Michiganswitched to fluoridated water, patients came to him with symptoms of toxicity which he traced to the fluoride. Dr. Waldbott presents a wealth of scientific information about fluorides as causes of environmental diseases.

Dr. Waldbott received his medical doctorate from the University of Heidelburg. He was thefounder of the International Society for Fluoride Research, co-founder and former presidentof the Michigan Allergy Society and Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy. He hadmany other professional affiliations, honors. He published many articles in scientificjournals and wrote a text book on toxicology. Dr. Burgstahler received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He has been a profesor of chemistry at theUniversity of Kansas since 1956. He is the author or co-author of over 50 scientificpublications. Dr. McKinney received his Ph.D. in the History of Science from Cornell University. He has taught at Yale University and the University of Kansas.

Fluoridation and Truth Decay, Gladys Caldwell and Philip E. Zanfagna, M.D., Reseda, California, Top-Ecol Press, 1974, 301p.

Years ago, before environmentalism became a political force, aluminum smelters dumped acid fluoride into the air and water. Other industries also were sources of environmentalfluoride pollution. Even at that early date, environmental scientists were sounding the warning,but were largely ignored. Politicians clamored for fluoridation. Government research money was awarded to those who said good things about fluoridation.Four chapters chronicle fluoride pollution from industrialsources. Fluoridation and Truth Decay is a snapshot of some of the darker pagesof history from the Dark Age of fluoridation.

Dirty Medicine: Science, Big Business and the Assault on Natural Health Care. Martin J. Walker. London: Slingshot Publications, 1994. 733 pp. $24 (paper).

This is a contemporary history of the battle between established medicine and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine has continued to grow in popularity. Established medicine has become increasingly conservative. There is a tendency for the institutional structure of the medical-industrial complex to support the fixed ideas of reactionaries. The power of elite science managers is being abused to build barriers to perceptions that threaten their views of the world. The Old Guard has organized quackbusting as if it were a holy war. These modern day quackbusters would have us believe that the definition of quackery is nutritional medicine. Many of these quack hunts are hardly more than witch hunts in this era of behind the scenes medical McCarthyism.

Besides giving a lot of information about who's who in medical politics, Mr. Walker describes the historical trends that are shaping our health care system, which can be seen as a kind of class system. Three chapters are devoted to clinical ecology. This is the methodology developed by Dr. Theron G. Randolph for identifying toxic substances in food and the environment. One of the techniques of clinical ecology is the rotary diversified diet. If the principles of clinical ecology were rigidly enforced, the means of industrial production would have to be restructured for the health benefit of all of society. The chemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries would be the loosers.

Mr. Walker does not mention the politics of fluoridation. Stopping fluoridation is a part of the larger task of limiting the abuse of power by industries which have such an immense influence on the means of protecting our health. Fluoridation is one of the early examples of diluting a toxic substance and putting it in a place where it will get into the food chain a little at a time so that its toxicity would not be noticed by the general public. A small proportion of the population will be harmed by any particular toxic substance. A few individuals will discover the cause and effect relationship, but they can generally be ignored. It's not just a historical accident that fluoridation is still with us. Long after the scientific establishments of other advanced countries have come to see the fallacy of fluoridation, witch hunts by the medical establishment and public relations propaganda from the medical-industrial complex continue to obstruct progress in making the world a healthier place to live.