Letter to the Editor

Grateful dumpster diners Mt. Lorne Garbage Management Society would like to thank everybody for their support at the Dumpster Dining Fundraiser.

Grateful dumpster diners

Mt. Lorne Garbage Management Society would like to thank everybody for their support at the Dumpster Dining Fundraiser.

Almost 400 people showed up during the three-hour event, despite the less than perfect weather.

These voters came from not only Mt. Lorne, but from Whitehorse, Carcross, Lewes Lake, Goldenhorn, Mary Lake, Marsh Lake and other places that are not in the Mt. Lorne riding.

Thank you to all the barbecue flippers and the bake sale chefs and to Lorne Mountain Community Association for putting on the event.

Thank you to all who attended and showed support for the services we provide and thank you to all those who attended to show YTG that, whether or not the government believes in treating people equally and fairly, at least they do.

And thank you to the many more of you who were unable to attend for various reasons (trade show, work, conflict of interest, courses, etc.) but have expressed your support as well.

It has been a very difficult time for our organization and our staff to have the work and the service we provide ignored, if not belittled by the government.

But to have a show of support from the public and the community such as was demonstrated last weekend gives us renewed vitality.

Dawn Lammer, director Mt. Lorne Garbage Management Society

Dentist questions

fluoride foe

In response to Michael Brine’s letter (Change your diet, save your teeth, the News, May 9), I would first like to state that I fully agree that diet is the main underlying problem with tooth decay (as well as with the even more serious medical implications such as diabetes and heart disease).

There is a direct relationship between refined carbohydrates (sugar being the most obvious example), various bacteria found in the mouth, and tooth decay.

However, the apparent rise in the decay level of preschool children since the removal of fluoride in Whitehorse is unlikely to have been due to a rapid increase in the ingestion of “junk food” over the last few years.

This has been an ongoing problem since the introduction of the “civilized” diet to the North, as he pointed out in his letter.

The relationship between refined carbohydrates, the bacteria and tooth decay can be broken by removal of the offending substrate (junk food) from the diet of the population and some attempts have been made in a number of places to remove some of its availability within the schools.

Research into the removal of the identified bacteria has been attempted, but it is definitely not a high priority area as decay is not often life threatening.

The research into making the enamel more resistant to decay is long-standing and the mechanism by which it is achieved is well understood.

The combination of fluoride with tooth enamel reduces the solubility of the crystalline structure to the acids produced by the bacteria.

Brine denies the abundant worldwide research into the efficacy of fluoride (as others deny the effects or even the existence of climate change). However, the preponderance of well-documented evidence refutes his premise.

If we could easily change people’s lifestyles, we would have no need for seatbelts or any other preventive measures.

Tobacco and alcohol would not be a problem.

The use of the term poison for fluoride would suggest that all such elements should be removed from our diet and all water systems.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found within virtually all water systems and wells at varying levels, as is chlorine, bromine, iodine and arsenic.

These, and many other examples, are all poisonous when ingested at inappropriate levels but, like all other trace minerals and elements, they can have a positive effect in the health of the population when used appropriately.

Richard Smith D.M.D.

Whitehorse

 A subjective science

Every time I see an article about schizophrenia, such as the one in your May 12 issue, I always find something to take issue with.

Some studies suggest that patients are not always kept in hospital long enough, and then they are more likely to have to be readmitted all too soon.

But it could be dangerous to make any sweeping generalizations about how long somebody should be in the hospital on account of any particular diagnosis.

Everybody is a unique individual.

This is especially true about the diagnosis of schizophrenia, which is nowhere near scientifically exact.

Many people believe that it isn’t even any particular illness, but a general classification that includes entirely different problems.

Psychiatrists have decided what symptoms they include, but there isn’t even one symptom in particular that is common to everybody who receives a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

It’s also true that any symptoms attributed to schizophrenia might also be caused by some entirely different illness.

None of what I’m saying is my own pet theory.

I’m telling you just a bit of what I learned as a university student quite a few years back.

Not only schizophrenia but psychiatric diagnoses generally are something of a subjective call on the part of the doctor.

So if he/she says you’re schizophrenic there is no objective way to prove or disprove it one way or the other.

If I’d been a philosophy major I would call it a non-falsifiable hypothesis. It sounds like it means something, but nothing in particular.

I also have some doubts about the results of studies conducted by some organization with a dignified-sounding name when I don’t have any information about who they are or who supports them.

They could be rigorously scientific, or maybe they are just trying to prove a point.

Who knows?

Stewart Jamieson

Whitehorse

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