We’re still getting e-mails from cranky readers about our June 2 cover feature. A lot of people just don’t want fluoride in the water. Well, they should be happy because Regina doesn’t fluoridate its water. Also, Regina children’s teeth are weaker than fluoridated Saskatoon children’s teeth. Also, I’m officially out of patience with the hardcore no-fluoridniks.
Our cover feature was a fair article that acknowledged the fluoride issue isn’t black and white. Good for Paul Dechene, who devoted around a third of his article to an interview with anti-fluoridation activist Daeran Gall. While Dechene didn’t agree with Gall, he was pretty damn fair in giving him space to besmirch fluoride.
But still, we get complaints like this:
“I, and many people would like to have a CHOICE to medicated. I applaud Calgary and Waterloo Ontario for stopping their FLUORIDE program. Free speech is great so is “free choice” of medication.”
Yeah. Except that fluoridation works, so we should do it.
So what’s really going on? I say it’s about ego and anarchy. I suspect most hardcore anti-fluoride activists are also hardcore, anti-government, “yay-liberty, boo-socialism” types who resent the fact they don’t get a personal veto on every damn bit of public policy they don’t like. Well cry me a river, you self-centrered babies. Not only does your libertarian agenda rot kids’ teeth, it also rots grown-ups’ minds: fluoride bashing is a step on the road to fortified home defences, cellars full of canned goods, stockpiled gold, guns for home defence, rants against the fiat monetary system and, in special cases, apocalyptic religious kookery. I’m onto you.
Here in reality, sensible people accept that governments make all kinds of choices on behalf of citizens all the time. The best choices are based on facts and produce benefits for the population — like, say, fluoridating the water to encourage stronger, healthier teeth in kids. The worst choices are things like reckless tax cuts and throwing mad money into the military (30-billion dollar jet planes, anyone?). We take the bad with the good in society and government, and unlike lots of other crap, the “bad” of fluoride is good for something. Namely, teeth.
Bottom line: Regina should study the benefits of fluoridating its water supply. And the city should go with what the facts suggest. There’s room for a real conversation on this, even if that conversation includes having to listen to anarchists whine irrationally about the oppression of fluoridation.
But I don’t have to respect their nutty libertarian fetishes. Here, have some Dr. Strangelove!