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Philomath Update: Size Doesn’t Matter

July 14, 2011

Trust me!

A spokesman for the manufacturer

I was at the Philomath city council meeting this last Monday evening (July 11th) and watched safe water advocates defend the council’s unanimous decision to cease adding hydrofluorosilicic acid to its drinking water. Philomath, with a population of approximately 4,500, proves that no town is too small to defend in this information war.

The city council voted, 7-0, to remove hydrofluorosilicic acid from its drinking water after sending out a public notice to its constituents and not getting any feedback. Local health professionals, finally taking notice, appealed to the council at subsequent meetings and by securing a guest column in the Oregonian.

Of the 25 people commenting before the council, almost half gave their support:

  • 13 disagreed with the council’s decision to remove hydrofluorosilicic acid
  • 11 safe water advocates supported the council
  • 1 was neutral, asking that the citizens decide the matter

Furthermore, attendees were found to have come from Keizer, McMinnville and Portland.

Other interesting notes from the meeting:

  • One health professional claimed that fluoride was a nutrient (we know it’s a halogen and can only bind to minerals)
  • Gazette Times (Corvallis OR) picked up on the false claim that fluoride is a mineral
  • One health professional claimed that a prominent local Nephrologist (kidney specialist) says that water fluoridation isn’t an issue for kidney health (more on this, soon)
  • Raquel Bournhonesque, from Upstream Public Health, traveled from Portland to tempt the council from its decision (more about Upstream Public Health, soon)
  • Hydrofluorosilicic acid, the chemical added to Philomath’s drinking water,  was mentioned multiple times along with its producer J R Simplot
  • The council was reminded, multiple times, that third-party claims are not a substitute for a declaratory statement of safety and effectiveness (J R Simplot is the only one who can make such a declaration; more on this, soon)

The council has graciously given three months’ time to hear from all concerned parties and will rule on their unanimous decision at the August 8th meeting. Please contact the Philomath city councilors or City Manager Randy Kugler to express your support for their decision.

I’d like to end this post with one of many quotes and analogies that can summarize the fight for safe drinking water:

Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own…The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional ‘do-gooders,’who attempt to set themselves up as gods and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means. (Ezra T. Benson, quotes Henry G. Weaver, An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 140)

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