Photo courtesy of S. Cysewski, Wandering in Alaska
In a stunning triumph of common sense over politics, Fairbanks, Alaska’s Fluoride Task Force has issued a recommendation that the city cease its 50-year-old water fluoridation program.
The City Council-appointed committee, comprising six scientifically and/or medically qualified local residents, had met publicly twice a month for the past year, studying the scientific literature and taking citizen testimony. Five of its members favored abandoning fluoride.
The committee based the decision mainly on their recognition that fluoride is bad for babies — and on the will of the people, who spoke overwhelmingly against it in public sessions. In fact, it was citizen concern that led the City Council to create the task force in the first plane.
The next move now belongs to the Council, which can choose to disregard the findings, vote on the issue themselves, or throw it to the public via a referendum. And they are not likely to ignore such a strong mandate.
Chances are excellent that fluoridation will soon become a thing of the past in Fairbanks. Juneau abandoned the practice in 2007.
The Committee’s report can be read here.