Sheffie Kadane's quest to get the city to stop fluoridating its drinking water is over. For months, the Dallas City Council member, aided by the likes of DogsAgainstFluoridation.com, has warned of the dangers of continuing to do something that Dallas dentists say has strengthened local kids teeth for almost 50 years.
"It would be a tremendous disservice to the citizens of Dallas, especially our children, if we stop this public health service," Lawrence Wolinsky, the dean of Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, said at Wednesday's council meeting.
Another dentist, who described his family's more than 150 years in the teeth business, spoke about the differences he saw in kids mouths after the city introduced fluoride into the water supply in the 1960s
Kadane was, as he has been throughout the debate over the issue, dubious.
"I didn't go on to this to become an expert on fluoride," he said. "[The dentists] keep saying that fluoride is what helps run away the cavities...dental hygiene is the way you reduce cavities, not by using fluoride."
After all Kadane said, how could fluoride in water possibly work to protect teeth if you ingest it. It couldn't work without spreading it on, he said.
Rick Callahan, the only other council member who made comments about the proposal, gently chided Kadane and The Dirt Doctor, organic gardener Howard Garrett, who also wanted to dump fluoride.
This is "not about nematodes," he said to explain why he, despite being a loyal listener to Garrett's radio show, would be siding with the dentists.
"Candidly and frankly, I just think [anti-fluoridation rhetoric] is junk science," Callahan said. "Why on earth would we want to turn back the clock and join the Flat Earth Society?"
Adam Medrano was the sole council member to join Kadane on the losing side of a 13-2 vote.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.