Ellijay, GA – In an action with far-reaching national ramifications, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the United States, has adopted a resolution opposing the practice of water fluoridation.
The resolution was passed at the 2011 LULAC national convention in Cincinnati.
The news adds Hispanic leaders to a growing list of groups and prominent individuals now speaking out against the controversial practice of fluoridation, including former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter and niece Dr. Bernice A. King and Dr. Alveda King, Coalition of African American Pastors President Rev. William Owens, and civil rights leader and minister Dr. Gerald Durley.
“The Hispanic community is no longer going to be silent on this issue,” says Henry Rodriguez, LULAC’s Texas civil rights chairman. “This is about forcing us to be medicated through our drinking water without our consent or full disclosure of the risks.”
“Fluoridation is a civil rights violation,” he says. “Opposition to fluoridation is going to continue building and there is no stopping it. There are millions of Hispanics and other minorities in the U.S. who don’t have the funds to avoid fluoridated water for making their babies’ milk formula. And millions of families don’t know they’re being medicated in their drinking water, or about possible risks for kidney patients and diabetics.”
Human rights advocate Dr. Bernice A. King states, “Water fluoridation needs to end. It is good that organizations are lending their support to help push this outdated and harmful practice of fluoridation toward collapse. This is wonderful news.”
Babies, diabetics, kidney patients, and other groups are listed by the National Research Council as susceptible groups especially vulnerable to harm from ingested fluorides.
Water utilities add fluoride chemicals to drinking water to help prevent cavities. They are the only chemicals specifically added to treat or prevent a health condition in the body, rather than to treat the water itself.
“Fluorides are listed in the ‘Drug Facts’ information on boxes of fluoridated toothpaste sold to help prevent cavities,” says Daniel G. Stockin of The Lillie Center Inc., a firm working to end water fluoridation. “But water utilities haven’t been acknowledging fluorides as a medication when they are added to drinking water for the same purpose.”
The Gerber company now sells an unfluoridated bottled water so parents of young babies can avoid using fluoridated water when mixing milk formula. Major toothpaste manufacturers are also now selling unfluoridated toothpaste for toddlers marked “Fluoride-free. Safe if swallowed.”
After decades of water fluoridation, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control indicates that Hispanics have significantly higher levels of untreated cavities than whites, and that Hispanics have disproportionate amounts of “fluorosis” stains disfiguring their teeth.
“Fluoridation certainly hasn’t been very effective at preventing cavities in Hispanics,” states Stockin. “Oral health education and access to dental care for disadvantaged families, this is what Hispanic families need.”
The LULAC resolution notes the National Research Council’s 2006 acknowledgement of large gaps in research on fluoride’s effects on the body, and that these gaps contradict assurances made by public health officials that fluorides and fluoridation have been exhaustively researched.
The resolution also demands to know why health agencies are “more protective of the public policy of fluoridation than they are of public health.”
“Watch what develops now as members of the Hispanic legal community are awakening to this issue,” Stockin says. “This issue of disproportionate fluoride harm to minorities is gaining attention because it is real and we have science supporting it. The train has left the station. Fluoridation is ending. You can look for a quickening cascade of cities, water utilities, health officials and others distancing themselves from fluoridation.”