Ralph Nader is to consumer rights what Albert Einstein was to physics. Many of the consumer protections, including seat belts, that Americans now take for granted, were the result of Nader’s tireless work fighting for the rights of those with little voice in Washington. Nader has long opposed mandatory fluoridation, and in this statement from March 2013, Nader encouraged voters in Portland, Oregon to reject a referendum measure that would have fluoridated Portland’s water.
As a consumer advocate I am opposed to mandatory fluoridation of public water supplies. Its ostensible purpose is to reduce dental cavities, which can be accomplished in other preventive manners without exposing whole populations to risks, costs, unknown consequences and precedents. Decades ago, it became clear that the U.S. Public Health Service did not scientifically “keep its options open for revision,” to use the words of Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of the scientific process. (The Case Against Fluoride 2010)
Mandatory fluoridation became a hardened dogma, enforced against any questioners by slander, retaliation and ostracism.
The Public Health Service’s closed mind became a door closer to sponsoring or encouraging any continuing research into mandatory fluoridation’s effects, especially regarding total fluoride intakes in a community, dose control, dental fluorosis, effect on infants, people on kidney dialysis and combinational effects with other organisms in water supplies.
It took decisive findings by the National Research Council to recommend that infants not ingest fluoridated water, including use in baby formula, and its Canadian counterpart to recommend years earlier prohibition of such water for dialysis patients. This further reveals just how rigidly autocratic were the promoters of mandatory fluoridation.
More questions are being sensibly raised in recent years. Yet the U.S. Public Health Service, ignoring other Western nations that have banned mandatory fluoridation, continues to use taxpayer dollars to bring communities to their knees on this issue, often without allowing them even to vote. I urge Portland voters to vote NO on Measure 26-151.
Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate