The public hearing received an amazingly good presentation by fluoridation opponents including many residents, a couple of dentists, a family physician, as well as Dr. Paul Connett, Dr. Bill Osmunson, and Dr. Yolanda Whyte. The fluoridation proponents put on a desperately poor presentation, but presented their misinformation with their usual bravado and confidence.
Alderman Bohl has a wonderful grasp of the issue. He and other Alderman asked very pointed and probing questions that often couldn’t be answered or were answered incorrectly by fluoridation proponents. The hearing went for about 7 hours without breaks. I’d like to believe they would never give all this time to something they weren’t at least going to consider in the future.
But at the end of the day, they voted to hold the resolution, which means that they weren’t prepared to vote it up or down at this time but have held the issue open for it to be revisited again before they pass the bill onto the full council.
I think the Aldermen were overwhelmed by the fact that the people they entrust with health issues were so extremely weak, some actually embarrassing themselves by their lack of information in a job where they are supposed to know the information requested.
Hopefully, their vote to hold the resolution means that they want to give fluoridation proponents a “fighting chance” because they did so poorly, and a chance to bring their real experts and/or expert testimony they claim exists but were unable to produce at the hearing. (Aldermen wanted to see the science that supported fluoride proponets’ claims and commented how prepared and convincing our side was).
The subcommittee of the Common Council voted down a motion to lower Milwaukee’s water fluoride levels from 1.1 mg/L to 0.7 mg/L which many cities are doing.
When I asked Paul Connett what he felt about the meeting he said:
“It was perhaps the most extraordinary public hearing I have witnessed on this issue. For once we were given adequate time to present our case. I thought the chairman was excellent – both firm and fair. I thought the councilors asked very thoughtful and probing questions and for once could see through the shallowness of the fluoridation proponents’ case. I was not surprised that they were not willing to vote the motion ‘up’ on the night. After being fluoridated for over 50 years they needed more time to take what they saw as a ‘giant step’. As I said in my presentation, we have to beat fluoridation ‘one open mind and one community at a time.’ I think we opened a lot of minds in that 7-hour hearing. I think the videotape of the meeting will be a valuable tool to educate Milwaukee citizens and many others to the unacceptability of this practice and I am optimistic with the leadership of Jim Bohl that within the next year we will see an end to fluoridation in Milwaukee.”
Here’s a journalist’s view of the meeting:
And then the inevitable pro-fluordation editorial:
Stick with fluoridation; it’s safe and it works
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The entire 7 hour hearing was filmed, including the slides from the power point presentations. We are working to get a copy of the video as soon as possible so we can share it with you. Stay tuned.