Fluoride Action Network

Latest Developments: 4 More Victories, Portland, and More…

Fluoride Action Network | October 23, 2012 | By Stuart Cooper

We have a lot of good news in this FAN bulletin, including four new community victories to report, updates from Portland and New York City, along with news of more communities that have upcoming votes on fluoridation.

4 More Victories

There are several more communities to add to our list of over 70 that have voted to end fluoridation since 2010:

  • O’Fallon, Missouri—Missouri’s 7th largest town (pop. 80,000) recently ended fluoridation after a citizen activist informed city employees about the dangers of water fluoridation. The City Administrator did his own research and signed off on the discontinuation of the practice. In the town’s 2012 Budget, the city administrators speak highly of the change, saying “one such improvement is the elimination of the addition of fluoride to the potable water supplied by the Water Treatment Plant (WTP), this change in treatment    has saved the City $18,000 annually and reduced the hazard for the operators in that they do not have to handle the dangerous chemical on a regular basis.”
  • Rosetown, Saskatchewan—The Canadian community of 2,300 has ended their fluoridation program after the fluoride feed-pump broke, likely due to corrosion. The community doesn’t plan on continuing fluoridation in the  future.
  • Lake view, Iowa—The town of 1,300 people will no longer have the additive in their drinking water after the city council voted to discontinue fluoridation due to the practice’s high cost and lack of positive economic benefit. You can hear the City Administrator interviewed about the decision here.
  • Cassadaga, NY—Citizen opposition to a plan by Village Board members to fluoridate the drinking water was raised at weekly village board meetings after the village built a fluoridation feed shed. The opposition led to board  members polling the town’s citizens on whether to fluoridate or reject the practice. 78% of water customers opposed fluoridation and 18% supported it. The Board members then voted 4-1 to officially reject the practice for the town’s approximately 600 residents. The neighboring community of Lily Dale, NY is on the same drinking water system, so the decision will also impact its 275 citizens and the town’s approximately 22,000 registered annual visitors.

Portland Update

The Portland city staff are still counting and verifying petition signatures for a fluoridation referendum, but it’s very likely that Clean Water Portland and their campaigners will get the question on the ballot after they submitted more than 43,000 signatures (19,858 were required) a day before the deadline. Campaigners put together this incredibly inspiring video of the submission of their petitions to the City.

Once the signatures are verified, the city will determine when the vote will take place. Most have said that the earliest it could occur is March of 2014, but this is still before fluoridation would begin. Between now and the vote, Clean Water Portland will be using their amazing organizing skills to educate the city’s population about the risks and hazards associated with fluoridation. If you want to participate in this historic campaign, please contact FAN’s Oregon Point Person, Kim Kaminski.

In case the successful referendum campaign to overturn their fluoridation vote wasn’t enough embarrassment for the City Council to deal with, local media outlets are reporting that the councilors who met with pro-fluoride lobbyists didn’t disclose that these meetings occurred, which is necessary by law. Are Portland officials trying to hide this information, or did they just conveniently forget?

NYC Councilmember Vallone Introduces Infant Warning

New York City Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr. has introduced a resolution calling for infant fluoride warnings on the city’s water bills. This comes on the heels of the city of Milwaukee and the State of New Hampshire both passing laws requiring infant fluoride warnings for water customers.

While Vallone is still pursuing a full prohibition on fluoride in NYC drinking water, he believes that an infant warning will gain more support initially and will help protect infants until fluoridation comes to an end. If you would like to get involved in NYC, please contact FAN’s NY Point Person.

Two More Communities Voting in Florida

The fight for fluoride-free water is heating up in the State of Florida. Two more communities will be putting the continuation of existing fluoridation programs to a vote, and County Commissioner candidates in Pinellas County are taking sides on the issue.

The Board of Directors of the Greater Pine Island Water Association decided to hold a vote on fluoridation after citizens continued to raise concerns about the additive. The fluoride-free effort was led by members of Citizens for Safe Water, who spoke at regular board meetings and organized a letter to the editor campaign in local paper. Ballots will be mailed to all of the Water Association’s members.

The Ormond Beach City Commission has voted to approve a fluoridation referendum to voters can decide for the first time since 1957 whether the water should continue to be fluoridated. Concerns over the safety of fluoridation were brought to the council’s attention after a citizen wrote to the city’s fluoridation-chemical provider seeking information showing compliance with state drinking water laws. When the chemical manufacturer did not reply back, the citizen alerted the City Commission, which responded with the referendum approval.