City hall sees no reason to stop adding fluoride to London water, despite protests by anti-fluoride activists in January at a public forum.
So says a city administration report being presented Monday to the civic works committee after analyzing contrary evidence presented in January.
“In essence, council is being asked (by activists) to disregard the expert analysis and recommendations of local, provincial, federal and international public health agencies,” says the 49-page report from city engineer John Braam and city water manager John Simon.
“Administration recommends that council not abandon the practice of relying upon the expertise provided by our public health officials, but rather that council confirm its confidence (in them).”
Coun. Steve Orser said he retains his concerns about fluoride and wants to see the issue put to London voters in the next election.
Not allowing Londoners that chance, he said, is “hypocritical politics. We are saying you can vote for me but you can’t vote on the water your family drinks every day.”
He said a plebiscite brought fluoridation to London and another plebiscite is needed.
Orser noted in Windsor, the utilities commission has recommended fluoride be removed from city water and the issue goes to council there for a decision.
The report from London administration doesn’t wash with anti-$fluoride activist Chris Gupta, annoyed that his and the health concerns of others were dismissed.
“It’s probably one of the most unprofessional reports I have ever seen,” said the electrical engineer. “Everything is hearsay; there is no evidence at all.
“They talk about fluoride is practised worldwide when fluoride is hardly practised anywhere, only about 4% or 5% of the world fluoridates,” he said.
He said he will watch Monday as city staff report is presented, but no delegations are allowed.
“We just want to be there to show we haven’t forgotten, that’s all. We’re not there to do anything else because this whole thing is somewhat rigged in that regard, anyway.”
In its report, administration responds to 75 complaints raised in January by 46 opponents ranging from claims that fluoridation amounts to medicating water users without their permission to allegations fluoride is linked to health problems such as diabetes, hip fractures, cancer, autism, learning disabilities, lowered IQ and birth defects.
London has been adding fluoride to its water since 1967 at a cost of $133,000 annually. Its use is credited with reducing tooth decay.
The city report says fluoridation has undergone extensive and ongoing testing and is recommended by the World Health Organization, Health Canada, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health and the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
Despite this scientific support, the cities of Waterloo, Calgary and Moncton, N.B., have discontinued its use. So, too, did Dorval, Que., said the city report, but it was reinstated there because of increased risk of dental cavities in children.