Mark this date on your calendars. This is the day the first major American environmental organization (one of the big 10) raised its head above the parapet in the continuing fluoridation saga. Others will surely follow and as they do it will become clearer and clearer that the days of fluoridation in the US will be over. No longer will the pro-fluoridationists’ “bluff and bluster” be enough to keep people away from the key research that points to the fact that fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.
For too long those promoting this nonsense have relied on “authority” instead of “argument” to pull the wool over the eyes of local newspaper editors and decision makers. For too long, merely donning a white coat allowed an appallingly ignorant local dentist or state dental director to ridicule the rational and sound arguments presented by citizens who had done their homework. Even major journalists have broadcast like parrots the unprofessional statements of the CDC, whose reports have become increasingly convoluted and illogical in their attempt to justify this 50 year old mistake.
Now with the Sierra Club entering the fray – not with a call for an outright ban on fluoridation but rather with a call to open the door for an impartial review and a request that communities be given the right to reject mandatory fluoridation – they have sent out an important message to their members nationwide. In essence they are saying,”It’s all right to question this practice. You don’t have to worry about being called a ‘kook” for opening your mouth. Their is a serious debate here and it has both health and environmental ramifications.” In my view that is enough to pull the rug from under the feet of those who would win this debate without even bothering to read the literature.
Congratulations to all those who contributed to making this statement happen. To Jackie Jacobson and Neil Carman in Texas; to the PA. chapter; to Doris Cellarius in Arizona; to Gerhard Bedding from New Hampshire and Deb Moore from Second Look. This took an enormous amount of work. The Sierra Club did not take this decision lightly. Much time has been spent reviewing the literature and consulting with Chapter leaders around the country.
Some may worry, however, about asking the NAS to review this issue, because of their less than objective behavior in the past. Hitherto, they have stacked their review committees with pro-fluoridationists and others who have had little relevant background to rebut the “experts” on the pro side. However, this time around I am less concerned because with the Sierra Club watching over the process it will be much more difficult for this agency to stack the deck without ruining its own reputation.
Please pass on your thanks to Doris Cellarius and to your local chapter of the Sierra Club.
Note from Doris Cellarius, Co-Chair, Environmental Quality Strategy Team, Sierra Club
On Sept. 25, 2001 the Sierra Club Conservation Governance Committee adopted the following “position” on drinking water fluoridation. It was drafted and approved by the Environmental Quality Strategy Team (EQST) in response to many requests from Chapters and activists. The issue is of particular concern because bills mandating fluoridation of all community water supplies have been introduced in some states. References to additional information follow the position statement. For more information, contact Doris Cellarius, Co-Chair, EQST.
SIERRA CLUB POSITION ON MANDATORY DRINKING WATER FLUORIDATION
Adopted September 25, 2001
The Sierra Club understands the historic reason that fluoridation of public water supplies has been promoted and that it may have been historically justifiable. There are now, however, valid concerns regarding the potential adverse impact of fluoridation on the environment, wildlife, and human health.
The Sierra Club therefore supports giving communities the option of rejecting mandatory fluoridation of their water supplies.
To protect sensitive populations, and because safer strategies and methods for preventing tooth decay are now available, we recommend that these safer alternatives be made available and promoted.
The Sierra Club recommends that a national review of the effects of fluoridation on the environment and on public health be undertaken by the National Academy of Sciences and by the US Geological Survey, the federal agency responsible for developing water quality data and communicating it to the public. This would provide the American public and public officials with reliable information for forming future public policy.