Montreal, January 15, 2013 • No 307


Harry Valentine is a free-marketeer living in Eastern Ontario.


Water Fluoridation and the
Tyranny of Forcible Medication


by Harry Valentine


          During an earlier period in history, medical personnel had the power to administer medication to patients without their consent. Such medical practice was extended beyond health care facilities to include entire communities when officials began to add fluoride compounds to municipal drinking water. In 2003, a patient initiated legal action in an Ontario court for the right to refuse medication. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right of a mentally capable adult to refuse medication.


          Despite that ruling, the practice of forced medication in the form of artificial fluoridation of municipal drinking water is still widespread across Canada, Australia, the USA and the UK. Proponents and supporters of compulsory water fluoridation, who are mainly on the public sector payroll, claim that citizens receive medical benefit in the form of improved dental health. However, some 95% of the world’s drinking water is free from fluoridation, including most of the cities across Western Europe (and including Vancouver, BC).

          An independent study undertaken by a professor of dentistry at the University of Toronto found that despite Vancouver never having artificially fluoridated their municipal water, the rate of dental cavities was no different than in Toronto, which adds a fluoride compound to their municipal drinking water. Cities across Western European nations such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, not to mention Japan, have discontinued compulsory water fluoridation and then measured the subsequent rate of dental cavities over both the short term and the long term.

          While the rate of cavities did increase over the short term, it decreased over the long term as citizens adopted alternate methods of dental care in the home. Over the long term, the rate of dental cavities in non-fluoridation cities across Western Europe and Japan was no different than the cavity rate in cities in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia that fluoridated their municipal drinking water. Some 40 municipalities across Canada have discontinued water fluoridation on the basis that forced medication is unethical and that the fluoride compound is not even certified as a medication or even as a nutrient.

          The ‘medication’ that is added to municipal water across Canada is a byproduct from the fertilizer manufacturing industry called hydrofluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6). The manufacturer’s package displays the ‘skull-and-crossbones’ to indicate that the product is hazardous and toxic, along with some print advising that the product has not been tested for human consumption. Quebec’s anti-fluoride lobby discovered that Health Canada has never undertaken any toxicology tests on the product, nor has the department ever approved it as a drug, medication or nutrient.

          As of early 2013, the provincial governments of two provinces, British Columbia and Quebec, have indicated their intention to discontinue support for the fluoridation of drinking water. In almost every city across Canada where citizens’ groups approached municipal councils to discontinue water fluoridation, they met with opposition from fluoridation supporters, the most vocal of whom were officials on the public sector payroll. Despite a ruling from the Supreme Court that allows mentally capable adults to refuse medication, an official from Health Canada appeared before several municipal councils to encourage continued fluoridation of drinking water.

"Over the long term, the rate of dental cavities in non-fluoridation cities across Western Europe and Japan was no different than the cavity rate in cities in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia that fluoridated their municipal drinking water."

          The anti-fluoridation lobby in Quebec challenged Health Canada by invoking the Freedom of Information Act, to compel the federal health department to release information detailing the harmful effects of water fluoridation. They circulated the findings to several municipalities across Quebec, with the result that municipalities began to discontinue water fluoridation. Some senior members of the Parti Quebecois examined the previously unreleased information from Health Canada, and the PQ included the termination of fluoridation of municipal water in Quebec among their policy objectives.

          The combination of state control of public health and state control of municipal drinking water provides the basis by which to lobby elected and non-elected officials to forcibly medicate an entire population, using a questionable industrial byproduct that is paid for with tax revenue. In more recent years, companies that market health care related products to the public sector that are intended for widespread use in a population have refined their marketing approach. Part of that approach involves the participation of faculty members from the health care faculties of publicly-funded educational institutions.

          Many such institutions require academic staff to "publish or perish" in order to maintain their academic standing. With a shortage of state research funding, academic staff will often accept research funding from outside private sources and subsequently publish research that supports the commercial interests of their benefactors. Two academics recently circulated a policy paper suggesting that educational health care institutions and the dental sector actively lobby municipalities to fluoridate municipal water. A recent broadcast on 60 Minutes on medical training revealed that medical students attend lectures that amount to marketing presentations for medical products.

          A related marketing approach includes a lobby campaign aimed at senior government officials to transfer decision-making power from elected officials to unelected bureaucrats. Under the present regime, concerned citizens’ groups can approach municipal officials to terminate forced medication using the municipal water system. When the decision-making power is transferred to bureaucrats, citizens’ groups will have little recourse to stop the practice of forced medication. Bureaucrats have been in the front lines opposing efforts by citizens’ groups to terminate the fluoridation of municipal drinking water across Canada.

          The mandate of a department within Health Canada is in conflict with a Parti Quebecois policy to terminate water fluoridation across Quebec, which reflects the European standard in regard to ending water fluoridation. Buoyed by the spectacle of a Health Canada official speaking out against the termination of water fluoridation across Canada, PQ officials may accuse Health Canada of hypocrisy for refusing to uphold a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that allows mentally capable adults the freedom to refuse forced medication. And if the federal government does not change course, this conflict with Health Canada may serve to strengthen the PQ case for sovereign and independent Quebec.