Drs. Tom Noseworthy and Tom Feasby in their article promoting fluoridation make some comparisons between fluoridation and other measures which cloud the issue.
Iodide, B vitamins and iron are natural nutritional requirements, the effects of which have been extensively and competently investigated. Fluoride in any form is not a required nutrient.
The fluoride added to Calgary’s water is untested for safety, unapproved for human consumption and carries a number of toxic contaminants. It is not a nutritional requirement as claimed by some proponents of fluoridation.
It is not rational to compare the use of chlorine with fluoridation. Antisepsis with chlorine is applied to control serious, contagious diseases. Fluoridation is applied to prevent cavities, which is not contagious. And it has been shown to be ineffective for that purpose when ingested.
Opponents to fluoridation are many and object to it for various reasons. Those reasons fall into three categories: it is ineffective; it is harmful; it is unethical.
These objections are well thought out and are based on sound scientific research, with the exception of the ethical issue which is obvious in that the substance administered is unapproved and is administered without control of dosage and without informed consent.
Nor are its effects on us monitored.
Fluoridation of public water supplies would not pass any ethics committee. Not that it has ever been submitted to an ethics committee.
Drs. Noseworthy and Feasby say no evidence exists to support the proposition that they will receive a gain in their health if fluoridation is stopped.
On the contrary, there is a vast and growing body of peer-reviewed research showing association of fluoridation with toxicities affecting several body systems.
If they don’t know about this research, then they should do some more work on the matter before commenting.
Furthermore, there are subpopulations among us particularly at risk: infants, young children, young males, those who suffer kidney disease, persons with thyroid deficiencies, the elderly (who have accumulated fluoride over their lifetime, weakening bone). And others, some we don’t know about because the necessary research has not been done.
It is suggested that the poor in particular benefit from fluoridation. This has been a common claim of proponents. We now have work done specifically to resolve this question.
The peer-reviewed results show that there is no more effect on the poor than on the rich and the effect on both is nothing.
Drs. Noseworthy and Feasby correctly comment on overdoses. Then they imply that fluoride is administered in the correct dose. That is not true.
For fluoridation of water supplies, the concentration is controlled. (Sometimes not very well; there are disastrous examples in other jurisdictions.)
Dose, how much you swallow, is not controlled; dosage, how much per unit body weight you get, is not controlled. There are large differences in amounts of water Calgarians with different ages and physical activities and environments consume.
Drs. Noseworthy and Feasby cite organizations which support fluoridation.
Science is not a popularity contest, but I can tell you that there are probably as many or more organizations that oppose fluoridation and some of them are better qualified to judge the matter.
As for some of those they cited, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control have altered their support by acknowledging the risks to infants and young children.
A prominent supporter not mentioned, the American Dental Association, has similarly altered its support.
We are warned of the unmentioned consequences of stopping fluoridation. Well, this too has been investigated.
Over the past few decades a significant number of cities in Europe and North America formerly fluoridated have stopped it (24 since 1990 in Canada).
In no case appearing in a peer-reviewed paper that I have been able to find has the incidence of cavities risen.
In most, it has stayed the same and in some it has decreased.
Briefly then, fluoridation is a violation of medical ethics, is ineffective as a preventive of cavities and is toxic to human beings.
James S. Beck, M. D., Ph. D. Is Professor Emeritus Of Medical Biophysics At The Universtiy Of Calgary.
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