Fluoride Action Network

21 States Targeted for Fluoridation by the CDC’s Oral Health Division

FAN Bulletin | December 16, 2013

21 States Targeted for Fluoridation by the CDC’s Oral Health Division

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 Pew Charitable Trusts 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 new threat has emerged this year that could make the campaign much more difficult for all of us.

In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced plans to provide $6.2 million dollars in grants annually for the next 5 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 will go 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 money 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 be receiving an average of $310,000 per year (up to $1.5 million total) 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 the next 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.

According to FAN director Paul Connett, the CDC’s Oral Health Division is Tweedledum to the ADA’s Tweedledee. They work hand in hand in their fluoridation promotion efforts. It might be more efficient if the CDC were to move the Oral Health Division to Chicago!”

So to reiterate, no one is safe from fluoridation, especially if you live in one of these 21 states. 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 than ever before. While we don’t have the millions of dollars our opposition does, we do have momentum on our side, with more than 135 fluoride-free victories in just the past 3 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.

Stuart Cooper

FAN, Campaign Manager
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