20 JUNE 2016 Ref: 624
U.K FREEDOM FROM FLUORIDE ALLIANCE Edition: 000-2
This is the second of four weekly editions of the pilot series for the UKFFFA
Wakefield Says No to Fluoridation – at least for now
Wakefield has rejected fluoridation – at least for the next couple of years. Together with the efforts of Anna Bowman and local campaigners, a crucial contribution to the decision was the presentation of a report to Wakefield Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier this year by Joy Warren, who is currently closely involved in setting up the new U.K. Freedom From Fluoride Alliance. It was her report and presentation which swung it – or rather it gave the Councillors lots of reasons why not to recommend fluoridation and that there was no new evidence that could justify changing their earlier rejection. It seems unlikely that even in the next two years any ‘new evidence’ will emerge, but committees and councilors also change, so any attempt to reintroduce the topic will certinly be immediately and effectively challenged.
Below is the report from the Wakefield Express
A controversial proposal to put fluoride in the district’s drinking water to cut tooth decay is set to be shelved.
A council watchdog has decided there is not enough evidence to prove water fluoridation would work and not be harmful to public health.
Wakefield Council was considering the move after research showed 40 per cent of five-year-olds and one in five three-year-olds had decayed teeth.
Public health evidence was being looked at by the Adults and Health overview and scrutiny committee.
Dr Andrew Furber, Wakefield’s director of public health, said: “They have decided the quality of the evidence is not sufficient to carry out the next stage, which would be a full review of all the evidence.
“The recommendation of the committee, which is meeting on June 9, is that in two years’ time another preliminary review is carried out.”
Claims had previously been made that a US study linked exposure to fluoridated water with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among kids.
Concerns were also raised that adding fluoride to tap water would be medicating the population without their permission.
The committee’s report said: “The committee believes that the research evidence is of insufficient quality to allow confident statements about potential harm or whether there is an impact on social inequalities.”
Wakefield Council carried out a comprehensive review of children’s oral health in 2007. At the time fluoridation was considered as a possible means of reducing tooth decay.
The report said ethical and environmental factors were outside of the committee’s remit.
It added: “However, as community leaders, it is important that councillors consider the ethical implications of water fluoridation, particularly given the controversy about whether this would constitute mass medication.”
Hull Health and Well-Being Board meets on Tuesday June 21st. and fluoridation is on the agenda.
Any news will be in the June 27th edition of this bulletin.
This is the ‘toolkit’ referred to earlier this year, full of propaganda and with a lengthy explanation of how to implement and terminate schemes (the first difficult, the latter impossible). Central government funding to pressure local councils, usually via ‘Well Being’ committees not directly elected and delegated from a number of authorities, is now described as ‘decisions made at a local level’.
An online toolkit from Public Health England (PHE) will now allow local authorities to choose to implement water fluoridation.
Three articles discovered in The Guardian by George Pinnell, who adds ;’These articles only seem to be available on-line. …Some of the online comments are worth noting.’
Thousands of Flint’s children are expected to suffer developmental problems as a result of the lead contamination. Hundreds of thousands of bottles of water have been distributed to the city by the national guard, deployed in January. Barack Obama called Flint’s lead contamination a “man-made disaster” and a symptom of urban neglect suffered by poor, largely black communities across the US.
Officials in Flint, Michigan, appeared to downplay the amount of lead found in residents’ drinking water by testing homes that were nowhere near lead pipes in the city, a Guardian analysis has found.
Water testing from November and December 2014, seven months after Flint’s disastrous switch to a new water supply, was heavily targeted at properties on the eastern and western fringes of the city.
According to lead service line mapping conducted by the University of Michigan, these test sites mostly do not correspond with Flint’s network of 8,000 lead water pipes. Water authorities are required to test the highest-risk homes for lead, and having a lead service pipe is a key factor in whether residents are exposed to lead via their drinking water.
Water department employees tested their own homes
At least 33 cities across 17 US states have used water testing “cheats” that potentially conceal dangerous levels of lead, a Guardian investigation launched in the wake of the toxic water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has found.
Residents who can are paying to have their home’s pipework replaced amid concern over water quality but for most the cost is way beyond their means
The Guardian contacted 81 of the most populous cities and towns east of the Mississippi River, and asked how they test drinking water for lead.
A review of documents found that in the last decade, 33 city and town water departments and two states used testing methods that defied recent US Environmental Protection Agency guidance. These methods may lower the amount of lead detected in water in households.
Machias voters will decide next week whether to continue adding fluoride to the town water supply.
“[Shall] fluoride be added to the public water supply for the intended purpose of reducing tooth decay?” reads Article 55 for the 2016 Machias town meeting, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, in the Machias High School gymnasium.
The issue came up in January when resident Vince Roberts complained that adding fluoride to the water is dangerous. “[Fluoride] is stronger than chlorine,” Roberts said at the Jan. 13 selectmen’s meeting. “It makes chlorine look like candy. People just don’t realize it.”
… The selectmen in Machias have not taken a position on fluoridation referendum questions.“I think it’s a decision that the taxpayers should make,” Selectman F. James Whalen said in January. “It’s not a decision for us to make.”
By Ellen Connett (Managing Director) & Carol Kopf (Media Director)
A very concerning development has occurred in New York State which we suspect may become a toxic blueprint for other states: New York has approved the use of scarce Medicaid dollars for fluoridation programs in a dangerously misguided attempt to provide low-income communities with “dental care.”
According to James Helgerson, director of New York’s Medicaid program, “New York seeks to become the nation’s health care reform laboratory.” One of these “reforms” includes “Medicaid Support of Water Fluoridation.”
Medicaid is the primary source of health insurance coverage for low-income populations. In New York’s budget for 2015, Medicaid dollars will pay for the “planning, design and construction, and start-up of fluoridation systems, and replacing, repairing or upgrading of fluoridation equipment for such public water systems…”
It’s a new low to take scarce medical insurance dollars from the poorest and most disadvantaged people in New York and earmark it for forced fluoridation programs, particularly when there is evidence showing that low-income communities are at higher risk of suffering harm from fluoride ingestion. In fact, a study conducted in New York found that fluoridation is associated with a significant increase in pre-term births, and specifically found that “this relationship was most pronounced among women in the lowest SES groups and those of non-white racial origin.”
…And it’s not just New York, as there already lobbying efforts afoot in other states (e.g., Michigan) to use Medicaid dollars to push fluoridation in a similar manner.
…The campaign in New York to use Medicaid dollars for fluoridation was cloaked in secrecy,… Upon learning of the MRT’s recommendations for using Medicaid dollars for fluoridation, a group of concerned citizens—including FAN Senior Advisor Paul Connett, PhD—converged at the MRT’s May 4, 2016 public meeting in New York City. (You can watch Dr. Connett’s 5-minute speech to the MRT here.) But MRT’s recommendation had already been implemented by the Governor’s office prior to the meeting,.
PORT ANGELES, Washington
— A petition to change Port Angeles city government to second-class-city status has enough valid signatures to bring the question before voters, Clallam County Auditor Shoona Riggs said last week. …The petition effort was fueled by dissatisfaction with Downie, Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd and Councilmen Brad Collins and Dan Gase. They constituted the council majority that voted Dec. 15 to continue fluoridation of city water for 10 years until June 2026 and reaffirmed that decision Jan. 19…. after … a.. survey of city water customers who pay water bills. Of those, 56.64 percent were opposed to the continued fluoridation of the city’s water.
An advocacy group formed to oppose fluoride in Portland’s tap water has come out against a plan to increase the mineral’s use statewide.
Oregon Health Authority’s State Dental Director Bruce Austin has proposed increasing statewide water fluoridation to 80 percent of Oregonians by 2019. Just 23 percent of the state’s water is now treated.
…The new fluoride questions arrive during an active period for water and air activists in general. In a feverish 2013 ballot battle, Portlanders voted against adding fluoride to tap water. More recently, in May, Newport residents voted to reject fluoridation. Eugene, Bend, Ashland and Medford are also against it.
“It is very clear that what Dr. Austin is talking about is overturning local votes in Portland …,” Kellie Barnes, Clean Water Oregon president, said in a statement. Clean Water Oregon launched a petition campaign targeting Austin, Gov. Brown and legislative leaders.
Wellington, Palm Beach, Florida
Wellington’s water practices are back in the spotlight for the first time since 2014 when the village became the first municipality in Palm Beach County to stop fluoridating its water. The village had been adding the element to the water since 2000.
The then village council listened to strong opinions on both sides of the argument before deciding to stop the fluoridation process in a close 3-2 vote.
…The debate in Wellington has already began, but if you have a strong opinion either way, the day to voice it is June 28 at 7 p.m. The council will be listening to both sides before making any decisions.
Peel, Caledon and Brampton in Mississauga., Ontario
Trace amounts of lead and arsenic have been detected in Peel’s drinking water, raising concerns for those opposed to fluoride.
… The fervent anti-fluoride lobby that is watching committee proceedings with a critical eye and have questioned the objectivity to regional staff on this issue, raised questions about the type of fluoride being pumped into the region’s drinking water system.
Peel is currently using hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) produced from Phosphorite Rock. Critics of the longstanding practice of water fluoridation have warned HFSA is a highly toxic form of fluoride, produced as a waste by-product of the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing process…..Currently, the HFSA being used costs the Region $321,000 a year and $130,000 in operating and maintenance costs.
…Using Sodium Fluorosilicate or Sodium Fluoride would cost just $200,000 a year, but require $250,000 a year in operating and maintenance costs and another $2 million in retrofits to water treatment facilities.
A PAINSTAKING debate on whether Mackay’s water supply should continue to be fluoridated will begin in coming weeks, says Mackay Regional Council mayor Greg Williamson.
…”Fluoride in Queensland, not just Mackay, has been on again, off again for a long time,” Cr Williamson said…. “I promise we’ll have the debate. We’ll hand down the budget on June 22 and we’ll have the debate on fluoride after that and get both sides of the story.”
Cr Williamson said it was a very emotive subject “and there’s stalwarts on both sides of the house. There will no doubt be a very lively debate, wildly supported by the public on both sides.”
- In an informal poll by the Daily Mercury asking whether you believe Mackay LGA’s water should be fluoridated, 26% said yes and 73% said no.
“THERE is something fundamentally disturbing about a government putting additives in the water supply”.
That’s the opinion expressed by Mackay mayor Greg Williamson before the March, 2016 council election. Cr Williamson, while running for mayor, called for a “full open debate” on fluoridation in the region.
Last month a Facebook page, NO Water Fluoridation in Mackay, posting since May 21, has questioned the value of fluoride in the water, citing anti-fluoride articles.
A bit more about how the authorities are planning to force fluoridation on New Zealanders ,probably next year.
The government has been told there are major savings to be made in extending fluoridation but that controversy surrounding the issue will not go away.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman announced last month that district health boards rather than local authorities will decide which community water supplies are fluoridated.
..The government decided DHB decision-making was the best of several future options considered – but added it came with risks.
These included that “the boards of DHBs would face the same scrutiny that territorial local authorities have experienced at election time over fluoridation. The election of anti-fluoride advocates could lead to a stalemate or a reversal of fluoridation, as has happened with some local authorities.”
The research says that in order to help manage these risks, the ministry would develop a regulatory framework to support DHBs to take a structured and nationally consistent approach.
.. DHBs are likely to incur some additional costs, relating to …costs in the event of judicial review of their decisions.These costs, expected to be in the range of $100,000 to $200,000 (per challenge and excluding GST), potentially could pose “a substantial burden on smaller DHBs. In this case the Ministry may need to provide additional financial support to DHBs.”
From FAN NZ
Meanwhile, FAN NZ have exceeded their target and raised over $NZ 15000 to go ahead with TV adverts. They are planning over 20 adverts at the end of June and early July. A radio campaign is also planned at the same time if funds permit.
Rotorua councillor Charles Sturt has cited fluoride fears for his decision not to seek re-election to the Lakes District Health Board (DHB).
“I do not wish to be part of a group who want to force chemicals into water, i.e. fluoride, which is where they are heading,” he said.
“Only Merepeka Raukawa-Tait [fellow DHB board member and councilor] and myself voted no and we were ostriches … they didn’t like the fact council makes the decision not them and now this Government is giving DHBs the right to inflict this on our fluoride free community.”…
More than 70 people have turned out to anti-fluoridation forums in Merimbula, Bermagui and Eden in the last week.
A fourth forum will be held at 1pm tomorrow at the Bega Valley Shire Council’s civic centre.
The forum will be addressed Cambridge University graduate Professor Paul Connett whose books include The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up In Our Drinking Water.
Professor Connett, who is from the United States, has been the guest speaker at the forums alongside Dr Geoff Pain, from Melbourne, who argues among other things that fluoride is a bio-accumulative, endocrine disrupting, neurotoxic carcinogen.
Forum organiser, Merimbula dentist Dr Maria Claudianos, renewed her invitation to Bega councillors to attend tomorrow’s forum in Bega and said she was disappointed that not one had attended any of the previous three forums.
“Here we have two experts in the field, one who has flown half way around the world, and the other who is here from Melbourne, and not one councillor has bothered to attend,” Dr Claudianos said.
Professor Connett is scheduled to return to the US on June 13….