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UK Against Fluoridation

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Canada - Committee backs push to turn off fluoride taps

Committee backs push to turn off fluoride taps
Fluoride-infused water could soon be history in Calgary after a city committee voted Wednesday to remove it from people’s taps.
But council still needs to have a final say before it halts the flow.
After several hours of hearing evidence from both sides of the controversial debate, the city’s Utilities and Environment committee voted to exclude fluoride from Calgary’s water supply.
Ald. Gael MacLeod was the lone opponent of removing the chemical, but she was outnumbered by her fellow aldermen.
Jones, the committee’s chairman, said the decision is not final because council has to weigh in on the matter.
“But at least we’re moving forward,” he said.
The majority who spoke called for the removal of fluoride from the city’s water supply while medical practitioners who addressed the committee cautioned against it.
MacLeod and Jones attempted to refer the matter to a health panel, but that motion was defeated.
“I am disappointed it’s not going back to committee ... I want more information,” said MacLeod during the debate.
“The public health benefits appear to be well documented.”
More than 40 people made their case before the committee, including Colleen Cran, a former dental assistant.
She said she and her family have been drinking bottled water for years now after her son suffered from dental fluorosis, a condition caused by overexposure to fluoride.
“It’s an industrial waste by-product and we’ve been sold on the story that it reduces tooth decay in children,” she said.
Michelle Robinson, who’s also opposed to fluoridation, called the process mass medication and should be stopped.
“If fluoridation is wanted (by some), there are other options rather than mass water consumption,” she said.
“As a Calgarian in a free society, I should be able to make the decision on how to approach my health and the health of my family.”
The divisive issue has been the subject of several plebiscites, which finally favoured adding fluoride to the water in 1989.
Officials with Alberta Health Services implored council members to take extreme caution in making a decision.
Dr. Luke Schwart, an oral health expert said studies shown that cases of dental fluorosis in Calgary vary from moderate to very mild and that a huge number don’t have issues.
“We don’t have severe fluorosis in Calgary,” he said, calling the oral condition a “cosmetic issue.”
Dr. Richard Musto, a medical officer of health, insisted water fluoridation should continue.
“The key and the beauty of fluoridation is that we’re putting it in the water at an effective and safe level that’s going to be accessible to everybody,” he said.
The matter is expected to come before council on Feb. 7, said Jones.


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