MUSKOKA — Laws have been enacted in recent years to give consumers legal rights — legal rights allowing us to know exactly what we are buying, consuming and exposing ourselves to.
Usually this shows up as warning labels or listed ingredients in foods. You also find it in the small print on advertisers’ pages — however most often too small or too lengthy for many to read or take notice of. This is why they say “Buyers beware!” and advise us to read everything, especially as it deals with legal contracts.
But are we really being warned of all the dangerous products we use and consume, so we can choose to abstain? Actually, there are still many areas where the system has failed us.
Think back for a moment. How long was DDT advertised as safe and beneficial before it was found otherwise? How long were cigarettes promoted as safe and harmless — even something that celebrities and politicians were advocating and promoting? And who gave permission for the tobacco companies to add all the harmful chemicals and toxins they did — the real culprits in the ensuing health problems?
It seems that the only time consumers are able to get the truth of what we use and ingest is from independent and unbiased studies — studies done by private individuals and professionals who, at their own expense, take on the research.
Fortunately, legislation now forces the drug industry to list the side effects of their drugs, ones to be aware of before you agree to them. The “Buyers Beware” lesson here is to read all warnings and labels, and if none, only accept unbiased and honest research. Ask yourself often before any judgment: “Who stands to benefit the most from what is being reported?”
It is interesting to note that U.S. consumers were the first to push for the use of warning labels on prescribed drugs that people may consume. Have you ever read the label on a tube of fluoridated toothpaste from the U.S.? It clearly states that if accidentally swallowed to go immediately to your nearest poison control centre. Now why would this be put on toothpaste tubes containing fluoride if the contents were deemed “safe”? With these warnings at least we are able to keep it away from children or purchase an alternative product. Clearly the danger is more in consuming it than using it, and something a family can take steps to avoid. But what if this chemical were put into a community’s drinking water without even advising the public?
Several years ago my young daughter was a victim of fluoride poisoning. I can remember the costly and lengthy treatment needed to cure her of her dental fluorosis. Thinking toothpaste and mouthwash were to blame, it was easy to eliminate these; however I never suspected that my community was putting fluoride in the water — a direct cause of her overload. This city has since learned the truth and removed this chemical from its water supply; but many communities still have not.
There is now widespread research leading to a host of health issues associated with its ingestion.
But what of Muskoka? Huntsville was recently able to remove it; however Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Bala and Port Carling weren’t so lucky. These other communities have politicians who have chosen to ignore public interest, threatening the health of their residents.
Did you ever get to talk to a local worker who actually puts fluoride in our water? I just recently had that privilege. They told me that they are forced to wear full plastic suits, boots, masks and gloves — looking more like workers dealing with highly toxic and radioactive materials, decked out solely for their protection against breathing or touching this dangerous substance. Now imagine this when you are grabbing a drink from your kitchen tap, or worse still, adding tap water to your family’s stew or your baby’s formula.
The greatest insult to injury, is the fact that families, unknowingly exposing themselves to this neurotoxin, are also forced to foot the bill — paying a premium for the water they use!
Individuals and families in all communities have a right to know the truth, and should have a say in any decision affecting the health of their family — especially when forced to pay for this service. We should all know exactly what we are purchasing, as legislation dictates. The advise is sound: “Beware and be aware as buyers.”
It seems that the only time consumers are able to get the truth of what we use and ingest is from independent and nonbiased studies — studies done by private individuals and professionals who, at their own expense, take on the research. In the meantime, media advertising and highly paid employees of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry continue to expound on the virtues of their products, paying doctors, dentists and even politicians handsomely for their compliance in distributing them.