In a decision one anti-fluoride activist called criminal, Peel council members unanimously voted to continue the long-standing practice of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply — albeit at a slightly lower concentration.
At a March 9 meeting, councillors endorsed a motion from the region’s Community Water Fluoridation Committee.
The committee was established more than a year ago to probe the health benefits of water fluoridation and recommend a regional position on the decades-old practice in Peel.
Last month, committee members passed a motion to reaffirm the region’s commitment to oral health, while recommending fluoride concentrations in local drinking water be reduced to 0.5 mg/l and a switch to a calcium fluoride additive to address concerns about the toxicity of Peel’s current additive.
Mississauga Coun. Carolyn Parrish, chair of the committee, had earlier told council that coming to a definitive regional position on water fluoridation had been difficult process given all the contradictory information from experts, advocates, health officials and scientific studies on both sides of the debate.
When the review began, she noted, there were members of the committee bent on removing fluoride from the drinking water.
“Some have changed their position. I’m one of them,” remarked Parrish, who added the motion was a compromise derived with the best interest of residents in mind.
But it is still unacceptable to anti-fluoride activists such as Brampton resident Christine Massey who view fluoride as a poison.
She spoke to council before the vote and reiterated her fears about the toxicity of the fluoride residents consume in water from their taps.
She accused the council of “illegally drugging” residents and pleaded for at least a moratorium on fluoridation while the region awaits response from the provincial government on a request to test toxicity levels of the local additive and assume responsibility for administering municipal water fluoridation in Ontario.
Brampton Coun. John Sprovieri, a loud anti-fluoride voice on council who supported the motion, isn’t optimistic about the province taking action on those requests.
Debate on the issue six years ago also ended with council unanimously deciding to continue fluoridation.