Council adopts Cleworth plan for fluoride committee
by dermotcole
 Dermot Cole
2 days 23 hrs ago | 868 views | 17 17 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Six prominent local scientists have agreed to serve on a new city committee to prepare a report on the use of fluoride in the water systems in Fairbanks.

Retired UAF Chemistry Professor Paul Reichardt is to lead the committee, while others named to the panel are UAF Chemistry Professor Emeritus Dick Stolzberg, UAF Economic Geology Professor Rainer Newberry, dentist Bryce Taylor, former UAF Dean Joan Braddock and pediatrician Beth Medford.

Opponents of fluoride use approached councilman Jerry Cleworth with this idea and Cleworth pushed it through the council. This committee is not made up of advocates for one point of view or another, however. It consists of respected local scientists.

Cleworth did not name himself to the committee, but the rest of the council and the mayor should appoint him as an ex-officio member and ask that he attend its meetings as a city representative.

That way, when the final report is delivered to the council, he will be fully informed on the topic. He said he doesn’t know enough about the subject yet, so that’s why a committee was needed. Participating in this committee would allow him to become the most well-informed council member on fluoride. 

In some of his remarks Monday before the city council, Cleworth suggested that it is possible that this group’s work will lead to a ballot measure in the fall, so he asked for a final report to be completed by July.

But the measure creating this committee does not mention anything about a ballot measure and that’s how it should be. The city has an obligation to the members of this committee to make it clear that they are not being asked to develop ammunition for a  pro or con election campaign.

And the council needs to have a representative involved as an observer.

Cleworth and the other members of the council were elected to study issues in detail and make decisions on controversial topics. That’s how they should be approaching this issue and that’s why Cleworth deserves to be part of this educational process.

It would be a disservice to the six people who have agreed to volunteer for this committee for the council to take a hands-off approach. As a first order of business, the committee members should ask that the council get involved from the start.




comments (17)
« staceyfritz wrote on Thursday, Feb 11 at 04:12 PM »
Where I grew up, the water had no flouride. Once a week at school we lined up and swished little cups of flouride rinse around our mouths.

And then...we spit it out. Because it is good for your teeth, but there are plenty of reasons not to drink it.

I like flouride in my toothpaste, but it is very wrong to put it in the municipal drinking water and force everyone to consume it.

I'm very glad that Fairbanks will be making the decision about flouridated water based on objective science, because everything I have seen indicates that flouride is a dangerous industrial waste product that is off-loaded into water supplies because it's economical to do so.

Thanks are due to Mr. Cleworth for setting up the committee.
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« Alaskagrl wrote on Thursday, Feb 11 at 01:32 PM »
I attended the City Council meeting for this issue. I went because I was also very concerned about the disturbing research of flouridating water. I have always seen it that water is what our bodies use to cleanse toxins from our system, so it seems clear to me that water should be as clean and pure as possible. I also consider the large amounts of water we drink when the heaters are on high all winter long and everything is so dry. If flouride is present in the water, then the more water we drink, the more flouride we ingest, which can far exceed any health guideline.

Research shows that there is a connection of flouride and brittle bones, cancer, auto immune diseases and lower IQ's. These are not risks that our community needs. With the lack of sunlight which already increases health problems, fruit and veggies that come to Fairbanks after being picked several days prior which lowers the vitamin and mineral levels and the poor air quality, I think we have enough on our plate without any more risks.

As a mother of 2 daughters and someone who works with children on a regular basis, I am protective of those who are too young to speak for themselves. If there is any risks to brain function, FORGET IT and leave it out! I believe healthy teeth are associated with healthy diet, not medicated water. As it stands, today's children are facing an epidemic of auto immune problems from many other environmental and medical toxins, they DO NOT need to have to deal with it in their water too.

I am so impressed by Mr. Cleworth. He has made a clear stand in our defense. He could be someone who could change the coarse of health for thousands of people in our community.
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« c.olmsted wrote on Thursday, Feb 11 at 12:16 AM »
'Public' writes "Same as what happened in Juneau. A few people say "let's vote." 250 people bother to show up to vote on fluoride out of 30,000. Removal of fluoride passes."

Compare 'Public's blather with the election report from the Juneau Empire:

"Juneau says no to fluoride ... Proposition 2 failed 61 to 37 percent. Of 24,613 registered voters, 7,820 voted at the polls."

That's a respectable 32% turnout and a decisive margin for the vote against fluoridation. It represents the overall ratio of opinion to a highly accurate level, but 'Public' has no clue that such calculations can even be done, much less how to make them. 'Public' is such a lazy & incompetent propagandist she can't even be bothered to fabricate numbers that have any plausibility at all.

And how about the logic of her argument that, since it's a dangerous world out there, we might as well make sure the water supply is dangerous too?

Are you getting a lonely feeling, Stan?

You sure have it right that the fluoridation issue is "really political - not scientific." If it were decided on the basis of objective science, there would be no fluoridation anywhere. It would likely be illegal as it is in India & China. But being heavily politicized in the USA by a variety of special interests and a major hidebound bureaucracy, fluoridation is still with us.

However, the well educated voters of Juneau demonstrate that it doesn't have to be that way. Common sense can prevail and Big Brother's heavy handed edict can be set aside.

Coert Olmsted

Senior Data Analyst

Fluoride Free Fairbanks
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« Prodigal_Son wrote on Wednesday, Feb 10 at 03:17 PM »
If the assertion re. private utilities is to imply a lack of control, the I'm not sure that's an accurate assumption. There are LOTS of 'privately owned' items in the City which are subject to restrictions imposed by city ordinance.

The private vendor would still be required to conform to local ordinances in their business dealings, including if flouride were to be banned by the City Council via ordinance in the event the referenced study and the panel in charge of it determined that's the best course of action, assuming the City Council were to concur with that determination, and pass such an ordinance..
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« Right&Left wrote on Wednesday, Feb 10 at 02:27 PM »
Anyone else want to play “The Point Is Moot”. Duhh the water we are talking about is produced by a privately held monopoly. What a waste of effort. Oh thanks again Jerry for selling off our water supply and the control of it. Monorail, monorail, monorail….
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« PayingAttention wrote on Wednesday, Feb 10 at 10:11 AM »
What does fluoridation of the Fairbanks water supply have in common with the Wall Street banker bailout and government mandates to purchase health insurance from corrupt health insurance monopolies who gouge the public? - In a word, Fascism.

Fluoride is an industrial waste that would otherwise be costly to dispose of. Government and industry teamed up with a novel approach - transform the toxic liability into a profit center that's funded by taxpayers. Adding fluoride to municipal water supplies is government-mandated mass-medication.

Let's review some classical definitions of Fascism:

1) Wikipedia: A political ideology that seeks to combine radical and authoritarian nationalism with a corporatist economic system.

2) Encyclopedia Britannica: The fascist economic theory corporatism called for organizing each of the major sectors of industry, agriculture, the professions, and the arts into state- or management-controlled trade unions and employer associations, or “corporations,” each of which would negotiate labour contracts and working conditions and represent the general interests of their professions in a larger assembly of corporations, or “corporatist parliament.”

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« PayingAttention wrote on Wednesday, Feb 10 at 09:06 AM »
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« AggressiveProgressive wrote on Wednesday, Feb 10 at 08:09 AM »
(formerly MJHemple)

Public - "There are far greater risks out there. Overeating. Smoking. Inhaling benzene while filling your fuel tank with gas...I'll accept the risk." That would be YOUR CHOICE, Public, and it's many peoples' choice to not accept the risk forced onto them. If you want fluoride in your water, then put it in there, but if I don't, you have no right to put it in mine. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

If kids get fluoride treatments at the dentist, then use a fluoride toothpaste twice a day, AND get it in the water they drink, wouldn't that be bordering on fluoride overload? Keeping it out of the water is the only way to give citizens a fair choice of using what some consider to be a harmful substance.

ProdigalSon's example of going into someone's home and adding vitamins to their cereal is a good one.

Douglas Yates' information is valid, and to dismiss it as unfounded is reckless at best.

You do not have the right to put substances into our bodies without each and every person's permission! Period! We are adult citizens and have the right to choose what does or doesn't go into our bodies. Even if I smoked cigarettes and ate Big Macs every day, you would still not have the right to put questionable substances into my water!

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« 99712 wrote on Wednesday, Feb 10 at 12:55 AM »


Stan Justice and 'Public' have attitudes that can be summed up as, "I am from the government, and you are too stupid to take care of yourself, so I am going to do it for you. Whether you like it or not".

Anyone who got through third grade learned about the importance of brushing their teeth- even if they had rotten parents who didn't explain all this.

And a tube of toothpaste with fluoride costs about $1.29.

Given the low education threshold and the cheap cost of toothpaste people don't need the nanny state to force medicated water with damaging health effects on the rest of us.

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« Prodigal_Son wrote on Wednesday, Feb 10 at 12:53 AM »
A governmental seal of approval or disapproval means little in any scientific scope, other than for the item potentially enjoying a debatably greater liklihood of correct classification.

Vioxx, anyone??

I've read enough pages in the average Physicians' Desk Reference to know that the FDA (and other governmental bodies) and I define the word 'safe' in clearly differnt ways.

I've also read enough ONDCP and DEA literature pertaining to drug/substance safety/risk to know that sometimes governmental (as well as other) entities are capable of being, a.) ignorant to extremes, b.) really gullible, c.) dishonest, d.) co-opted by other interests or lobbies, or e.) some combination of the previous choices..

Come to think of it, the CDC's original response to that whole thing that morphed into the AIDS epidemic was a bit off tmepo, too!! (Anyone else recall the film, 'And The Band Played On'??)

If there's current research that again draws question to this issue, then we ought to consider it. Period.

Additionally, there's the whole issue of personal boundaries; I don't enter others' homes and assert the rather strange presumption of authority to place vitamins, minerals or supplements in their Wheaties or coffee, yet some how someone thinks they have the authority to subject my children to that very sort of dynamic or behavior.. Based on the best of intentions, of course...

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« Public wrote on Tuesday, Feb 09 at 09:34 PM »
I wholeheartedly agree with Stan's comment. There are definitely two sides to the argument.

As far as I'm concerned, the benefits in this case are well documented and the risks based on misleading assumptions. The science behind use of fluoride in drinking water is sound and has been well scrutinized. Scare tactics from these folks are based on jargon such as "medicated" "fiat" "deception" "duped" and "dumped."

There are far greater risks out there. Overeating. Smoking. Inhaling benzene while filling your fuel tank with gas...I'll accept the risk.

Same as what happened in Juneau. A few people say "let's vote." 250 people bother to show up to vote on fluoride out of 30,000. Removal of fluoride passes. Another "landslide victory" for the Luddites. What's next, let's remove disinfection of drinking water?
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« Stan_Justice wrote on Tuesday, Feb 09 at 09:11 PM »
It will be interesting to see what this committee comes up with. My prediction is that they will find there are two sides each with their facts and arguments. That the decision is really political - not scientific.

Or modern life comes with risk. Every time we jump in our car or board a plane we accept a risk. I worked for 20 years in the water supply field as a state regulator working to minimize the risk of drinking water. The fluoride concerns came up periodically and we would review the new studies that were presented and consult with State and Federal experts in the field. The conclusion was always that the value of healthy teeth far outweighed the concerns that had been raised - that the risk was worth taking.

The Center for Disease Control still says water fluoridation is safe and effective. Here is their link http://www.cdc.gov/FLUORIDATION/ Our state health experts also support fluoridation. http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/mchepi/pubs/facts/fs2005na_v3_03.pdf
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« sprucetree wrote on Tuesday, Feb 09 at 02:38 PM »
In creating a fluoride task force, council member Jerry Cleworth demonstrates independent leadership so often lacking in state and national politics. Instead of taking swipes at the effort, Mr. Cole ought to provide his readers with details of anti-fluoride activism in other communities.

There's a lot of excellent journalism recounting the struggle to overthrow the fiat of mass medication. In the last two election cycles, more than 70 communities nationwide stopped fluoridation.

In 2004, some Juneau health professionals critical of fluoridation called for a scientific review of its safety and effectiveness. After an exhaustive survey, including international experts who traveled to Juneau to deliver testimony, the panel concluded that the ostensible benefits of fluoridation were outweighed by the documented risks. The practice was stopped.

Among the risks: osteosarcoma in teenage boys, thyroid disfunction, kidney disease, brittle bones, bile duct cancer, and lowered IQ in children. Not everyone is similarly affected, given different immune systems, but for those poisoned by fluoride the impacts are life changing.

A union of EPA scientists, experts in toxicology, have called for a moratorium on all fluoridation while a national commission examines whether it should be continued. All of this and more is found in The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson, a former BBC producer. Look for an interview of him on Youtube.

To see the science and learn why the folks in Juneau turned off the fluoride, visit:

http://www.juneau.org/clerk/boards/Fluoride/Fluoride_Study_Commission.php

Douglas Yates

Fluoride Free Fairbanks (3F)

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« philiposborn wrote on Tuesday, Feb 09 at 02:09 PM »
I think scrutinizing the advisability of supplying any substance to the public water supply is of paramount importance in today's environment, with all sorts of hazards compromising our health from industry, transportation, contamination of ground water, air quality concerns, etc.

Dermot's use of the term "ammunition" suggests a contentious atmosphere, akin to combat rhetoric. If this new committee finds reason to advise against using Fluoride, let's thank them for their service, accept their findings, and respond intelligently to wise council.
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« philiposborn wrote on Tuesday, Feb 09 at 01:56 PM »
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« 99712 wrote on Tuesday, Feb 09 at 11:52 AM »


Dermot, your reporting is biased here. An example: "Opponents of fluoride use..."

Why is this biased? The objective is to make city water cleaner and healthier. A fair report of the objective would be described: "Proponents of clean water..."

The study group is now a public entity- and all their meetings are public and their meetings should be publicly noticed. Any Council member or member of the public should be able to attend.

What is their objective? If it is to ensure that no chemical be added to water intended for human consumption without proof that such chemicals are safe then the job will be simple. There is no proof the fluoride is safe. In fact, there is significant evidence that the chemical is hazardous to human health. Rather than arguing the evidence of harm, the group should have proof that fluoride is safe- and such proof has never been prepared by the same standards, for example, that have been established to ensure that the prescription drugs we take are safe.

Using this logic the group should be finished by next week with a report recommending this dangerous chemical not contaminate our water.

PS- It would also be nice to know the specifics on the fluoride dumped into City water. I've heard reports this poison now comes from China.

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« philiposborn wrote on Tuesday, Feb 09 at 10:57 AM »
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