On President Trump’s desk is currently a bill created and promoted by the American Dental Association that–if signed into law–could allow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide funding to state dental associations and regional oral health coalitions promoting fluoridation and lobbying for its expansion. In other words, even more tax-dollars could go into pro-fluoridation propaganda with little accountability. Needless to say not a penny of this will be used to tell the American people about the U.S. government-funded studies linking exposure to fluoride during pregnancy and lowered IQ and increased indicators of ADHD in offspring (Bashash et al.,2017, 2018)
H.R. 2422, called the Action for Dental Health Act of 2017, is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. At first glance, directing federal funds through CDC grants to innovative dental programs for the poor and underserved seems like a good idea. In fact, I believe the majority of this money will go to worthy programs that are less harmful, more effective alternatives to fluoridation. This is one of the obstacles we face in requesting a veto from the President, but we need to educate him about the potential risk that will come with his signature.
In the House and Senate we worked to amend the bill to prohibit the promotion of fluoridation. While some good amendments were eventually made, reducing the funding significantly and putting some checks and balances on how this grant money would be used, we were unsuccessful in getting an amendment we wanted prohibiting the promotion of fluoridation.
While fluoridation isn’t mentioned in the text or in the ADA’s lobbying materials, it is a primary part of their Action for Dental Health Initiative. And if you read between the lines you can see that the vague language of the bill authorizes the use of federal funds “to develop and implement initiatives to improve oral health…through community-wide dental disease prevention programs; and by increasing public awareness and education related to oral health and dental disease prevention.,” which incorporates all of the keywords necessary to include the ADA’s favorite program: fluoridation.
Effectively, by leaving controversial fluoridation language out of the bill and replacing it with vague authorization, the ADA has successfully tricked House and Senate members. Now we must try one last hail-Mary effort to educate the President. While chances are slim he will choose this for the first veto of his presidency, our efforts now will at least serve to alert his administration to the public health debacle that is fluoridation.
You can also call their offices and leave a message with staff:
Donald J. Trump – Phone:(202) 456-1111
Mike Pence – Phone:(202) 456-1111
Please take action, share, and stay tuned for more information about this bill over the coming days, including how it came about, how it has changed, and how it may impact your future campaign efforts. We understand that Trump must act on this bill by the end of the week, so please take action as soon as possible.
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