Fluoride Action Network

Lacking common sense

Source: Boca Raton News | August 31st, 2003 | by Neil Heller
Location: United States, Florida

The fluoridation of Palm Beach County’s water became a fait accompli when county commissioners approved a measure calling for fluoride to be added to the county’s water supply.

This newspaper actively called for a no-vote on the matter, however, commissioner’s voted 4-2 to approve adding what amounts to toxic waste to the water system. Commissioner’s Mary McCarty and Karen Marcus should be commended for going up against the masses in trying to ditch the initiative supported by most on the commission and in the audience at the time of the vote.

There has been much argument on both sides about the pros and cons of fluoridating the water. The dental health community has always advocated fluoride as a huge force in preventing cavities while others have noted that recent research indicates that fluoride has virtually no advantages in preventing tooth decay.

Other studies show that while there may not be any scientific evidence of harm caused by fluoride it remains a toxic chemical nevertheless. Finally, fluoride can be found in many other foods that we ingest and can be bought in most toothpastes if desired.

Quite frankly, when it comes to studies and statistics one can usually come up with the data to support whatever side it wants to. Statistics can be twisted in a variety of ways. One thing that cannot be twisted is common sense.

It seems to me that if common sense were to prevail than fluoride would not be flowing in so many water supplies throughout the United States. If someone said to you that they were going to drop a tablet of toxic waste in your glass before you drank it chances are pretty good that you would tell them not to.

Whether or not someone tells me that fluoride is harmless or not, simply put, it is a toxic chemical, and that, nobody denies. This debate reminds me of the discussion surrounding irradiated foods.

Perhaps, you remember that during the first Bush administration the F.D.A. began allowing fruits and vegetables to be zapped with nuclear waste. It was told to us that the nuclear waste would work to kill certain bacteria in the food and create a longer shelf life.

Of course, studies have shown that there are no side effects from the irradiation process. Today’s fruits and vegetables, unless organically grown, have dramatically increased in size and seem to last forever.

You can now have a gargantuan tomato that lasts for a year sitting in your refrigerator. Isn’t that special?

Now, you can tell me from now until the end of time that zapping my food with nuclear waste is okay and I’m never going to believe you. I don’t care what kind of studies are published there is no way nuclear waste going in to one’s system is good for the human body.

The truth is that irradiation was dreamed up as a way to use nuclear waste which has no use in and of itself. Nuclear waste is usually buried in the ground and is only a cost to the energy

Amazing that they found a way to make money by selling us fools on the benefits of zapping our food with nuclear waste. At the time of this controversy, which again ended with the winner being big business, ABC-TV’s John Stossel did an entire show ridiculing the lack of scientific evidence gathered by those that opposed irradiation.

While watching the show I remember yelling at the television set for someone from the opposition to stop trying to win the debate on a scientific level and simply argue their cause from a common sense perspective.

Common sense would tell you that no matter what the government tells us food zapped with nuclear waste cannot ever be good for us.

As far as I’m concerned the same applies for fluoride in the water. It is unnecessary and somewhere down the line will prove to be unhealthy.

Commissioner McCarty summed it up best when she said “the government should not force it on you.” Putting aside every other argument, and knowing that those who want fluoride can buy it, those that don’t want it shouldn’t have to have it.

Some in this community have poked fun at this newspaper’s position in this matter as the other media outlets in town chose to take the easy way out and go with the more traditional approach to fluoridated water.

I’m proud to be able to say that we presented another side, the side of common sense. I hope that the Boca Raton City Council when confronted with this debate in the near future will also choose common sense and and continue to refuse to add fluoride to this city’s water supply which thankfully is separate from the rest of the county.

My thanks to Boca Raton News’ reporter, Dale King, who covered this issue thoroughly and assisted in writing the editorials run this past week on the matter.

* Neal Heller is the publisher of the Boca Raton/Delray Beach News and can be reached at Nheller@bocanews.com.