Doctors OK; strategy for campaign was not

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2007

I agree with Larry Weeks in that Carolyn and George Brown are admirable doctors and human beings who do not deserve to be castigated for expressing their views on fluoridation. I have no quarrel with their personal conduct during the election.

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However, Weeks fails to point out that they were aligned with a deliberate campaign strategy that tried to portray the opponents of fluoride as lunatic fringe kooks. I refer in particular to letters and advertisements paid for the by the dental association and by at least one local oral surgeon (who shall remain nameless) which were openly derisive toward David Ottoson, Dr. Emily Kane and others who dared question the conventional wisdom of the dental establishment.

Regardless of how blameless the Browns may have been personally, it was the pro-fluoride campaign which used "uncivil" discourse in an ad hominem attempt to discredit its opponents. I suspect that voter distaste for their tactics had a lot to do with the lopsided election result.

On a personal note, I'm glad to see that retirement has given Weeks more time to contribute his valuable insights to the editorial page.

Paul H. Grant


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