Bega district letters to the editor, July 18

HOLIDAY PROGRAM: Children and elders involved in the Wallaga Lake holiday program enjoy a trip to Rotary Park at Narooma after the movies.

HOLIDAY PROGRAM: Children and elders involved in the Wallaga Lake holiday program enjoy a trip to Rotary Park at Narooma after the movies.

Fluoride in perspective

The proponents of fluoridated water are trying to invalidate the opposition to fluoridation.

It's time to put the debate in perspective. Perhaps it makes sense that dentists are concerned with teeth rather than with overall health. Perhaps it suits legislators to slip fluoride into tap-water to set a precedent for introducing widespread medication of their electors.

So we have fluoride on one side, and a valuable raft of events on the other - toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, better trained dentists with far more sophisticated equipment and choices other than amalgam, extraction and laughing gas. The critical event may just have been the widespread teaching of dental care in preschools and schools. Dental hygiene and awareness have improved greatly in the last 85 years,

Fluoride in drinking water causes discoloration of teeth for some people, and if there is a slight crack in a tooth fluoride can enter and gradually eat away the tooth's pulp. While dosing at the water plant may be low, there is an accumulation throughout the day - it's in many toothpastes; in the water we use in soups and stew and we wash our vegetables in; it will be added to the soil whenever we water our plants; it is in commercial vegetables that use town water; and any food animals will have it in their bodies. So the dosage is way higher for those who live with fluoride in their water.

The fluoride that is added to water supplies comes from mining waste. It is a neurotoxin. The chemical compound being used has other neurotoxins in it as well.

So hooray for Dr Maria Claudianos. I wonder if most dentists are too busy making money or attending pharmaceutical company funded in-service training to do up-to-date research? 

The growing amount of people's first-hand experience cannot be ignored, either.

There are serious questions to be answered:

Why is council even contemplating fluoridating the rest of the shire's water supply?  Are they offering to cover our ensuing health costs personally? 

Who is putting pressure on the state and federal governments to put a toxic substance into our water? Why are they going along with outdated and biased research to make their decision on?

If half the world is taking it out of their water, why on earth are they wanting to put it in? If in doubt, don't do it!

The question the BVS councillors should be considering is how quickly they can remove fluoride from the large part of the shire whose health it is damaging.

Maggie Camfield, Bermagui

Vegan solution

Up to half a million Australians may be unaware that they have Type 2 Diabetes, the leading cause of preventable blindness, limb amputation and end-stage kidney disease. The tragedy is that most of these cases are preventable. Animal-based foods are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which has been shown to raise the risk for diabetes. Scientists suspect the sodium and nitrates found in processed meats – and the heme iron found in red meat – may also be contributing factors.

According to the Victorian government’s Better Health Channel, vegans are less likely to suffer from many chronic diseases, including diabetes, coronary artery disease, and some forms of cancer. Research shows that the average vegan is about 18 per cent thinner than his or her meat-eating counterpart, which is significant since 80 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Studies have shown that diabetics who eat low-fat vegan foods are able to stop taking medications – or at least take fewer of them – to manage the disease.

If you’re concerned about diabetes and other health problems – not to mention cruelty to animals and environmental destruction – please opt for tasty vegan foods.

Laura Weyman-Jones, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

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