FLUORIDE.WEBSITE

Also: fluoride.ga, .gq, .ml & fluoridation.cf, .ga,.gq, .ml, .tk.


EDUCATION SECTION

Files

List of Polls:

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Redding

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Redding Opinion Poll

Redding [2001]

Another American opinion poll that leaves many questions unanswered. On this occasion the pro-fluoride lobby's contact was Donnell Ewert, a Public Health Program Manager. The poll was managed by Jon S. Ebeling, Ph.D. Please note the use of the term "This is a scientifically conducted study of 511 respondents inside the City of Redding." Never has the term "scientifically conducted study" been used in such a deceptive and misleading way ...

Poll finds mixed support for fluoride

On Wednesday, November 7, 2001, Scott Mobley, of the Record Searchlight, published an article about fluoride.

To further investigate this story, the following emails and information was exchanged:

FIRST EMAIL

This email was in response to an earlier inquiry about gaining access to the opinion poll ...

8th November 2001

Mr. [name withheld],

The telephone opinion poll regarding water fluoridation was conducted between October 27-31, 2001. The questions and survey will be available within 2-3 weeks. If you would like a copy of this information at that time, please e-mail your request to Donnell Ewert, Public Health Program Manager, at dewert@co.shasta.ca.us.

Pam English, Executive Assistant. (530) 225-5594

SECOND EMAIL

From: [name withheld]

To: dewert@co.shasta.ca.us

Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001.

Subject: opinion poll

To: Donnell Ewert, Public Health Program Manager

I have been informed by Pam English that I can request the full details of the below mentioned opinion poll which should be available in about 2-3 weeks time. I look forward to receiving details.

Regards, [name withheld]

THIRD EMAIL

From: [name withheld]

Sent: 11/29/01

Dear Donald Ewert

I have so far received no response from you concerning the below mentioned opinion poll. The full details of the opinion poll should now be available and I would appreciate a copy to be sent at your earliest convenience.

NB. Please note that I am using an alternative e-mail address.

Many thanks, [name withheld]

FOURTH EMAIL

From: dewert@co.shasta.ca.us

To: [name withheld]

Sent: Monday, December 03, 2001.

Subject: Re: Fw: opinion poll

Thank you for your inquiry about the public opinion poll conducted by Jon Ebeling, PhD, regarding water fluoridation in Redding. I have attached his report, which I hope you find useful.

The Report can be seen at the bottom of this page

FIFTH EMAIL

From: [name withheld]

To: dewert@co.shasta.ca.us

Sent: 12/03/01

Dear Ewert Donnell

Thank you for your quick reply and attachment. However, what I was actually looking for was a copy of the full opinion poll set of questions - preferably a copy of the actual paper used. The report you sent to me gives me no idea whatsoever how many questions were asked, the text of these questions, and in which order they were presented to the respondent.

I would be very grateful if you could help me further and provide the information that I desire.

Best wishes, [name withheld]

SIXTH EMAIL

From: dewert@co.shasta.ca.us

To: [name withheld]

Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2001.

Subject: Re: Fw: opinion poll

Thank you for your interest in oral health and water fluoridation. I have provided you with the information that has been made available to the public and the media. The text of the question asked respondants [sic] is clearly stated in that report. Thank you for your inquiry and best wishes.

SEVENTH EMAIL

From: [name withheld]

To: dewert@co.shasta.ca.us

Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2001.

Dear Ewert Donnell

I am disappointed to learn that you are not prepared to be more forthcoming with information of the disputed opinion poll. While you are quite within your rights to conceal information which would be more instructive, you have chosen to release only that information which suits your particular argument - thus indicating a clear bias.

Therefore, based on the secrecy you wish to maintain, I can only assume that opinion poll was potentially biased (in favour of a 'yes' vote for water fluoridation) and you do not wish this to be made public.

Comments on the opinion poll will appear on my website: [obsolete -but now here]. It is at this location you can find more information on other opinion polls, amongst a myriad of other information.

Yours sincerely, [name withheld]


THE OPINION POLL (SOURCE:REGIONAL AND ECONOMIC SCIENCES)

Applied Policy Studies for the Public and Private Sectors

The 'released version'

“It is easy to lie with statistics, but it is easier to lie without them.” - Frederick Mosteller

SUMMARY OF INITIAL FINDINGS REGARDING THE SURVEY OF RESIDENTS IN REDDING ABOUT FLUORIDE IN THE WATER

By Jon S. Ebeling, Ph.D. 11/6/2001

  • This is a scientifically conducted study of 511 respondents inside the City of Redding.
  • The questionnaire was pre tested on 45 respondents.
  • The interviewers were briefed for four hours prior to interviewing.
  • The interviewers were closely monitored for correct behavior during interviewing.
  • The survey director, Dr. Jon Ebeling, completed ten interviews himself to monitor the questionnaire’s characteristics with actual respondents.
  • All the data was collected through the use of computer software and logic programmed for eight computers by this author.
  • Random Digit Dialing was used to ensure that all phone numbers have almost the same chance of being in an interview. This procedure ensures that people who have unlisted numbers have the same chance of being interviewed as those without unlisted numbers.
  • All the data for the final report will be analyzed using state-of-the-art statistical analysis. This may entail the use of three way cross-tabulated analyses, analysis of variance and regression techniques.
  • The final report will be prepared using a complete analysis of relationships in the data, and interpretation of those relationships. In this manner, we will find important information about the attitudes and opinions of residents using responses to multiple questions and background characteristics.

THE INITIAL FINDINGS SUGGEST THAT THERE IS BROAD SUPPORT FOR THE CITY TO INSTALL FLUORIDATED WATER SYSTEMS FOR THE RESIDENTS

There is a majority of respondents who support the idea of fluoridated water. The reader should notice the column headed “cum.” in Table 1. This cumulative column indicates that the sum of those that said they strongly support or support the idea is 66% of those who held an opinion on the matter. Slightly more than 5% of the sample of respondents refused to answer or did not know about the topic. Those who responded as refused or who said they did not know were asked the question a second time before the coding of missing responses was entered. Slightly more than 12% of the respondents were undecided about the matter. The sum of those that opposed or strongly opposed is 22 % of the sample. Thus one might conclude that the ratio of support to opposition on this matter is 3 to 1. Table 1 illustrates these results.

TABLE 1: SUPPORT OR OPPOSITION TO FLUORIDATION OF THE WATER IN THE CITY OF REDDING

Support or Oppose fluoridation Freq. % Cum.
strongly support 118 24.43 24.43
support 200 41.41 65.84
undecided 58 12.01 77.85
oppose 90 18.63 96.48
strongly oppose 17 3.52 100
total 483 100 -

THERE IS BROAD SUPPORT FOR WATER FLUORIDATION AMONG BOTH GENDER GROUPS AND ALL AGE BRACKETS

The pattern of support or opposition across gender and over age brackets indicates that more than 60% of both genders and all age groups support or strongly support water fluoridation. Almost 69% of the female respondents support the idea and 62% of the males in the sample support the idea. It is important to note further that females feel more strongly on this matter by a factor of almost 1.5 to 1 than males. It may be that women are more concerned with preventive health issues in this matter than are men. Twelve percent of the sample was undecided on the issue.

While more than 60% of respondents in each age group support water fluoridation, there is a very slight pattern of increasing opposition as the respondent gets older. Those within the age bracket of 18-29 are the are the most supportive (72%) and those who are in the age bracket 67 years or older are the most infrequent supporters (61%).

THERE IS INITIAL EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST A MAJORITY OF THOSE RESPONDING WILL PAY A HIGHER PRICE FOR WATER FLUORIDATION.

Of all respondents, 56% indicated a willingness to pay some increase in price for the service of fluoridated water. Of these folks who are willing to pay higher water rates, 87% were willing to pay at least a $1.50 per month.

When estimating through surveys the willingness of people to pay for price changes tends to produce an under estimate of what they would actually pay. Scientific studies and economic theory have demonstrated that respondents place a higher value on a public good than they are willing to reveal to an interviewer. Thus, it is probable that an even larger majority is willing to pay $1.50 per month.

ITEM HERE