70% of Americans currently receive fluoridated municipal water. From
1950 to roughly 2000 the pro-fluoridation movement dominated the
water treatment policy with the backing of organizations like the CDC
However, in the past 10 years dozens of anti-fluoridation groups across
country have fought to end or block fluoridation. In the last two years
community water fluoridation has been rejected in 10 different states (http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/04/16/dont-drink-the-water/).
This anti-fluoridation renaissance can be attributed to two trends in
began in the 1990s: a growth in
scientific literature that raises concerns
about fluoridation, and the
spread of the internet into American homes.
anti-fluoridation movements have coalesced under the FAN umbrella, the
action is taking place on the community level. That being said, there
national petitions and campaigns being organized by both FAN and the
Headquarters Union. This includes Professionals Statement to
Fluoridation which states:
is time for
the US, and the few
remaining fluoridating countries, to recognize that fluoridation is
has serious risks that far outweigh any minor benefits, violates sound
ethics and denies freedom of choice. Fluoridation must be ended now.”
This statement has garnered over
2,700 signatures from scientists, lawyers, and medical professionals
a Nobel Laureate, presidents and past presidents of a number of oral
organizations, several of the authors of the 2006 NAS report, five
prize winners, and Pete Seeger.
Locally, the movement takes the form
of grassroots organizations such as Fluoride Leave Our Water (FLOW) in
Portland, Maine, Citizens Against Forced Fluoride in Bellingham,
and Fluoride Free New York in New York state.
Tactics differ depending on the
group and the situation. In Bellingham in 2005 citizens organized a
movement to reject a ballot measure that would have resulted in
fluoridation. Tactics included conventional grass roots door knocking,
protesting, and posting signs. Some citizens went further, anonymously
a dead rat in the mailbox of Curtis Smith (a retired dentist who led
initiative) and making anonymous phone calls to his home accusing him
to poison his neighbors (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1118379,00.html).
Ultimately, anti-fluoridation activists won the vote 53-47%, despite a
fundraising difference of $17,000 to over $250,000 (predominantly from
outside of Bellingham, presumably industry) (http://www.noforcedfluoride.org/).
In Portland, Maine FLOW
has had less success. In 2009 they failed to get their desired ballot
initiative on Maine’s ballot, and also were unable to elect their
Oliver Outerbridge, to a seat on the local Water District Board.
Outerbridge feels that the national tide is moving in his favor, and
anticipates more success in the future (http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/04/16/dont-drink-the-water/).
This ABC report covers the Professionals
Statement to End Fluoridation, organized by the FAN.
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