San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/29/2013 -- Details about the state official’s meeting with architects of Portland’s pro-fluoride campaign emerged in emails referencing the 2012 Smile Survey, a report which showed improvement in every major dental category, compared with the 2007 results.
While the emails don’t show any delay to releasing the new survey it is now politicised due to unfair and restricting access to information contradicting the “growing dental health crisis” campaign tied to an election earlier than this month, and whether the fluoride proponents received an advancement to information in the campaign.
In contrast, Oregon Health Authority officials claim they never met with fluoride opponents and didn't even turn the survey into a report or publicly release a draft version until late April after receiving an open records request from the newspaper, The Oregonian.
Dental health statistics are fueling the pro-fluoride campaign. The website run by Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland highlights a 49 percent increase of untreated dental decay among children between the years of 2002 and 2007. However, new statistics for the year 2012 show that the increase has been totally wiped away and the percentage of kids who are not being treated for tooth decay is below the year 2002.
According to a series of emails, Shanie Mason, the state's oral health program manager, and Mel Kohn, the state health officer, met with the co-directors of Upstream Public Health, Mel Rader and Raquel Luz Bournhonesque, on Jan. 31 before results were available. State Officials originally told Upstream that the report would be available before March.
Once initial numbers came back, Mason emailed Kohn on Feb. 4 to ask him, "Shall I contact Raquel and Mel now or wait until we've done an initial draft?" When the report wasn’t available in March, the deputy state epidemiologist, Bruce Gutelius, wrote an email to Kohn on March 19 to let him know that Mason "spoke with Mel and Raquel a week before and that she thought the conversation was productive."
According to an email from Gutelius to Kohn and copying Mason in the email, Shanie went over the outline of the survey results, and told her that the draft report would be available late April. Shanie said she would make sure she stayed in touch until the paper was submitted.
However, Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority, contends that never happened. "Shanie did not go over an outline of the survey results with Upstream. Again, no specific data were discussed," he wrote in response to questions from The Oregonian.
Kimberly Kaminski, a chairwoman for the fluoride-opposition group Clean Water Portland, said details from the emails are extremely disturbing and called for an investigation by the Department of Justice.
"There's clearly some funny business going on," she said. "They're meeting behind the scenes and being pressured by Upstream, the while an active campaign is going on!"
State officials only met with Upstream, Modie explained, because no one else asked to do so. Modie explained that if others would have requested a meeting, they would have been granted.
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