This is an analysis by the University of California documenting how the pro-fluoridation side distorts the medical statistics.
University of California, Davis
May 28, 1980
Dr. Ernest Newbrun
Dear Dr. Newbrun:
Thank you for your telephone inquiry about my course on statistical frauds, and "The Statistical Frauds Group". It was given in The Experimental College at this campus for a number of years. In the course of time, "The Statistical Frauds Group" arose from it.
The course and the Group have been dormant for a couple of years, but after my retirement in July 1980, I may revive them. There does seem to be some demand.
We investigated all manner of questionable statements and activities, some qualitative, but most of them quantitative. We conducted interviews and collected published matter, and analyzed all these, using standard statistical procedures.
In addition to deliberate frauds, errors in judgement or method were examined. Often it was difficult to detect if there was a deliberate fraud. We looked over statements by manufacturers or purveyors of consumer goods. But a very copious source was papers in medical research journals. Particularly good examples of blatant statistical misconduct were found in the Public Health Service reports.
The announced opinions and
published papers favoring mechanical fluoridation of public drinking
water are especially rich in fallacies, improper design, invalid
use of statistical methods, omissions of contrary data, and just
plain muddleheadedness and hebetude. Many of the blunders were
so glaring that I gave them to my beginning freshman classes
in statistics at the very first meeting. The students see through
them straightway, and are afforded great amusement.Uproarious
laughter frequently ensues. No special statistical equipment
is necessary to detect those peccancies. Of course the class
and the Group soon tired of those infantilities, and sought and
By the way, a study by John Yiamouyiannis and Dean Burke on possible connection between cancer and waterborne fluoride was fairly tightly reasoned. The statistical procedures were standard, and much better applied than in much of the Public Health work.
As I pointed out in a letter published in the proceedings of a congressional committee investigating the above connection, the real point is that direct chemical and controlled experimental research by unbiased uncommitted agencies is urgently indicated. Clearly fluoridation should be discontinued everywhere until definitive results on safety are obtained.
In this connection, a great source of entertainment to the Group was the ferocity with which the researchers attacked any criticism. Invariably they violated in their own work the very principles they insisted on in others' work.
The Group found that corrections for age, race, etc. were applied in a most perfunctory and indiscriminate manner, without regard to whether they appertained to the given situation. The Group found over and over that new, unbiased, research was almost impossible to instigate.
The old "Frauds Group" should be revived and reorganized. If funds are forthcoming, I may consider the undertaking. Every campus should have an invulnerable group that punches holes in stuffed shirts and lets the air out.
If I may help further, please let me know.
Hubert A. Arnold, Ph.D.
c.c.: Dr. John Yiamouyiannis