CBC bias taints de­bate over flu­o­ri­da­tion

The Peterborough Examiner - - Local -

Since Aug. 19, the news me­dia in the U.S. and abroad has been abuzz with cov­er­age of the re­lease of re­search in JAMA Pe­di­atrics sug­gest­ing Cana­dian boys born to moth­ers with com­mon lev­els of flu­o­ride ex­po­sure dur­ing their preg­nancy showed a low­er­ing of their IQ by up to 4 to 5 points. Sto­ries have ap­peared in Reuters, Wash­ing­ton Post, CNN, Time and many oth­ers. In Canada, CTV has of­fered the most thor­ough cov­er­age. The Globe has also of­fered cau­tious re­port­ing of the story, al­though they fol­lowed with a bla­tantly bi­ased opin­ion piece by a long time proflu­o­ri­da­tion jour­nal­ist with, so far, no op­pos­ing view of­fered.

Where is the CBC? Asleep at the switch? No, our pub­licly funded na­tional news source has a his­tory of bi­ased cov­er­age of the flu­o­ri­da­tion de­bate. When the first hu­man study show­ing pos­si­ble harm from ges­ta­tional flu­o­ride ex­po­sure was pub­lished al­most two years ago by a team that in­cluded Cana­dian re­searchers, the CBC failed to no­tify the pub­lic.

When Parry Sound voted to end flu­o­ri­da­tion in 2018, the CBC didn’t men­tion any­thing, in­stead run­ning a story en­ti­tled “Cana­dian cities re­think re­moval of flu­o­ride from tap wa­ter” and of­fer­ing ex­ten­sive cov­er­age of the push to re­turn flu­o­ri­da­tion to Wind­sor’s wa­ter.

Now, the CBC thinks that Cana­di­ans don’t need to know about a study of Cana­di­ans by Cana­dian re­searchers that has been pub­lished by the premier pe­di­atric med­i­cal jour­nal in the U.S.

A bil­lion tax dol­lars a year, en­abling an av­er­age salary of a hun­dred thou­sand, should buy us bal­anced jour­nal­ism, the kind that ex­plores both sides of an is­sue equally and in depth, and lets the read­ers and lis­ten­ers make their own judg­ments. That is what the CBC of­ten pro­vides. Flu­o­ri­da­tion gets spe­cial sta­tus. Why?

David Green, Rocky Ridge Drink­ing Wa­ter

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