To fluoridate or not to fluoridate… that appears to be the question.
Halton council was to decide last week on whether to end the Region’s practice of fluoridating local water after current supplies have been exhausted.
However, councillors were surprised when greeted with a barrage of delegations, many whom were expected to address council on the issue, and ultimately opted to defer any decision.
Halton Hills Councillor Clark Somerville, who earlier brought forward the motion to remove fluoride from Halton’s water supply, said council could not have done justice to the delegations by making a decision that day.
The motion to defer the decision was the correct one, but who knew water fluoridation was such a hot-button topic?
Halton’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bob Nosal called much of the material anti-fluoride delegations brought forward “nonsense.”
He said many of statements from the anti-fluoride groups “is not applicable to the low moderate level of fluoride we have.” He pointed to a U.S. study from some speakers showing adverse effects where the fluoride count is four parts per million.
“I agree with that statement, but our level is point six (0.6). It’s much, much lower,” said Nosal, in pointing out dental decay rates are lower in communities which fluoridate water.
Nosal also pointed out that both Health Canada and the World Health Organization support fluoridation.
Frankly we are puzzled why council is questioning the viewpoint of its own medical officer of health. Nosal has, over the years, proven to be a sound voice of reason for this region. He drew rave reviews for his proactive work in the battle against West Nile Virus and has always put the best interests of this region’s citizens first.
He is a medical professional whose job it is to know the benefits/adverse effects of matters such as water fluoridation. His position on the issue is supported by Health Canada’s chief dental officer.
So, why are we expected to put more faith in the words of those supporting the removal of fluoride than those of our medical officer of health who has an impeccable record?