It’s not difficult to oppose water fluoridation on libertarian grounds. Here is an example of how genuine concern for public health overrides personal will and responsibility:
Fluoridated water helps bring oral health to vulnerable populations, Dr. Schwartz said. “When you visit a family of four who live on welfare, you see what they eat and you have a bottle of Coke on the table,” she said. “[Drinking water fluoridation] is the only way you can reach this part of the population,” she said, adding that disabled people and seniors also benefit from fluoridated water and are less likely to access alternatives, such as mouthwashes and veneers.
Banning the Coke on the proverbial table seems only to be a step away if one carries the well-meaning logic to its natural extension.
Calgarians who embrace autonomy in their lives will be pleased to see the debate over fluoridation reopen, possibly resulting in the removal of the chemical from city water. But if you are in favour of process in addition to choice, you’ll have to cringe and bear it.
City Hall plans to have one whole day in which residents can express their views on the topic. While I am on side with not opening debates for ever, one day seems highly condescending, and I find myself siding with those who will continue to give Calgarians fluoridated water in their criticism of the process.
If as the Mayor says, people need to assess the science (or lack thereof) and the arguments, a day is hardly an appropriate time period. Pushing toward a decision, apparently propelled by whim instead of by reason, without properly evaluating the heaps of information, will only bring Calgarians right back to this same fork in the road when the administration changes.