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Dec 28 2011

Michigan Community Bans Fluoride in Water

A local Tea Party politician in Hartland Township, Michigan has managed to convince that township’s board of trustees to ban the addition of fluoride to area water supplies. Seriously, have I died and gone to the 1960s?

The Hartland Township Board of Trustees voted 5-2 Tuesday to immediately stop adding fluoride to its drinking water, joining an international movement that questions the additive’s dental benefits and warns of possible health dangers that range from making bones brittle to an increased cancer risk.

Fluoridation supporters countered the evidence was junk science or taken out of context while noting mainstream medical groups, ranging from the Michigan Department of Community Health and the American Cancer Society, support the practice. Some also say the move will give the township a reputation as a place swayed by conspiracy theories…

“We’re making the decision for other people,” said Trustee Glenn Harper while arguing to end fluoridation before the vote. “Our biggest complaint about Obamacare is that bureaucrats and politicians are going to be making medical decisions for us. Here’s a perfect example of where we’re doing that. We don’t need to do that.”

I can’t wait for him to mention the Chinese troops massing on the Mexican border and bring up Eisenhower’s communist views. If you’re gonna go all John Birch on us, you might as well go all the way.

44 comments

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  1. 1
    theschwa

    Well, if Representative Bat Guano – if that is his real name – voted for it, I am sure it was only after he did thorough research.

  2. 2
    dingojack

    Our biggest complaint about Obamacare is that bureaucrats and politicians are going to be making medical decisions for us. Here’s a perfect example of where we’re doing that. We don’t need to do that.” [said Trustee Glenn Harper]
    No doubt Mr Harper went on to declare: ‘Pffft! Doctors, we don’ nee’ no steenkin’ doctors!’

    Can’t wait for Glenn Harper to take the sound medical decision to excavate the brain tumour he’s sure he’s got, with a rusty hacksaw and a spoon.
    Dingo

  3. 3
    Mr Ed

    Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.

    I’m going to score this as a double. Combining fluoride with health care, could have gotten a triple if they had worked in a bible quote.

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    Next on the agenda: All parents wishing to send their children to area schools will be required to sign a jurat, under oath and in the presence of a notary public, that they are not now nor ever have been a Muslim. Or a communist. Failure to do so will result in the child not being enrolled. We cannot have evil influences disrupting the academic environment, after all.

  5. 5
    MikeMa

    I wonder how many times this moron had to have his spelling of fluoride corrected by staff? I suppose that if you elect idiots, you get to suffer for it.

    Did he (and the other 4 troglodytes) run on anti-fluoridation platform or was this another bait and switch promising fiscal restraint and delivering social stupidity? I predict more recalls.

  6. 6
    d cwilson

    Our biggest complaint about Obamacare is that bureaucrats and politicians are going to be making medical decisions for us.

    Speak for yourself, Mr. Harper. That might be your biggest complaint, imaginary though it may be. My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t take the profit motive out of denying me care.

  7. 7
    jimmiraybob

    …bureaucrats and politicians…

    Ya know, it has always been the same, bureaucrats and politicians making decisions on public health like sanitation and disease eradication – see the plague, measles, chicken pox, polio. That’s not their decision to make. We won’t be truly free until we bring back rampant disease and suffering so that we can appeal to the Lard for mercy. /nutcase

    These people are really crazy. Really. Crazy. Really.

  8. 8
    imrryr

    But others spoke out against fluoridation. Natalie Pryde, a 43-year-old environmental scientist from Deerfield Township, said she’s concerned because she has two children in Hartland schools that have the water.

    Pryde, who has a doctorate in naturopathy, said…

    I would’ve read further, but my brain exploded.

  9. 9
    Michael Heath

    I wonder where Hartland Township’s elected officials currently stand with vaccinations. Regardless of their current position, they demonstrate delusional thinking apparently motivated by their hatred of the president and reality, so I’d be concerned they could be swayed on that as well. I’m guessing state laws protecting the rights of public school students stand in their way on vaccinations; hopefully that assumption is correct.

  10. 10
    Bronze Dog

    One big thing I regularly sense from alties is the cah-razy ultra-libertarian mode of thought, where every medical decision needs to be made by Ayn Randian supermen consumers researching everything on the internet because doctors who spent the time to become real experts can’t be trusted, even with watchdog organizations keeping an eye on them. If you die, it’s because you lacked the commitment needed to do “enough” Google research or because you lacked faith in the invisible hand of the market and its ability to pick out the best treatments via sales figures.

  11. 11
    neleabels

    Must…not…make…jokes…about “precious bodily fluids”…

  12. 12
    reverendrodney

    Soon we’ll hear this:
    “The government mandates that our drinking water be filtered whether we like it or not! Are we going to let the government make these choices for us? Stand up for our rights! Lock and load,* dump that tea! Reclaim um, um, something!”

    *Isn’t “lock and load” backward? I would think that the proper sequence is “load and lock.” I mean, how can you load a locked weapon? But what do I know? I never field dressed meeses.

  13. 13
    anandine

    Chinese troops massing on the Mexican border

    Lest your younger readers think you are just making stuff up, this was an actual claim made by an actual US Congressman, the Honorable James B. Utt, in a newsletter to his constuents in Orange County, California, back in, oh, I guess the late 1950s or early ’60s.

  14. 14
    imrryr

    @anadine – Yikes. And here I thought Ed was making a reference to Red Dawn or something.

  15. 15
    slc1

    Re amandine @ #13

    Whackjob Utt was also a member of the John Birch Society, along with his fellow nutcase former Congressman John Rousselot. Rousselot once made the mistake of agreeing to debate California Communist Party Chairman Dorothy Healy in Berkeley, Ca., who proceeded to wipe the floor with him.

  16. 16
    wordsmatter

    I can see it now.

    Hartland Township has a new community branding campaign – it’s on their stationary and incorporated into all their logos:

    “Hartland Township – Purity of Essence”

  17. 17
    jjgdenisrobert

    Not 1960s… 1860s.

  18. 18
    chilidog99

    The Chinese troops in Mexico bit floated around the Conspiracy Theory websites a few years back, but it didn’t get much traction.

    I wonder if this trustee is into taking colloidal silver to ward off the effects of Chemtrails?

  19. 19
    chilidog99

    Follow up. I found this on the township web site.
    http://www.hartlandtwp.com/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=x2THv6vURas%3d&tabid=698

    From item 7a, it looks like this is more of an attempt to get out of paying $14,000 to upgrade the water plant equipment than anything else.

    Furthermore, the township only has about 500 total customers for water (I bet everyone else is on a private well).

    ALso it appears that a bunch of residents showed up opposing the plan to end the flouridation and none showed up in support of the plan.

  20. 20
    Artor

    Personally, I’d rather have my water be pure. I understand the need for chlorination, but in some municipalities, the tap water has so much chlorine, it would be considered unsafe in a swimming pool. My art teacher showed me how to use warm tapwater to put a yellow-green patina on bronze. Should I trust my water utility to regulate the amount of fluoride accurately?

    I don’t mind fluoride in my toothpaste, but I’d really rather not have to drink it in everything I consume. I have bands of weak enamel on my teeth from fluoridosis when I lived in a fluoride area as a kid. In my 40′s now, my dental bills are getting scary, and those teeth are starting to crumble. It’s no fun.

    So does this make me a wingnut?

  21. 21
    chilidog99

    You are much more likely to receive excessive fluoride from private well water sources than from municipal water sources.

  22. 22
    John Hinkle

    “Our biggest complaint about Obamacare is that bureaucrats and politicians are going to be making medical decisions for us. Here’s a perfect example of where we’re doing that. We don’t need to do that.”

    He said, apparently unaware that as a bureaucrat he’s making a medical decision for other people by removing fluoride from their water.

  23. 23
    briandavis

    More Utt from ocalmanac.com’s entry for 1963: “OC U.S. Congressman James B. Utt makes national news by suggesting that ‘a large contingent of barefooted Africans’ might be training in Georgia as part of a United Nations military exercise to take over the U.S.”

    This guy would have loved Glen Beck.

  24. 24
    Strategically Shaved Monkey

    @reverendrodney
    “Lock & load” – For me that was one of those things about guns I always wanted to know but was afraid to ask.
    Speakiong of which, my PoE is ensured by regular, if not exclusive masturbation.
    Ah lurves flooride wiz ma cocopops.

  25. 25
    Modusoperandi

    John Hinkle “He said, apparently unaware that as a bureaucrat he’s making a medical decision for other people by removing fluoride from their water.”
    Exactly. He’s right. Do you want morons like him standing in between you and your doctor? The only solution is to vote out people like him, and vote in people like him to undo what the people like him did before they were replaced by people li…my head just exploded.

  26. 26
    kosk11348

    Artor says: “So does this make me a wingnut?”

    It makes you uninformed. If you refuse to change your mind when presented with new evidence, then you’ll be a wingnut.

    Water fluoridation is one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. And no, fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes are not comparable replacements.

    This video is very informative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAXwv7j_jbY&feature=digest_sun

  27. 27
    Strategically Shaved Monkey

    @Modusoperandi
    Isn’t democracy a beautiful thing?
    Rule by the average, for the average …..
    Rule Cretania, Cretania rules the waves, Cretins never never shall be Saved.

  28. 28
    Jadehawk

    Natalie Pryde, a 43-year-old environmental scientist from Deerfield Township, said she’s concerned because she has two children in Hartland schools that have the water.

    Pryde, who has a doctorate in naturopathy,

    erm. if she’s got a degree in naturopathy, she’s not en environmental scientist, she’s a naturopath. Generally, environmental scientists have degrees in one or more environmental sciences (ecology, geology, Environmental Science, etc.)

  29. 29
    Jadehawk

    Personally, I’d rather have my water be pure.

    neither tap water nor bottled water generally come in “pure”, since distilled water is a tad expensive.

  30. 30
    briandavis

    if she’s got a degree in naturopathy, she’s not en environmental scientist, she’s a naturopath. Generally, environmental scientists have degrees in one or more environmental sciences (ecology, geology, Environmental Science, etc.)

    Environmental scientist / environmental alarmist — what’s the difference?

  31. 31
    JustaTech

    Egads. I lived on well water as a kid (and my public school had “swish and spit” days where we had to use nasty cheap floridated mouthwash) and my teeth are crap because I didn’t get enough ingested flouride. So now I need prescription toothpaste.

    Talk about a short-sighted, penny-wise-and-pound-foolish town council. May all their teeth fall out!

  32. 32
    John Hinkle

    @Modusoperandi

    You slay me!

  33. 33
    d cwilson

    if she’s got a degree in naturopathy, she’s not en environmental scientist, she’s a naturopath. Generally, environmental scientists have degrees in one or more environmental sciences (ecology, geology, Environmental Science, etc.)

    Or as they said on Futurama:

    “You have a degree in baloney!”

  34. 34
    tacitus

    …but in some municipalities, the tap water has so much chlorine, it would be considered unsafe in a swimming pool.

    So does this make me a wingnut?

    Depends. Do you have any evidence to back up this rather startling claim? I have swum in plenty of chlorinated swimming pools and have never drunk any water that’s come close to containing the usual amount of swimming pool chlorine from a municipal water supply.

    Color me extremely skeptical.

  35. 35
    exdrone

    Hartland Township should next experiment with eliminating posted speed limits. After all, who is the government to say how safe individuals can drive. People surely won’t speed if they feel it is unsafe. Let highway carnage be the free-market force that establishes driving habits. A few family lives here or there will establish the upper and lower bounds.

  36. 36
    Dr X

    Does anyone know if this clown has also has a dentistry practice? Maybe business has been slow?

  37. 37
    dingojack

    BrianDavis (#23) – ‘Congressman Utt then went on to state that “there is a putative probability that 25,000 Tap-Dancing Gelatinous Brain aliens from the planet Pluto, possibly currently dancing (it is alledged) on the head of a pin in pocket of a potentially enemy power might, just conceivably, be poised to do something in or around the vicinity of the United States sometime, maybe”‘.*
    ;) Dingo
    —–
    * Not intended as a factual statement

  38. 38
    Dr X

    @35 bears repeating:

    Hartland Township should next experiment with eliminating posted speed limits. After all, who is the government to say how safe individuals can drive. People surely won’t speed if they feel it is unsafe. Let highway carnage be the free-market force that establishes driving habits. A few family lives here or there will establish the upper and lower bounds.

  39. 39
    Michael Heath

    Artor writes:

    I understand the need for chlorination, but in some municipalities, the tap water has so much chlorine, it would be considered unsafe in a swimming pool.

    I would be very surprised if this is true in Michigan. I own a public* water system where we operate under very strict regulations. We are also monitored by who I think are highly professional engineers and chemists who are state employees. Our actual water operators and the labs that serve them/us are also highly trained and certified.

    *”Public” in this context that our system serves separately owned properties where the state has regulatory power over the management of the system just like they regulate municipal water systems. So privately owned water systems can be public ones under certain conditions.

  40. 40
    abb3w

    There was a semi-similar incident in (ha) Florida. See Fark thread 6617411.

  41. 41
    thomaspage

    I found out that our water was not fluoridated when my three year old daughter had to get a root canal. Then I found out two of my neighbors had the same experience. Fun stuff.

  42. 42
    Jordan Genso

    I live in Hartland Twp, and attended the trustee meetings when they were discussing this issue. I am very grateful for Ed posting this story, as I think Hartland should now be ashamed. (I would’ve commented before now, but I’m on my bachelor party/trip without internet access other than in the hotel basement, so pardon me for any writing mistakes I may make)

    There area little over 350 households on the Hartland water supply (including mine), while the vast majority of the township residents are on their own wells. The schools, and many of the local businesses are also on the township water. Only one of the board members is on the township water, and he was one of the two votes in favor of keeping fluoride.

    Trustee Harper attended a “seminar” put on by a chiropractor in a city 20 minutes away, and that was what “inspired” him to pursue this issue. When he brought it up to the board, it caught all of them off guard, so they at least had the sense to hold a public hearing on the issue. But in a township of 14,000 (IIRC), holding a public hearing for an issue that would only affect around 700 is not going to get much attention. So a couple dentists showed up in favor, a neighbor of mine showed up in favor, and that was it (I was in Lansing that evening).

    So even though a few people showed up to tell the board it would be a bad idea to get rid of fluoride, and no one showed up in favor of eliminating it, the Trustee was quoted after that meeting as saying “the hearing showed there is not strong public support for fluoride”.

    So I attended the meeting they had a couple weeks later, and told the board that no one, besides the trustee who does not live on the township water, is advocating getting rid of fluoride. At that meeting, the trustee tried to force a vote on getting rid of it (which would’ve passed), but luckily one of the two rational members moved to table it so that they could figure out how much it would cost to make the fluoride addition more accurate (the status quo had fluoride levels ranging from 0.33 ppm to 2 ppm, and he wanted the fluoride level to stay accurate at the 0.7 ppm recommended level as a good compromise).

    So two weeks later, they had another meeting. I again spoke, and tried to call out the trustee for being the conspiracy theorist that he is, and how letting him get what he wants would make Hartland an embarrassment, but it was pointless. The trustee had gotten one of the other members to join his conspiracy theory, and three of the members hid behind other (admittedly, more legit) reasons (such as: if the natural level of our water is .33 ppm, why spend money to get it up to .7 ppm, which seems rational at face value, but I would then liken to the idea that if you’re only getting 50% of the recommended amount of vitamin C, getting the full amount would be beneficial).

    @5

    Unfortunately, the township is incredibly Republican. As the former chair of the Democratic Party in the county, I was involved in the reapportionment process earlier this year, and saw how the numbers in Hartland make it basically impossible for a Democrat to win. So the only way this person will not win re-election is if they get primaried. There are some reasonable Republicans in the township (the two that voted against the motion seem to be genuinely good trustees), so that is possible, but because this issue affects so few people, it will most likely be forgotten in the next few months. That is, unless more people start to realize that Hartland is now earning a reputation that we should not want, which is why I am thankful for Ed posting this story. The township needs to be shamed into reversing the decision.

  43. 43
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Jordan Genso

    Wow. Thanks for your input.

    Have a good bachelor party and a fantastic marriage.

  44. 44
    tfkreference

    Jordan–thanks for your comments on your local forum (linked in Ed’s post). You and the others fought a good rhetorical battle against pascal, et al. I’m sure you influenced some fence-sitters, even if your correspondents are immovable.

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