Davis is known for a lot of “firsts”: many good, but some dubious — or even dangerous. In the latter category is the current attempt to contaminate our water system with industrial-grade hexafluorosilicic acid, a waste byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry.
Leading this contamination crusade are certain political figures, among them Supervisor Don Saylor, who dismisses any correction to this unwise and unhealthy move, and Dan Wolk, a City Council member who wants to be our representative in the California Assembly. (The irony here is that only months ago Wolk was preaching to us in his TV ads that “Clean water is our children’s heritage.”)
Apparently, Saylor and Wolk are oblivious to the fact that fluoride is not utilized by many developed nations, among them Japan and 97 percent of Western Europe. Elsewhere in the (civilized) world the trend away from fluoridation continues. For example, in July, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that fluoridation must be ended in the entire nation by 2014 due to health and safety concerns. (Izun Hoser, Yaakov Gurman vs. State of Israel, Ministry of Health, High Court Case No. 8173/12.)
In the United States and Canada many, communities — Napa; Fairbanks, Alaska; Calgary, Alberta; and Gatineau, Quebec, to name a few — have chosen not to fluoridate or have discontinued fluoridation in the last three years. Most recently, in May of this year a citizen referendum in Portland, Ore., overturned its City Council by rejecting fluoridation by a 61-39 percent margin. This followed on the heels of other, similar votes in recent years in Wichita, Kan., and Albuquerque, N.M.
Not to put too fine a point on it: What do these nations and communities know that our local fluoridation supporters do not?