A debate on fluoride in the water took place at the Manual Training Centre on Thursday

A debate on fluoride in the water took place at the Manual Training Centre on Thursday

Fluoride forum sets up debate

Residents packed the Manual Training Centre hoping to make up their minds about whether Cranbrook should continue with water fluoridation.

Residents packed the Manual Training Centre in Cranbrook on Thursday, Oct. 23, hoping to make up their minds about whether or not Cranbrook should continue with water fluoridation.

The 100 or so spectators showed up to watch a debate between  Dr. Alastair Nicoll of the BC Dental Association, an area dentist and a supporter of fluoride in the water supply, and Dr. James Beck, Professor Emeritus for Medical Biophysics at the University of Calgary, co-author of “The Case Against Fluoride,” and an advocate for ceasing fluoridation.

The city is holding a referendum on the municipal election ballot asking “Are you in favour of Council adopting City of Cranbrook Cease Fluoridation Bylaw No. 3799, 2014, which authorizes stopping the addition of fluoride to the municipal water supply effective January 1, 2015?”

Dr. Beck said there is not a single randomized controlled trial that looks at water fluoridation’s effect on cavities.

“There have been a lot of investigations on fluoride, in terms of whether it’s effective or not, most are very bad,” he said, adding that investigations going back to 1945 haven’t shown efficacy, even though they are frequently cited. He said that two of those studies showed harm.

Beck said there was a World Health organization study. It looked at 18 countries from the 1960s to 2004 and showed a steady decrease in the prevalence of cavities.

“Promoters say well there’s your evidence — fluoridation prevents cavities,” Beck said. “But of those 18 countries, only four were fluoridated, 14 were not and you can’t distinguish between those.”

He said one of the reasons for the improvement is that people started using fluoride toothpaste. He said fluoridated water provides just topical treatment, and the residual fluoride that stays in the body is in quantities too low to have an effect on teeth.

“It’s not ethical to give a person a drug without having informed consent,” he said.

Dr. Nicoll said as a dentist he’s seen firsthand the devastating effects of dental caries and its impact. He said those affected the worst by caries are also the most vulnerable members of society, such as the old and young. He noted that decay from caries begins as soon as the first tooth erupts in a child’s mouth, well before they have their first visit to the dentist.

“Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that is used in ionic as a mineral nutrient, and like other mineral nutrients it can be toxic in ridiculously high doses,” Nichols said. “For instance, a person would have to consume 15,000 litres of water in one sitting to ingest an acutely fatal dose.”

He said the cost of the water-dosage is just $1 to $4 a year per person, while the cost of fluoride application twice a year can cost between $50 and $100 a year.

Nicoll said that 400 million people drink fluoridated water.

Back noted that of those 400 million, most are in the USA, which fluoridates almost 70 per cent of the population.

Beck also refuted the claim that fluoride is a nutrient, saying that it is a chemical that, in Cranbrook, is an industrial byproduct.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read