Friday, December 6, 2013
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday, December 6, 2013
Due to a technical problem, this cartoon, intended to run on the above date, was actually published in the following Monday, December 9th edition of the Hamilton Spectator
Fluoride question too technical for city voters?
After a three-hour debate and several public delegations, Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark withdrew his motion Wednesday to ask voters whether the city should continue adding fluoride to municipal water.
Some delegates argued the always-controversial issue is too technical to add as a yes-or-no question to the 2014 ballot.
But Clark said it was “offensive” and “elitist” to suggest the issue was too complex for residents to understand.
He argues residents always deserve the right to weigh in on what kind of medicine “goes in their children’s mouths.”
Councillor Chad Collins said he didn’t want to make the next election all about fluoride.
“We have so many more important issues to deal with,” he said.
Most councillors were unimpressed with the referendum idea, but some expressed interest in further study of the issue.
Councillors approved a motion asking medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Richardson to report back on the feasibility and cost of a community task force on fluoridation.
Richardson had earlier told councillors she feels the practice is safe and beneficial. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The editorial cartoon provoked me to write. Implying that anyone who questions mass dosing of a populace with fluoride is a nutcase is offensive. An ever-growing number of institutions and individuals that are questioning fluoridation include thousands of scientific and health professionals. In 2013, Israel committed to a countrywide phase out of fluoridation. In British Columbia, only 11 per cent of the population drinks fluoridated water, as opposed to 40 to 70 per cent in other Canadian regions. Yet B.C. has the lowest rate of tooth decay in Canada. In addition, the lowest rates of dental caries within the province are found in areas that do not have their water supplies fluoridated.
There is also the issue of the right of each person to control the drugs he or she takes. Fluoridation is compulsory mass medication and that violates this right. Does any establishment have the right to decide that supposed benefits outweigh risks and impose involuntary medication on an entire population? The word tyranny comes to mind.
I urge readers to start checking the facts for themselves. There are a great number of reliable information sites online to help you decide where you stand on this issue. You should not rely on insulting editorial cartoons.
O. Mudryj, Burlington