LAYTON — Saying that a proposed fluoride debate has been unfairly structured, Utahns for Better Dental Health — Davis, has refused to participate in a public debate sponsored by Waterwatch of Utah.
The debate, entitled “Fluoridation: All Things Considered,” has been scheduled for Oct. 22 from 7-9 p.m. at the Davis County Conference Center, 800 W. Heritage Park Blvd. in Layton.
Notable national fluoride foes have agreed to participate, but UBDH has declined. “We are only interested if the event is sponsored and structured for fairness and balance by an organization which is not propounding an anti-fluoride position,” said UBDH attorney David Irvine. “Waterwatch is not a neutral organization.”
The debate will be moderated by Janice Houston, a senior policy analyst at the University of Utah. Among scheduled speakers are: William Hirzy, a senior scientist (risk assessment) and ranking professional chemist at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. He is senior vice president of the EPA headquarters Professionals’ Union which unanimously opposes water fluoridation; Phyllis Mullenix, a toxicologist and pharmacologist, who is serving as a consultant in litigation involving poisonings from various occupational and environmental exposures; Hardy Limeback, head of the Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto, who publicly reversed his position on the safety of fluoride after study; and Rogers D. Masters, president of the Foundation for Neuroscience and Society and a Fulbright Fellow who co-wrote a paper which reported elevated blood lead levels of 151,225 children in New York who drank fluoridated water.
Lorna Rosenstein of Waterwatch of Utah released information on the debate, pointing out that Irvine had previously agreed to debate. “Now is their opportunity to represent the public who are in favor of water fluoridation.”
Irvine said that while Waterwatch invited UBDH to attend the debate, no details were provided to them, nor were they ever consulted as to how the debate should be formatted.
Irvine said his organization has made inquiries of the League of Women Voters concerning that group sponsoring a debate. “They have indicated a willingness to sponsor a public forum conducted by the league,” Irvine wrote to Rosenstein. He told her that if she wanted to jointly set up such an event UBDH would be happy to work with them, “But we will not be involved in your Oct. 22 event, which appears to us to have been arranged primarily as anti-fluoride theater.”