Major Victory as Portland, Oregon Votes NO on Water Fluoridation
June 04, 2013
By Dr. Mercola
We are beginning to win the battle. The tide seems to have turned as a major victory was achieved late last month when Portland voted against fluoride – thanks much in part to the national support they received.
Because of your support, I was able to help fund this effort and took a few lumps in the media as self-serving, as I sell a non-fluoride toothpaste. Desperate campaigns go to desperate measures, making personal attacks the norm.
It would have been a dangerous victory for the CDC had they won, Portland was a prime target as it is the largest unfluoridated city in the US.
Fluoride, of course, is a toxic substance that is biologically active in the human body. It accumulates in sensitive tissues over time, wreaking havoc with enzymes, and producing a number of serious adverse health effects —including neurological and endocrine dysfunction. Fluoride should never be ingested intentionally.
Yet despite the scientific evidence against the practice, the United States lags far behind other nations in acknowledging the mistake and ending this tragic “public health” measure. As usual, the big lie must continue to protect faith in long term public health policies and agencies.
As a result, individual communities around the US have taken up the fight to end water fluoridation in their own local areas. On many occasions, I’ve asked you to support such efforts and today, I’m very pleased to report that the latest fight has ended in victory. Your hard work to share this information or contribute to the campaign proved essential, and I am so proud and grateful to our motivated supporters.
Science and Integrity Wins in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon gets its water from the Bull Run watershed; a 102-square mile protected watershed that is so pristine and pure the city was even granted a waiver from having to build a water treatment plant.
On May 21, Portland residents voted on whether or not to fluoridate their unusually pristine water supply, with “No” getting 61 percent of the votes.
It’s been a rocky ride for Portlanders who even had to fight for the right to vote on the issue—for the fourth time!
Citizens had already voted ‘no’ on water fluoridation for Portland in 1956, 1962, and 1980. But after more than a year of secretive planning, fluoride lobbyists finally convinced the Portland city council to begin fluoridating Portland’s water supplies. The decision was set to take effect by March 2014.
Luckily, the citizens of Portland stood together by gathering enough signatures to force the decision to a vote yet again. As reported by Fluoridealert.org1:
“’We are proud of our Portland colleagues who used science and integrity to defeat fluoridation and the public relations blitzkrieg that backed it,’ says Paul Connett, PhD, FAN’s Executive Director.
… Fluoride chemicals are the only chemicals added to public water for the purpose of medication. Most western countries, including the vast majority of Europe, do not fluoridate their water.
“Most of Portland’s media falsely reported that fluoridation promoters had science on their side and that opponents used emotion,” says Connett. ‘Those opposed did their homework, relying on recent scientific findings from the National Research Council (NRC) and Harvard that raise serious questions about the safety of current fluoride exposures.’
Six months ago, fluoridation was also rejected by voters in Wichita, Kansas by a 20 percent margin. In April, Israel announced it will end its mandatory fluoridation program, and Ireland has proposed legislation2 that would make water fluoridation a criminal offense! Canada has also seen a 25 percent drop in fluoridation programs over the past five years as a result of increasing public awareness about the associated dangers.
Coordinated Smear Campaign Lost Out to the Truth
Portland residents did face a very tough battle. The American Dental Association (ADA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the PEW Charitable Trusts spent significant time coordinating their lobbying efforts to the Portland City Council, which eventually led to the Council unanimously voting to force fluoridation chemicals on their citizens.
Fluoridation proponents also spent close to $1 million on their propaganda efforts leading up to the May 21 vote—four times the amount raised by the anti-fluoridation campaign—which they used to flood Portland with misleading ads and editorials touting fluoridation as “an urgently needed tool for solving the dental crisis in the city’s poor neighborhoods3.”
Portland was the largest non-fluoridated city in the US, making it a major target for pro-fluoridation advocates. Fortunately, they failed big time. Portland has now set the tone for other cities’ campaigns to rid themselves of this toxic and unnecessary chemical.
Proper diet, dental practices and access to mercury-free dental services are the solutions to the problem of dental cavities. Since we know that sugar causes cavities, perhaps if the ADA, CDC, PEW and others really wanted the fluoride to go to the right people, maybe they could lobby the junk food companies to add fluoride to their soda and candies, opposed to fluoridating drinking water. That would make more sense if you believe fluoride can solve the problem of tooth decay, wouldn’t it?
Water Fluoridation = Mass Medication Without Prescription
Fluoride is not a nutrient. And while there is prescription-grade fluoride, the fluoride put into drinking water is not a prescription drug but an industrial waste product. However, it is put into the water as a “drug” to help oral health, and it is done without the consent of those receiving it. Even if you accepted the premise that it works systemically, opposed to topically only, there is no justification to force it on people under the premise of slightly lowering tooth decay, as everyone has the option of using it topically as a toothpaste if they so choose…
The fluoride chemical typically added to water is hexafluorosilicic acid (HFSA), which is a byproduct of the fertilizer industry. It is a hazardous material they cannot easily dispose of. In fact, it’s illegal to dump it into rivers and lakes or release the parent gases into the atmosphere. And municipalities that decided to stop fluoridating their water had to keep going until all the chemicals were used up because they couldn’t afford the hazardous waste disposal fees!
Dr. William Hirzy from the EPA has pointed out that if it goes into the air, it’s a pollutant. If it goes into the local water, it’s pollution. But if the public water utilities buy it and purposely pour it in our drinking water, it’s no longer a pollutant. All of a sudden, by some magic sleight of hand, it’s a beneficial public health measure… But dilution is not the solution to pollution.
Fluoride Chemicals Also Pollute Drinking Water with Arsenic
A recent study also shows that 90 percent of toxic arsenic in our tap water comes from fluoridation chemicals. As reported by Living Green Magazine4:
“Industrial-grade fluoride chemicals added to US public water supplies contain arsenic that the EPA classifies as a human carcinogen. Switching to low-arsenic pharmaceutical-grade fluoride will save society $1 billion to $14 billion annually, according to research published in Environmental Science & Policy, led by former EPA senior scientists who are experts in chemical risk assessment, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Although never studied for safety or efficacy, hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) is added to public water supplies as a purported cavity preventive. The industry-funded group that regulates water additives, NSF International5, allows several toxins in HFSA, including arsenic.
We need to end this outdated practice. Adding hexafluorosilicic acid to drinking water to prevent tooth decay is based on politics, not science. Why should a water department be given the power to medicate anyone when they don’t take a health history, they don’t pass out a listing of side effects, monitor the dose or the effect? This is tantamount to gross negligence.
According to a 2006 report on water fluoridation produced by the US National Research Council, the benefits from fluoride are topical only, and cannot be achieved through ingestion. It also detailed positive associations between fluoride ingestion and bone fractures, cancer, reduced IQ and dementia.
I predict that water fluoridation will become known as one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated against the public in the 20th and 21st century. In the future, water fluoridation will be compared to tobacco science, DDT science, asbestos science, and thalidomide science—all grossly manipulated to hide an incredibly costly truth.
Why Water Fluoridation Is a Scam
Water fluoridation was invented by brilliant schemers who needed to get rid of toxic industrial waste that would cost them hundreds of millions of dollars for proper disposal. They duped politicians with fraudulent science and endorsements, which is not science, and sold them on a “public health” idea in which humans are utilized to filter this poison through their bodies, while 99 percent simply goes down the drain. Adding insult to injury, they now MAKE hundreds of millions of dollars selling this hazardous industrial waste, rather than having to pay for its disposal.
In his 2012 article Poison is Treatment—“Edward Bernays and the Campaign to Fluoridate America”6, James F. Tracy reveals the PR campaign that created this fake public health measure:
“The wide-scale U.S. acceptance of fluoride-related compounds in drinking water and a wide variety of consumer products over the past half century is a textbook case of social engineering orchestrated by Sigmund Freud’s nephew and the ‘father of public relations’ Edward L. Bernays,” he writes. “The episode is instructive, for it suggests the tremendous capacity of powerful interests to reshape the social environment, thereby prompting individuals to unwarily think and act in ways that are often harmful to themselves and their loved ones.”
I highly recommend taking the time to read Tracy’s informative expose on how good PR can trump science and keep you in the dark for decades, lest you dig a bit deeper. The oft-quoted phrase that water fluoridation is one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century was also created by a Public Relations firm, not hard-core facts.
The Health Ramifications of Mass Medicating with Fluoride
Scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity,” and 25 studies have now reported an association between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ in children—including a recent study out of Harvard, in which the authors noted:
“The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment.“
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. But that’s not all. Studies have shown fluoride toxicity can lead to the wide-ranging problems listed below.
Increases lead absorption Disrupts collagen synthesis Hyperactivity and/or lethargy Crippling skeletal fluorosis and bone fractures Genetic damage and cell death Increased tumor and cancer growth Disrupts immune system and inhibits antibody production Chronic fatigue Brain damage, and lowered IQ and dementia Gastrointestinal problems and kidney issues Arthritic symptoms Severe eye problems, including blindness Impaired thyroid function Weakened bones, and fatal bone cancer (osteosarcoma) Inactivates 62 enzymes Muscle disorders
This is what the science is telling us about the ramifications of fluoride use. And yet, rather than taking the precautionary approach and stopping fluoridation until we know more, our policymakers continue to blindly forge ahead; refusing to give the scientific evidence the attention it deserves.
Congratulations on Keeping Portland’s Water Safe!
According to the EPA’s local’s president, Bill Hirzy, a chemist in the EPA’s Office of Toxic Substances, water fluoridation remains a government policy because of “institutional inertia [and] embarrassment among government agencies that have been promoting this stuff as safe.”
This is probably true, yet it’s shameful that the ADA, CDC and other agencies would spend so much money trying to coerce the continuation of this hazardous practice instead of just yielding to the wishes of communities.
Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So I urge you to join the Fluoride Action Network’s efforts7 and your local anti-fluoridation movements in the US and Canada.
Please remember, people have been misled for generations – be patient with your friends and families who have been improperly educated about fluoridation chemicals. The tide is turning, we are making a difference when we bring organic consumers, environmentalists, and natural health advocates together.