According to the Deseret News Opinion dated March 18, the bottom line is, "credible health organizations and researchers believe fluoride is safe." If fluoride is so safe, why can't I walk into the local drug store and buy it? Fluoride cannot be purchased in any consumable form without a prescription. I suppose this is because the dentist can prescribe the proper dosage that is safe for the age and body weight of the person who will consume it. How can we then put this substance into the water supply that everyone must use without knowing the quantity that will be consumed and hoping it might reach those who need it most? People who drink large quantities of water daily (it's good for you) now will have to worry that they are getting too much fluoride. To those who say we can buy bottled water, why? We already pay for water. Bottled water is more expensive than gasoline. We are giving up basic freedoms when we allow and even want our government to medicate our drinking water.

Fluoride has always been a choice. Now it will no longer be a choice. It will be forced on all of us. Now our government is in the dental care business. Talk about big government. There are other ways of getting fluoride to children in need. All children must be immunized, but we don't put it in the water. Fluoride could be made available for a low or no cost at public health clinics as immunizations are. Isn't fluoride really an immunization for the teeth?

Infants are not supposed to consume fluoride. Who is going to make sure the mother does not use tap water to mix her baby's formula? Should the government also be required to provide non-fluoridated water to those who are allergic to fluoride? We all need to take responsibility for ourselves and not rely on the government to do it for us. If that includes brushing our teeth with fluoride toothpaste and using a fluoride rinse, then so be it. Money would be better spent on education and awareness rather than blindly medicating every person and thing with running water. The bottom line is, until we can say that we know (not just believe) that fluoride is safe for all individuals in any quantity, it should not be added to our public drinking water.

Diane Schone

Sandy