Calgary’s city councillors have agreed to ask for a study on the effects of removing fluoride from the city’s drinking water eight years ago.
Council voted Monday night for the University of Calgary’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health to examine the benefits and detriments of fluoridation.
Ward 13 Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart, who presented the motion, also presented a similar motion in 2016 calling for a study, but it was defeated.
Dr. William Ghali of the O’Brien Institute says the study should take about three or four months, since the motion has requested the information by June.
Researchers will examine available evidence on the issue rather than conduct new research themselves.
A University of Calgary study in 2016 that compared children’s teeth in Calgary with those in Edmonton, which does fluoridate, saw an increase in cavities in both groups, but the increase was higher in Calgary.
“Part of what we are responsible for is to make sure as legislators that we are as well informed as we possibly can be when you’re bringing in public policy decisions,” Colley-Urquhart said Monday.
“I know this is tricky — this is whether or not you believe in vaccines, or whether or not you believe in blood transfusions, any of those things. So, none of us on council are experts when it comes to fluoridation.”
Voters in Calgary cast ballots in favour of keeping fluoride in two separate plebiscites prior to council’s decision to remove it in 2011.
Councillor Jeromy Farkas favours fluoridation but stressed the final say needs to be up to Calgarians.
“It should cause pause for everybody that council chose to overrule the will of Calgarians in this way,” he said.
(CFFR, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press