Fluoride Action Network

Oregon Mandatory Fluoridation Bill Officially Defeated

Source: Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water | July 18th, 2001 | by Lynne Campbell
Location: United States, Oregon

Please forward appropriately to friends and colleagues…

To Oregon Safe Drinking Water Advocates,

Finally, the 2001 legislature has closed, and, with it, the immediate threat of statewide mandatory fluoridation comes to an end. Please congratulate yourselves on our accomplishment.

Looking back, SB 99 had tremendous momentum, and its passage was seemingly a fait accompli:

July 27, 2000: Michael Easley, American Dental Association spokesman, responding to an e-mail from Oregon’s new dental director, Dr. Whitney Payne, congratulates Payne on upcoming fluoridation legislation. Payne’s message exudes confidence: “FYI,” he says,” the entire Oregon Health Division is behind water fluoridation for the state and two bills [only one materialized] are awaiting the Governor’s endorsement. I will be able to take Portland off the Surgeon General’s target list.”

December 20, 2000: The Oregonian profiles Oregon’s new chief health administrator, Dr. Martin Wasserman (who resigned a few months later). Wasserman outlines his priorities for the state, including fluoridation.

January 9, 2001: The 2001 legislature opens, and SB 99, requiring all communities of 10,000 or more to fluoridate, is introduced.

February 21, 2001: Willamette Week reports that two years ago, the Oregon Health Division received a federal grant of $88,000 to promote “public acceptance of” fluoridation. WWk also reports: Senate president Gene Derfler, minority leader Kate Brown, and “key committee heads” are fully on board. Brown, who, ironically, has supported right-to-know legislation regarding pesticides, claims the “entire health community” favors SB 99, and that the governor is expected to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

But we changed all that .

Many of you personally, and numerous organizations with which you are affiliated, participated in this critical effort: Forwarding our updates, testifying at the hearing, writing newsletters, position papers and letters to the editor, or endorsing our own SB 744, which would have placed restrictions on any product sold in Oregon for fluoridation. Thousands of letters, postcards, and e-mails were sent to legislators — Senator Fisher’s aide reported 1,200 letters received by their office alone. Countless phone calls were made.

Print and radio exposure played an important part. Willamette Week, Community ConneXion, Alternatives for Cultural Creativity, and the Bend Bulletin, along with Mary Starrett and Sheila Hamilton of KPDQ and KPAM all conducted interviews, published articles and/or covered this issue, which typically receives very little media attention.

THANK YOU for your part in protecting Oregon’s most vital resource — our water — for all of the citizens of our great state.

It made all the difference.


OCSDW has a variety of projects in the works to be spelled out in more detail in an upcoming update.

Immediately, we’re focused on a day-long, Portland event, August 4th, billed as a “Progressive Action Conference,” to be held at the Rose Garden (15,000 capacity).

I have reproduced full details about the event below (you can link to info at http://www.democracyrising.org/portland/portland.htm). Both OCSDW and Washington State Citizens for Safe Drinking Water will have tables at the conference to share information and further build our contact/volunteer base. Please e-mail or call me if you’d like to help with manning the tables (503-675-7451).

Hope to see you there!

Warm regards,

Lynne Campbell, Coordinator