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Should Fluoridation Be Publicly Debated?

While in general it is always a good idea to provide information to the public on the safety and benefits of fluoridation, this should not be done in a debate forum as the outcome of a debate depends less on the scientific facts and more on the charisma and debating skills of the debater. The National Library of Medicine PubMed database has over 50,000 matches for a “fluoride.” A public forum is not the place to consider complex science. The science is best discussed by legitimate experts, with good support staff and resources, going over the details of the evidence over many weeks or months.

Like the vaccination issue in which opponents have many “reasons” for their oppositions, there is really no legitimate scientific debate over the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation in the prevention of dental decay in entire populations. Over 150 of the most highly respected healthcare and healthcare-related organizations in the world fully recognize the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation. One can be certain that those such as America’s Pediatricians and Family physicians do not make statements in support of any public health initiative without a thorough understanding of the credible science. In fact the American Academy of Family Physicians performed their own systematic review in 2013.

In contrast to this broad support of fluoridation, there is not one credible organization in the world which opposes it. In spite of the facts, evidence and credible peer-reviewed science being overwhelmingly weighted in favor of fluoridation, opponents appear as equal participants in public debates thereby misleading the public into according credibility to beliefs which have long since been rejected by credible science. This is a disservice to the public, and a detriment to the health and well-being of the entire citizenry.

There should certainly be a free flow of accurate, authoritative information on fluoridation readily available to everyone at all times, as does indeed exist from legitimate, credible sources.  However public debates with fluoridation opponents serve no useful purpose for anyone other than antifluoridation groups seeking credibility for the dogma and misinformation they constantly disseminate.