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Byron Shire
May 13, 2021

Hysteria drives fluoride debate

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According to your article ‘Move to stop fluoride back on agenda’ (Echonetdaily 12 August), two young children (or more likely, their parents) oppose fluoridation. I would prefer information with a little more substance, please.

Nevertheless, no doubt the council and good citizens of Lismore will be swamped by the usual hysteria-generating crowd whose primary research tool is Mr Google (where there are countless examples of ‘proof’ of flying saucers, Elvis’s being alive, and the moon landing’s being a hoax). The fact is that in a vast quantity of peer-reviewed (let me repeat that – peer reviewed) research by scientists, fluoridation of water is overwhelmingly supported.

Yep, there are a handful of qualified opponents (and don’t forget even the tobacco industry managed to find a few seemingly qualified experts who apparently supported smoking), and huge numbers of people who have managed to type into Google ‘Fluoride is the chemical of the devil’, but the vast, vast majority of peer-reviewed scientific research overwhelmingly supports the benefits of fluoride afforded to (especially children’s) dental health.

And a side issue: What are the chances that a high proportion of the anti-fluoride mob are the same ones who are opposed to childhood vaccination (or more correctly, are opposed to vaccinating their children while relying on the ‘herd protection’ granted to their children by the vast majority of parents who have afforded their own children the benefits of vaccination. (Another issue supported by the vast majority of peer-reviewed research.)

But unfortunately, this (noisy) minority of people will turn up to the council meeting, waving their Google printouts and the council will roll over.

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