The Infuriating, Selfish Logic of Portland's Anti-Fluoride Vote
Bad news, Portland: You will not be benefiting from the sweet (well, tasteless) tooth-protecting power of fluoridated water in the near future. For the fourth time since 1956, Portland overwhelmingly voted down a measure to fluoridate its water like every other major city in America, because many Portlanders will throw a tantrum over anything that presents even a remote chance it will affect their idyllic lives.
The key point pushed by the anti-fluoride campaign, which was driven, as is practically everything in Portland, largely by liberals, was that the government wanted to force toxic chemicals into your body. At last night's victory party for the anti-fluoride campaign Clean Water Portland, they filled themselves with harmful chemicals—by their own choice.
From Willamette Week:
At the bar, a quartet of campaign supporters clink Champagne glasses with beer pints.
"Here's to unfluoridated beer!" says a man in a blue beret. "I was going to have to switch to drinking nothing but Ninkasi." [A very delicious Oregon beer -ed.]
At 9:15 pm, the party is getting merrier. The smell of marijuana is so thick in the sports bar that Mercury news editor Denis Theriault says he thought an actual skunk had arrived.
Hopefully the anti-fluoride folks have mellowed out after their victory, and all that pot. My post on Monday lamenting the fluoride controversy elicited a howling response from the anti-fluoridation side, upset with the admittedly broad brush with which I painted their camp. The media director of the Fluoride Action Network sent me a Livescience.com article about the science behind the anti-Fluoride movement. "Here's what science writing is supposed to look like on the topic of fluoridation," she said. "You are so way off base on this issue." I read it, and learned it was true that some scientists and experts think Fluoride is a cause for concern.
But it also true that the overwhelming majority of studies and experts agree fluoridated water is harmless and helpful. From Scientific American's Kyle Hill
Simply put, the refusal of water fluoridation doesn’t have any scientific support. A review on fluoride’s effect on IQ out of Harvard was waved about as the main scientific opposition, but has since been thoroughly refuted. Decades of studies in different cities in different states, involving millions of people, have concluded that there is a safe level of fluoride—one part-per-million—that can be added to water for enormous benefit to our teeth and oral health with little to no adverse effects.
[Cue one million ani-Fluoride campaigners in the comments linking to that Harvard study.]