This week the Idaho State Senate struck a blow to the fluoride-lobby, killing a resolution to recognize “community water fluoridation as a vitally important public health initiative.” On Thursday, HRC-34 was defeated by a vote of 18-16 in the Senate after passing the House by a vote of 46-19 in February. Despite lobbying by dentists and the fluoride-industry, senators raised concerns that the issue was too contentious to support, and objected to the principle of adding medication to the water system.
Senator Michell Stennett correctly pointed out that fluoridation “is a form of medical treatment,” while other chemicals are added “for water quality or safety, which fluoride does not do.” After stating that fluoride was readily available from other sources, was also found in foods and beverages, and accumulated in the body, she said “I just can’t support it. It has some detriment to your body.”
Other senators were concerned with fluoridation’s impact on the elderly and pregnant women, and questioned the ethics of adding a medical treatment to the public water supply. “Can anybody think of any other attempt for a delivery mechanism in such a mass way,” asked Senator Clifford Bayer. Sen. Mary Souza seconded Bayer’s objection, saying “Here we are honoring the lack of choice in putting fluoride in the water system.”
A similar resolution was introduced in the Vermont legislature last week in an attempt to influence a local fluoridation ballot measure in Rutland. It was introduced in such a way as to circumvent the traditional public hearing process and pass on a consent calendar without debate. However, the Speaker of the House noticed this unethical strategy, removed the bill from the calendar, and referred it to the House Human Services committee for a public hearing and further consideration. Clearly, another blow to the fluoride-lobby, and FAN representatives will be in attendance at these hearings to defeat the resolution.
This strategy is not limited to the state level. This past fall, the American Dental Association called in favors from 33 members of Congress who they’ve collectively donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to, and had them co-sponsor House Resolution 416, “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives recognizing community water fluoridation as one of the great public health initiatives on its 70th anniversary.” Since September, the bill has failed to gain momentum, and remains stagnant in the House subcommittee on Health. Click here to tell your Representative to oppose this resolution.
You can also use our new online campaign to urge your Representatives and Senators to call for an end to fluoridation, not only via email, but also on social media.
Additional Campaign Alerts and Updates:
Cortland, NY—In February, at their monthly city council meeting, Cortland councilors were pressured to fluoridate the public water supply by a coalition of groups in the county called Cavity Free Cortland. The group requested that the common council apply for a New York State $50,000 grant, with a deadline of February 29, to study the infrastructure needed to add fluoride to the drinking water. After hearing from town residents, who were unanimously opposed to fluoridation, the council turned down the grant. FAN Senior Advisor and co-author of “The Case Against Fluoride,” Paul Connett, PhD, penned a very powerful op-ed on the Cortland debate, which you can read here.
Bellefonte, PA—Last week, the local water authority set a date to officially discontinue fluoridation. On March 31st, they will stop adding fluoride, despite a great deal of pressure from the dental-lobby and city council to continue adding the toxin. This decision is incredibly meaningful because the water authority was attacked aggressively by dentists and health officials for voting to end the practice in an effort to protect the safety of their water works employees and residents. Even after dentists were successful in getting the Bellefonte City Council to support fluoridation and call for the water authority to reverse their decision, they stayed committed to ending the practice. The city council even appealed to the state Environmental Protection Department to illegally deny the water authority’s application for fluoridation cessation. The appeal was eventually dropped.
Arab, Alabama—Last week, the Water Works Board stuck to their decision to end fluoridation for the safety of their employees–after three years of studying the issue–and voted to retain an attorney to fight the city council’s lawsuit calling for a return of the toxin to the drinking water supply. The water board was considering putting the issue on an upcoming ballot, but after the city council voted 4-1 in February to force the water board to reintroduce fluoride, they decided to double-down and hire a law firm of their own. This appears to be another example of the dental lobby using their financial influence and bullying tactics to pressure elected city councilors to force water board members to add the toxin to the water supply, despite safety concerns.
Calgary, Alberta—In response to the media hysteria over a flawed and debunked study claiming to show an increase in dental decay after Calgary ceased fluoridation, the Alberta government has dealt a blow to the fluoride-lobby by saying it will not fund municipal fluoridation efforts. In a further rejection of the dental-lobby’s propaganda, Calgary’s Mayor has said he doesn’t see the issue coming back to council for debate, and the neighboring council in Airdrie decided not to endorse fluoridation, but to instead follow the lead of the Calgary council. While the flawed study/PR stunt did raise the fluoride issue again in several Canadian communities, it hasn’t appeared to make a difference. In Cornwall, the threat of re-investigating fluoridation was met with immediate criticism, with one newspaper calling for councilors to “permanently shelve the fluoridation debate.” In Regina, Saskatchewan and Wood Buffalo, Alberta, city officials made it clear that they had zero intention of re-considering fluoridation.
Peel, Ontario—Last week it was announced that the regional council’s newly formed fluoride subcommittee–organized to consider whether the region should continue or end fluoridation—is leaning in the direction of ending the practice. According to the chair of the subcommittee, most committee members are looking for a good reason to support an end to fluoridation. He said, “six of the seven members…are seeking sufficient factual data to delete the fluoride supplement added to our drinking water. I’m hoping we can build a strong case based on the best research…” The subcommittee’s recommendation will have to also be approved by the majority of the 24-member council.
Flint, Michigan—As the new water supply for Flint and Genesee County approaches complete in June, the Water Commissioner is considering a referendum to remove fluoride from the water. He said the reason is that “fluoride has a chemical reaction with chlorine also used to treat water, which then requires the use of phosphates which is what creates corrosive water.” This is a rare admission from a water commissioner that confirms FAN’s report on fluoridation and lead, published in February.
Union City, Michigan—Voters will have an opportunity to end fluoridation on March 8th when they vote in the presidential primary.
February and March Fluoride-Free Teleconference
You can now download the audio from February’s International Fluoride Free Teleconference. The call, entitled “Get on the Court! Be the Advocate You Need to Be,” featured campaign experts from the Center for Self Governance offering insight and tips on local and state politics, as well on how to effectively influence elected officials. To learn more about the February teleconference and to download the audio please click on the following link:
The next teleconference will be held on Saturday, March 12th at 5PM (Eastern time). The call is will be dedicated to campaigners, new and experienced. I will be the featured speaker and will be discussing how campaign leaders and local fluoride-free campaigns can come together to collaborate effectively at the state-level, where resources can be pooled and influence can be more impactful. Learn how to build a coalition, introduce legislation, lobby the legislature, and take your fluoride-free campaign to the capitol.
You can now also access over 50 hours of expert and activist audio, a comprehensive online activist toolkit, and regularly updated content by visiting the International Fluoride Free Teleconference’s online library.
Latest Fluoride News:
–Ethics Complaint Filed Against Port Angeles Mayor (Washington)
–Attorneys Disagree Over Change Port Angeles Government (Washington)
–Bill Would Lower Fluoride Levels in State’s Drinking Water (Connecticut)
–Terrance City Presented With Petition to End Fluoridation (British Columbia)
–Cape Breton Activist Seeks Information on Fluoridation (Nova Scotia)
–Health Minister Backs Water Fluoridation (United Kingdom)
–Fluoride in Auckland’s Water Reduced (New Zealand)
–MP Jo Goodhew Coy on Government Fluoride Control Position (New Zealand)
For more fluoride related media, please visit FAN’s News Archive.
Fluoride Action Network