Orillia councillors are being urged to attend a talk on the potential dangers of water fluoridation by a noted authority on the subject.
The Feb. 17 presentation by Dr. Paul Connett at Lakehead University comes just as the city prepares for public consultations on a proposal to fluoridate Orillia’s water supply.
Council could make a decision on the proposal as early as June.
“If this isn’t your field of expertise, why are you voting on it at all?” said Susan Schweitzer, organizer of the free event, which starts at 7 p.m. “If the government wants the water in this country fluoridated, then they convene the biggest scientific conference on the subject ever seen to man. You get every honcho from around the world and then you make your decision based on what they as a group vote on.”
Connett, a retired university professor specializing in environmental chemistry and toxicology, co-authored ‘The Case Against Fluoride’, and helped found the Fluoride Action Network.
The New York-based scientist and international speaker on the subject agreed to stop over in Orillia while en route from another engagement.
“I challenge anybody from any organization – public health, dental – to come there and pose questions to him,” Schweitzer added.
Connett is willing to meet with councillors the day after the presentation, she said.
“He will meet with them privately to address their particular concerns about the issue of fluoride,” she added.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is urging city council to approve the use of fluoridation in Orillia’s drinking water.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner described fluoride as a safe and effective method to combat tooth decay, noting local children have higher rates of decay than those in communities with fluoridated water.
Schweitzer, a member of a newly emerging group – Orillia Citizens Against Fluoride – says it is unethical to medicate a municipality’s water supply.
“If you decide that a group of people need something, and it is an element to get well, that thing in my view becomes a drug,” she added. “If you are going to prescribe a drug to someone, it should be done by a medical doctor and it should be for that person.”
On Feb. 29, the city will hold the first of two public forums on fluoridation, with the second meeting to follow in late May.
Council is expected to make a decision in June.
Schweitzer is urging residents who share her concerns to contact council members.
“Instead of talking to each other, instead of getting angry what you need to do is talk to your ward councillors and your mayor and simply say, please vote no,” she said. “They are supposed to be representing you.”
Residents wishing to attend Connett’s presentation are asked to confirm by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Seating is limited.