The organic corporate nanny

Does anyone out there (particularly in the UK; I’m not sure if it’s available anywhere else) like Kingfisher toothpaste? It’s an organic brand of toothpaste which is available in a variety of flavours, including things like fennel, and provides an alternative to the industrial mint flavour of so many corporate brands of toothpaste. I have used it for years, usually buying it from the former Fresh & Wild or Planet Organic.

Well, Fresh & Wild were bought out by Whole Foods a couple of years ago, and Whole Foods opened up a “flagship” shop in Kensington and closed a few others, including the Notting Hill branch which was actually rather cosy, if a bit crowded. The Soho branch has had two rows of shelves removed so that café customers can have more room to sit down. However, even the Kensington branch (which is huge) doesn’t stock Kingfisher, and when I went to the Soho branch this afternoon, I found that they had gone. I asked if they still stocked it, and the shop assistant said no; they were discontinued because they contained fluoride.

As I’ve written before, I’m opposed to putting fluoride in drinking water, because it misses its target - your teeth - and heads for your insides, where it does not do you much good. Certain local authorities insist on having it added to the water supposedly to improve local dental health, in the absence of good sense on the part of some parents (see here for a really egregious example), but what is really needed is people rubbing it on and then brushing their teeth, rather than swallowing a whole load of the stuff, much of which will not touch the teeth at all.

I told the shop assistant that I bought that brand precisely because it contained fluoride, and was told that it accumulated in the tissues. Clearly, the management of Whole Foods has bought into that particular health scare, and refuse to see the difference between the potential harm of adding fluoride to the drinking water and rubbing it on the teeth and then spitting most of it out. I want to make my own decisions about these things, rather than having them made for me by a corporation. Clearly, that’s one more thing I will have to buy from the supermarket, and one less reason to go to the organic chain store, most of whose stock can be bought significantly cheaper at the supermarket anyway.

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