Conspiracy at the Tap: The Truth About Water Fluoridation

There are very few actions that the government can take without being subject to conspiracy theories.

And, to some’s defense, more than a handful of conspiracy theories have been right in the past, only adding fuel to the fire when a new one arises.

There are quite a few conspiracy theories that I find fascinating, and one of the conspiracy theories that has been around for decades and continues to hold my interest is the theory that fluoride is harmful to you.

It’s one that continues to evolve as it passes down from generation to generation and adopts new conspiracies.

But is this true?

Are the many claims surrounding fluoride in our drinking water founded?

Let’s examine the conspiracy theories surrounding water fluoridation more closely to better understand how they came to be and why they’re still going strong today.

What Is the Water Fluoridation Conspiracy Theory?

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The water fluoridation conspiracy theory, aptly named, is the theory that adding fluoride to our drinking water is either a concerted effort by the government to harm and control us.

On the less extreme end of the spectrum, there’s the argument that it’s simply harmful.

Because the water fluoridation conspiracy theory is ongoing and more complex than something others might easily scoff at others for bringing up, it’s a much more detailed topic that needs to be thoroughly broken down.

We’ll take a closer look at it in the following sections.

How Did It Start?

When did it come to be that people started believing fluoride in the water was bad?

This started in the 1940s when fluoride was added to the water.

The very first conspiracy theory surrounding fluoride in the water was that it was designed to dumb down the American population, which was a Communist effort to ensure that Americans were more susceptible to being controlled and easier to sway.

Another article discussing the water fluoridation controversy noted the incorporation of the theory into Stanley Kubrik’s movie Dr. Strangelove, in which the character Jack D. Ripper tells Lionel Mandrake:

“Vodka, that’s what they drink . . . on no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason . . . Have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure-grain alcohol? Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation of water? Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?”

It might sound silly, but it’s been so effective that the conspiracy theory still exists today, even if it’s not entirely in its original form.

How Has It Evolved Over the Years?

A conspiracy theory that manages to persist rarely remains in its original form, especially if it’s so heavily open to interpretation, such as the addition of fluoride in water.

While some may still believe that fluoridation in water is a Communist tactic designed to keep the average American dumb, you might encounter any one of the thousands of conspiracy theories surrounding fluoridation in the water today, including:

  • Big Sugar is behind the efforts to keep fluoride in the water, which would boost the sales of sweets and allow people to eat more without getting cavities as easily or as often.
  • Fluoride causes cancer.
  • Fluoride causes thyroid issues.
  • Fluoride causes acne.
  • Fluoride kills the good bacteria in your gut, which can lead to any number of issues.
  • Water fluoridation is unsafe or ineffective.
  • It takes away your freedoms.
  • And literally, anything else that you could imagine.

Of course, like any conspiracy, it’s also come full circle.

While no longer tied to Communism, there have been major anti-fluoride groups pushing the concept that the consumption of fluoride by pregnant women can cause children to be born with a lower IQ.

This is also something that they believe happens once the child is born and starts to consume fluoride, causing cognitive issues that can’t be reversed.

But is there any evidence to back any of these claims up? Is there a kernel of truth to this conspiracy theory?

Is There Any Truth to the Theory?

It’s important to preface this by saying that people often argue that the theory is much more nuanced due to varying studies and evidence.

It’s not.

It is important to note that too much fluoride can be bad for you, causing teeth staining.

If you get way too much, you’re potentially looking at skeletal fluorosis, which can result in weakening bones, muscle pain, and other undesirable symptoms.

It has been found that too much fluoride in water can be harmful to you, but does this warrant the continued belief that water fluoridation needs to be stopped or that it is a symptom of a government that wants to control its people?

It’s unlikely.

The first central plot hole is that the evidence does exist to support anti-water fluoridation in counties with much less oversight than in the U.S., which often results in far more fluoride in the water than there should be.

The second issue is that other contaminants tend to be present in these water sources that locals drink, which causes a myriad of health issues unrelated to water fluoridation, whether natural or artificial.

So, is there a reason to be worried about water fluoridation?

In some places, yes.

However, in the U.S., the amount added is unlikely to produce any major side effects unless you happen to consume so much fluoride that you manage to overdose, which would be quite hard to do without actively trying.

Water fluoridation, like many lasting conspiracy theories, is unlikely to go away any time soon, but there are people who will continue to stand their ground on both sides of the argument as they debate the age-old question: Why is there fluoride in my water, and why does it continue to stay there?

4 thoughts on “Conspiracy at the Tap: The Truth About Water Fluoridation”

  1. After reading about the idea that water fluoridation began as something malevolent, I’m genuinely curious. How did the government initially justify the introduction of fluoride to public water supplies, and were there any immediate public concerns or oppositions? It seems like an initiative with public health in mind, but I’m interested in understanding the initial reactions. Agent Johnson, could you shed some light on this?

    1. I think initially it was all about dental health improvements which honestly had a big impact. People were less informed back then, not like today where everyone’s a Google expert.

    2. That’s right! The dental health benefits are significant. Fluoride helps remineralize tooth enamel and prevents cavities. It was a big step forward in public health.

  2. Honestly, all these years and they’re still pushing fluoride on us like it’s candy. What’s so hard about letting people choose what’s in their water? Last time I checked, freedom was still a thing. And now there’s this article trying to make us buy into it all over again. Not buying what they’re selling, no sir.

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