Fluoride debate hurts credibility
I have followed closely the fluoridation issue in the Tampa area recently. As a dentist, I certainly understand the value of fluoridation, as should we all. Peer-reviewed science has repeatedly proven it effective, with no adverse effects.
However, this is not just a dental issue. The recent Brooksville City Council meeting negatively impacts our entire health-care system. Dr. Paul Connett, the presenter at that meeting, is a retired chemist in New York. He has no qualifications to dispense health-care recommendations and has no peer-reviewed scientific literature on fluoridation to his name. Yet, he inexplicably seems to consider himself an authority on fluoridation with special knowledge unbeknownst to medical and dental personnel, which is a ludicrous idea.
By allowing him an hour to present his opinions, with no rebuttal permitted, the council in essence, accorded him vastly undue credibility. When sound recommendations on health-care issues, rendered by qualified health-care experts and grounded in valid science, are ignored by elected leaders in favor of that of fringe activists grounded in personal ideology, the trust of the entire health-care community is undermined. This is not only irresponsible leadership, but a clear danger to the health care of us all.
The Tampa-Hernando health-care community members should be outraged over the efforts of the Brooksville mayor to undermine the trust and credibility of them all.
Dr. Steven D. Slott, Burlington, N.C.
Fluoridated water isn't the answer
Your newspaper evidently supports fluoridation of public water supplies. Evidently you and some of the writers of letters you have published are under the assumption that fluoridation and fluoride are harmless and are needed to reduce tooth decay. That is not the case.
There is a worldwide online petition now in circulation reflecting the concerns of professionals in the medical, scientific, dental and academic fields (now numbering over 4,000 signatures) who are delving into the fluoridation issue. Improving the dental health of children is important, but fluoridation is not the answer.
Public water supplies should not be used as a vehicle for mass dispensing of fluoride which enters the cooking water, and the foods and beverages prepared or processed in fluoridated areas. The problem is fluoride excess, not fluoride deficiency.
Paul S. Beeber, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation Inc.
Ag exemption isn't for developers
I propose a simple solution to our county commissioners' dilemma in generating enough property tax income to run the county government:
They have to mandate that as soon as agricultural property is approved for a zoning change that it loses its agricultural exemption for a decrease in value. As soon as said property is platted then it needs to be assessed and taxed on an individual lot basis. This county is overrun with large tracts destined for development and that are approved for just that yet are not taxed as such. Why?
Every year millions of dollars exchange hands in property deals, yet the taxes paid on this property is a penance compared to the money spent on speculation. I'd like to know just what amount of money would be generated if the thousands of acres of property in the county approved or about to be approved for development were taxed on the land value without exemptions. Tax these wealthy land developers accordingly and our county government will have no shortage of income whatsoever.
Either make these developers get off their wallets and actually do what they proposed or release their land back to the agricultural status for which it's being taxed.
J. Daniel, Spring Hill