WatchSonoma Watch

Grand jury ducks the fluoridation issue

Don’t look to the Sonoma County grand jury for much guidance when it comes to deciding on whether the county should fluoridate its water. The panel issued a remarkably tepid analysis of the issue today, concluding with this bold statement, “Research on both sides of the issue is voluminous. The grand jury takes no position on this issue but recognizes that are many matters of concern.”

Wow. It leaves one to wonder why they even bothered.

The report that was included in today’s newspaper offered only summaries, and directed readers to the grand jury web site for a full analysis.

I would instead direct readers to a 10-part series of editorials written by the Tampa Bay Times last year addressing the issue thoroughly due to a movement among some newly elected officials there to stop fluoridating the region’s water.

The first editorial, “Reverse the decay of common sense,” notes, “The evidence that fluoridating drinking water is safe and prevents tooth decay is overwhelming and widely embraced.“ Meanwhile, they conclude that most of the “studies” and claims to the contrary are based on voodoo science and alarmist talk.

That might explain why 75 percent of the rest of the nation, including the cities of New York and San Francisco, have fluoridated water, with no peer-reviewed, published studies showing how the residents there are worse off for the experience. On the contrary, they have fewer dental problems than we do, particularly among low-income children.

These editorials are worth reading. Earlier this year, they earned the Tampa Bay Times the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2012.

- Paul Gullixson

9 Responses to “Grand jury ducks the fluoridation issue”

  1. Inside Nine says:

    Israel Will End Fluoridation in 2014, Citing Health Concerns – PR Newswire – The Sacramento Bee.


    The somewhat technologically respectable nation of Israel points out that water fluoridation is rooted in ignorance and greed.

    An overwhelming number of countries do not fluoridate, including 97% of the European population. In fact, over half the people in the world drinking fluoridated water live in the US. We are the odd ones out.”

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  2. James Bennett says:

    Here’s a quick way to get schooled on the truth about fluoride.


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  3. Marlene Lily says:

    There are actually many excellent peer-reviewed studies that show fluoridated water does NOT reduce tooth decay and does have many harmful health effects. You can read about them here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/CleanWaterSonomaMarin (you don’t need to be a Facebook member, it’s a public site) and in Paul Connett’s excellent book, “The Case Against Fluoride—How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It there.” There’s also a great free movie online called “Fluoridegate,” made this year by San Diego dentist David Kennedy http://www.fluoridegate.org/the-film/

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  4. Michael Koepf says:

    Andrew Simpson: two thumbs up. Well said.

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  5. andrew simpson says:

    “Grand Jury ducks the fluoridation issue”.


    Here’s a different question.

    Who’s watching the watchdog?

    The Grand Jury’s stated purpose—stated right on the cover of their 2010 report—is to watch our tax dollars.

    But the Grand Jury’s real purpose is to create the illusion of a county with legitimate checks and balances against abuse of power.

    The Grand Jury publishes fluff while the County Treasury is being looted by the Supervisors, the Water Agency, the Auditor Controller; with County Counsel as “legalizer” for our very own, home grown, wine country white collar perps.

    The Grand Jury publishes fluff and the Press Democrat—our Fourth Estate, our other staunch pillar of civic probity—bestows legitimacy on the Grand Jury by picking an argument over fluoridation instead of pointing out the obvious: Sonoma County is in deep trouble, and our Grand Jury is a knowing enableer to systematic theft by our County leaders.


    What about pensions?

    What about roads?

    What about those apparatchiks at the Water Agency who just wasted $60 million on Sonoma County Energy Independence—the failed pilot project for Sonoma Clean Power—and now want a billion dollar blank check to unleash a high cost, no-job-creation, no-CO2-reducing Ponzi scheme whose sole purpose is skimming cash to Sonoma County insiders?


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  6. Michael Koepf says:

    Europe does not add fluoride to their water. Instead they rely primarily on fluoridated tooth pastes, which have been proven scientifically effective. Oddly, and since the 1950s in North America, the issue of fluoridation proceeds along a political divide. Liberals favor forced fluoridation for all; conservatives favor individual choice. Another way of looking at this in terms of dental health for children is: does the state or family best raise a child? Fluoride does occur naturally in varied geographies, thus it can be present in drinking water in some localities. Perhaps it’s best not to use studies in Florida to base decisions concerning the issue of fluoridation in Sonoma County California, and before the public or individuals make their choice, the mineral composition of our local water supply should be studied or made available.

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  7. Tom N says:

    The Tampa Bay Times’ publisher, Paul Tash, based on his mistaken notion that the science was settled in favor of fluoridation, instructed his editorial board to use their media clout to attack the elected officials who voted fluoride out of the county’s drinking water. They claimed it was a Tea Party Issue when it was not (the anti fluoridation movement attracts all political persuasions.) The editors ignored the facts that did not suit their objective. The Pulitzer Prize has been tarnished and diminished by the Times’ tactics.

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  8. jwillie6 says:

    Only 5% of the world adds fluoride to drinking water, more in the U.S. than the rest of the world combined. They know that it is ineffective for teeth and dangerous to health.
    What everyone deserves is FREEDOM OF CHOICE and not being forced by the government to consume a drug. It is illegal for a doctor or a dentist to force one to take any drug. It should be illegal for the government as well.
    So fluoride is still legal and available. Put as much as you wish in your own glass of water, and leave the rest of us out of it.

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  9. Reality Check says:


    Some people believe eating genetically modified food is unsafe. Science says otherwise. But at least they have alternatives available if they wish to act on their fears–organic food, which is available for a modest price increase.

    Buying and schlepping water into one’s home would be another level of cost and inconvenience. Some people don’t want the water the drink medicated. Is that so unreasonable?

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