By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
Following last month’s lengthy and heated public debate about water fluoridation, the McKinney City Council members reconvened on Tuesday to discuss fluoride again. The item was discussed during a city council work session. No action was taken, but there was another spirited discussion by the council members about the levels of fluoride in North Texas’ water supply. Because it was a work session not a regular city council meeting, there were no citizen comments and no vote was taken.
But that didn’t stop Pam Wenzel (read more about Wenzel here) and nearly a dozen citizens opposed to the current fluoridation methods from attending the work session and holding up signs throughout the entire 40-minute discussion between the city council members and City Manager Jason Gray.
The signs spoke volumes on their behalf. Here’s a sampling of their messages to the council:
- Are we really having to protest Poison in our WATER?
- Don’t infringe on my basic human rights
- Fluoride is a drug
- Get the “F” out of our water
- It violates my right of informed consent for medication
- My body. My rights. I do not consent
- Stop poisoning my family with toxic water
- I do not consent to toxic water
- 98% of Europe banned water fluoridation
They also held signs declaring “not true” and “disagree” when it appeared they disagreed with a statement from a council member or the city manager during their discussion.
Gray provided the council members with data he gathered after speaking with the Center for Disease Control about fluoridation. Gray said that the type of chemical fluoride in the North Texas Municipal Water District’s water is used in about 90% of the fluoridated water in the United States. He also stated that the average fluoride levels in North Texas’ water were less than the CDC’s optimum level of fluoridation.
Councilman Ray Ricchi, who is leading the charge to end fluoridation, questioned the fluoride level averages provided by the North Texas Water District, saying that averages can be “very misleading.” He also said that fluoridation is “medicating without knowing the dosage that each person is getting. It’s all based upon how much water each person drinks.”
Councilman Roger Harris agreed with Ricchi that “we don’t know the impact of fluoride” but said, “I don’t believe that this is the forum to make this kind of decision.” Harris suggested forwarding their concerns on to a scientific body.
Mayor Brian Loughmiller also said that it would be hard for McKinney to do anything about the fluoride levels without an agreement of the other 12 cities that get their water from the North Texas Municipal Water District. Loughmiller suggested that the City of McKinney send a letter to the North Texas Municipal Water District requesting a reduction in the amount of chemical fluoride added to the water, but that suggestion did not meet with a consensus among the council members either.
After all of the discussion, no action was taken in council chambers on Tuesday evening but it appears the fight over water fluoridation is far from over.