Letter: Fluoride Editorial Was Dead Wrong
To the Editor:
Regarding your editorial on the Bradford Water and Sewer commissioners’ decision to stop fluoridating Bradford’s drinking water (“Bradford Regresses,” Dec. 2): In the 11 years I’ve been reading your paper, I’ve never seen such a biased, condescending and misinformed editorial.
Did you do any research at all before you shot from the hip with blanket statements about fluoride — or accepted at face value the American Dental Association’s (a trade organization) decades-old boilerplate endorsement of fluoride? Why would you place so much faith in a statement from a government organization, the Centers for Disease Control, given the political pressure and monetary considerations involved in the decision-making process? Do you remember the decades it took assorted governmental agencies to admit the dangers of cigarettes, despite the evidence?
Had you done a little self-education, you would have discovered a large body of scientific material questioning the long-term health effects of fluoride. We are subjected to fluoride in virtually everything we consume, thanks to fluoride-containing pesticides, crop irrigation with fluoridated water and fluoridated toothpaste. Long-term, high levels of fluoride are known to be harmful, especially to children, yet we persist in this misguided effort.
Your statement that the “lack of interest in seeking out informed opinion was irresponsible” and fluoridation opponents’ opinion “lies outside the scientific consensus” are patently absurd. The general scientific consensus now is that the primary effect of fluoride is topical rather than systemic, and even the ADA now recommends that baby formula be mixed with non-fluoridated water because of the risk of high exposure.
Most European countries do not fluoridate their drinking water, yet these countries’ cavity rates are as low as or lower than ones that do. Also, are you aware of the many cities in North America that have rejected water fluoridation?
Medicating a general population without consent is unethical. Would you consider adding vitamin D to drinking water because, as we know, lack of sunshine in winter causes vitamin D deficiency? Or possibly adding Valium to drinking water since a more placid population would lower the crime rate? It amounts to the same thing. Do you see how offensive this policy is?