First of all, I’d like to thank the mayor and councillors for staging a debate on fluoridation.
They brought in two experts; one for and one against fluoridation. Dr. Horne, a medical officer for Alberta Health Services, spoke for fluoridation. Dr. Beck, with doctorates in medicine and biophysics, and author of the book The Case against Fluoride, spoke against fluoridation.
Arguments that I heard for fluoridation included:
• Tooth decay will increase if fluoridation is stopped.
• Fluoride is not a chemical or drug.
• Fluoridation in the water prevents tooth decay.
• Fluoridation is ethical.
• Anything in low doses is fine.
Arguments that I heard against fluoridation included:
• Tooth decay will not increase if fluoridation is stopped.
• Fluoride is a chemical or drug.
• Fluoridation in the water does not prevent tooth decay.
• Fluoridation is unethical.
• Fluoridation can cause dental fluorosis, thyroid problems, weakening of the bones and many other health issues.
Although Beck’s summary proved to be very convincing against fluoridation, I was especially intrigued to hear actual facts from the floor, that supported Beck’s arguments.
Some points that led me to my conviction against fluoridation:
• Comments from new Red Deerians who had previously resided in non-fluoridated communities supported the statement that tooth decay did not increase in those communities.
• I did my own research regarding whether or not fluoride is a chemical or drug. I came up with: fluoride is the only chemical added to water for the purpose of medical treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies fluoride as a drug when used to prevent disease (FDA 2000).
• I heard countless arguments that tooth decay is on the rise, but why is that if our water is fluoridated and it is deemed to prevent tooth decay? A lady from B.C. spoke well on non-fluoridated B.C. communities and her role in the importance of teaching proper nutrition.
• Ethical? If informed consent is standard practice for all medication, then allowing fluoride (considered a drug) in the water, without my consent, is forced medication and therefore unethical.
• I have studied health and continually strive to be healthy. I do not like to put drugs in my body. A woman from the floor talked about her four-year-old who has dental fluorosis, a side effect from fluoride. That does not thrill me.
I have many concerns regarding my most recent research which includes but is not limited to:
• The fluoride goes to everyone regardless of age, health or vulnerability.
• Fluoride accumulates in the body. Healthy adult kidneys excrete 50 to 60 per cent of the fluoride they ingest each day (Marier & Rose 1971).
• No health agency in fluoridated countries is monitoring fluoride exposure or side effects.
Now I realize that this debate will never be resolved. There will always be people for and against fluoridation.
Nevertheless, I believe there is a win-win option. I was thrilled to hear at the debate, that people can receive fluoride from many sources other than water.
I also heard that even if the city did not add fluoride to the water there would still be fluoride in the water.
Therefore, I propose the city discontinue fluoridation in Red Deer water. I am asking that Red Deerians be given back their freedom to choose which drug enters their body. I also propose that alternative options be provided for those that seek fluoridation.