It might well be that some of our readers feel that we are hammering a little too steadily and consistantly on the anti-fluoridation theme.
Our position has a two-fold aspect. One — the fluoridation of a city's water supply without the consent of the majority of the citizens is an undemocratic and socialistic act. This paper and the movement it represents exist to combat whatever is contrary to the liberty and independance of the individual. In our modern society where, the tendency is more and more to centralization, with the individual finding himself more and more guided, directed and sometimes forced into this or that path of conduct by this or that organization, any move to counteract such a tendency can scarcely be overdone. Most of the cities which are unfortunate enough to have fluoridated water, got it without even so much as a by-your-leave from the city fathers.
Second aspect — if the question is to be put to the people, then the people must be given the facts, all the facts both for and against fluoridation. The suppression of the anti-fluoridation case has been one of the glaring injustices of this controversy. It is a fact which is indicative of the true merits of fluoridated water. The citizen must be made aware of the doubts about fluoridation, of the nature of fluoride, of the uncertainty as to its ultimate effects, of the weight of the case which many competent medical men and scientists have brought against.
At a meeting of the House of delegates of the American Medical Association in Philadelphia, December 3-6, 1958, a resolution was brought forward which proposed:
a) that the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association open its pages and the pages of all the other publications under his direction, to a full and complete airing of the fluoridation question, giving a full hearing not only to the pros but to the cons as well;
b) that all physicians be invited to discuss this matter freely without fear of stricture or restraint and to disseminate these facts so that all may have a chance of arriving at a full knowledge of the facts — for and against.
Both parts of this resolution were decisively defeated.
It has been said that the American Medical Association endorses fluoridation. If this is so, then the defeat of this resolution has very effectively silenced the opponents of fluoridation within the association. It is a curious fact that very little that is contrary to fluoridation has ever appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association; although there is; in fact, very considerable material against it. Those who fight fluoridation have been forced to have their arguments printed in foreign medical journals. The American Medical Association controls most of the medical scientific publications in the United States.
In view of this campaign of silence from the very groups which should be bringing this whole matter out into the light of day so that every fact of it might be thoroughly examined by everyone, this paper does not hesitate to attack fluoridation as often and as vigorously as it can.
We mentioned the anti-fluoridation case as appearing in foreign print. Dr. Douw Steyn, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of South Africa in Pretoria, has brought out a book, a thoroughly scientific work, entitled: "The Problem of Dental Caries And The Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies." This book is one of the finest efforts against fluoridation and covers the entire question through the medical right down to the legal. It is primarily a book for the professionals, but it contains masses of material which the non-medcial will find interesting and valuable in the fight against fluoridation. This book can be obtained from Rodale Books. Inc., Emmaus, Pa. U.S.A.
The North Side News of Atlanta, Georgia, March 6, 1958, reported that some 83 American communities have found that fluoride has a corrosive effect on water pipes, meters, machines in manufacturing plants using the water; also on home laundry appliances and hose, etc. These cities removed fluoride from their system after several years of use.
What fluoride can and is liable to do to the delicate machinery of the human body over a period of time, is difficult to say with accuracy, but easy to imagine. Dr. Benjamin Nesin, director of New York's water supply department, said on April 22, 1956:
"Never in the history of water supply has a substance so toxic in nature, with such a high degree of physiological potency, and associated with so much adverse evidence affecting public health, has been considered seriously for introduction in the water supply. It would be hazardous to assume that fluoridation is inert except for its action on the teeth. The possible avenues of fluoride involvement are tortuous, insidious and subtile. The situation is further complicated by unknowns related to varying susceptibility of individuals."
In brief, what Dr. Nesin says is this: fluoride is a deadly poison; not only is it deadly, but potentially, it can act violently on the human body; anyone would be a fool to assume that fluoride is going to affect only the teeth and no other part of the body; we cannot possibly know at this stage all the complicated and hidden effects that this poison can have on the body; moreover, it becomes even more complicated when you consider that the physiological makeup of each individual tends to react in a different manner to any one given chemical.
Right-thinking and honest men who have gone into the matter of fluoridation thoroughly have come away with something like the sentiments of Representative L. Miller, M.D., of the U.S.A. Congress, who said on March 2, 1952:
"I sponsored a bill which would permit fluorides to be introduced into the water supply in Washington, D.C., because I thought it a good thing. Today, because of the exhaustive hearings the special committee held, it is unthinkable that the Public Health Service should recommend it. I was mislead by the Public Health Service."'.
Again, Professor J. E. Galloway, head of the department of Pharmacology of Drake University Des Moines, Iowa, came out strongly against fluoridation, according to an I.N.S. despatch of December 27, 1957. He said that:
"it is well documented in scientific literature that sodium fluoride has an effect on the metabolic cycle from which we get energy to maintain the life processes and repairs to the body."
The professor also said that dosage had little to do with the matter since the effect would be cumulative, varying from person to person.
And, looking at fluoridation from the common "horse" sense point of view of the man in the street, here is what the New Leader of Richmond had to say on April 28, 1958:
"One of the most mystifying aspects of this whole controversy is that scientific men could lend their support to any program so inexact and so weirdly unscientific as this one. The sodium fluoride is not added to the water supply to treat the water but to treat the people who drink it. It is supposed to benefit children only; obviously, oldsters consume it too. What it does to them, no one knows exactly. In any event, the amount of fluoride a person thus takes into his system is determined in wildly haphazard fashion, solely by the amount of water he drinks."
What it all comes to is this: certain elements of the medical world believe that if children in a certain age group drink water containing a certain proportion of fluoride, there teeth will be assured a reasonable protection from dental decay. Hence, this group have launched a compaign to fluoridate the drinking water of all society. (The above would ostensibly seem to be the situation).
The objection to such a procedure is so logical and so apparent that we marvel that the entire fluoridation project did not trip over it and fall flat on it's face long ago. Let those parents who wish their children to absorb fluoride, give it to the kiddies in prescription form — tablets, toothpaste, candy-coated pills, any way they please just so long as the water in the taps is left just as it is supposed to be, something to drink, something to wash with and not a carrying agent for medicine. This way, everyone will be satisfied, fluoridators, and anti-fluoridators alike; and it will be a great deal less expensive.
There are those who will say: "Oh yes, but how are we going to insure that the children will grow up with fine healthy teeth free of cavities?"
The answer is simple: There can not be any such insurance. What assurance is there that children will get sufficient vitamins to prevent them from catching colds, or rhumatism later on? What assurance is there that children will have the proper lighting always and will be taught how to read so that they will avoid strain and wont have to wear glasses? What assurance is there that children wont get too much candy, soft drinks and pastry — which are the fountainheads of more physical ailments and defects than their manufacturers would ever dare hint at? If we are going to carry out society wide medication to prevent every possible ailment the entire world will become one vast drugstore and we shall be consuming nothing but medicine.
Care of childrens' health or of anyone's health for that matter, is not something that can be legislated or forced upon society. Good sense, charity, the instinct for self-preservation must be allowed to play their part. The liberty of men to do what is not right is just as sacred as the liberty to what is right. You cannot take away, the first and leave the second.
Medication, under normal circumstance is something that pertains to the free will of the individual. And, under normal circumstances, it cannot be forced upon him by the state or any other organization — not in justice. Much less can it be administered to a community without that community's explicit approval and consent. And before that community can be expected to say yes or no to such a matter as fluoridation, — it — and we mean every man and woman — must be in possession of all the facts about the matter on which they are to make a decision.
Until such is the case, fluoridation or any other such project affecting the people, is not only dangerous physically, but it menaces the very foundation stones of what we are wanted to call — our democratic way of life.