Youth Activism Night at City Council: Students Speak Out For Fluoridation and in Favor of Plastic Bag Ban

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It was a rare site on Tuesday night as a number of high school students came forward to speak in support of a proposal to fluoridate the city’s water supply, and UC students from CalPIRG came forward, speaking in favor of a proposed plastic bag ban.

A senior at Davis High School, speaking at public comment, spoke of the option of putting fluoride in the city’s water as “not just sensible but obvious.”

“If the water was to contain fluoride it would benefit all Davis residents especially younger children who may not have insurance or affordable health coverage,” he said.  “Depending on socio-economic status, families have access to certain health care opportunities, but for children in families who struggle to afford health care this is a great preventive measure to prevent cavities and dental decay.”

“I understand that cost to putting fluoride in the water may be discouraging,” he said.  “But I ask you all to recognize the unmeasurable benefits it can have for members of our community.  It can help reduce the number of help with which people rely on safety-net programs that people turn to if their options are limited.”

He argued that, as a youth, he had fluoride in his water and this was a primary reason that he has no current cavities in his mouth, and this will reduce future costs and health risks.

“I want to insure that the children in this community have the same opportunities,” he said noting that he not only represents the minority community, but he is receiving free lunch through the school’s free lunch program and would be considered low income.  “I’m lucky enough not to have the dental issues that other children who are in my steps or younger will acquire.”

“I believe it is really important that we understand the benefits and to understand the impact that this can have on children’s lives,” he concluded.

Another senior at Davis High came forward, representing the student organization, Latinos Amigos, “We’re here because we know in the weeks and months you’re going to be looking at the fluoridation of Davis’ water which as I understand is feasible for the first time.”

“I know it’s uncommon for teenagers to come down here, but this is actually something that we are hearing a lot about and for us this is really starting to look like a social-justice issue,” he said.  “We’re really looking at it as a way that we as a community can help those who maybe for socio-economic reasons can’t help themselves.”

He said that this issue has drawn enough attention on campus that they have a petition going from students on campus to encourage the council to really consider the option of fluoridation of the water because it can help low income students and others.

“The scientific consensus seems to be that – that it is a good thing for people’s teeth and people’s health,” he said.

Edson Perez, the Chapter President for CalPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group, UC Davis chapter), came before council to advocate for the banning of single-use plastic bags in the city of Davis.  CalPIRG has worked statewide on the banning of single-use plastic bags and achieved these goals so far in 64 cities in the state.

“We think that Davis should definitely be the next one,” Mr. Perez stated.

A student who identified himself as Ellison, said, “As you probably know our iconic coastline is currently plagued by plastic bag pollution.  The Pacific Garbage patch is currently an area of pollution in the Pacific Ocean that’s twice the size of Texas where 100 million tons of green debris create a toxic flowing soup.”

“60 to 80 percent of all Pacific debris is plastic and it’s made of the 11.9 billion single use plastic bags that Californians use each year,” he continued.  “This plastic pollution constantly endangers our marine life, produces toxic chemicals that effect human health and threatens California’s $22 billion ocean economy.”

“Banning single use plastic bags is a single step in the right direction,” he said.  CalPIRG is working to pass single use plastic bag bans across the state this year, including one right here in Davis.

Olivia Lin, also a member of CalPIRG, spoke of the huge amounts of plastic bags that she has seen floating around Davis.

“This also creates problems for the nearby wildlife areas such as Putah Creek,” Ms. Lin said.  She argued that, in addition to threatening wildlife, it creates costs for clean up throughout the city, draining financial resources.

Ernesto Arvaldo also addressed the single-use bag ban.  He is a UC Davis student and a member of CalPIRG.  He noted that sea turtles eat plastic bags, mistaking them for jelly fish.

He said he really supports the plastic bag ban as something that can help the oceans and make Davis look more beautiful.

Chris Oson is an ASUCD Senator and member of the UCD CalPIRG chapter.  The chapter registered 4400 people to vote last election and they represent about 15 percent of the student body that has pledged CalPIRG, meaning they give $10 per quarter for the work they perform.

He spoke in favor of the bag ban, but in opposition to a bag tax.

Mr. Oson said that he was recently in the town of Oceano that recently approved a plastic bag ban and that he spoke to restaurant owners and other small business members who are actually appreciative of the ban, stating it has done nothing to hurt them at all and saves them money.

“The bag tax, which is a policy that has been passed in DC, has been bad for it because the city is now facing a lawsuit,” he said.  “The bag ban is a lot more environmentally friendly, it’s a cleaner policy, it’s a lot more effective in terms of reducing ocean pollution.”

“This is one of those policies that doesn’t just feel good, but it has results,” he continued.  “Ever since CalPIRG and Environment California started this campaign in 2010, 65 cities have passed it… California has now dropped its use of plastic bags by almost 15% over that time and has gone from 19 billion to 11 billion plastic bags that are wasted every year.”

Donna, a student at UC Davis, has been part of CalPIRG for three years now, and started as an intern on the ocean campaign.

She said after talking to numerous students she believes “there’s such overwhelming support for a bag ban at least on the student level.  It would be great for city council to listen to the voices of the students.”

She argued, however, that the bag tax does not address the issue of plastic pollution going into our oceans.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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61 thoughts on “Youth Activism Night at City Council: Students Speak Out For Fluoridation and in Favor of Plastic Bag Ban”

  1. SouthofDavis

    David wrote:

    > A student who identified himself as Ellison, said,
    > “As you probably know our iconic coastline is currently
    > plagued by plastic bag pollution.

    My surfboards are now in storage, but as someone who has spent more time around our “iconic coastline” than most I can say that we don’t have a “plague” of plastic bag pollution. When I worked in Marin I would often ride and run in the headlands at lunch and after work. In hundreds and hundreds of days I probably saw a couple bags (I don’t think I ever saw a bag at Tennessee beach where I turned around when I did my beach and back after work run).

    P.S. After they ban plastic grocery bags will they go after plastic bags in the frozen food section, plastic ice bags and the plastic bags that pet shops use for the feeder goldfish?

  2. medwoman

    SOD

    [quote]After they ban plastic grocery bags will they go after plastic bags in the frozen food section, plastic ice bags and the plastic bags that pet shops use for the feeder goldfish? [/quote]

    All good ideas. I think it is high time that we realized that when the issue is our personal transient convenience vs use of plastic which is a pollutant in our environment, it is our convenience that should give way. With ingenuity, I am sure that we could find less polluting means to transport our frozen foods, ice, and maybe even our goldfish.

  3. medwoman

    On a more serious note, I was delighted to see these high school students both at the City Council, and at the WAC actively engaged in issues of importance to the community. Whether or not one is in agreement with the postions taken, it was wonderful to hear these young folks researching their topics, honing their speaking skills, and providing leadership and representation for their peers. Very refreshing.

  4. Davis Progressive

    to sod’s point, i think it puts the cart before the horse. let’s see how effective mitigation of single-use plastic bags are and what the impact is before we figure out the next step.

  5. Frankly

    The mistake is to equate any group with the label of “activist” representing the majority opinion. Typically it does not. And I assume these kids have been highly influenced by the opinions of their liberal-biased teachers.

    The kids I talk to think putting junk in the water is wrong and banning plastic bags is stupid.

  6. GreenandGolden

    Frankly. It is worse than you think. Not only have these students been influenced by liberal teachers, they have also been influenced by their liberal parents; gawdawful liberal place is this Davis!

  7. Growth Izzue

    [quote]You’ve studied it? [/quote]

    It’s just common sense, something that escapes most liberals. You prove to me that Davis plastic bags do make their way to the ocean.

  8. Davis Progressive

    So in other words you’re just leaping to conclusions that stray bags don’t end up washing into storm drains which end up in the Delta.

  9. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]The kids I talk to think putting junk in the water is wrong and banning plastic bags is stupid.[/quote]

    Maybe this is because the kids you talk to have been “highly influenced” by their exposure to people who think as you do ?

    In any event, can we not applaud the initiative it takes to consider the issues, use your own time to collect signatures, build your public presentation skills, and gain practice in considering the points of view of those who do not agree with you ? As I left the WAC last night, one of the opponents of fluoridation was happily chatting with the high school students. Surely this is a positive, regardless of which side of the issue you support.

  10. Growth Izzue

    [quote]So in other words you’re just leaping to conclusions that stray bags don’t end up washing into storm drains which end up in the Delta. [/quote]

    No, the leaping to conclusions comes from the bag ban club claiming that plactic bags from Davis somehow make it all the way to the oceans without proof.

  11. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]putting junk in the water[/quote]

    Here we are in complete agreement. Where we disagree is on the label of fluoride as “junk”. Fluoride, as a naturally occurring element is a normal component of our environment presently occurring in our water supply at amounts of from 0.1mg/l to 3.6 mg/l per city supplied information. So what is being discussed is acutally not the addition of a foreign substance, but rather optimization of a natural substance to gain as much benefit as possible while incurring as little risk as possible. I am hard pressed to see an objectively based criticism of this approach. What I do see are many emotionally based objections.

  12. wdf1

    Frankly: [i]And I assume these kids have been highly influenced by the opinions of their liberal-biased teachers.[/i]

    The fluoridation argument is not a hard one to make, and would appeal to citizens on fiscally conservative grounds. Fluoridation = fewer cavities = lower cost dental health + potentially longer, healthier life if one can keep teeth longer = more productive work force. I think capitalists like Henry Ford would have approved.

  13. SouthofDavis

    Davis Progressive wrote:

    > to sod’s point, i think it puts the cart before
    > the horse. let’s see how effective mitigation of
    > single-use plastic bags are and what the impact
    > is before we figure out the next step.

    I’m pretty sure that banning bags will reduce litter as much as the ban on pot reduces pot smoking at reggae and jam band concerts. To modify and old saying “plastic bags don’t litter, people litter”. Why ban bags for ALL people (or force them to take ice home in a paper bag) when we just need to stop people from tossing them on the ground. We can’t stop everyone from tossing bags on the ground (and on the beach) but we can punish the people we do catch so they spend every Saturday for a year picking up trash (including plastic bags) in the area where they were littering. My pick up litter for a year punishment for littering would make Davis the cleanest town in America (with the least amount of cigarette butts) in no time at all…

    P.S. If people don’t get free plastic bags at the grocery any more it is not like they are going to start picking dog poop up with their hands and letting wet stuff rust the bottom of the bathroom trash cans, they will just have to “buy” more plastic bags to pick up poop and line trash cans. I’ve read that some funding for grocery store bag ban effort is coming from the people that make paper grocery bags, and it would not surprise me if the people that make plastic bags for consumers are also helping out…

    P.P.S. To medwoman I’m also happy to see the kids show up since I bet more than 90% of the High School kids in Davis can not even name a single member of the city council…

  14. Davis Progressive

    sod: you seem to be of the belief that if you ban one thing, you need to ban everything. i don’t really get that. my belief is you start by banning the thing that you believe is the biggest problem and see how that impacts the system. if doesn’t cause problems and you need to do more, then you do more. the issue is a lot more than simply litter.

  15. medwoman

    SOD

    [quote]let’s hope that this discussion be based on the evidence![/quote]

    On this we agree. Do you feel that there is not evidence that plastic is a detrimental substance in our environment ?

  16. medwoman

    SOD

    [quote]If people don’t get free plastic bags at the grocery any more it is not like they are going to start picking dog poop up with their hands and letting wet stuff rust the bottom of the bathroom trash cans, they will just have to “buy” more plastic bags to pick up poop and line trash cans[/quote]

    The availability of plastic is a convenience, not a necessity. Paper works just fine for scooping up dog poop and for lining trash cans. It has the advantage of being biodegradable. Just because we are in the habit of using plastic does not mean we have to.

  17. Growth Izzue

    [quote]sod: you seem to be of the belief that if you ban one thing, you need to ban everything. i don’t really get that. my belief is you start by banning the thing that you believe is the biggest problem and see how that impacts the system. if doesn’t cause problems and you need to do more, then you do more. the issue is a lot more than simply litter. [/quote]

    And there you have it, take an inch at a time. Don’t chance going for the whole ball of wax right from the start, slowly take away until the ultimate goal is reached.

  18. SODA

    Medwoman

    There’s SOD and then there’s me SODA (south Davis)
    I wouldn’t want his reputation to be tarnished by my comments!
    Actually my evidence comments was more about the fluoride issue.
    I will keep an open mind and sorry I missed the WAC discussion but as a health care professional I am in favor.

  19. Frankly

    [b]Acute Fluoride Toxicity from Toothpaste Ingestion[/b]
    [quote]The Food & Drug Administration now requires that all fluoride toothpastes sold in the United States bear the following poison warning:

    “WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”

    The FDA warning is necessary because relatively small doses of fluoride can induce symptoms of acute fluoride toxicity (i.e., poisoning). Early symptoms of fluoride poisoning include gastrointestinal pain, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. The minimum dose that can produce these symptoms is estimated to be 0.1 to 0.3 mg/kg of fluoride (i.e., 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams of fluoride for every kilogram of bodyweight). A child weighing 10 kilograms, therefore, can suffer symptoms of acute toxicity by ingesting just 1 to 3 milligrams of fluoride in a single sitting.

    As demonstrated in the table, 1 to 3 mgs of fluoride is found in just 1 to 3 grams of toothpaste (less than 3% of the tube) — including toothpaste that is marketed specifically to children with bubble-gum and fruit flavors.[/quote]

  20. Growth Izzue

    Frankly, I have no dog in the fluoride fight, I could care less either way. But you bring up some good points regarding flouride allergies and toxicity. How can some of the same people on here that argued that peanut butter cookies should be banned from local grocery stores because of allergic reactions now say that flouride is okay in our drinking water?

  21. Davis Progressive

    This is from the EPA:

    “The current enforceable drinking water standard for fluoride is 4.0 mg/L. This is the maximum amount that is allowed in water from public water systems. It is set to meet the current public health goal for protection against increased risk of crippling skeletal fluorosis, a condition characterized by pain and tenderness of the major joints.”

    Since something on the order of two-thirds of all water is fluoridated in this country, any evidence that we have an epidemic of fluoride poisoning? And if we did, what is your explanation for why the EPA two years ago did not ban its use? I think you really have to get into tin foil and conspiracy here to make your case. I can understand your base partisan/ ideological case far better than the health case.

  22. Davis Progressive

    “But you bring up some good points regarding flouride allergies and toxicity.”

    Show us actual and not theoretical examples of the problem and how widespread it is?

  23. Steve Hayes

    It is not “social justice” for fluoride proponents to use the poor as leverage for their proposal to add fluoride to our drinking water. Just because people are poor doesn’t mean that they automatically FORFEIT their right to choose yes or no on the fluoride issue. In fact, requiring all the poor to systematically ingest fluoride laden water may be ultimately more expensive than providing fluoride toothpaste to be applied externally on teeth for those who desire it.
    Social justice in this case requires that fluoride project proponents provide the same choices and options to all classes of people, be they poor or otherwise.

  24. medwoman

    SODA

    [quote]Medwoman

    There’s SOD and then there’s me SODA (south Davis)
    I wouldn’t want his reputation to be tarnished by my comments!
    Actually my evidence comments was more about the fluoride issue.
    I will keep an open mind and sorry I missed the WAC discussion but as a health care professional I am in favor.[/quote]

    Oops ! Sorry. I seem to be making some attributional errors these days. I’ll try to keep my SODs separate from my SODAs in the future ; )

    As for the fluoridation issue, I remained a skeptic for quite some time. But after reading most of the health concerns listed by FAN and then cross referencing those from the actual medical literature ( i have been doing this for the past couple of weeks) I have become increasingly convinced that there is no evidence to support the health care concerns that are being cited. At least not at the levels that are being considered for the water supply. Higher levels while they might be relevant in China and Iran where in some locations there are very high levels of naturally occurring fluoride, these findings are not applicable here. I am continuing to research and to check with my subspecialist consultants as issues arise. I will keep putting out new evidence as the concerns arise.

  25. jostoich

    Adding fluoride into the water supply is mass medication and a crime against humanity! The EPA has destroyed valuable evidence about the dangers of fluoride; harassed reputable scientists and obstructed justice – repeatedly.
    The American Dental Association (ADA), National Academy of Sciences, American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics – all agree that the dose of fluoride a baby receives in fluoridated tap water formula exceeds the amount known to cause harm. So why is this allowed?

    The fluoride being added to water supplies is a toxic waste product from the aluminum and fertilizer manufacturing industry – hydrofluorosilicic acid. If people want fluoride, then let them make the choice and provide it to them individually. If people, do not, then do not force this contaminant on them via their drinking and bathing water. Research has repeatedly shown that fluoride can pose severe health risks including bone cancer. Fluoride is taken up instead of calcium into bones causing osteoporosis and hip fractures in the elderly. Fluoride is soft, whereas calcium is strong. Watch this powerful documentary: FLUORIDEGATE An American Tragedy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zpw5fGt4UvI#!

  26. wdf1

    jostoich: [i]The EPA has destroyed valuable evidence about the dangers of fluoride; harassed reputable scientists and obstructed justice – repeatedly. [/i]

    Please cite reference. Sounds like an unprovable conspiracy claim.

    jostoich: [i]The American Dental Association (ADA), National Academy of Sciences, American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics – all agree that the dose of fluoride a baby receives in fluoridated tap water formula exceeds the amount known to cause harm. So why is this allowed?[/i]

    American Academy of Pediatrics endorses fluoridation of water ([url]http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Water-Fluoridation.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR:+No+local+token[/url]) as does the American Dental Association ([url]http://www.ada.org/fluoride.aspx[/url]), and the American Medical Association ([url]http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/clinical-practice-improvement/clinical-quality/accreditation-collaboration/ada-council.page[/url]), and the National Academy of Sciences ([url]http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/nas.htm[/url]). All of them recommend fluoridation as a health benefit.

  27. medwoman

    [quote]you bring up some good points regarding flouride allergies and toxicity. [/quote]

    The point about toxicity is very valid at much, much higher levels of fluoride than are being proposed for our water system. At the proposed level, I have yet to find a health risk, although, I am still looking.

    The point about allergies is not a good one. Even the strongly anti fluoride group, FAN, does not mention the word allergy with regard to fluoride. They correctly use the term hypersensitivity. “Allergy” a subtype of hypersensitivity involving a number of reactions of the immune system from the annoying, runny nose, teary eyes, to hives, to the truly dangerous anaphylaxis has not been demonstrated to be associated with fluoride unlike for instance with peanuts ( thus the lack of concern for this analogy). It is true that a few individuals when in direct contact with industrial levels of fluoride may develop skin reactions. This is not demonstrated at the levels being proposed for the drinking water.

  28. Frankly

    The benefits and risks of fluoride in drinking water can be debated. There is no consensus in the medical or scientific community.

    However, the issue is not whether fluoride in the water is beneficial or harmful; the issues is morality. It is simply immoral to dump chemicals in our water supply for purposes other than what is required to provide clean and safe drinking water.. AND this point should not be conflated with arguments about other healthcare shortcomings. Convenience of out water delivery systems is not a justification for force-medicating the population.

    It is not surprising that healthcare professionals are advocating this… these are the same people routinely over-medicating many of their patients. They are in the business of administering chemicals and compounds to fix everyone… even if they harm a few people in the process. However, if you get smart and read up on the effects of the chemicals and compounds prescribed, you can improve your odds of not being harmed by them. That ability is eliminated when the chemicals and compounds are dumped into the water supply.

    Proceed with adding fluoride to the water, and I will begin to work aggressively and tirelessly side by side with Mr. Harrington and all others that stacked up against the surface water project to block its progress. From my perspective, if fluoride is added, I would just as soon have the cheaper crappy well water flowing through my plumbing.

  29. Davis Progressive

    “However, the issue is not whether fluoride in the water is beneficial or harmful; the issues is morality”

    that’s your issue not “the” issue

  30. Frankly

    It is an issue, not my issue… and it is a big issue.

    It is wrong to force-medicate the population. It provides no opportunity for discretion, choice, etc.

    Why don’t we add certain vitamins to the water?

  31. wdf1

    Frankly: [i]It is wrong to force-medicate the population. It provides no opportunity for discretion, choice, etc.[/i]

    Would it also be immoral to have tap water that isn’t demonstrably harmful but also isn’t distilled water, because we’re being forced to ingest impurities? Much like Davis tap water is right now?

  32. Don Shor

    [i]It is wrong to force-medicate the population. It provides no opportunity for discretion, choice, etc.

    Why don’t we add certain vitamins to the water?[/i]

    Because they add them to bread and other enriched flour products instead. [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folic_acid#United_States[/url]

  33. Matt Williams

    Salt Fluoridating Countries:

    Austria
    Columbia
    Costa Rica
    Czech Republic
    France
    Germany
    Grenada
    Hungary
    India
    Jamaica
    Lebanon
    Japan
    Mexico
    Okinawa
    Peru
    Scotland
    Spain
    Switzerland
    Uruguay

    Fluoride in milk

    Bulgaria
    Chile
    China
    Peru
    Russia
    Thailand
    U.K.

  34. Matt Williams

    All tea leaves contain fluoride; however, mature leaves contain as much as 10 to 20 times the fluoride levels of young leaves from the same plant. High fluoride intake (daily intakes over 2 mg for children, 4 mg adults) increases the risk of osteofluorosis and fractures. It is speculated that hand-picked tea would contain less fluoride than machine-harvested tea, because there is a much lower chance of harvesting older leaves during the harvest process. There is some evidence that over-intake of teas produced using mature leaves (e.g. brick tea) or a combination of mature and young (e.g. through inefficient mechanical harvesting) has been found to cause fluorosis in humans.

    The fluoride content of made tea depends on the picking method and fluoride content of the soil in which it is grown; tea plants absorbs this element at a greater rate than other plants. Care in the choice of the location where the plant is grown may reduce the risk.

  35. Frankly

    Me: [i]It is wrong to force-medicate the population. It provides no opportunity for discretion, choice, etc.[/i]

    Don: [i]Why don’t we add certain vitamins to the water?

    Because they add them to bread and other enriched flour products instead.[/i]

    Not the bread I buy. And that is my point. You have a choice. You can check the ingredients label of each loaf of bread on the shelf and select what want. Not so with the water coming out of the tap. Whatever your government puts in it you have to accept.

  36. Davis Progressive

    you have a choice between fluoridated water and buying bottled water as well. it may not be the choice you want, but no one will force you to take what you do not want.

  37. Frankly

    [i]Would it also be immoral to have tap water that isn’t demonstrably harmful but also isn’t distilled water, because we’re being forced to ingest impurities? Much like Davis tap water is right now?[/i]

    Morality is a perspective of what’s right and what’s wrong. I think it is right to clean the water of impurities and make it safe. I think it is wrong to try to force medicate a population using public water as a delivery system. You can apply all the nuance you can muster, but it is still wrong.

    I have no problem with a public program/effort to provide fluoride to families that need it or want it.

    A secondary issue for me is the larger problem of eliminating the expectation of personal responsibility to be replaced by a new expectation that people do not need to learn to take care of themselves. As for kids, I would support requiring education on basic hygiene and a 15 minute break for all kids to wash their hands and brush their teeth. It is that standard teach to fish or feed a fish argument.

    Darwin would surely have a heart attack if he were alive today seeing how we are causing humans to devolve into perpetual children that need constant care. The soft bigotry of low expectations is alive and well and it is as destructive as ever.

  38. David M. Greenwald

    “Darwin would surely have a heart attack if he were alive today seeing how we are causing humans to devolve into perpetual children that need constant care.”

    That’s dubious at best. And a misread of Darwin into social Darwinism.

  39. Frankly

    [i]you have a choice between fluoridated water and buying bottled water as well. it may not be the choice you want, but no one will force you to take what you do not want.[/i]

    This is a phony comparison. My house is plumbed for one water system and the city has control over that water system. I cannot drill a well and pump my own water. I would bet too that I would be restricted from installing a huge tank in my yard to fill with non-fluoridated water that I purchase and have trucked in.

    I certainly can purchase bottled water. How does discarding all those plastic water bottles sit with your environmental sensitivities? I will be paying a premium for water I can finally drink from the tap, and now, if I don’t want to ingest fluoride, I am back to bottled water again. Not a chance.

  40. Davis Progressive

    it’s not a false choice, it’s just not an ideal choice. but you’re not entitled to ideal choices.

    “How does discarding all those plastic water bottles sit with your environmental sensitivities?”

    buy a five gallon container and pay .32 cents a gallon to refill it.

  41. Frankly

    Or pay $50 per month for bottled water delivered like I am today. That is not a choice, it is a mandate if I don’t want to ingest fluoride. How about this?… we keep fluoride out of the public water and everyone else has the choice to buy fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash or drops?

  42. Matt Williams

    Frankly, let’s flip your argument around 180 degrees and look at that same $50 per month for a low income or out of work family. They clearly have much less fiscal resilience in their household to absorb the cost of manually adding fluoride to their water.

    Add to that the realities of self discipline in children and adolescents. I am well acquainted with a very intelligent, highly successful Davis resident who on average brushes his teeth less than one time a year. He is an extreme example, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if a majority of Davis residents didn’t brush their teeth more than three times a week. Your solution succeeds or fails based on individual discretion

    I’ll close with a question, [i]”Why is adding fluoride to water any different than adding vitamins and minerals to bread and milk?”[/i]

  43. medwoman

    [quote]It is not surprising that healthcare professionals are advocating this… these are the same people routinely over-medicating many of their patients.[/quote]

    I doubt anyone is still reading this thread, but I simply cannot let this statement stand unanswered.
    This is frankly very insulting. Unless you have documented evidence, by chart review, that I, or any other medical professional who has spoken out in favor of fluoridation is “routinely over-medicating their patients”
    then I believe that this comment is not only baseless, but possibly slanderous, and definitely would have the potential for harming someone’s reputation. For those of us whose reputation is critical to our ability to perform our job and maintain our profession, do you really want to provide such a graphic example of why the discussion should not degenerate into this level of name calling. And yes, it is name calling when you accuse specific practitioners of incompetence.

  44. Frankly

    Give me a break medwoman. It is well known that there are problems with over-prescribing many medications. Pain medication… most highly addictive. ADHD medication. Anti anxiety, and depression. My internist told me that he is a “pill doctor” so if I come to him he is going to be thinking about what medication he can prescribe me to fix me.

    Do I need to post articles for you to read on the subject?

  45. Frankly

    Matt, there are many choices of bread and milk. I have choice to purchase natural milk or bread without any supplements added. There is only one public water supply. I think you and others are struggling to accept what is a clear difference in comparison.

  46. wdf1

    Frankly: [i]As for kids, I would support requiring education on basic hygiene and a 15 minute break for all kids to wash their hands and brush their teeth. It is that standard teach to fish or feed a fish argument.[/i]

    Aha! So that you can blame the teachers’ unions if children have cavities?

    Life must be easy to figure out when you have such a reliable scapegoat.

    And I presume that this hygiene break will be funded and sponsored by Colgate.

  47. Frankly

    [i]Aha! So that you can blame the teachers’ unions if children have cavities?[/i]

    Tempting, but no… I will blame their parents. But I have no problem having the schools teach basic hygiene.

    [i]Life must be easy to figure out when you have such a reliable scapegoat.[/i]

    No, I just have higher expectation for teachers and the education system that employs them.

    [i]And I presume that this hygiene break will be funded and sponsored by Colgate.[/i]

    Really not a bad idea.

  48. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”Matt, there are many choices of bread and milk. I have choice to purchase natural milk or bread without any supplements added. There is only one public water supply. I think you and others are struggling to accept what is a clear difference in comparison.”[/i]

    There are many alternatives for your water as well. You could purchase bottled water. You could install a reverse osmosis unit under your sink. There are specific fluoride filtration systems that you can install. Bottom-line, all those alternatives fit within both your lifestyle alternatives and your fiscal where-with-all. The “social justice” argument presented by the fluoride proponents to me as a WAC member on Thursday night was that the alternatives you propose to provide children of low income with the protection of fluoride fit neither with their lifestyle alternatives nor their fiscal where-with-all.

    As best as I can see it, ultimately this boils down to libertarian rights vs. social justice. In the end it is a “world view” issue. Do you agree?

  49. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”And I presume that this hygiene break will be funded and sponsored by Colgate.

    Really not a bad idea.”[/i]

    Is Colgate going to fund the placement of a teeth brushing cop in every household?

  50. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”Morality is a perspective of what’s right and what’s wrong. I think it is right to clean the water of impurities and make it safe. I think it is wrong to try to force medicate a population using public water as a delivery system. You can apply all the nuance you can muster, but it is still wrong. “[/i]

    If I understand you correctly, you are therefore arguing that the naturally occurring fluorine in Davis’ well water should be removed. Is that correct?

  51. medwoman

    Frankly

    04/28/13 – 04:42 PM

    Give me a break medwoman. It is well known that there are problems with over-prescribing many medications. Pain medication… most highly addictive. ADHD medication. Anti anxiety, and depression. My internist told me that he is a “pill doctor” so if I come to him he is going to be thinking about what medication he can prescribe me to fix me.

    Do I need to post articles for you to read on the subject?”

    I feel that it is me, and all others who have come out publicly in favor attaching our names to our opinions on this highly controversial issue that deserve a break. My objection was not to a generalized statement of the issue of over prescribing which we all know is a problem. It was with the specific use of the words “the same people” which I bolded in my first communication so that you would know exactly which part of the communication I was objecting to. When you use the words “the same people” you have effectively claimed that I personally, am guilty of this practice. Without chart review, evidence from peer review, or action against my practice from a credentialing agency or the state, you have no substantiation of this potentially damaging claim. I would think that you especially would be aware of the potential harm that can be incurred by speaking your mind and supporting the right of others to do so on a blog. It would appear that I am wrong and that you are sensitive to the risk of material harm only when it applies to you. How disappointing.

  52. medwoman

    One other thought before leaving this issue. When I first became aware of the fluoride issue this time around, a proponent made the comment that dentists and doctors who were in favor of fluoridation were not speaking out because they feared an adverse effect of their practices.
    I thought at the time that this was a silly, paranoid, unrealistic concern. Frankly has effectively opened my eyes.

    I personally cannot be hurt by this. I am near retirement, work with in a large enough group that if someone does not want to see me because they disagree with me on fluoride, I will always have patients who either agree with me or simply do not care about this issue.
    But to link malpractice (which over prescription certainly is) with an individual’s position on fluoride, which is what Frankly has done, has the potential to markedly decrease their patients. If they are a young clinician attempting to start a solo or small group practice, this could be devastating. I can now see that these individuals were not wrong. Speaking out could be a direct threat to their financial well being. How ironic that Frankly, an adamant supporter of the owner of Ace Hardware’s rights to free speech without fear of economic reprisal, is now participating in activity that has the potential for destroying someone’s business by the completely cavalier use of unsubstantiated ( in each individual case) claims of malpractice.

    So my best advice, however sad it may be, to those who are not in a well established, large group practice would be : do your job, keep your head down and let those of us who are not at financial risk carry the weight of public discussion. We have seen that there are those out there who will attack you personally athough baselessly. So I guess in the long run we owe Frankly our thanks for demonstrating the true risk in a relatively benign manner due to the limited reader ship of the Vanguard. Hardly a victory for free speech, but perhaps a warning that may protect some of your livelihoods. If any anyone has comments or concerns that I have not addressed, but you are unwilling to state them under your own name, please feel free to forward them to me and I will address them while maintaining your anonymity. I can be reached through David at the Vanguard.

    Tia Will
    Aka medwoman

  53. Frankly

    [i] My objection was not to a generalized statement of the issue of over prescribing which we all know is a problem. It was with the specific use of the words “the same people” which I bolded in my first communication so that you would know exactly which part of the communication I was objecting to.[/i]

    Medwoman, I see that I stuck a big nerve with you (Note, I think I strike little nerves all the time).

    I understand your point, and I agree that it was a poor choice of words on my part. I view Dentists as being part of the community of medical professionals. But I didn’t mean to infer that ALL doctors over-prescribe. I trust my doctor. I think he is always striving to do the right thing. My point was/is that the practice of internal medicine is focused on distributing chemicals and compounds to improve health… and as such, sometimes doctors go too far and have to change their approach.

    Also, treatments get sticky until there is an accepted alternative. Medical science advances slowly changing long-running practice. For example, some of the recent evidence that prostatectomy does not improve prostate cancer survival rates enough to justify the rate considering the other quality of life impacts. There is still a lot of push-back from urologists and oncologists that are used to a protocol that calls for organ removal.

    Considering this sticky treatment phenomenon and the fact that doctors can and do over-prescribe, I think my point was valid.

    Also, as you point out, it is difficult for a minority to start voicing opposition to a majority opinion without suffering damage.

    But back to my original point… It really does not matter if fluoride in the water is beneficial or not. It is just plain wrong to force every single water user to have to accept ANY chemical in their water other than what is necessary to make that water clean and safe.

  54. Frankly

    They don’t have money to buy bottled water, especially since their city water rates have increased.

    They don’t have time to purchase and transport bottled water.

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