Activist speaks to environment committee
It’s a debate that goes back to the 1970s. But once again on Thursday, city council members heard competing views on the value of fluoridated water.
Three members of council’s environment committee listened to a lengthy presentation by anti-fluoride activist Paul Connett, a retired chemistry professor from Canton, New York. Connett, co-author of a 2010 book, “The Case Against Fluoride,” was also scheduled to speak later in the day at the University of Lethbridge.
Following his presentation in council chambers, officials from Alberta Health Services entered six briefs in favour of continuing to add fluorides as a deterrent to tooth decay.
Some candidates raised fluoridation as an issue in the 2013 civic election. A subsequent study by the Citizen Society Research Lab at Lethbridge College found a majority of city residents support its use.
While close to 54 per cent wanted the city to continue with the additive, less than 37 per wanted it removed.
Seniors, upper-income residents and those who’d completed higher levels of education were most likely to approve its use in the water supply, political scientist Faron Ellis reported.
Local fluoride opponents’ vocal campaign succeeded only in generating more support for the measure as a public-health initiative, he pointed out.
“After a rigorous debate and a lot of lively rhetoric by way of the very active anti-fluoridation campaign, support has grown and opposition has weakened.”