15
Nov
2004

State proposal could force fluoridation

Even after 60 years of use in the U.S, the Food and Drug Administration still considers fluoride an “unapproved new drug,” and the Environmental Protection Agency considers it “a contaminant.”

A joint committee of the Arkansas General Assembly is considering a proposal which would mandate fluoridation of all public water systems in the state. A hearing on Interim Study Proposal 2003-157 was held in September by the Joint Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor. Currently, the option of water fluoridation is left to localities. Eureka Springs has rejected the idea of adding fluoride to the city’s water supply at least twice in recent years, once by a vote in a 1989 special election, and again in 2001 after city council polled water customers with the question on their water bills. Other cities in the state, including Ft. Smith, Hot Springs and Texarkana have also rejected fluoridation, though some city directors in Hot Springs have raised the issue again in recent months. Fluoridation is also banned in most of Europe, China, Japan and India. In 2002, Belgium took fluoride supplements off the market because they purportedly are poisonous and pose a great risk to physical and psychological health. Even after 60 years of use in the U.S, the Food and Drug Administration still considers fluoride an “unapproved new drug,” and the Environmental Protection Agency considers it “a contaminant.” Opponents note that the fluoride compounds commonly added to water are toxic waste products of industry, and that industry had a hand in the fluoridation movement as a way to dispose of the waste and make a profit.

While it is estimated that 60 percent of Americans drink fluoridated water, critics point to mounting evidence that fluoride in drinking water does little, if anything, to prevent tooth decay, but instead threatens public health. Studies link fluoride to brittle bones, kidney problems, cancer, cardio-vascular disease and brain disorders such as hyperactivity, autism and Alzheimer’s.

The American Dental Association, which is lobbying the legislature to mandate fluoridation, considers such studies to be “ junk science.” From its fluoridation handbook: “From time to time, opponents of fluoridation have questioned its safety and effectiveness. None of these charges has ever been substantiated by generally accepted science. It is important to review information about fluoridation with a critical eye.

//www.fluoridealert.org/news/2110.html


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