Fluoride Action Network

Lethbridge: Brushing up on fluoride

Source: Lethbridge Herald | January 7th, 2013 | By Nick Kuhl
Location: Canada, Alberta

If a local group has its way, the fluoridation of Lethbridge water could be discontinued.

But it won’t happen overnight says Mark Benson with Fluoride Free Lethbridge, a group of concerned citizens calling for an end to forced fluoridation of local water supplies.

“Our main goal right now is not so much to get it before council as soon as possible, but rather we feel like it’s our duty to provide access to information so people can be informed,” he said.

“Then we’ll see where things go from there. This isn’t just about council. It’s about having people informed so they can make their own choice and then express it publicly through whatever form.”

Lethbridge began adding fluoride to the water following a plebiscite in 1974.

City council last debated the issue in April 2011, when a motion to have fluoride removed from the water supply was voted down 5-4.

Those councillors voting in favour of removal cited doubt on the ethics, safety and effectiveness of fluoridation in preventing tooth decay.

Those against cited their legal responsibility under the Municipal Government Act to protect the health of the public.

That same year, the City of Calgary and the Town of Taber both voted to have fluoride removed.

“Considering the scientific evidence available to us now, this needs to be looked at,” Benson said.

“But it needs to be looked at in a different light. We can debate forever about fluoride science – and there is a lot to debate there – but that always seems to stalemate,” he continued.

“I think it takes the focus off what’s really at the essence of the debate which is the right of choice. The problem is there is no choice. Nowhere in modern medical ethics or democratic constitutional rights do we take that stand on anything else. Why is it different for fluoride?”

The cost of adding fluoride, technically called Hydrofluorosilicic Acid, to the water supply is about $85,000 per year, Benson said.

He believes it is forced medication being used under the guise of helping people with their teeth.

“You’re not allowed to drug a person without their conformed consent. It doesn’t matter if they’re the minority, they still have the right to decline that,” Benson said.

“The City has no way of controlling the total amount of fluoride ingested by anybody. All they can control is concentration. That opens a whole other sideline of issues. I’m drinking one glass of water, you’re drink eight – you’re getting 800 per cent more fluoride than I.”

Fluoride Free Lethbridge is now preparing to host a series of public information sessions on the topic.

The first one will be on Feb. 6 at the Lethbridge Public Library, with future dates to be announced for the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College in the coming months.