On Tuesday night, after members of the Lafayette City-Parish Council debated whether to oppose the state's mandate for municipalities to fluoridate their water supplies, there was another conversation about fluoridation at UL's campus — but without debate.
The Advocate reports that the council steered clear of the pros and cons of fluoridation and instead focused on the cost of such a program — $530,000 a year. The council voted 8 to 1 to urge the Acadiana legislative delegation to try to repeal the 2008 state law. Paul Connett was on hand to speak against the program. He then made his way over to UL to give a two-hour lecture.
Connett is a retired chemistry professor and also the executive director of the Fluoride Action Network. In a dizzying PowerPoint presentation, Connett gave several reasons not to fluoridate public water supplies, and he lists 50 of them on FAN's website. But his main argument is that there is no margin of safety to protect the public, that while the concentration of fluoride in the water can be controlled, the dosage for individuals cannot. Other reasons: Fluoride is a toxic substance; it's a waste of taxpayer dollars; and it's unethical to use public water supplies to forcefully deliver medicine to individuals without "informed consent."
There was some discussion after Connett's presentation, but no debate. It appears that the 100 people who showed up at Hamilton Hall to hear Connett speak agreed with him. The lecture was sponsored by a local group calling itself Citizens Opposing Fluoridation, an organization that intends to fight fluoridation efforts in Lafayette.
Here's a clip from a recent 28-minute video by FAN, "Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation."