DISINFO: Rat poison is added to the tap water in the US because of the high rat population in US cities
DISINFORMATION CASE DETAILS
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Virus / bacteria threat

DISINFO: Rat poison is added to the tap water in the US because of the high rat population in US cities

SUMMARY

One of the most problematic daily issues in the US is sodium fluoride, which is rat poison, in US tap water. This is connected with the fact that many rats live in US cities, caused by dirty streets, a huge number of fast food restaurants with leftovers and other rubbish. High numbers of homeless people also add to the rat problem.

RESPONSE

This disinformation is based on an old myth saying that fluoride is used in rat poison, proving it’s dangerous. Most of the fluoride used to help teeth is called sodium fluoride (NaF), whereas rat poison often uses a different compound called sodium fluoroacetate (FCH2CONa). Although the US (just as in most of the countries in the world) indeed has some problems with water treatment systems and reports show that chemicals and hazardous substances are found in tap water throughout different US communities, the claim connecting the use of fluoride in tap water and the rats living in the US cities is an absurd ungrounded conspiracy. However, the fluoride compound in question is very different from the one used for water fluoridation, that is the process of controlled addition of fluoride to a public water supply to reduce tooth decay. The myth about fluoride and rat poison is often debunked by dentists and scientists. Water fluoridation was, by the way, occasionally used in Russia and the USSR, too. It is reported that milk fluoridation is practised in Russia for the prevention of dental illnesses. After scientific studies suggested that fluoridated water may cause health problems, water fluoridation was stopped in a number of US communities. However one recent study shows that the end of this practice in a given community has worsened the oral health of its residents.

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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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