Sir: Just as vaccines were undermined in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield’s false claims about alleged links to autism, so too is your paper undermining a second public health measure: fluoridation.
The screed by Ms. Czechowicz (Oct. 11) comes from a marginal organization called the “Fluoride Action Network” (FAN). Its members seem to be people who own water bottling companies and who truly believe in conspiracy.
For example, they see fluoridation as a conspiracy by the American Dental Association because conspiracy is essential to their thinking. But dentists do better financially in municipalities where there is no fluoridation because the population has significantly worse oral health.
What FAN says usually has an element of truth. For example, “fluoride is toxic.” Of course, it can be toxic depending upon how much one consumes. Like water and salt, fluoride is necessary and safe at certain levels but if one eats a box of salt every day, then serious harm will follow.
The amount of fluoride recommended in drinking water is 0.7 parts per million. To consume too much, one would have to drink many swimming pools of water daily but water poisoning would kill the person long before a build up of fluoride would.
It might seem appropriate to publish “for” and “against” articles regarding a public health measure. But, as the adage goes, ‘people are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts’ and nonsense that can harm the population has no place in a serious newspaper.
If Ms. Czechowicz were parroting the Flat Earth Society, then would you give her such space? Please retract this article, which is false, misleading and harmful to the public health of the people of Sarnia.
Fluoridation is recognized as one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th Century by the CDC. Fluoridation at the recommended amount is safe and effective, period.
Cumming School of Medicine,
University of Calgary
*Original letter online at http://thesarniajournal.ca/letters-week-of-oct-25/
Note: See response, Ethics professor was unethical in her response to column opposing fluoridation, by Paul Connett, PhD, November 15, 2018.