New legislation in Congress could threaten the water supplies of all non-fluoridated communities in the U.S., as well as efforts by residents to end the practice locally. There are currently three bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that could authorize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to grant tens-of-millions of your tax dollars annually to fund pro-fluoridation lobbying efforts throughout the entire country at the local and state level.
The dental-lobby is planning to use the money to stifle attempts by residents to end fluoridation, as well as to expand the practice into communities that have recently rejected it or don’t currently use fluoride additives. No town with a public water supply in any state will be safe from fluoridation lobbying efforts if any of these bills are signed into law.
Only if we maintain our combined efforts, can we end these threats before they become a reality. With your help, the Fluoride Action Network has successfully led education and advocacy efforts to counter the pro-fluoridation lobby in Congress. During the last Congressional session (2015/16), two pro-fluoridation bills were introduced and both were killed, even after the American Dental Association (ADA) spent hundreds-of-thousands of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to co-sponsors.
Our efforts ensured that members of Congress were educated enough about the dangers of fluoridation not to pass the first version of the funding threat we’re dealing with today, or the ADA’s House Resolution, “Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives recognizing community water fluoridation as one of the great public health initiatives on its 70th anniversary.”
Before I go in to detail about the three bills currently in Congress and FAN’s campaign efforts in opposition, here is an update on the fundraiser that will provide much of our 2018 operating budget.
Our current totals for the 2017 FAN Fundraiser are $25,260 from 97 donors. We still have $1400 remaining from yesterday’s generous offer to double the next $2000. So again, your donation today will go twice as far.
You can watch these numbers grow over the next few days via our webpage (www.FluorideACTION.net)–see the first revolving masthead—as we continue to get closer to our ambitious mini-goal of $120,000 by midnight Christmas Eve, and $200,000 from 1000 donors by midnight Dec 31.
This a tough challenge but we are determined to have a lot of fun doing it. See all of the exciting fundraising gifts we have available (with photos) here.
How to Donate:
You can make a donation at our secure online server, or by check,
payable to Fluoride Action Network, and mail to:
104 Walnut Street
Binghamton NY 13905
New Congressional Fluoridation Threat – No Community Will Be Safe
Three bills being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives include the same language authorizing millions of dollars in CDC grants to directly subsidize fluoridation-lobbying efforts by state dental associations and affiliated grassroots campaigns.
H.R. 2422, called the Action for Dental Health Act of 2017, is the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to authorize oral health promotion programs that include promotion of fluoridation through 2022, at a cost of $160 million over 5 years for taxpayers. The bill was quickly introduced and passed out of the Congressional Energy and Commerce Committee this fall.
At first glance, directing federal funds through CDC grants to innovative dental programs for the poor and underserved seems like a good idea. However, two vague sections of the bill, which don’t mention fluoridation specifically, are intended to authorize the use of federal funds for the promotion of the practice by state dental associations and their affiliated local and regional astroturfing campaigns. The ADA was instrumental in working with sponsors to develop this bill for their own benefit.
Section e(1)A authorizes grants “to stake holders to develop and implement initiatives…to improve oral health education and dental disease prevention, including through community-wide prevention programs…” Section e(2)A authorizes grants to dental lobbying organizations by making “eligible entities” out of “State or local dental associations,” and “community-based organizations.”
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, as well as the current federal law the bill amends. Effectively, by leaving controversial fluoridation language out of the bill, and replacing it with vague authorization, the ADA has successfully tricked House committee members.
(Some of our Lobby Day 2017 participants–campaign leaders, professionals, and citizens)
Upon finding out about the HR2422, FAN alerted our professionals and supporters, urging them to call, write, email, and comment on the social media pages of their Congressonal members. Thousands of your emails were sent through our automated system, and we organized our most successful lobby day yet on Capitol Hill, which coincided with our 6th Citizens’ Conference on Fluoride in Washington, D.C.
In D.C. and at district offices, we helped educate, inspire, and mobilize professionals and campaign leaders who successfully held meetings on fluoridation with staff members from over 100 targeted congressional offices.
For those of you who participated, either from home (on the computer or phone) or through meetings, we THANK YOU for your tremendous effort!
Since Lobby Day, HR2422’s progress appears to have stopped. In response, the prime sponsor has introduced the fluoridation funding language into two other bills being considered by congressional committees. Both bills are called Today’s American Dream Act (HB3839 and HB1084), and again hide the fluoridation funding provisions within a list of less controversial policy changes.
The message from the sponsor and the ADA is clear. They will continue to pursue this funding at all costs. Investing several million dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions for a potential return of $160 million in grants over 5 years appears to be their strategy. Now it’s up to us to continue to expose and fight these efforts into 2018 and beyond.
Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to FAN to help us continue and expand our campaign to educate your congressional members about fluoride and water fluoridation.
Please also send an email to your congressional member using the link below, and stay tuned for additional action alerts for upcoming phone and social media campaigns targeting Congressional members:
Fluoride Action Network