Dripping Tap: Fears water rates will soar in the coming years.
Dripping Tap: Fears water rates will soar in the coming years. Griffith Thomas

OPINION: Facts, not feelings in the fluoride debate

YET again the fluoride debate seems to bring out the tribalism lying on both sides of the medical opinion.

The only difference to this debate, like the debate around the effectiveness of vaccines, is that people's opinions on it are no more than that: opinions.

I've seen dozens of letters, emails and social media comments dismissing the effectiveness of fluoridated water this week, ever since two of Queensland's leading medical and dental associations kickstarted the debate by criticising the council's decision to stop fluoridation in 2013.

And like comments that dismiss the effectiveness of vaccines, these comments seldom rely on the expert medical research that has been thoroughly poured over, studied, scrutinised and assessed by members of our athletic democracy.

There's an easy pitfall in modern journalism to assume that all sides are equal, that they all have something similar to say.

No more is this false in the medical fields, where the evidence is as clear as day on one side, and the other side is resorted to obscurity or "better knowledge" through anecdote.

To quote Christopher Hitchens: that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without it.