A couple of weeks ago, a news story appeared regarding a Harvard researcher, who some accuse of covering-up results unfavorable to water fluoridation. Chester Douglass found that the odds of having osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer) after drinking fluoridated water were “not statistically different” from the odds for those who drank non-fluoridated water. However, Elise Bassin, a doctoral student supervised by Douglass who studied some of the same people, reported in her 2001 thesis that boys who drink fluoridated water appear to have an increased risk of developing the disease.
As you might expect, this was more than enough to get conspiracy theorists of all stripes to pounce out of the woodwork. Douglass, you see, is editor-in-chief of the Colgate Oral Health Report, a quarterly newsletter funded by Colgate-Palmolive Co., which makes fluoridated toothpaste. This must be a conflict of interest!
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