Bonnie Crombie Steadfast in Support of Water Fluoridation

Even though medical experts insist fluoridated drinking water is safe, Peel is still considering removing the substance from its water supply.

According to a recent CityNews article, Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon -- the cities that fall under the Peel Regional council -- are considering ceasing fluoridation despite medical evidence to the contrary.

"The evidence is clear as to both its safety and its effectiveness," Dr. Eric Hoskins, the Ontario Minister of Health said recently, as reported by CityNews. "I'm a public health doctor. It's one of the biggest public health advancements in the past hundred years."

Fluoride, which has been shown to prevent tooth decay, is a controversial substance that has been removed from public water supplies in the past due to concerns about possible health issues, thorny questions regarding whether or not its use qualifies as medicating the public without consent and doubts about its necessity.

We actually wrote about the controversy here.

While some members of Peel council are pushing to cease fluoridation, Mayor Crombie is adamant that removing the substance from the water supply will hurt the region's most vulnerable residents -- namely those who cannot access regular dental care.

The mayor's office released the following statement to insauga.

"Peel Council has a responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of children, seniors and families, and this means keeping fluoride in drinking water.

"Regardless of income, education or employment, residents of all backgrounds benefit from access to safe and effective fluoridation in their drinking water. Removing fluoridation will widen the gap between the rich and poor. It is unacceptable and irresponsible to make life harder for our most vulnerable residents. The very families unable to afford ongoing dental care treatment will have their oral health at risk without fluoridation.

"Politicians need to listen to healthcare professionals and proven medical research that stresses the importance and benefits of fluoridation in municipal drinking water systems. The medical evidence I have seen from reputable sources indicates that fluoride in the drinking water is fundamental to good oral health, and that it is in the best interest of Mississauga residents."

A report published in the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology journal recently revealed that Calgary residents have experienced an uptick in dental health issues since the city removed fluoride from its water supply in 2011. Children in Calgary have twice as many cavities as children in Edmonton, where fluoride remains.

Despite Health Canada asserting that fluoridated drinking water is perfectly safe, some residents have remained unconvinced. There's even been controversy regarding closed-door meetings between experts and Peel council members, with some members of the public wondering why they're being excluded and if that exclusion flies in the face of the Municipal Act.

Regardless of the ongoing controversy, it looks like Crombie is steadfast in her support of continued fluoridation. It also appears that the medical community is on her side.

What do you think, Mississauga? Are the concerns about fluoride serious and legitimate, or is conspirational (i.e. paranoid) thinking at play?

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