A note from FAN director Paul Connett
As I said yesterday, “When you are fighting Goliath every stone counts!”
Below Stuart Cooper (FAN’s campaign manager) gives us the scary details about the amount of private and public money the Goliaths of fluoridation promotion are putting together to keep this sordid – anti-science and unethical – practice going.
$60 Million in Taxpayer Dollars Targeted to Promote US Fluoridation
While you may currently live in a state that does not mandate fluoridation, and a community that does not practice fluoridation, it doesn’t mean that you’re safe from the threat of forced fluoridation. We have already described the lengths that the promoters of fluoridation will go to, and the huge amounts of money they will spend in their effort to fluoridate every public water supply in the U.S., but a relatively new threat has emerged that could make the campaign much more difficult for all of us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing $6.2 million dollars in grants annually for the next 4 years to 21 states to “improve state oral health services…such as community water fluoridation.” Meanwhile, the CDC reports that at least 41% of children aged 12-15 years of age have dental fluorosis (with another 19.7% in the “questionable” range) for a possible 60% of this age group with dental fluorosis, caused by overexposure to fluoride.
The states awarded CDC grants include:
Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Three states – Hawaii, Idaho, and New Hampshire – are getting CDC oral health grants for the first time ever, and will receive $230,000 per year for up to five years, totaling $1,150,000 million in each state. It should come as no surprise that these three states are some of the least fluoridated in the U.S. According to the CDC, the grant money for these states goes to “developing an oral health surveillance plan, providing additional staff, developing a state oral health plan, strengthening partnerships and establishing a diverse state oral health coalition, and implementing communication strategies to promote oral disease prevention.” In other words, the $31 million in taxpayer dollars will go towards public relations, coalition building, and lobbying, rather than directly to effective oral health prevention, like sealant programs or free dental programs for children.
The other 18 states will each be receiving an average of $310,000 per year (up to $1.5 million total over 5 years) to conduct additional activities, including “increasing the proportion of the population with access to fluoridated water.”
According to the American Dental Association’s “Action for Dental Health.” 2013 booklet, “The New York State Bureau of Dental Health used its 2012 CDC grant to support, strengthen and improve its fluoridation program,” and “CDC funding also supports the Bureau’s promoting fluoridation through a statewide network of volunteer dentist speakers.” Another excerpt from the ADA booklet is from Maryland Director of Oral Health Dr. Harry Goodman, who said, “We used [the grant] to do a lot with our fluoridation program. I can’t imagine where we’d be without the CDC.”
It’s important to keep in mind that the $31 million dollars the CDC is awarding in grants over five years is all taxpayer money approved by Congress for the CDC’s budget. It’s also important to keep in mind that this $31 million will be going directly into the hands of the organizations, lobbyists, and community leaders that promote the expansion of fluoridation. Clearly, fluoridation promotion is a big business that offers financial benefit, influence, and additional staff and resources for those involved.
Calls for Increased Taxpayer Funding
If $31 million wasn’t enough, the PEW Charitable Trusts has sent representatives to testify before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee to ask that the budget be increased by an additional $19 millionso all 50 states could be targeted rather than just the 21 currently receiving the grants. According to their testimony:
“This funding is critical to a state’s ability to prevent problems before they occur, rather than treating them when they are painful and expensive. The cooperative agreement program also supports state community water fluoridation programs and school-based dental sealant programs, and while funding for this program has been authorized for all 50 states, the Division is currently only able to support 21 states…Research shows that community water fluoridation offers one of the greatest returns on investment of any preventive health care strategy…We recommend a funding level sufficient to enable all states and the District of Columbia to receive the critical CDC prevention funds, starting with an increase for the coming fiscal year to begin moving toward full funding.
Funding request for FY 2015: $19 million for the CDC Division of Oral Health to expand cooperative agreements to additional states”
PEW isn’t alone in requesting that more of your tax dollars be spent forcing fluoridation on citizens. The American Dental Association is currently supporting active legislation in Congress (H.R.4396-Action for Dental Health Act) that would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide $10 million dollars annually to “to organizations implementing Action for Dental Health initiatives,” including to “ensure more Americans have access to fluoridated drinking water.”
This means that proponents of fluoridation in the United States could soon gain access to an additional $29 million taxpayer dollars to fund their fluoridation propaganda and lobbying campaign, and a total of nearly $60 million when added to the existing CDC grants. Clearly no fluoride-free community is safe from future pressure from the F-lobby. But wait, there’s more.
Other Fluoridation Funders
The CDC and HHS are not the only organizations providing fluoridation grants and public relations funding. Others funders include the American Dental Association (also see this), Pew Charitable Trusts, the DentaQuest Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Delta Dental, and individual state Departments of Health, among others.
These groups are dumping millions of dollars annually into campaigns to force fluoridated drinking water on as many citizens as possible, working together with the CDC to achieve their “Healthy People 2020” goal of 80% of the U.S. population having access to fluoridated drinking water.
So to reiterate, no one is safe from fluoridation, especially if you live in one of these 21 states already receiving funding. The recent battles in Portland and Wichita should be a reminder that those who support fluoridation aren’t just trying to protect it, but are working aggressively to expand it. They will continue to go down the list of unfluoridated cities, and states without fluoridation mandates until they reach their ultimate goal of 100% of community water systems having “optimal fluoride levels.”
To combat these efforts by America’s fluoridation promoters, we will need to work even harder to organize our own local and statewide campaigns, create more educational resources for campaigners, and communicate directly with more decision-makers then ever before. While we don’t have the millions of dollars our opposition does, we do have momentum on our side, with more than 168 fluoride-free victories in just the past 4 years. More importantly, we have the truth on our side, as well as passion rather then profit motivating our campaigners around the country. Please help us maintain this momentum and protect these states from the expansion of fluoridation. Please make a tax-deductible donation today, don’t wait until your town is fluoridated.
Fluoride Action Network