If the city wants to stop fluoridating its water, the issue will need to go to referendum because it was decided to add fluoride to the water by referendum.
That’s what city council told fluoride opponent Barry Prince after listening to his reasons for why it should be discontinued at the monthly council meeting Jan. 28.
Fluoride is designed to be a topical treatment, Prince Rupert eliminated the substance from its drinking water nine years ago, European countries don’t add fluoride to their water and only four or five BC communities continue to fluoridate their water, Prince told council.
Prince said he researched the mineral for hours and hours on the internet and believes for a variety of reasons we don’t need, or want, it.
“It’s considered a neurotoxin,” said Prince, adding that meant having fluoride in the water was drugging people without their consent.
Fluoride is detrimental after a certain age and actually yellows your teeth, he said.
“Council should take a long hard look at it,” he said, adding fluoride is said to lower people’s IQ. “It doesn’t make sense to have this in our water.”
City councillor James Cordeiro said that Germany, France and Spain removed it from their water because they found it more cost-effective to put into the table salt.
“They’ve just chosen a different delivery system,” he said.
Lynne Christiansen thanked Prince for making his presentation and said since she had been on council, the issue of fluoride had come up quite often, sometimes to intense debate.
“I have come to the same conclusion,” she said, adding that very few communities in the province put fluoride in their water.
Councillor Stacey Tyers said she had seen the study in which a doctor said fluoride caused brain damage but after looking all over the internet, couldn’t find his name associated with anything else, except that one study.
Europe moved away from adding fluoride to the water because dental care is included in its universal health care, said Tyers.
She’d spoken with quite a number of dentists and health care professionals and her job involves working with people living in poverty, and from that she learned that for some people, fluoride in their water is the only fluoride they will receive, she said.
On its website, Northern Health details its position on water fluoridation in a message from the chief medical health officer: “The maintenance of adequate levels of fluoride in drinking water to prevent and reduce dental caries remain a public health best practice that we encourage communities to implement if they do not have it, and to maintain if they do.”
City corporate administrator Alisa Thompson said the issue would have to go back to a referendum if any change to fluoridation in city water was to be made.