Anti-fluoridation group calls on Windsor to reverse plans to reinstitute additive

A new group, Fluoride Free Canada, is calling on municipalities like Windsor to stop the use or re-introduction of fluoride into public drinking water.

“We do not have to swallow this one folks,” said Dr. Robert Dickson, a Calgary medical doctor and director of the new group, which is aiming to make Canada fluoride-free. “We do not need one of the most toxic elements on the planet in our public drinking water with no control of dosage and no informed consent.”

According to the group — recent human studies from across the world, including Canada, suggest a link between drinking fluoridated water and lower IQs.

“Why on earth risk the brain of your children?” Asked Dr. Paul Connett, a science advisor for Fluoride Free Canada. “It just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make common sense and it certainly doesn’t make ethical sense.”

Fellow advisor Gilles Parent said most municipalities in Quebec, where he’s been advocating for decades, are now fluoride free.

“As we say, we could repair tooth decay, but we cannot repair the brain. That’s for life,” Parent said.

It’s a decision left up to municipalities, but Fluoride Free Canada is also pushing the prime minister and chief public health officer Theresa Tam to intervene and warn pregnant women to avoid fluoridated tap water.

The City of Windsor fluoridated its water supply for 50 years until 2013 when council voted to remove it.

But in a contentious debate five years later, council reversed that decision. In a few months’ time, Windsor’s water supply will once again be fluoridated.

“We are on track right now, we don’t see any issues at this point, precluding us from starting this up at the end of the year,” said Garry Rossi, the VP of Water Operations for Enwin Utilities.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit promotes fluoridation to combat tooth decay, a position that it stands by today, despite any new evidence.

WECHU has published a position statement on water fluoridation, which reads, in part, “when fluoride is added to the water at the recommended levels, studies have shown there is no link to negative health outcomes.”

WECHU adds, for every $1 of spending on community water fluoridation, $38 is saved in future dental treatment.

The total cost of reinstituting fluoride in Windsor’s water is $850,000, with annual costs of more than $100,000.

For any change of already approved plans, a member of council who voted in favour of the motion (Windsor passed the motion 8-3) would need to call for a motion to reconsider. Mayor Drew Dilkens and councillors Fred Francis and Ed Sleiman were the dissenting votes.

To date the city has not been instructed to bring the issue back to council.