The mayor of Tecumseh told CBC News the decision to remove fluoride from municipal drinking water should be put to a referendum. But, people need to educate themselves about the additive first.
“Those decisions are very controversial, but they should be based on good science and not just part of, you know, gut feelings of others,” Gary McNamara said. “And I think some of the science that other groups have brought forward (is) not in-depth enough to really change my personal opinion that the real benefits are there versus the risks.”
McNamara is also chairman of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit board of directors. He sides with fluoride and its benefits.
The Windsor Utilities Commission is preparing a report on whether it should stop adding fluoride to the drinking water. Such a move has already been made by the Town of Lakeshore.
Drive to rid Windsor of fluoride
A local anti-fluoride group is pleased that the question of whether fluoride should stay in Windsor’s drinking water came up at Monday night’s city council meeting.
Fluoride-Free Windsor advocates discontinuing the use of the element for health reasons.
Kimberley DeYoung is a member of the group and says Windsor is now in the hot seat after Lakeshore decided to eliminate the chemical from its drinking water.
Last week, Lakeshore council decided to stop adding fluoride to water in its Stoney Point treatment plant. One Windsor water treatment plant does still supply part of Lakeshore fluoridated water.
‘I think the decision by Lakeshore has put pressure on Windsor council.’— Kimberley DeYoung, Fluoride-Free Windsor
“I think the decision by Lakeshore has put pressure on Windsor council,” DeYoung said. “Windsor utilities commission is the only water supplier still fluoridating for Lakeshore. The other four plants that provide Lakeshore with water have either been fluoride-free all along or are stopping fluoridation.”
DeYoung now hopes that LaSalle and Tecumseh residents will contact their council and the Windsor utilities commission if they are concerned about fluoridation.
The question of whether fluoride should stay in Windsor’s drinking water arose Monday at Windsor’s city council meeting.
And the idea of removing the chemical was not shot down out of hand.
Coun. Bill Marra is chairman of the Windsor Utilities Commission’s board of directors.
‘Anything without public consultation would be a horrible mistake.’— Windsor Coun. Bill Marra
“It is being looked at and at the appropriate time, when a report comes forward, there are options to be considered,” Marra said. “But I think anything without public consultation would be a horrible mistake, keeping in mind that we have a responsibility to work with both LaSalle and Tecumseh on this issue.”
A 200-member grassroots group called Fluoride Free Windsor wants fluoride removed from Windsor’s water.
Windsor spends $130,000 dollars each year to add fluoride to its water system. And it’s been doing so for 58 years now.
Windsor’s license is up for renewal in 2014 and only then could fluoride be removed by vote of council.
“As a matter of our licence we’re compelled to continue the use of fluoride until there’s a consensus in the communities we serve that they choose otherwise,” Windsor Utilities Commission general manager John Wladarski said last week, not long after Lakeshore voted to remove fluoride from its water.