The Town of Parry Sound Council passed a resolution tonight that will start the process of removing fluoride from the Town’s water supply. The addition of fluoride will formally cease in late February or early March, after an appropriate by-law is prepared, given the statutory twenty-one day period for public review, and passed by Council.

There is an intention to put the fluoridation issue on the ballot at the next Town general election. If there is public support for fluoridation at that point, fluoridation could be reinstituted.

Personally I think removing fluoride is a mistake, but I respect the process and the pressure that the Town faced in terms of public activism and the potential costs of a referendum.

I will also note that mankind has a history of rejecting the best available evidence in favour of anecdotal opinion and observation. Just look at the long list of diet books written by physicians. Yet these ‘magical diets’ have never been embraced by public health organizations. But hey, a doctor said this diet works, so it must be true.

The process of developing public health policy, which currently recommends fluoridation of municipal water systems, involves much more than finding an expert ‘doctor’ and some supporting evidence. The process properly involves the examination and weighing of all evidence in a statistically rigorous manner. And it’s an ongoing process, new evidence is considered as it is published and validated. This is the process that has led to the fluoridation recommendation by the health organizations tasked with making therse recommendations.

And to one councillor, the fluoride additive used in fluoridation is not dangerous if used as directed. Many chemicals that are commonly incorporated into the products we ingest and use are toxic. Too much water, even non-fluoridated water, will kill if taken in excess.