Fluoride Action Network

State Legislation Update for 2013

FAN Bulletin | December 04, 2013

Dear Supporter:

Fundraising update:

The Fluoride Action Network has gotten off to a good start in our campaign to raise funds for our 2014 budget.  After three days, donations total to $4681 from 77 donors.  To reach our goal, we need to raise $120,000 from 600 donors by midnight December 31, 2013.

Unlike most non-profits, we cannot raise money from the major foundations because the fluoride issue is simply too controversial! Yet the world’s best endowed foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, has become one of the biggest campaigners for water fluoridation in the U.S.! According to Wikipedia:

“The Pew Charitable Trusts is an independent non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), founded in 1948. With over US$5 billion in assets, its stated mission is to serve the public interest by “improving public policy, informing the public, and stimulating civic life.”

We have received donations from small foundations and for that we are so grateful. We can only win if we are in this together.

A huge thank you to all who have donated so far.

If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation you can either:

  • Or by check – payable to Fluoride Action Network, send to:

-FAN / Connett, 104 Walnut Street, Binghamton, NY 13905

Have you seen the exciting gifts available at different donation levels. Don’t forget that a signed copy of Paul Connett’s new book from Chelsea Green (The Zero Waste Solution) is available for a donation of $103.

State Legislation Update for 2013

In years past the dental lobby has been successful in getting pro-fluoridation bills introduced in state legislatures across the United States, including legislation that would mandate statewide fluoridation–a law 13 states presently have. But the tables are turning.

The most recent proposals for state mandates have been defeated by FAN with the help of fluoride-free campaigners, including two major attempts in 2012 to mandate fluoridation for New Jersey’s 9 million residents, and mandate attempts in both Vermont and Florida. In 2013 the tides furthershifted and instead of the introduction of pro-fluoride bills, we saw the exact opposite, with the introduction of 16 anti-fluoridation bills in 9 states.

A New Law in Utah

On April 1, the State of Utah became the first state to pass a “Safe Drinking Water Disclosure Act.” This act requires that all shipments of fluoride additives into the state be accompanied by certificates of analysis detailing the contaminants within the additive. Representative Roger Barrus and Senator Jerry Stevenson sponsored the legislation. The law requires the certificates to be made available to the Department of Health, the town supplying the water, as well as available to any member of the public that requests them. If any shipment of fluoride lacks the certificate, then fluoridation can be temporarily, or even permanently, ended in the community served by the noncompliant fluoride manufacturer. The law took effect on July 1, and will ensure that additive manufacturers comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, as well as make public the level of toxic contaminants found in their products.

Pro-Mandate Legislation

Instead of the usual handful of bills proposing new statewide fluoridation mandates across the U.S., there was only one state in 2013 considering a new mandate. HB270 was introduced in Hawaii this past January and was referred to the Health and Finance committees, but never even had a public hearing due to local opposition. Hawaii has a two-year session, so the bill can still be acted upon, though the deadline for action is only several months away if the bill is to move forward.

Reversing mandates

Meanwhile, legislation reversing existing state fluoridation mandates was introduced in several states in 2013, including South Dakota, Connecticut, Minnesota, Illinois, and Arkansas. With the exception of the Illinois bill, all of these proposals are still being considered and are expected to have public hearings in 2014. In preparation, FAN has been working with our point people and local groups within these states to organize grassroots campaigns in support of the legislation. If you live in one of these states and would like to get involved, please email stuart@fluoridealert.org .

Other Bills

A variety of additional fluoride-free bills were also introduced in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kansas, Massachusetts, and New York in 2013.

  • Tennessee is turning out to be one of the leaders in fluoride-free legislation.  Several bills were introduced in 2013, including a House resolution (130) to require that state employees or agencies not take a position in support or in opposition to the fluoridation of public water supplies.  SB1211 & HB1186 both require a referendum vote for communities to continue to be fluoridated. HB1215 & SB1274 both require that manufacturers of water additives verify the safety of their products, similar to the Safe Drinking Water Disclosure Act that passed in Utah.
  • Arkansas also had several fluoride-free bills in 2013. HB1312 would have reversed the statewide mandate and return control of fluoridation to local governing bodies. This bill received a party line vote of 9-9 in committee, which means the bill failed to pass out of committee; we suspect it will return next session. There was also HB1038 which reverses the statewide mandate only for towns with populations between 80,000 and 100,000 citizens. Third for Arkansas was SB225, the water additive accountability act. This bill would create criteria for water additives that would ensure that only the safest water additives are used in the public drinking water supply.
  • In Kansas HB2372 was introduced, requiring an IQ warning statement on water bills in fluoridated communities.
  • The Massachusetts bill would require the same infant fluoride warning that passed in 2012 in the State of New Hampshire, and the cities of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Austin, Texas. This bill has already had a public hearing and is currently being debated by the Joint Committee on Health.
  • In New York, A141 was introduced to mandate that all fluoridated communities lower their fluoride levels to 0.7ppm. While this isn’t really an anti-fluoridation bill, it would at least requiring lowering the fluoride levels in the many NY communities that have ignored the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2011 recommendation of 0.7ppm instead of the higher 1.2ppm.

It doesn’t take an expert to see that the tide has shifted, that state legislators are discovering the truth about fluoridation, and that the momentum is clearly on our side going into the 2014 legislative sessions. But we need your help to maintain our momentum! Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to FAN today.

Stuart Cooper

Campaign Director

Fluoride Action Network
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