(by Lauen Ayers). It’s true that Sonoma County kids suffer too much dental decay. Many agree that local government has a role to play in bringing that down. However, the County of Sonoma public health department’s $9 million plan will not only fail in lowering dental decay but will harm children, adults, and the environment.
Instead of slapping fluorosilicic acid on the problem like a band-aid, we should get to the source of the problem – the tidal wave of sugar that inundates children every day, as UCSF pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, MD, explains in “The Bitter Truth.”
In the USDA breakfast and lunch program, 50 to 65% of the calories are from carbohydrates. Sugar is added to everything from applesauce to taco sauce because sugar hits the opiate receptors in the brain, making children addicts. Posters of veggies can’t make kids “Just Say No” to the sugar-added foods. It’s up to adults to get rid of sugary non-foods.
Lobbyists rule. In “The Case Against Fluoride,” Paul Connett, PhD, explains how the American Dental Association, one of the wealthiest lobies in DC, influences political campaigns and public agencies with millions it receives from the huge chemical corporations that need to find a use for fluorosilicic acid, a byproduct from both aluminum smelting (Alcoa) and manufacturing phosphate fertilizer (Cargill).
Sugar companies also donate to the ADA and similar groups. In 1949 the Sugar Research Foundation proclaimed their mission: “to find out how tooth decay may be controlled effectively without restriction of sugar intake.” Coincidentally, a year later the U.S. Public Health Service endorsed fluoridation.
Our way or the highway. From the ADA’s own website: “We met with the four commissioners individually…. After four months of intense scientific efforts, they each told us that they would not change their votes. So we moved into the political arena to help bring fluoridation back to Pinellas County.” In the election, two Democratic candidates beat Republican incumbents, thanks to the ADA. Remind you of the NRA’s tactics?
Babies & fish. If fluoridation is so safe, why does the CDC and the ADA warn parents not to mix powdered baby formula in fluoridated water for children under six months? How can fluorosilicic acid be safe if it is more toxic than lead and almost as toxic as arsenic? After sewage treatment, 99 percent of faucet water returns to the environment. Even fluoride at 0.2 mg/L can harm salmon; if fluoridation passes, our water would have 0.7 mg/L, three times as much!
The Hippocratic Oath & liability. Would any doctor say, “Here’s your prescription– take as much — or as little — as you want”? That would be malpractice! Which is another reason fluoridation could result in class action suits, as happened to Big Tobacco. Government agencies would be especially good targets because their safety standards should be the strictest. Police misconduct suits with just one or two victims have impoverished local governments; imagine the cost of guilty verdicts for harming all the county’s children.
Effective and safe? Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities when applied topically, but not when ingested. Since by law the state of California pays for any child’s topical fluoride treatment, why add it to county water?
Proponents claim decay rates go down in fluoridated areas. But all around the world decay is dropping at the same rate in unfluoridated areas. Two towns side by side, one fluoridated and one not, have similar declines in decay. Ditto for European nations compared to American states. Why spend $8 million for something that is already happening?
Grassroots efforts got rid of leaded gasoline, asbestos, trans fat, and DDT. Now let’s stop fluoridation, and, instead, make school food healthier.
Monday, March 25: Anti-fluoridation town hall meeting. Paul Connett, PhD, an anti-fluoridation speaker and authority, speaks before a town hall style meeting on water fluoridation in Sonoma County. Public officials have been invited. 6 p.m. Glaser Conference Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. $5 requested donation. 547.7006.
Lauren Ayers is a retired teacher and chapter leader of the Sonoma County Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. See FluorideFreeSonomaCounty.org and WestonAPrice.org.