I recently blogged about “Fluoride in Your Toothpaste…and the growing concerns about fluoride everywhere” and the book the Fluoride Deception.. I asked a gentleman I respect for his knowledge and understanding of the world of Chemistry for his comments after sending him a copy to read. Paul Launchbury was a pharmaceutical scientist for many years and I met him through our mutual connection to the British Parkinson’s Society..he as a sufferer in advanced stages of the disease and myself as a staunch supporter of the society having watched my grandfather be taken by the disease. Despite increasing debilitation Paul remains in the fight and quote “I’ve still got a few crusty old neurons to go into battle with”.

Paul’s excellent review of the book and his objective comments on fluorine and pharmaceuticals are posted below.

THANKS for taking the time to comment Paul!

To: Tony Williams, ACD/Labs

From: Paul Launchbury

Subject: Review of ‘The Fluoride Deception’

Dear Tony

I know it’s been a long time since you kindly sent me ‘The fluoride Deception’; by Christopher Bryson. I have read it (quite soon after it arrived) but have been mulling it over, dipping now and then into the book to check items; I feel I can give a reasonable comment now.

Overall, the awful truth is that it is so utterly believable! It is so true to life as we experience it that it makes the thoughtful reader uncomfortable – asking ‘Was I with the deceivers or with the deceived?’ If among the deceived, I would guess there’s a feeling of angry helplessness at what was so cold-bloodedly, even callously, thrust on the whole of the globe; {pollution, exploitation and denial of responsibility are global) continues. And all because profits and a few directors’ skins [and reputations!] were under threat! Perhaps I could summarise the points like this:

Right at the beginning, the Los Alamos project required enormous amounts of fluorine. This was a rather novel technology and, rather than ‘waste time’ checking toxicology the pressure to produce an atomic bomb as quickly as possible resulted in all waste being vented to the atmosphere or dumped in waterways. It must have been obvious that massive damage to environments and plant, animal and human toxicity would result – well, the bomb was designed to kill thousands of Japanese so who’s going to notice a few hundred casualties at home; the attention was focused on the enemy overseas.
The military callousness was copied by industry. The country needed aluminium and related products, and if the toxicity could be disowned and any claims rebutted, it could be very profitable. This, if I recall rightly, was the kind of attitude which Ted Heath (I think it was he) designated: “The unacceptable face of capitalism.”
The woeful inability of an adversarial legal system to deal justice to small litigants, and the manipulative propensity of some (many?) avaricious, highly placed/paid (!) lawyers is brought to light time and again in this book. However, we’ve seen it all before…
The civil service doesn’t come out of it any cleaner. Money can buy influence just as it always did. In particular, the trotting out of discredited papers as evidence to justify policy is still indulged in – even by HM civil servants in the UK! [I have witnessed ‘political blindness’ or putting down of persistent challengers of decisions by citing (un-named) higher authorities myself]. Several examples (this should possibly be ‘many’) relating to fluorine can be found in a very quick trawl of anti-fluoridation websites even now.

Towards the end of the book it becomes evident that the medical and dental professions particularly are impaled on the horns of a dilemma: do they admit that they were hoodwinked and gullible thirty or more years ago and take the resulting litigation on the chin and more-or-less bankrupt the professions, or do they deny the case and seek to perpetuate the (toxic) ‘fluoride myth’? Time, in any case will bring out the truth – and what then?
Governments are in an even less enviable position. Governments of all political colours have backed the fluoridation of drinking water, in many instances strong-arming local authorities to comply. Politicians may tolerate pink as a political colour but not on the face! How do they get this one sorted out? Mass class actions in the courts could severely damage even a country’s finances – bad enough in the UK, but in the USA it could (I suppose) just about bankrupt the country – unless, of course, legislation to limit awards be brought in, but then, where’s the justice?

The huge metals industries – especially the aluminium and similar production plants – are sitting on a time bomb of their own making. Having so deviously won actions in the past, when the chickens come home to roost they could be wiped out. What shareholding institution would or could stay and support corporations when they begin to lose billions in punitive damages? The Federal Administrations of both Republican and Democratic persuasions are, it would seem, up to the eyeballs in favouring one powerful industrial contributor after another, and using influence to steer both court decisions and legislative directions. The White House doesn’t look very white in this context!

The reason I’ve apparently accepted Bryson’s charges is that they tally so closely with what most people in an executive position in virtually any industry sees and hears in the course of his/her career. To many, ‘if we can get away with it, we’ll do it’ is the principle.

I suggest that the ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ will be found to follow a similar pattern to that of fluorine – with persistent denials of its existence or severity by governments (UK and USA anyway). Any subsequent retreat always seems grudging and minimal.

A brighter side?

There is, though, a positive in all this. I am sure that fluorine in drug molecules is a different matter. Take for example, fludrocortisol (9œ-fluorocortisol). Patients with Addison’s disease (natural or iatrogenic) lack the ability to synthesise mineralocorticoids e.g. aldosterone, in the cortices of their adrenal glands. They lose a key component in the salt-water regulating system. The glucocorticoids, cortisone and cortisol, have low potency in this area and to give sufficient for salt regulation leads to Cushing’s syndrome (excess glucocorticoid activity). Fludrocortisol has met the need nicely for almost fifty years now, replacing aldosterone successfully.

A fluorine atom, or trifluoromethyl group, has likewise shifted charge densities around drug molecules of many different classes, shifting emphasis in drug action in a manner similar to the fludrocortisol example above.

I suspect that the action of fluorine in modifying drug pharmacology is a separate field of study which, so to speak, would have happened whether or not the ‘Deception’ had happened. In the 1950-60s the ground work was done defining how drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics could be manipulated with the aid of e.g. methyl, tert.- butyl and similar radicals, the halogens fluoride, chlorine, bromine and even iodine – these are just sample citations – and there’s no end to the list of organic/inorganic groups which have the same action. Of possible interest here is isofluorophate (‘Dyflos’). The first mention of this anti-cholinesterase is its synthesis (1944) and US and British patents (1948) so it falls well into the Los Alamos era but calls for only moderate quantities of fluorine – that is, unless it was mass-produced for potential use by the military as a war gas. It was investigated for such use, though I believe that the medical uses were its field

I can see, in the use of fluorine in drug design, no connection with the ‘Deception’; it doesn’t have any relationship to the high ‘availability’ of fluorine which drove the scandal.

Paul Launchbury

30 October 2006

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One Response to “A Review of “The Fluoride Deception” by Paul Launchbury”

  1. Daniel says:

    I couldn’t understand some parts of this article by Paul Launchbury, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

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