Updated: Dec 11, 2018
Fluoridation is rarely discussed on national television. As journalist Christopher Bryson explains in his book, The Fluoride Deception, an early tactic of fluoride marketers was to prompt government officials to write to television producers and suggest that debating fluoridation is like debating Christianity versus Judaism—it's simply not done. They were careful not to explicitly tell producers what to do, but they planted the idea that talking about the negative side effects of fluoridation is not in the public interest.
This taboo remains in effect in American media to this day.
How Erin Brockovich Ended Up on The Dr. Oz Show to Talk About Fluoride
On February 1, 2016, Dr. Oz hosted Erin Brockovich on his national talk show for a segment on artificial water fluoridation. There appears to be a few reasons why the taboo against speaking critically about fluoride was temporarily lifted for this episode.
First, in April 2015, the CDC lowered the recommended level of fluoride to 0.7ppm because of the skyrocketing rate of dental fluorosis in children, a discoloring of the tooth enamel caused by overexposure to fluoride. As Dr. Oz explains when introducing the segment,
Acknowledging health concerns, last year for the first time in 50 years, the government lowered the recommended amount of fluoride added to drinking water.
Another reason The Dr. Oz Show featured a critical episode on fluoridation is because Erin Brockovich is a celebrity and she had recently added fluoride to the list of water issues she fights to change. As she explains on the show, when she has a large number of consumers coming to her about a certain issue with the water, that is when she steps in and tries to do something about it.
On February 8, 2016, Erin released her first statement on fluoridation on Facebook, stating,
The use of the Public Drinking Water system to dispense any substance to achieve a medical result is abhorrent and fundamentally wrong.
Finally, another reason I suspect Dr. Oz featured an episode on flouride is thanks to the women in his life. He mentions his mother-in-law (who he says won't come on the show) and his wife have strong positions on fluoride and they have debates about it at their home.
Highlights of Erin Brockovich's Segment on Fluoride on The Dr. Oz Show
Dr. Oz and Erin Brockovich cover a lot of ground in their 15-minute segment on fluoride.
Dr. Oz notes that most of Europe has rejected the idea of artificial water fluoridation. Erin points out that fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland and contributes to higher rates of kidney problems in certain ethnic groups.
At one point, they move to a table displaying an assortment of beverages, including bottled water, grape juice, black tea, green tea, iced tea, and a few other items. Dr. Oz then asks Erin,
What about the beverages? Because fluoride is found naturally in a lot of products.
I found this part to be misleading. Dr. Oz makes it sound like a large amount of fluoride occurs naturally in a variety of foods when in reality, the tea plant is the only edible plant that uptakes a significant amount of fluoride from the soil.
Midway through the segment with Erin, Dr. Oz makes a point of stating that he asked his medical unit to research the negative effects of fluoride and all they could find was the cosmetic effect on teeth. If left unaddressed, this is a statement that could come back to haunt him in the future. The toxicology literature on fluoride is extensive and readily available.
His staff should have at least uncovered the National Research Council's 2006 report, Fluoride in Drinking Water. I am certain a few of the authors of that report, such as Drs. Hardy Limeback and Kathleen Thiessen, would be glad to help his research unit locate the derogatory science on fluoride.
Towards the end of the segment, Dr. Oz brings on an ADA spokesperson to present the views of the dental lobby. The first three words she says are "Fluoride is safe" and then she goes on to list all the organizations that endorse fluoridation.
Erin responds that regardless of how many government agencies support artificial water fluoridation, the public drinking water system is not an appropriate distribution mechanism for a drug of any kind.
I would like an option before you decide what toxic compound for a medicinal purpose you put in my water that you think I need.
(What I wouldn't give for a dramatic reading of that line by Julia Roberts that I could show at my next local city council meeting!)
Dr. Oz then posts a statement from the CDC claiming that artificial water fluoridation is one of the greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century, and he says he was impressed by how strongly they felt about it.
Why You Can't Find Video on YouTube of Erin Brockovich Talking about Fluoride On The Dr. Oz Show
Here is where I would normally embed a YouTube video of Erin Brockovich's segment about fluoride on The Dr. Oz Show, but it has mysteriously disappeared from the internet. When Natural News tried to publish a copy of the segment, that video was pulled too.
Usually The Dr. Oz Show posts clips from each major segment of every episode on their YouTube channel and their website. There used to be a clip of Erin Brockovich talking about fluoride but for unknown reasons, that clip is no longer available.
Instead of a clip of Erin Brockovich's 15-minute segment on fluoride, the page for the episode on Dr. Oz's website (season 7, episode 89) contains statements on the benefits of public water fluoridation from the Center for Disease Control, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. There is also a disclaimer that topics discussed on The Dr. Oz Show should not be construed as medical advice.
The only sign that Erin Brockovich even appeared in the episode is her name in small print on the guest list.