Letter, Opinion

Fluoride isn’t needed

Dear Editor,

Please excuse the proud parent quoting a letter of our son Gregory Crowther to state Senators in the Seattle area. He writes about a bill designed to expand and make permanent fluoridation in Washington State.

His remarks are worth sharing in fluoridated Rutland, because they focus on fluoride and body function, often overlooked in discussions about teeth.

Crowther graduated from Rutland High School in 1991. His solid preparation in Rutland schools helped him eventually to earn a doctorate in physiology and biophysics at the University of Washington in 2002. He is now a tenured professor at Everett Community College, just north of Seattle, teaching anatomy and physiology.

Here’s the gist of what Crowther wrote to state senators:

“I have read the bill [H 1684] and am alarmed by its overly pro-fluoride stance. Like you, I have not read enough of the original studies to gain a full picture of potential risks. Speaking as a biologist, though, here is the bottom line. Fluoride is not a nutrient needed by the body at any level; there are zero molecules synthesized by the human body that require a fluorine atom. Thus, the anti-fluoridation activists are completely correct to classify fluoride as a medical drug.

I applaud HB 1684’s focus on marginalized communities, but I scoff at the idea that these communities are well-served by a bill that makes it easier to put a drug (maybe innocuous, maybe not) into their water supplies without their informed consent — informed consent being a bedrock principle of ethical biomedical research and practice.

Informed consent does not simply ask each subject/patient to read information and ask questions… instead, it requires that they truly understand a proposed intervention before the intervention is enacted. This is simply not feasible with mass administration of a drug via a public water supply.

Thus, despite my generally high trust in government scientists and medical officers …I ask you, in this particular case, to reject this patriarchal, just-trust-the-government approach to supporting underserved residents.”

Signed by Gregory Crowther, PhD.

Obviously Crowthier’s objections to fluoridation apply equally to Rutland, whose water has been fluoridated since 1984.

Jack Crowther, Rutland

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