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Fight for a Fluoride Vote

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In spite of overwhelming evidence pointing to the dangers of fluoridated water, the citizens of our British Columbia town can`t even get an opportunity to choose

In spite of overwhelming evidence pointing to the dangers of fluoridated water, the citizens of our British Columbia town can't even get an opportunity to choose.

What could possibly justify the addition of tons of one of the most poisonous chemicals fluorosilcic acid (SiF) or sodium fluoride (NaF) into our Kamloops drinking water? Most food and beverages we buy already contain (collectively) more than the tolerated amount, resulting in an excess in our bodies. This excess is cumulative!

Dental fluorosis is the first visible sign of fluoride intoxication and fluoridation of water supplies can no longer be held to be either safe or effective. The number of dental fluorosis cases has skyrocketed. Repairs for these are very costly! In 1989, the US National Toxicology Program released its long-awaited study which revealed fluoride caused osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer) in rats.

A 25-page study by Myron J. Coplan and Roger D Masters states: "Evidence that we have accumulated shows large, statistically significant elevated blood lead levels in children living in communities with SiF pumped into their water supplies, compared with NaF or those delivering non-fluoridated water."

SiF is what Kamloops puts into its water. The study also links this form of fluoride with Alzheimer's Disease.

Since 1940 the government has spent millions of dollars to promote fluoridation. In 1976 our federal and provincial governments invested $135 million in shares of Cominco's (just one producer of the fluoride byproduct) zinc and lead plants.

Vancouver and Victoria do not have fluoridated water. Due to public pressure the following British Columbia/ Yukon municipalities no longer fluoridate their water. Squamish, Campbell River, Courtney/Comox, Gold River, Masset, Port Hardy, Kimberly, Lake Cowichan, Kitimat, Kelowna nd Whitehorse.

In BC, in 1987, only 11 percent of water supplies were fluoridated as opposed to 40 to 70 percent in other Canadian regions. BC has the lowest rate of tooth decay in Canada. Additionally, the communities that don't fluoridate their water have the lowest rate of dental caries. Now only six per cent of communities continue to fluoridate their water.

Stamping out Voices

In spite of this evidence, the mayor of Kamloops refuses to let the people have a referendum on this matter. He claims there is not enough interest to justify it. However, when the 1993 referendum took place and the question of fluoridation was posed to the electorate, 35.77 per cent of the vote was against it! With more information available, this number would be even higher in a new referendum.

In 1991, some members of the Safe Water Foundation applied pressure to have a referendum challenging fluoridation. Dr Christopher Clark, an associate professor in the School of Dentistry at the University of BC, sent a three-page letter to all the mayors in BC advising them not to have a referendum. The referendum went ahead.

On November 19,1993, less than one working day before the referendum took place, there was a full page ad in the Kamloops Daily News extolling some of the alleged benefits of fluoride. None of the risks was mentioned. The ad had been presigned by all of the Kamloops dentists.

Despite several documents given to each council member that enumerated the negative effects of fluoridation, not one member of council expressed any interest in examining the scientific studies. Prior to this, they had allowed Dr James Lu, a fluoridation advocate, to make a presentation. Dr Lu based his recommendations mainly on older studies and on the reports of five Calgary-based doctors who claimed that the dental benefits justified the health risks. These doctors had been hand-picked and were all employed by the same university hardly an independent panel.

Only one of these five doctors, Dr Miloslav Nosal, wanted to stop fluoridation. To reach a consensus he agreed that if it must continue, the amount of fluoride should at least be reduced to 0.5 to 0.7 mg/litre.

"There is statistically significant evidence that exposure to one mg/litre of fluoridated drinking water, over a long period of time, is associated with increased evidence of hip fractures," he said. None of the doctors denied the risk.

To date, city council has never asked Dr Foulkes (who was a special consultant for the province) or Dr Hardy Limeback, head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto, to make a presentation. These two doctors were at one time strong supporters of fluoride in municipal water systems, but they now realize that they've erred and are trying to undo the harm that they have caused.

It seems the Kamloops mayor's decision not to have a referendum is based more on politics, rather than on science. It's costing the taxpayers approximately $150,000 a year to buy this industrial waste, while ignoring the possibility of debilitating long-term health consequences. This forced mass medication is totally unjustified.

A Brush Without Fluoride

Sometimes it can seem like it's impossible to avoid fluoride especially in toothpaste!

Your health food store carries a number of brands that provide fluoride-free options. Some of these brands add fluoride to toothpaste sold in mainstream supermarkets. To be sure to get the fluoride-free version, shop in a health food store, or at the very least check the label.

Some fluoride-free alternatives include:

Natures Gate: Containing free calcium, vitamin C and baking soda these toothpastes strengthen and protect tooth enamel. They come in both creams and gels, with such flavors as Creme de Mint, Creme de Anise and Cherry.

Eco-Dent: For a change, try a fluoride-free tooth powder!

Jason Natural Products: A new upcoming line will include Power Smile, a whitener; Nutra Smile, with Ester-C complex; Healthy Mouth, an organic tooth cleaner; Sea Fresh, which contain bioactive ingredients; and Fresh Mouth, for young adults.

Bioforce Canada: Choose from rosemary and echinacea toothpastes to freshen your mouth and get your teeth cleaned, chemical-free!

Auromere Ayurvedic: Choose from Freshmint, Mint-free (especially when you're taking homeopathic remedies) and Regular.

Weleda Germany: Four unique choices include Salt Toothpaste, Calendula Toothpaste, Children's Tooth Gel and Ratanhia Toothpaste.

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