While doing an interview with Cindy Mayor. Executive Member, Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation, I received this e-mail.
Listening to your conversation regarding fluoride in the drinking water, and as a scientist in the appropriate field, I am appalled at the position your callers are taking. Organizations like COF prey on the public who lack scientific literacy. I have personally reviewed the “science” cited on their website, and can tell you that what they have posted are mainly a collection of theses and unpublished findings that failed peer-review. Others are articles that have nothing to do with fluoride, and some have suspect methodologies and were published in low-quality journals. Unfortunately, while democracy may be our best political system, it can lead to incidents where the public doesn’t know what is best for them and act on private interests instead of the scientific consensus. It is worth noting that no science would ever DENY there is a risk to fluoridated water; they are compelled to maintain an open mind on any topic, even though there may be total consensus. This sometimes leads to a perceived ambiguity in findings when in reality there is none. You should see if you could get one of my peers at McMaster to talk to you a bit about fluoride treatment and while they won’t definitively tell you it is safe (to remain unbiased) they may be able to better communicate the science behind adding fluoride to the drinking water. I should also note that scientists do not typically engage in these debates directly because our funding is directly influenced by politicians, who in turn serve to appease their constituents. I sincerely hope the public seeks their own information from unbiased science sources and not take the word of the fear-mongering COF.
What do you think? Should we keep the fluoride in our water or take it out?