Ed. Note: Harriet Hall was injured in a fall in Australia earlier this month. While she recovers, we are running guest posts in her regular Tuesday slot for as long as our supply of guest posts lasts.

Round and round we go, in circles

Round and round we go, in circles

Well ladies and gentlemen, here we go again. The writers of Natural News continue to repeat the same old collection of pseudoscience in a near never-ending unchanging continuous public narrative. We have the usual “favourites” of toxic or harmful heavy-metal contamination of public and municipal waters en masse, as well as the unfounded claims of the supposed detrimental fluoridation of the same public/municipal water streams. However, there are a few extra new twists. As expected, this narrative is always accompanied by claims of associated illnesses, diseases, and various injuries from these supposed contaminants. Another staple component of this narrative is the allegations of the contamination being deliberate and part of a more sinister government/global/elitist conspiracy. This narrative takes place under the directorship of Mr. Mike Adams (The Health Ranger), suggesting his tacit approval of the claims. In the minds of the Natural News writers, nobody and nothing appears to be above suspicion, and everything is not as it appears. In their world view, deadly mass conspiracies appear to stalk the global stage with most people unaware of the danger in every corner of every room of every city in the world. The apparent ultimate version of a Bad Big Brother.

For those of you not familiar with Mr. Adams and Natural News, the following paragraphs are a recap of his most recent claims. Those familiar with the general essence of Mr. Adams’ contentions and whom don’t need to refresh their memories can skip to the section entitled “And now for the facts”.

Before the US elections, Natural News appeared primarily focused on expressing strong support for Mr. Trump and attempting to contribute efforts towards his election. However, shortly thereafter, Natural News published, in quick succession, a small collection of articles on the topic of contamination of US drinking water with heavy-metals and fluoride, or of related content. These articles were often just a repeat of their usual narrative on the topic, starting with “Studies confirm fluoridated water is linked to hypothyroidism, fatigue, obesity and depression” (13 November 2016) written by D Gutierrez which stated:

(NaturalNews) More than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop thyroid disease at some point in their lifetimes, yet many people are unaware that a major risk factor for underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) may be exposure to fluoride in drinking water.

A 2015 study by researchers from the University of Kent, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that people exposed to elevated fluoride in their drinking water were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems,” lead author Stephen Peckham said. “I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health.”

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Adams’ himself repeated his claim of heavy metal contamination of the US municipal and public drinking water supply also alluding to the testing, by his laboratory, of public-supplied samples of this water in an article entitled “Crybully college professor names Natural News a ‘fake news’ website along with dozens of others that predicted the REAL election outcome” (16 November 2016) in which he stated:

Natural News, by comparison, correctly predicted the outcome of the election — and the violent leftist uprising — well before the election took place. Not only that, but Natural News is the ONLY news website in the world to have spearheaded the scientific testing of hundreds of municipal water samples across America using our own private mass spec laboratory. We then publicly published the scientific results for public safety. This, according to Zimdars, is all fakery… even though my laboratory is internationally accredited by ISO.

Similarly, Natural News is the only website to have tested flu shots for mercury composition using ICP-MS instrumentation and published the mercury numbers in the interests of public health and safety.

In new claims around fluoride, SD Wells of Natural News stated in an article entitled “What causes cancer? The five vectors of chemical assault on your health” (16 November 2016):

Drinking chemicals: Most tap water contains sodium fluoride (not the organic fluoride they want you to believe is in there). Sodium fluoride is a toxic by-product of the chemical industrial complex of China, and is exported to the USA to fuel the cancer industry. This is not a hypothesis or conspiracy theory. There are literally hundreds of videos, professional articles, scientific research studies and documentaries on this topic. Get a great water filter for your home and never drink water from the tap again.

In another later reference to fluoridation of water, in a repeat to the older narrative, contributor Ethan Huff stated in an article entitled “Cure tooth decay naturally by understanding the actual cause of cavities” (23 November 2016):

“It is the missing vitamins in our diet that is the primary cause of tooth cavities,” explains PreventDisease.com, noting that all the methods aimed at keeping the mouth sterile, including artificial water fluoridation, are actually making the problem worse rather than better.

[snip]

Looking to avoid cavities? Reinvent your diet

Comprehensive studies looking at artificial water fluoridation reveal that not only does this chemical additive not help prevent tooth decay, but it can actually contribute to it in the form of dental fluorosis. One such study by the National Institute of Dental Research, the biggest ever conducted, found back in 1987 that fluoride or non-fluoride, cavity rates are the same across the board.

[snip]

“Our dental health is a reflection of the internal chemistry and health of our organs and glands. When our organs and glands are poisoned, they won’t work as well over time, and thus people will have a lower immunity to cavities,” adds PreventDisease.com.

More recently, SD Wells also wrote a second article in this period, on a supposed fluoride-cancer connection, entitled “Top seven fuels that feed the cancer ‘fire’ and mutate more cells” (02 December 2016), which stated:

So, without further ado, here are the top seven “fuels” that feed the cancer “fire” and mutate more cells

Fluoridated municipal tap water was the first item on the list.

The most recent addition in Natural News’ around the use and addition of fluoride to water, Vicki Batts stated in an article entitled “Mass poisoning: British town decides to add fluoride to milk, offers it to children” (20 December 2016):

“…(NaturalNews) Schools in Blackpool, England, will now be offering fluoride-infused milk at school, but there are many questions about such a practice…The Waking Times reports that Blackpool intends on placing 0.8mg of fluoride in every 189ml carton of milk. This equates to 4.2 parts per million (ppm). It’s worth noting that in the U.S., the recommended safe level of fluoride in water is 0.7 ppm. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) reduced it from the range 0.7–to 1.2 ppm, due to concerns about the potential danger associated with maintaining the higher levels. If the HHS is concerned about it, you know it has got to be pretty toxic…There are many issues surrounding fluoride. For one, it is a neurotoxic compound that is in no way essential for human health. Not even tooth decay is caused by “fluoride deficiency.” The sole benefits in protection against tooth decay are from topical application of fluoride – such as in toothpaste – not from consumption. The CDC itself has acknowledged this point, and yet for some reason the myth that fluoride consumption somehow provides health benefits continues to persist.

The toxic effects of fluoride are expansive, as it tends to accumulate in bodily tissues. Some believe that dental fluorosis may actually be an indicator of wider, systemic consequences of fluoride exposure…Teeth are not the only body parts affected by fluoride exposure. The bones, pineal gland and arteries can also accumulate fluoride.

A further addition to the topic on water quality by Natural News is the issue of residual trace pharmaceuticals in US municipal and public drinking water as given by LJ Devon in an article entitled “Experts: Our drinking water contains massive doses of prescription drugs” (17 October 2016) in which was stated:

(NaturalNews) If you drink tap water, there’s a good chance you’re taking in all sorts of pharmaceutical drugs at the same time. Massive doses of prescription drugs pass through people’s bodies and into the sewage system. These chemicals are very stable and make their way back into the water supply, unchanged. If you don’t use appropriate, lab-validated water filters, you could be drinking a bizarre cocktail of drugs on a daily basis. Without even knowing it, you could be taking birth control, statins, SSRIs, psychotics, or any other popular chemical that is now pervasive in the water supply. These second hand medications could be interfering with your hormones, weight modulation, sleep patterns, temperament, cognitive function, ability to handle stress, etc.

Lastly and most recently, Mike Adams wrote an article entitled “Forbes.com hit piece on Natural News backfires: Health Ranger confirmed as world’s most powerful foe of corporate science fraud” (28 December 2016) in what can be most likely considered a raging response to an earlier Forbes article on himself and Natural News:

Speaking of real science, my private laboratory is a multi-million-dollar facility that’s independent audited, inspected and accredited by the International Standards Organization (ISO) under 17025 laboratory requirements. This is the gold standard of international laboratory accreditation, and after two years of preparation, we achieved this status in the Spring of 2016. (Forbes.com failed to mention this in their hit piece, for some reason. Guess they don’t want their readers to be informed of actual relevant facts…)

My laboratory is one of the very few independent science labs in America, meaning it takes no money from government grants, academia or powerful corporate interests. Thus, the science we conduct is automatically a more honest, trustworthy and independence science than any “compromised” lab which must answer to the politics of its funding sources…It is in my lab that I analyzed flu shots for mercury elements (scanning multiple isotopes at 200, 201 and 202 amu), discovering that flu shots given to children in the United States still contain over 50,000 ppb mercury, a toxic heavy metals with known neurological damage effects.

This is real science — the kind of science you’ll never see admitted by Forbes.com, academic institutions, science journals or government “authorities”…That’s why today, my laboratory has already published hundreds of water sample analysis results as part of our EPA Watch program, discovering that 6.7% of U.S. water samples violate established EPA limits for toxic heavy metals.

In addition to these narratives were a number of articles about water quality in regards specific cases or incidents (both real and subjective) that were published during and since, by Natural News including:

These Natural News articles may be attempts to indirectly feed into the direct water contamination claims to bolster and support them, and so possibly generate an impression of all municipal and public water in the US been harmful or toxic due to deliberate actions or neglect of the US government. They also claim that these deliberate actions or neglect is well documented – provided you employ the correct “news sources”.

And now for the facts

In summary the Natural News claims are:

  1. Heavy metal poisoning / contamination of US municipal and public water sources (deliberate or neglectful act – particularly by the EPA)
  2. Wide spread illness and harm due to fluoridation of water (partially due to fluorosis and hypothalamus dysfunction/damage)

The reality is that this narrative by Natural News is simply unfounded, as I have demonstrated in previous articles:

These three articles do an adequate job of debunking the claims of Natural News and its writers (even using some of Mr. Adams CWC lab’s own data in at least one case). This includes the claims made in Mr. Adams most recent article in regards to a recent Forbes article. Interestingly, Mr. Adams’ most recent claims and implications about mercury in flu vaccines also is pseudoscience as shown in another of these three articles. First Mr. Adams attributes the chemistry of elemental mercury to Thiomersal, which is poor chemistry on Mr. Adams’ part. Second, the “elemental mercury” content measured by Mr. Adams’ CWC lab of 50,000 ppb (ie. 50 ppm) is not unexpected given 2:1 ratio between the molecular/atomic masses of Thiomersal:mercury and that 100 ppm is the quantity of Thiomersal added by the manufacturer, which is considered to be safe by the EPA and other scientific authorities. Using ISO17025-accredited laboratory results does not convert pseudoscientific claims to acceptable science, particularly when the entire study’s experimental design and starting tenets are fatally flawed. In the end, ISO17025-accredited quackery is still quackery.

One Natural News claim around fluoridation of water which I have not yet dealt with is the alleged link to cancer. Hence, in reference to such, it should be noted that a number of systematic studies presented in peer-reviewed publications have looked for, but not found, a link between fluoride in drinking water and various cancers. In addition, the writers of Natural News provide no mechanism by which fluoridation could lead to cancer. It is simply cited as a “given fact”. Thus, as with their prior claims, there is simply no evidence for their assertion that fluoride in drinking water causes cancer.

In her article, Vicki Batts made the classic error of confusing fluoride concentration and the total dosage of fluoride. Mrs. Batts indicated that the concentration of fluoride in the 189 ml milk proposed is equivalent to 4.2 ppm which she then compared to the US EPA standard of 0.7 ppm, implying a six fold disparity. However, Mrs. Batts does not account adequately for the fact that only 189 ml of milk will be supplied to the Blackpool children. This gives a total fluoride dosage of about 0.8mg/day. The WHO (UN) in their literature on the topic (see page 4, “Ingested fluoride and health”) indicates that the US National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine has suggested an adequate intake of 0.05 mg/kg/day. For a 15 kg child (~35 lb child) this equates to an adequate dosage of 0.75 mg which is well within same dosage range of the Blackpool children. It should also be emphasized that this is “an adequate” dosage, not a maximum dosage (which would likely be higher). In the same UN document, 6.0 mg/day is stated as the maximum dosage before issues arise around “…an increased risk of bone effects.” For a 15kg child this would likely equate to a dosage of about 1.8 mg even though the UN document does not include scaling for the age and weight of the person involved. Further literature and a lay-summary also indicates that nephrotoxicity (kidney injury) only becomes an issue at 12.0 mg/day and above for fluoride, while fluoride is lethal at dosages of 5-10 g. Lastly, the literature indicates that fluoride does not accumulate in the soft tissue of the human body. This is contrary to Mrs. Batts unfounded claim that “The bones, pineal gland and arteries can also accumulate fluoride.”

The study of residual trace pharmaceuticals in US municipal and public water sources, a new claim by the Natural News writers, is a more recent field of study. Even so, considerable research into this issue has been on-going for the last decade or so, involving active cooperation between the EPA, the water authorities of various states/municipalities, and certain US colleges. These have also been coordinated with similar global efforts undertaken by European countries and the World Health Organization. Concerns have been raised regarding the impact of prolonged low-dosage exposure of these trace pharmaceuticals on the general public, particularly for the more vulnerable members of the population (e.g. infants, pregnant women and their unborn children). In addition, detrimental impacts of certain pharmaceuticals (specifically the oestrogen-stimulating compounds) have been observed in aquatic life near areas of moderate to high contamination, specifically intersexing among male fish with some showing both male and female attributes. These observations are of obvious concern, and prudence necessitates continued study. However, despite these concerns and about a decade of research, no detrimental impact has been observed over that time period in humans, which supports the general and broadly-accepted conclusion that these trace pharmaceutical contaminants are not harmful to the general populous at present levels. This is not unexpected given that most of these trace pharmaceuticals are present in extremely low levels in most of the testing undertaken (typically in the ppb-ppt range). Hence, the claims by Natural News in regards these trace pharmaceutical contaminants in the US municipal and public water sources are completely unsupported, particularly their claims of “massive doses of prescription drugs” being true.

Natural News and the Health Ranger’s new approach?

What is quite evident is that although the narrative of the writers and editors of Natural News has not changed, their approach on the topic appears to now be different. They appear to no longer be trying to “prove” their assertions with facts and studies, they now appear to discuss the issues as though their claims are well and thoroughly proven as “scientific fact” – as though the debate was over and they have proven their point. A review of their articles indicates that their narrative now appears to be about how to get governments to act (ie. to “clean-up their mess” – hence, their championing of Mr. Trump as their much expected “force for change”), on how to “defang” or eliminate the “corrupt” EPA, and on how to hold “Big Pharma”, “Big Business” and government legally liable for their programs and actions that deliberately caused harm (toxic water, vaccine injury, climate change hoax, and similar pseudoscience). However, the science and facts show that their narrative is far from proven, and this is clearly illustrated in that neither Mr. Adams, nor his CWC laboratory have ever published any articles in any recognized peer-review journal or other state publication supporting their broad claims (eg. RSC, Nature, Lancet, ect.).

And what about the magic one thousand ICP-MS samples?

This also raises the question as to whether Mr. Adams still intends to fulfil his commitment (one of many) to analysing 1,000 water samples from across the US, and to present the results for these within the period of about one year since reporting on the first 100 samples (including a little extra time for unforeseen contingencies). Mr. Adams also indicated that he would include results for fluoride, pesticide, and herbicide content on these 1,000 samples (though the one year dead-line for these may be argued as disputable). When Mr. Adams first started this endeavour, he was most enthusiastic about this project. It appeared as though he fully believed that the data would strongly support his assertions about heavy metals as his sample set grew in size. However, even though his sample size did grow with time, the anticipated scientific support for his assertion didn’t. Once the data set had grown to 267, the results obtained proved contrary to his claims and since then there has been no further indication as to provide results for his “magic 1,000 samples”. This author eagerly awaits these results, but the expectation is that no significant deviation from the trend of the first 267 samples will be forthcoming and that they will match the mountain of data of contained in government and state records.

In summary: No science, no support, for Mike Adams’ claims

In summary there is simply no scientific support for any of the claims made by Mr. Mike Adams (The Health Ranger) and his fellow Natural News writers for their assertions that the US municipal and public water supplies are dangerous. Heavy metal contaminants are generally well below the international recognized accepted safety levels, trace pharmaceuticals are present in extreme low levels (far below those to allow for pharmacological action even for a moderate exposure period) and fluoride levels are where they are beneficial to dental health, but not at levels to cause fluorosis (and with no evidence showing that water fluoridation causes cancer).

The infinite bridge to nowhere

So where does this leave Mr. Mike Adams (The Health Ranger) and his fellow writers of Natural News? They continue to repeat the same myths and pseudoscience endlessly, each one feeding off what the other has said, each “inspiring” the next to repeat the same rubbish, one after the other after the other – a never-ending, unchanging, continuous story. It reminds this author of an image he saw recently of the symbol of the concept of infinity: in essence, they are on an infinite bridge to nowhere, and it is such a waste of people and potential that is it a shame.

Posted by Craig D Pearcey

CD “Tiger” Pearcey obtained his Master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The title of his Masters dissertation was “Catalytic Oxidative Coupling of Methane with Consecutive Gas-Phase Reaction”. His original Bachelor of Science degree was a double major in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Pearcey has over 20 years’ experience in applied chemical research, most of which was obtained in service to his present employer who is a leading manufacturer in the paper, pulp, and dissolving pulp industry. Pearcey manages the laboratory with a speciality in bleaching technology at one of the company’s main research facilities. The views expressed are those of the author, CD Pearcey, and do not reflect those of his employer on any topic in question.