The recent column by Rod Allen comparing anti-fluoride groups to paranoid communists is a classic case of literary narcissism – he appears to be so in love with his own “clever” writing that he didn’t even bother to check the facts on the fluoride debate.
A growing chorus of reputable science is showing that fluoridation of water has little if any benefit and much potential for harm (see www.fluoridealert.org).
Appeal to authority (if it was so bad, Health Canada would ban it) is often the crutch that helps perpetuate spurious conclusions based on incomplete or flawed science. The bad science continues to be referenced by the establishment even in the face of more recent contrary findings and the status quo is maintained.
Examples abound that illustrate this fact: cigarettes, asbestos, lead, pesticides, DDT, thalidomide and transfats harmed or killed many people before they were labeled harmful.
Big organizations do not like to change directions on long held positions. And much of the pro-fluoride research they cite is directly or indirectly paid for by the chemical industry so that negative results are never published and claims of benefit are exaggerated.
Thankfully there are many ethical scientists who, at their own professional peril, have been willing to stick their necks out by publishing results that link water fluoridation to negative human health impacts. So the precautionary principle strongly applies in this case – growing evidence of harm means water fluoridation should be stopped until further study can demonstrate its safety/benefit.
In the end this is all about money – fluoride is an industrial byproduct conveniently sold to municipalities, thereby turning a waste product into a revenue stream. This all started back in the 1940s when ALCOA was looking for a way to get rid of its fluoride waste products; it paid for the research that promoted water fluoridation and orchestrated its introduction into municipal water systems.
The fact that tooth decay trends in countries where they do not fluoridate (e.g. EU) are no worse than where they do completely undermines the main argument for fluoridation. People get all the fluoride they need from toothpaste so it does not need to be ingested via water where its bio-accumulative effect can impair health.
Like many other progressive jurisdictions (Calgary, Quebec City, the EU and most of the planet), Moncton should stop wasting money putting this additive into our water. Rod Allen should have done some homework before publishing such a biased and poorly researched article.