City staff in Independence will address comments from a citizen who is complaining about the way the Advisory Board of Health is treating the fluoride issue.

John Pennell, a frequent speaker at City Council meetings, says he has dedicated himself to finding studies to disprove the blanket statements from local dentists and health board members that increasing fluoride in the public water supply is a harmless cure-all for tooth decay.

Pennell asked the City Council why the advisory board, which voted unanimously two weeks ago to recommend Independence fluoridate its water, did not record its last meeting on tape and why members continue to make “misleading statements about fluoride.”

City Manager Larry Blick said city boards are not mandated to record meetings other than keeping written notes on the decisions made.

Blick also reminded Mayor Ron Stewart the advisory board is appointed by the council and the council could ask for a report on progress.

One statement the city could look into is that of some advisory board members telling people they simply did not have the time to go over all of the submitted studies and research on the anti-side of the fluoride issue.

“One member said if printed information was more than two pages he didn’t read past the second page,” Pennell said.

Pennell said many studies against fluoride are convincing and appear in credible publications such as the Journal of the American Dental Association and various dental textbooks.

Pennell cited an article in the Journal of Dentistry for Children, July-August 1984, stating 600 deaths have been attributed to fluoride poisoning.

He also produced a copy of a death certificate of a 2-year old child, on which was written “fluoride poisoning” as the cause.

Mayor Stewart asked if there were a way for the city staff to check into why advisory board members would not have read all of the material presented at or leading up to the city’s Nov. 6 public hearing about fluoridation.

Blick said the City Council is the decision-making body on how to proceed with the fluoride issue. A decision, he said, could happen sometime in the early new year.