GENRE: Email letter
TO: Mayor & Councillors of Lismore; Various email Bcc list
AUTHOR: David McRae
DATE SENT: Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 5:22 PM
TITLE: Is Water fluoridation good for the people of Lismore?
STATUS: Awaiting response.
UPDATES: Please post all updates and comments in the LEAVE A REPLY section below.
Dear Mayor & Councillors of Lismore
I would love to see Lismore and surrounds remain as one of those special places in Australia that I can go for a holiday or extended stay, and NOT be bothered with fluoride in the water. That is, my wife and I could safely consume the tap water, and do our cooking and fill the kettle with tap water, and take a shower or bath with the tap water.
My wife, more than I, has a marked chemical sensitivity to fluoridated water. When our former home in Geelong, VIC was fluoridated suddenly she could not visit cafes any more without feeling quite sick in the stomach and developing a skin rash. I too found that my existing skin problems were made worse once fluoridation started.
My wife knew nothing about this issue, and I knew little. The problem might have carried on for a long time but fortunately a medical person we knew suggested trying avoiding tap water for all consumption. It worked and my wife was fine. But avoiding all tap water has been expensive and difficult. Prior to that my wife had always wondered why she felt sick after a day trip to Melbourne. We later found out that Melbourne has been fluoridated for 30 years.
Lismore and Byron Shire are ‘safe havens’ for people with various kinds of chemical sensitivity, which includes, unfortunately, being sensitive to the silicofluoride chemical added to many water supplies.
I am a scientific trained person and have worked most of my life in community health and public health. Over recent years I have studied the fluoride issue very hard, and talked to many scientists about it. I have found out a few things:
1. The arguments in favour of water fluoridation are not nearly as strong as paid advocates will tell you in their presentations. In fact as the ‘York Review’ found (the large, official British government study of the matter in 2000) the science purported to support fluoridation is of ‘remarkably poor quality’ and quite ‘contradictory’.
2. In keeping with point 1. above, most countries of Europe DO NOT practice water fluoridation. And yet all of these countries have tooth decay data that is no different from the countries that have widespread fluoridation, like NZ, Ireland, Columbia, Malaysia, Australia and USA (the list is not much bigger than that, because the overwhelming majority of countries worldwide reject fluoridation. Countries that fluoridate are the ‘odd ones out’, and yet they DO NOT stand out as countries with better teeth! It is interesting, isn’t it?
3. Whenever you start asking around sufficiently you can find a lot of people in fluoridated cities who feel certain, from experience and trial and error, that their health is being harmed by the town water. In earlier days of fluoridation, in USA and Australia, quite a few clinical reports of these sufferers would appear in medical journals. We see less such reports now, but it in no way means the health problems have gone away. The last 30 years or more have seen a constant barrage of literature and promotional activity by state health departments, and the Aust. Dental Association (both of which have hitched their wagons to the fluoridation gravy train) claiming over and over and over that water fluoridation is “safe and effective”. Yet the scientific evidence they produce to back up the claim is remarkably poor, and thin on the ground.
4. When my former city of Geelong was being flooded with fluoridation promotional material 5 or 6 years ago, another city, Warrnambool, 150 km further down the coast was going through the same process. 20 of the towns doctors and surgeons studied the literature and wrote a combined letter to the health minister asking that their town NOT be subjected to fluoridation. They stated that there were unresolved health problems associated with it. The response was that a major meeting of the AMA was then scheduled for Warrnambool (a rather unusual thing for a smallish regional town) and the health minister attended. Water fluoridation was made a major topic and it was made extremely clear that any doctors who publicly opposed it would be subjected to wide ranging censure and intimidation. That was the report I was given by one of the local GPs who attended, and she certainly felt “intimidated”.
When such tactics are used to promote a practice that is ‘supposed’ to have some sound science supporting it, I find myself asking: Why would the promoters have to use underhand tactics to get their way when they should easily be able to convince scientifically minded doctors (if the evidence was indeed strong).
5. Medical and public health treatment in the modern world is supposed to be government by principles of fairness – which include NOT forcing treatment upon non-consenting subjects. The various treaties and charters speak of the need for “informed consent”. No such informed consent is ever asked for, or given by communities, when fluoridation is unleashed upon communities. In fact, even when some informal survey is conduced, if comes out at around 50:50 fluoridation promoters feel that is good enough for them. But consider what that means. If the city in question has 50,000 residents, that becomes 25,000 who are now consuming the tap water containing the health treatment, without their consent. And often against their expressed non-consent.
What has happened to the principles of consent and fairness; do we no longer believe they are relevant in a ‘brave new world’?
6. Regarding consent and fairness, promoters of fluoridation will often claim “you do not have to drink the water, so it is not being forced upon you”. Surely this is utterly disingenuous. We all pay for the water and it should be suitable for everyone. Water is for everyone, but fluoride, clearly is not. And in any case, officials making the above claim are forgetting that many people do not command the salaries that they do. Many people cannot afford an expensive high-tech filtration system (necessary for removing fluoride) or 3 or more 15 litre bottles of spring water per fortnight for their consumption needs. Consumption includes drinking and cooking at least, if not bathing. Remember that cooking and boiling does not reduce fluoride in the water, it concentrates it. Fluoride is nasty stuff in that way.
I send you these comments because it has been brought to my attention that you may be discussing fluoridation in council at this time. I trust that you will consider these points in your deliberations.
Yours most sincerely
David McRae BSc(Hons); Grad Dip Human Services
Coffs Harbour, NSW
PS. I am most happy to send you scientific references for much of the above, but did not want to (uninvited) bombard you with volumes of documents at this point.