Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

>And its Friday! Have a good weekend! TGWM x


29 Responses to Saturday soapbox

  1. Andrei says:

    A challenge for a cold, wet Saturday

    What are the water trucks doing at the end of this clip and why?

    hint: this is the aftermath of an entry in today’s “Today in History” post”

  2. homepaddock says:

    Your hint leads me to guess it’s something to do with Operation Bagration, but that’s as far as I’ve got.

  3. tiffany267 says:

    More capitalism would make the numbers in your graphic much more promising 🙂

    Here’s a post which exemplifies the sheer idiocy and cruelty of religion:

    And here’s a post which exemplifies the sheer idiocy and cruelty of the Fascist States of Murka:

    Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  4. TraceyS says:

    In 1998 a topical vaccine (a protein) to prevent tooth decay was produced from genetically modified tobacco plants.


    So where is it?

    And why are we still having this same old tired argument about fluoride in drinking water when a successful vaccine was developed 15 years ago?


    Fluoride is a potent disinfectant and that is why dentists use it on a drilled out cavity before filling it. It kills the bugs that cause decay.

    But many children don’t drink water from the tap anymore.

    The tobacco-based vaccine works by tricking the bacteria into not taking up residence.

    Another one, also genetically modified, works by introducing modified bacteria which is toxic to disease causing bacteria.

    It could “take just five minutes and cost about $100” to provide lifelong protection (

    So where are these vaccines, and why are councils debating this issue while children suffer unnecessarily, and will continue to do so whatever decision the councils make?

    Anti-GM sentiment could be the reason. Therefore, as a recent article suggests “responsible voices from the environmental community also need to step forward…In this regard, former anti-GM-organism activist Mark Lynas, who publicly ended his opposition to the technology, is an important example”.

    I agree with that because the health benefits of certain GM organisms are just too important to be overlooked.

    Until such time as a vaccine is available, I will continue to prevent my children getting tooth decay by using a daily oral probiotic such as produced by Dunedin Company, Blis Technologies ( Although successful, this approach is sadly too expensive for many and must be continuous to be of full benefit.

  5. TraceyS says:

    Here is another link from 13 years ago:

    What has happened to this technology???

  6. TraceyS says:

    This relates to earlier comment which is being “moderated”.

    Makes little sense on it’s own!

  7. Andrei says:

    Here’s a post which exemplifies the sheer idiocy and cruelty of religion:

    Rubbish the story has nothing to say about “religion” at all – There will be a lot more to this than is reported but effectively the school was concerned about the welfare small children within its care.

    Strictly speaking the woman wasn’t “fired” either she was placed on leave until her contract expired and it wasn’t renewed,

    All that said the Diocese concerned has handled this situation extremely badly

  8. Andrei says:

    And here’s a post which exemplifies the sheer idiocy and cruelty of the Fascist States of Murka:

    LOL – probably the least aggressive Nation in the history of the world is the good old USA.

    Of course the idiot in the Whitehouse now is hell bent on dragging the world into a catastrophic war and when it comes we will all be fighting on the wrong side

  9. tiffany267 says:

    Evidently someone didn’t click on the link. Thanks for adding nothing to the discussion, though! 😀

  10. tiffany267 says:

    Shameful – religious people doing evil things.

    Pathetic – religious people defending something shameful.

  11. tiffany267 says:

    Thanks for sharing. It’s an interesting newspiece.

    Websearch gave me this update from 2006:

    Apparently Sinclair Pharma is marketing it as Decapinol®.
    Available as “Rinse, Toothpaste, Gel. Spray”.

    So far I haven’t turned up anything harmful about it, and Amazon buyers have given it 5 star ratings. Hopefully Monsanto doesn’t buy it out.

  12. Viv K says:

    I would guess that whatever promise this technology showed in 2000 has not stood up to the rigour of later testing? I would also presume that there would be strong consumer resistance to the concept of GE food to reduce tooth decay and doubt that the idea would be welcomed by the anti fluoride lobby either. I’m not comfortable with using GE, there are much easier ways to reduce decay, such as reducing the frequency of sugar intake. Acidic foods (including apples) and drinks dissolve tooth enamel directly without plaque being needed, so even if that GE apple worked there would still be cavities. You’d actually need to eat a lot of tangy apples a day to do much harm though, but energy and sports drinks do a lot of damage, especially when sipped often, because their pH is low. One fairly recent development in tooth protection is “tooth mousse”, a high calcium cream made from milk. Yep milk and cheese are great for teeth! Here endeth the dental lesson. I was hoping to plant my garlic this weekend, but after 200mm of rain this week, even the well draining garlic bed is very soggy . A top temp of 4 deg this afternoon was another good reason to stay inside. Hope everyone is able to stay warm and dry tonight and that the hills stop sliding down soon.

  13. TraceyS says:

    Well the anti-fluoride lobby need to suggest viable alternatives if they want fluoride removed from water supplies.

    Tooth mousse is expensive.

    Reducing sugar intake and energy drinks is a good idea, but isn’t consumption of these actually increasing?

    I ignored the dentist who said that apples and pineapple should be avoided, and the dental nurse who said to feed the kids potato crisps for morning tea rather than a piece of acidic fruit.

  14. Viv K says:

    Tiffany has followed up on the development of that product, I’ve not seen it promoted here in NZ. Mark Lynas is dragged out over and over, one anti GE activist who changed his views and now makes a career out of promoting GE. If trained geneticist David Suzuki made a similar switch I’d find that more credible. My personal objection to GE is that there isn’t enough testing before products are released. Prof Jack Heinemann talked about this in March this year in relation to dsRNA. He explains it better than I can, there is an article on Stuff ‘Researchers warn on new GM molecule’ and an interview on nine to noon 28th March ‘claims of lax food safety regulations for gm molecules’. I disagree with claims Ele has made on this blog, that opposition to GE is emotional not scientific. I strongly assert that there is a sound scientifically based objection to introducing GE organisms without adequate testing being done. Of course it would be wonderful if all the GE products did what they said, but without proper longterm testing we don’t know if they are safe. The people selling them claim they are, but they stand to make multi million dollar profits, so their claims should be subject to rigourous scientific scrutiny, that it isn’t, is a very good reason for treating GE conservatively.

  15. tiffany267 says:

    I can’t speak for people in NZ or other places in the world, but people in the U.S. eat absurd amounts of processed sugar, which obviously is terrible both for oral hygiene and for overall health.

    I don’t know much about the objections to fluoride. I used fluoride-based toothpaste for years and have never had any sort of dental problems (I haven’t even been to a dentist in years so take your annual check-ups and stick them where the sun doesn’t shine), and in fact I’m in excellent health overall.

    Recently, I’ve been exclusively using a locally made organic powder which contains sensible, natural ingredients no one needed to produce in a laboratory. I do so mostly because I love supporting my local economy and small business in general (a dying breed!). I could just as easily buy some spearmint, crush it with baking soda, and use that instead for mere pennies, but I’m too lazy 🙂 Capitalism is great for us lazy people LOL

  16. Viv K says:

    Replacing fruit with high fat, salty crisps doesn’t sound healthy to me. Though pineapple is quite acidic and, as such, better eaten at mealtimes rather than as a between meal snack. Sadly tooth mousse is expensive. In my ideal world there would be extra taxes on unhealthy food and fizzy and the money used to subsidise healthy stuff. Dreaming, I guess.

  17. TraceyS says:

    A good idea might be to engineer caries peptide P1025 into potatoes used for high fat snacks. Then you could be sure that it would reach those who need it most.

    You could easily avoid them, because you probably don’t eat those products anyway.

    But this requires a more open discussion on GM. Essentially it means both sides dropping their guard. The fluoride debate is a good example of this not happening and it becoming a defence of positions, meanwhile over here… is moving on.

    I don’t agree that tax would change behaviour. Or even that we should try to change behaviour with taxes. Why should someone who enjoys the odd chip at a party or sports drink after a match pay extra tax on it?

  18. TraceyS says:

    “Development of a vaccine for tooth decay has been under investigation for more than 30 years. In 1972, a caries vaccine was said to be in animal testing in England, and that it would have begun human testing soon. Intrinsic difficulties in developing it, coupled with lack of strong economic interests, are the reasons why no such vaccine is commercially available as of 2011.”

    Without strong commercial incentives, the testing you ask for will not happen.

  19. Andrei says:

    Well the anti-fluoride lobby need to suggest viable alternatives if they want fluoride removed from water supplies.

    No they don’t – what makes you think that it is the business of central or local government to medicate people whether they want it or not?

    And for all the ra ra about “sugary drinks” yadda yadda in the real world most people’s dental health, like all other health is way way better than it has ever been.

    All other heath Andrei? What about the mental health of the population? That is actually in marked decline

  20. Viv K says:

    The sun doesn’t shine in between teeth, so hope you are still flossing Tiffany. Another wee bit of dental advice from someone who has what you would know as a DDS, don’t use dry baking soda on teeth, it’s way too abrasive. Dissolving 1tsp of baking soda in 1 cup of water makes a mild alkaline mouthwash which counteracts acid in the mouth. Cheap, but doesn’t taste too good.

  21. tiffany267 says:

    Thanks for the tip!

  22. Viv K says:

    Well Andrei, I’m concerned about the dental health of elderly people, there are problems ahead. Unlike 30 years ago, people now mostly retire with their own teeth, not full false ones. As people age conditions like arthritis, strokes, parkinsons make it harder to clean teeth properly. Medication and disease reduce the amount of saliva available to protect teeth. Most retired people are on fixed incomes and have difficulty affording dental treatment. The health of teeth, eyes and ears has been almost exclusively left to the private sector and the market in NZ. That system fails a large proportion of our population. As the baby boomers retire with sore teeth, unable to see or hear properly, I expect we will hear more about this problem.

  23. TraceyS says:

    “what makes you think that it is the business of central or local government to medicate people whether they want it or not?”

    Current practice.

    “in the real world most people’s dental health, like all other health is way way better than it has ever been.”

    Incorrect. Pre-European Maori, for example, had the lowest incidence of dental caries in the world – around 2 decayed teeth for every 2000 teeth. Now they have the worst.

    “What about the mental health of the population?”

    Weston A Price observed a relationship between mental health and poor dental development in his studies in the 1920s. Proper food requires good chewing, and chewing helps dental development (along with proper food and breastfeeding etc). Kids can’t chew food properly if their teeth are full of painful holes.

  24. Viv K says:

    If there isn’t the money to pay for adequate safety studies then the vaccine or GE product should not be released. It is unethical to sell GE products when their safety has not been actually investigated. I refer back to Jack Heinemann who explained the situation with dsRNA.

  25. TraceyS says:

    So don’t you think that governments should be more proactive in regard to GMOs particularly where there could be major health benefits?

    If a caries vaccine given to all children at two years of age could promise to all but wipe out dental disease as other vaccines have done for other communicable diseases, what impact do you think this would have on the dental industry?

    What impact, long term, would it have on eating habits and general health? What impact would it have on health spending in other areas linked to dental decay, such as heart disease?

  26. Viv K says:

    You seem to have set an essay question there Tracey. There are huge demands on the health dollar, I consider it more appropriate to spend government money on treatments and preventative measures that are currently known to be safe and effective, before funding research into GMOs. IF a vaccine was administered to stop strep mutans caries there would be a big drop in dental work needed eventually. It would not be the end of all dental problems, there would still be gum disease (that’s the one suspected of having links to heart disease), acid attack and erosion, trauma and stress fractures. As for impact on other health issues, hard to say, high sugar intake doesn’t just cause dental decay, diabetes is a widespread disease. You objected to the idea of extra taxes being imposed on unhealthy foods. When those foods contribute to diseases that the health system has to find more and more money to treat, I think a case can be made for taxing them.

  27. TraceyS says:

    Those foods are only a problem when used too often. It’s up to the consumer to use them responsibly. If taxing sugary drinks then why not tax white sugar also and penalise the home-baker as well?

  28. Viv K says:

    Interesting point Tracey, food for thought (sorry about the rather poor pun)

  29. TraceyS says:

    Thanks for the productive engagement in discussion (and also to Tiffany). Exactly what I hoped for – and learned something from the effort too.

    A nice distraction on what has not been the easiest of weeks!

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