From the July 2002 Idaho Observer:
Can't fight City Hall: Council ignores fluoride opposition
In direct conflict with nearly a century of published medical literature and field experience that proves fluoridated water is a systemic poison, city councils all over the nation bypass public opposition to add the known carcinogenic, immunosuppressive mutogen to their town's water supply. Below is the clearest possible example of how elected officials will betray the health and happiness of their constituents to please the purveyors of some unseen public anti-health agenda. Fluoridated water, among other things, promotes passivity among the populace. That factor appears to be the most compelling reason behind government insistence that municiple water supplies be fluoridated -- ill health and dental disease are just a bonus for the allopathic doctors and dentists who generally support fluoridation.
by The Northern Light
BILLINGS, Mont. -- Four television cameras scanned the City Chambers packed for public hearings on fluoridation. Although the room was filled with those who had come for the fluoride issue alone, that item was last on the agenda -- 14th.
Why were these other matters scheduled for the same night? It was mid-May and this was only the fourth City Council meeting. One might also ask why, when Billings had voted against fluoridation twice before, would the council insist on introducing it again?
Temperatures of perhaps 85° forced many into the cooler hallway. Others fanned themselves. A couple nearly fainted. Despite this, residents waited to be heard.
A sign at the chamber doors tells citizens no food or drink -- meanwhile, they watched council members drinking pop. Hour after hour, residents waited for their issue to be discussed. Some had waited over 3 hours, before finally leaving after 10 p.m. with their opinions unheard.
The steadfast were allowed to address the council for 3 minutes each, timed by green, yellow, and red lights. Each was to give his name and address. Many couldn't complete their comments within the allotted time. Frustration was apparent on their faces. They spoke to a mostly blank-faced council, who gave little indication that their opinions were weighed at all. Pure water advocate Frank Deitz offered to answer questions from the council -- there were none.
In the battle against fluoridation (medicating city water) were: Tom Nelson, Clayton Fiscus, Sarah Rollins, Scott Proctor, Dick Monett, Carol Tasset, Frank Deitz, Terry Houser, and Ervin Hanks. Rep. Brad Molnar's defense of individual rights elicited applause throughout the chamber.
They were among a line of speakers that continued for hours. Others included: a scientist, a pathologist, a teacher (with a science-biology degree), a chiropractor, and a retired dentist. Sarah Rollins presented a petition with 362 signatures. (Another 45 signatures came later.) Scott Proctor defended citizens' religious freedom saying they should not be forced to take medication opposed to their morals or religion. More than one speaker held up a fluoride toothpaste tube -- with the typical warning label against swallowing. Others brought up the cost of taking the fluoride out of their water -- estimated at $1000 per household for a reverse osmosis system.
What so many fluoride promoters failed to recognize is that improved dental health in tested areas may have been the result of other factors and not fluoride. These factors weren't weighed in the early studies that prompted endorsements from dental associations, back in the 40s and 50s. Their endorsements should be revisited, just as some dentists have realized they should not use mercury and aluminum for silver fillings.
Certainly most people with cavities use fluoride toothpaste! Does it work or do those favorable fluoride surveys report mere coincidence?
Scientific arguments could not be explained in the brief time allotted per person; so many drew attention to their personal right to have untainted water. Again, rather than attempt to explain the voluminous evidence against fluoridation, or increased exposure to such chemicals, one reiterated the common sense saying: When in doubt, leave it out.
The viewpoints opposing fluoridation were diverse. One compared fluoridation to smoking in public places. Smoking contaminates air and the other contaminates water. Another speaker noted that the fluoride to be used is industrial and not chemically the same as the fluoride used in toothpaste. Others warned that the city could be sued for endangering residents, especially those who are more sensitive. And some presented evidence that fluoride is medicine.
Solutions were offered:
1. Remove pop and candy machines from schools
2. Offer free fluoride drops for those who want them [Programs could be offered for those who want fluoride drops, or the savings of not fluoridating by individuals.]
3. Ask dentists to accept Medicaid payment for poor children [Most all Billings dentists want fluoridation at our expense, these same dentists largely refuse to accept Medicaid payments.]
If the council is concerned about poor dental health why not consider these solutions first?
More than one speaker asked for council members who would vote for fluoridation, to stand behind their vote by signing a statement accepting responsibility.
Most residents addressing the city heads were opposed to fluoridation. They had varied objections. While the fluoride side spoke of endorsements and their disagreement was clear, they did not refute any objection. And even though one pro-fluoride speaker claimed that fluoride was not debatable, no one accepted the challenge to debate Chemistry professor and fluoride researcher Dr. Paul Connett while he was in Billings presenting fluoride information [It should also be noted that pro-fluoridators refused to debate Dr. Connett in a public forum in Spokane last year while that city was pushing for water fluoridation].
And although the Billings media has allowed the no-fluoride side some coverage, nobody has presented the issue according to the fair-handed method of debate. And no fluoride promoter would stand behind his testimony by signing a liability agreement.
The lone repeated argument of fluoride promoters was their unproven belief that it improves dental health. Second to that argument, those for fluoride insisted that everyone should take fluoride in the water because no one had proved fluoride causes cancer -- even though they admitted that it causes fluorosis, the first sign of fluoride poisoning. One dentist said he'd rather have stained and white-flecked teeth caused by fluoride that he could bleach, than cavities. But this is absurdly presumptuous, since patients may have fluorosis and cavities. Those for fluoride were almost 100 percent dentists and nurses, many on the task force pushing fluoridation.
Immediately following Brad Molnar's plea for individual rights, and the cheers of pure-water advocates, Mayor Tooley scolded residents, saying they must refrain from applauding, which would show favoritism (no one applauded for fluoridation.) However, his condescending words were unwarranted, since Molnar was the last to speak.
Councilman Dave Brown then motioned for the council to approve a vote of the people. It was voted down. Evidently with intent to ignore the overwhelming objections of Billings' residents, Councilman Mark Kennedy insisted that the council should make the decision. Also without apparent regard for the hours of individual testimonies, Councilman Michael Larson snidely dismissed possible health risks that could lead to lawsuits, saying, That's why we have a legal department.
The council voted for fluoride. Councilman Dave Brown stood alone opposing fluoridation.
Tooley again scolded citizens, hearing their groan and shuffle as they heard the final decision and got up to leave, insulted by the effrontery of council members voting against them.
The council could have delayed the vote for additional hearings, or delayed for time to better weigh the medical and legal implications. They knew there was already some fluoride in the water, why insist on adding more, on buying equipment, on paying higher water rates, over so many objections?
The Northern Light is a pro-American newspaper from Billings, Montana founded in 1992. It can be found on the web at www.ttc-cmc.net/~nlight; or called at (406) 669-7777.
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