Last week, I sent out a bulletin recognizing the great work of Spedding Micklem, PhD, my terrific co-author -- along with James Beck, MD, PhD -- of The Case Against Fluoride (Chelsea Green, 2010). I asked our supporters to send him a kind note, as he's ill. Many sent letters, and Spedding asked that I share the following response (which he dictated to his son James) with "all of the kind people" who wrote him:
I'd like to thank all those kind people for their good wishes. It has been a wonderful experience to feel this swell of support from so many. Reading all these responses, it is impressive to realise what a huge variety of individuals belong to our big family of anti-fluoridation activists.
My illness is the most recent, the medics say final, episode in a cancer which first appeared in 2005, before I had even heard Paul's name. These last sixteen years could so easily have been the history of a cancer, whereas in fact it has been the history of a wonderful collaborative project with Paul and Dr James Beck.
I can't remember exactly how I got involved in this, but at an early stage of the book, I found myself working on pages of preliminary text provided by Paul. People often wonder how it's possible for three people to collaborate on a project of this kind. The important thing is that everyone should feel perfect confidence and trust in the others, and I believe that's what we had. Each of us had different strengths and made different types of contribution, but I believe Jim Beck would agree that Paul always provided the engine. No Paul, no book: simple as that. It has always been a joy collaborating with Paul, both during the writing of the book, and on numerous projects since then.
The scientific landscape today is unrecognizably different from when we were writing the book. Back then, we had relatively little to go on, but more than enough to make any sensible person suspicious of the "safe and effective" mantra. Moreover, Chris Bryson's fine book, The Fluoride Deception [Seven Stories Press 2004], had already made it clear that the practice of fluoridation was based more on politics than medicine.
Much has changed over the last five years. First, the Chinese, whose pioneering work on neurotoxicity first raised the alarm, have significantly upped their game. Second, some of the world's leading toxicologists have become involved, bringing substantial state funding from various agencies, and in particular, the involvement of the National Toxicology Program, which is due to report on fluoride's neurotoxicity in the near future. This is an exciting time, and my one regret is that I shall probably miss the final decision of FAN's court case and of the National Toxicology Program.