The following report appeared in the newspaper, La Presse, of last July 18th:
"The city of Montreal is on the eve of adopting a system of fluoridation for its drinking water. The president of the executive committee, Mr. J. M. Savignac, has assured Dr. Harold Greaves, president of a dental committee of the Montreal Council of Social Agencies, that an appropriation will be made for this purpose in the next municipal budget in February, 1959..."
"Up to now financial obstacles have prevented the realization of this project. It has been estimated that an initial outlay of from $600,000 to $700,000 will be necessary, not counting the subsequent cost of maintaining it..."
This latter statement contradicts what we were told two years ago. Le Devoir, for example, reported on February 13, 1956, the following bit of news which it got from Dr. Armand Hay, who, in turn, said he had it from a high official in the city hall:
"The city of Montreal is ready to begin fluoridating its drinking water. The necessary machinery has been set up, ready to start as soon as the municipal authorities give the signal."
Well, what happened to the machinery since that time? Did it vanish with the previous administration? Or was this news of 1956 simply a bit of bait cast out into municipal waters to see how John Q. Citizen was biting?
Why, in the name of right reason, should Montreal's drinking water be fluoridated? How can anyone tolerate the idea of a deadly poison being poured into our reservoirs?
The propaganda in favor of fluoridation began under the influence of the aluminum trust, which markets fluoride as a by-product of its main industry.
It is true that dentists, some at any rate, maintain that fluoridated water is effective in preventing tooth decay if it is drunk by children between the ages of 6 and 10 years. A proportion of one part of fluoride to one million parts of water is sufficient, say its promoters, without danger to the human organism. Let us add however, that the American Medical Association while confirming this assertion, will not assume any responsibility for the ailments which any individual might contract as a consequence of drinking fluoridated water.
Our movement has always fought vigorously against the fluoridation of water, one especially stiff attack appearing in an issue of our French paper Vers Demain on April 1, 1956. In combatting fluoridation, we do not contest the efficacity of fluoridated water against tooth decay. We aren't dentists; although a good percentage of them who support fluoridation seem only to parrot what a few others have first said, rather than basing their statements on their own experiments or research. And we do have at hand the statements of competent medical authorities who oppose fluoridation.
This reproduces a photograph taken at the San Diego (California) Water Works, just before that city abolished Fluoridation. The employee had to protect himself against the effects of that most potent poison. The labels of the containers of sodium fluoride manufactured by Merck & Company read as follows:
"Poison — Warning
May Be Fatal if Inhaled or Swallowed"
"Avoid breathing dust. Store away from food, and out of reach of children and domestic animals. Wash thoroughly after handling. Do not let Sodium Fluoride get into food or drink or into cuts or wounds. To avoid inhaling the dust, the user should cover the nose, and mouth with a wet cloth while applying."
But what we do fight for above all, in this matter, is the liberty of the individual.
Fluoridation of water is medication, and this is admitted even by those who promote it. It is medication against tooth decay...
Since when has any person or persons had the right to impose mass medication upon a community or a people? Public hygiene and sanitation — certainly! Mass medical treatment — definitely not! The public drinking water in the reservoir must be purified and protected against any bacteria which might cause an epidemic. That is true. But non-fluoridated water certainly cannot endanger the health of the people.
So-called primitive peoples who live in large numbers in various parts of our earth, are far less susceptible to tooth decay than are their "civilized" brethren. Their water is not fluoridated. The cause of tooth decay is obviously elsewhere than in non-fluoridated water.
And if à certain dose of fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay in children between the ages of six and ten years, why do dentists not have this dose done up in prescriptions prepared specifically for this purpose? Why fluoridate the entire population?
If we are to believe the fluoridators, then, logically, the doctors should ask that large quantities of Epsom salts be poured into the reservoir since there are any number of people, of all ages, who suffer from constipation.
Without claiming any competence in the matter of tooth decay or the effects of fluoride, we are still inclined to be a bit dubious when certain men, supposedly competent, tell us that a certain dose of fluoride will be of advantage to the teeth of children between the age brackets mentioned above. For, after all, some children drink only one glass of water a day. Some drink eight or ten. Others drink various amounts between these two. How are you going to give each child just the right dose?
Then again, why must this medicine absolutely come through the public water system? Wouldn't it be much more logical to do it up in prescription form in the drug store, and label the bottle with the number of doses to be taken by day or at each meal?
If you consider the cost of medicating the drinking water of an entire city in order to benefit only a tiny percentage of the population, the waste of public funds is fantastic.
The greater part of public water is used for industrial purposes, to water gardens and lawns, wash down the streets, do the laundry, etc., etc. Observations made in various cities (Des Moines, Iowa, for example) show that the population drinks only about one percent of all the water it uses. And of this population, only about-one tenth, according to the fluoridators themselves, can benefit by using fluoridated water against tooth decay.
Which all boils down to the conclusion that only about a thousandth of the water fluoridated will accomplish what is expected of it. In other words, of $1000 dollars spent to fluoridate water, only $1 will be beneficial; the other $999 are, for all practical purposes, thrown down the drain! And the one dollar's worth is based on the presumption that each and every child will drink the required dose.
So it would seem that Mr. Savignac is quite willing to spend six or seven hundred thousand dollars in order to be able to throw away, later on, $999 of each $1000 spent to fluoridate water. Has the city of Montreal all that much money to throw away, Mr. Savignac? Is it wealthy enough to fluoridate the lawns and the streets and the family wash, and automobiles — and industry?
Let the people of Montreal drink their water without poison. If Mr. Savignac is so anxious to fluoridate children, let him go into the drug business and sell it to parents who are willing to experiment with their children. When the people of Montreal want medication for themselves or their children they'll get it from doctors under prescription — or from serious minded dentists.