Local & Around the World
NOTE: Clean Water Sonoma-Marin has been so busy making local news (brief updates on our homepage), that we’re behind on reporting what’s been happening elsewhere. If you’re curious about anything in particular, please get in touch. Thanks!
MARCH 3, 2015
SONOMA CITY COUNCIL SAYS NO TO FLUORIDATION
Monday night the Sonoma City Council voted 3-2 to send a letter to the Board of Supervisors rejecting the Department of Health Services’ proposed County fluoridation plan, saying no to water fluoridation for the City of Sonoma.
Mayor David Cook, and council members Gary Edwards and Rachel Hundley, voted to send the letter. Council members Laurie Gallian and Madolyn Agrimonti voted against.
The topic was on the agenda at the February 18th meeting but, while a majority supported sending a letter, City Council member Rachel Hundley favored sending a more strongly worded letter to the Board, and asked that the letter be sent back to staff for appropriate changes.
Hundley felt the draft letter’s wording wasn’t sufficiently “Sonoma-centric” and wanted it to include some of the concerns raised by Council member Gary Edwards.
At the previous City Council meeting, Edwards said, “I’ve talked to doctors. I’ve talked to quite a few folks. I don’t really want to have it in my food. I don’t really want it in my wine. I don’t want it in my meal.”
Last night Edwards argued that water fluoridation would not solve the root cause of tooth decay, which is sugary drinks. “We’re not taking care of the real issue, which is this particular product,” he said, pulling out a bottle of Coca Cola as a visual aid. Edwards said, “My problem is the delivery system [i.e. putting it in Sonoma tap water],” noting that there are better ways of getting fluoride to anyone who might need it to reduce cavities.
Mayor Cook was quoted in The Press Democrat (3/3/2015): “I’m a farmer,” he said. “We worry about our land. We worry about the water underneath us. When we’re talking about putting fluoride in the water, I would vote against that.”
If the proposed fluoridation project is approved by the Board of Supervisors, all Sonoma County Water Agency customers would received fluoridated water. Those customers include Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Windsor, Valley of the Moon and parts of Marin.
Sonoma buys about 95 percent of its water from the Sonoma County Water Agency.
The Restructured Agreement for Water Supply is a detailed agreement by and between the Sonoma County Water Agency and each of those customers. The unanimity required by the Restructured Agreement took eight years to achieve, and amending the Agreement to allow water fluoridation also would require unanimous consent of the signers. That unanimous consent became less likely with the Cotati City Council vote to reject fluoridation (11/11/2013). Now the City of Sonoma joins Cotati, and other City Councils may follow suit.
SOURCES: “Sonoma council to take up fluoridation debate” by Eloísa Ruano González, The Press Democrat (2/17/2015; “Sonoma council split on fluoride” by Eloísa Ruano González, The Press Democrat (2/18/2015); “Sonoma council takes on three contentious issues” by Eloísa Ruano González, The Press Democrat (3/1/2015); “Sonoma opposes county plan to fluoridate water” by Eloísa Ruano González, The Press Democrat (3/2/2015)
NOVEMBER 8, 2014
DAVID KENNEDY REMEMBERS JEFF GREEN
Jeffrey Lee Green (December 17, 1946 – November 5th, 2014), National Director of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, has died. Cause of death is unknown at this time. He was 68.
Jeff was my good friend. We first met in 1976 and we renewed our friendship in 1996 when Jeff returned to San Diego, California to help me with a ballot measure and court case to stop fluoridation. He has worked tirelessly on this issue ever since. He established his group Citizens for Safe Drinking Water as a premier advocate for water that is suitable for human consumption.
Instead of fighting about whether or not fluoride was good or bad Jeff took a much more nuanced approach that embraced transparency, full disclosure and compliance with all laws.
His wisdom and keen insight will be missed both by his friends and his country.
David Kennedy, Dentist
San Diego, California
SOURCE: “Final Tribute to Jeff Green.” Crescent City Times (11/8/2014)
NOTE: Dr. David Kennedy is a Past President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and is the Director of FLUORIDEGATE: An American Tragedy .
NOVEMBER 5, 2014
FLUORIDATION ON THE BALLOT NATIONWIDE
Healdsburg is the only city in Sonoma County with artificially fluoridated water. In 1952 fluoridation was on the ballot in both Santa Rosa and in the City of Healdsburg; Santa Rosa rejected fluoridation while Healdsburg approved it. Healdsburg has been fluoridated since 1953, over 60 years.
THE FLUORIDE-FREE HEALDSBURG BALLOT INITIATIVE
In partnership with Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, Fluoride-Free Healdsburg gathered over 1000 signatures, 867 certified, on a ballot initiative petition to revisit the issue of Healdsburg water fluoridation, more than enough signatures to allow a vote. More than enough to give voters a long-overdue choice about clean, fluoride-free water.
THIS YEAR, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1952 Healdsburg residents had the opportunity to decide for themselves about fluoridation chemicals in City tapwater.
Nevertheless, Measure P: Shall the City of Healdsburg continue to fluoridate its water? passed by a 2:1 vote. Healdsburg residents, as well as residents of nearby unincorporated areas, including Fitch Mountain, will continue to receive fluoridated tapwater.
According to The Press Democrat, the California Dental Association spent more than $45,000 to convince Healdsburg voters to continue fluoridation, an amount far outstripping the less than $3,000 raised by water fluoridation opponents.
The Registrar of Voters reports these results:
YES to continuing water fluoridation in Healdsburg – 2184 votes
NO to continuing water fluoridation in Healdsburg – 1113 votes
SOURCES: Clark Mason, “Healdsburg Voters Support Fluoride.” The Press Democrat (11/4/2014); Registrar of Voters, County of Sonoma, “Current Election Results” at SonomaCounty.org (11/5/2014)
VISIT OUR HEALDSBURG PAGE
BRONSON, Michigan: November 4, 2014, 63% of Bronson residents voted to keep fluoride in the municipal water supply.
KALAMA, Washington: An Advisory Vote on Water Fluoridation
73% of Kalama residents voted to recommend that the City Council continue fluoridating the municipal water supply. Prior to the advisory vote, the Kalama City Council pledged to abide by the decision of the voters. Those living ourside city limits received a survey forms in the October water bills, so that they could express their opinions too. The Daily News estimates 890 households within Kalama city limits and 775 outside. Kalama tapwater has been fluoridated for almost 50 years. SOURCE: Lauren Kronebusch, The Daily News, Kalama, Washington, 11/5/2014, 11/1/2014
SALINA, Saline County, Kansas
On Election Day, Salina voters rejected an effort to remove fluoride from their drinking water by a 2 to 1 margin. Unofficial results showed 6,392 votes against the measure to remove fluoride and 3,091 votes in favor. Salina municipal water has been fluoridated since 1968.
OCTOBER 21, 2014
FAC HEARS PRESENTATION ON THE DRAFT EIR FOR SONOMA COUNTY FLUORIDATION
The Sonoma County Fluoridation Advisory Committee (FAC) met this morning to hear Steve Huntley of Cardno ENTRIX give a PowerPoint presentation explaining the Sonoma County Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on Fluoridation.
Full title of the Draft EIR on Sonoma County fluoridation: “Assessment of Potential Impacts to Federally Listed Salmonids from Community Water Fluoridation in Sonoma County.”
Study participants were Cardno ENTRIX, the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA).
Sonoma County paid Cardno ENTRIX $60,000 for the Report.
An official Summary of the 10/21/2014 FAC meeting, and PDFs of the Draft Aquatic Assessment Report and today’s PowerPoint presentation are downloadable on the FAC webpage, at the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) website.
Brief questions by FAC members, including Stephen Fuller-Rowell (SCWC) and Chris DeGabriel (Chair, SCWA TAC), revealed limitations in the Draft Report.
As Marlene Lily points out, “The important thing to note before you start reading is that the study was only concerned with fish MORTALITY, not ability to thrive and reproduce, and also did not concern itself with amphibians or other creatures that fish eat.”
In addition, Cardno Entrix eliminated from their database all the studies on salmonids except for studies on brown and rainbow trout. Unsurprisingly, with levels of fish mortality as the only measure of harm, and changes in behavior disregarded, the No Effect threshhold is 4.4 mgL. Given that 0.7 mgL is the optimal fluoride concentration for fluoridated water, and the highest expected post-fluoridation concentration in Sonoma County creeks and river water is 0.4 mgL of fluoride, Cardno Entrix to concluded that there was an adequate margin of safety to recommend fluoridation of Sonoma County water.
However, successful reproduction is essential to the survival of salmonids. Damkaer & Dey’s studies in the 1980s found that salmon do not enter spawning waters with fluoride concentrations higher than 0.2. While more studies would be welcome, to date there has been no refutation of the Damkaer and Dey findings.
For a brief explanation of the Damkaer and Dey findings, see the first part of Howard Patterson’s 28 minute video “Fluoridation and the Environment“ (2013). The video can be accessed in the sidebar on every page of this website.
Learn about Coho Salmon (Endangered).
Learn about Chinook Salmon (Threatened).
Learn about Steelhead Trout (Threatened).
SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS SPONSORS BALLOT MEASURE P DISCUSSION
The League of Women Voters Healdsburg City Council Candidate Forum (9/30/2014 at The Healdsburg School) included a discussion of local Ballot Measure P.
Measure P, qualified for the ballot through a citizen initiative, will allow Healdsburg voters to decide whether to end more than 60 years of water fluoridation.
Clean Water Sonoma-Marin Director, nutrition educator Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh drew the short straw and spoke first. Gallagher-Stroeh presented the “No on Measure P” position, the reasons to stop fluoridating Healdsburg water.
National ADA fluoridation spokesman, UCSF professor Howard Pollick, and local fluoridation proponent, dentist Sean Widick together presented the “Yes on Measure P” profluoridation position, after which a League of Women Voters representative read questions for the panel submitted by members of the public.
The evening was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, The Healdsburg School, the Healdsburg Tribune, and the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
HEALDSBURG COMMUNITY HEALTH FORUM WITH DR. BILL OSMUNSON:
Fluoridation Discussion with Health Professionals
This November, Ballot Measure P will allow Healdsburg voters to decide whether or not to stop fluoridating their city’s tapwater. Most residents would like to know more about the issue before voting.
On September 20, 2014, Fluoride-Free Healdsburg sponsored a Community Health Forum at the Healdsburg Regional Library. It was a rare opportunity for the public to ask questions about water fluoridation and get answers in an open discussion.
A brief presentation was followed by a free flowing discussion with the three panelists, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Laura Gaeta Wilson, Board Certified family practice physician Dr. April Hurley, and special guest Dr. Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH, Founding Director of the Institute of Comprehensive Dental Studies for Aesthetic Dentistry, Neuromuscular and Craniofacial Pain.
Former Fluoridation Proponent
Dr. Osmunson has an intimate understanding of both sides of the water fluoridation issue because he himself actively promoted fluoridation from 1978 until around 2000, giving talks, and supporting fluoridation in panel discussions.
He says, “One of my patients urged me to read the scientific studies for myself. It took me perhaps 5 years of intense study before I had the courage and confidence to speak up in public against fluoridation of public water.
Proponents Have Not Actually Read Both Sides
“I should be the last one to criticize anyone for promoting fluoridation because I promoted it for around 25 years. However, I had not previously read both sides of the research for myself.”
“I am confident that most dentists and other medical professionals who still promote fluoridation have not actually read both sides of the literature for themselves.”
Without Clear Benefits, Any Risk or Cost is Unacceptable
Dr. Osmunson explains, “The FDA CDER reviewed the research on water fluoridation and found the studies lacked evidence of effectiveness. Many studies indicate no lifetime benefit from water fluoridation.”
[Editor’s note: FDA CDER is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.]
“There are no prospective randomised controlled trials, the gold standard of research studies, on fluoridation safety, exposure, or efficacy, and no studies which actually used the fluoridation chemicals frequently added to water.”
“Communities have stopped fluoridation with no increase in dental decay. It appears any benefit of fluoride is from topical application and not from ingested fluoride. Without clear significant lifetime benefits from fluoridation, any risk or expense is unacceptable.”
Even Mild Dental Fluorosis is Expensive to Repair
Dr. Osmunson says, it is “not uncommon to have patients receive gorgeous porcelain veneers to, in part, correct their dental fluorosis (white and brown damage from too much ingested fluoride).
Costs for cosmetic repair of mild dental fluorosis range from several hundred dollars to well over $25,000, and the teeth will need to be retreated every 10 to 20 years, for lifetime costs which may exceed $100,000 per person.”
“With over 40% of children in the United States having visible dental fluorosis, the true costs for cosmetic damage to teeth alone is substantial. Certainly, for financial reasons, most will not seek treatment, but the public liability for damage is significant.
Public Health dentists seldom provide cosmetic dentistry and therefore underrate the increased dental damage from fluoridation.”
Brains are More Important than Teeth
Dr. Osmunson says, “the numerous human studies suggesting neurological damage, including several IQ points drop, are of most concern. The brain is a terrible thing to waste. The question is not whether fluoridation reduces IQ, but at what age and how much.
For more information, visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
FAN’s 5TH CITIZEN CONFERENCE ON FLUORIDE
FAN’s 5th Citizen Conference on Fluoride was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Crystal, City, Virginia (Friday and Saturday, September 6-7) and on Capitol Hill in Washington DC (Monday September 8th).
The 2014 Conference theme: “Organizing to Protect Our Children’s Brains From Public Health Policy that Demands Fluoridation.”
Dr. Joe Mercola delivered the keynote address. Quangong Xiang, PhD, lead author of one of the key IQ studies reviewed by the NRC (2006) and Harvard’s Choi/Grandjean team (2012), discussed the neurotoxicity of fluoridated water.
Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH, West Coast spokesperson for FAN, spoke on the history of trying to get the FDA to do its job on fluoride. Rick North explained the reasons for Clean Water Portland’s landslide victory at the polls in 2013. Henry Rodriguez, Director of LULAC Concilio Zapatista 4383 and lead author of the LULAC Statement against water fluoridation talked about fluoridation as a violation of human rights. Charlie Brown, JD, Director of Consumers for Dental Choice shared what has been learned fighting the ADA on mercury amalgams. Dan Stockin, MPH, discussed the FOIA requests that revealed an apparent collusion between the ADA and CDC on fluoridation. Stuart Cooper, Campaign Director for FAN, reported on the Worldwide Alliance to End Fluoridation and the formation of FAN’s Parents Against Fluoridation campaign.
Other distinguished presenters and panelists included Bill Hirzy, PhD, former head of Risk Assessment at U.S. EPA in Washington DC, and a founder of the EPA Professionals Union, Jennifer Luke, DDS, PhD, a leading authority on fluoride’s effect on the pineal gland, Aisling Fitzgibbon, aka The Girl Against Fluoride, Ireland’s premier fluoridation activist, Chris Neurath, Science Director for the American Environmental Health Studies Project, Michael Connett, JD, Special Projects Director at FAN, and Paul Connett, PhD, chemist , toxicologist, a founder of Fluoride action Network (FAN) and foremost international authority on stopping fluoridation of public water systems.
Neil Carman, PhD, representing Fluoride Free Austin, Jay Sanders, founder of Clean Water California, Brooke Templeton, founder of End Fluoridation in Baltimore, and Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, NE, founder of Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, inspired with a panel discussion about effective grassroots action around the country.
Monday morning found many conference participants on Capitol Hill, lobbying Congress for hearings on water fluoridation. Clean Water Sonoma-Marin Director Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh is in the front row on the left.
Check the FAN website for Stuart Cooper’s upcoming report on the 2014 FAN Conference, including videos and powerpoint presentations.
AUGUST 26, 2014
ISRAEL ENDS WATER FLUORIDATION
In 1970, Israel ‘s Health Ministry instituted mandatory water fluoridation in all cities, towns and settlements of over 5,000 residents. 70% of Israelis received fluoridated water.
According to the press release from Israel’s Health Ministry, “the clause in the Water Regulations that ends the obligation to fluoridate water in Israel will come into force [today], and practically speaking, there will be no fluoridation in Israel.”
The new Regulations not only end Israel’s water fluoridation mandate; they remove municipal water fluoridation as an option as well. “The Water Regulations were formulated in accordance with the recommendations of the ‘Adin Committee’, which considered the issue, and [recommended] ending mandatory fluoridation in Israel. The Regulations were approved by the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee of the previous Knesset.”
In spite of opposition by influential fluoridation proponents (the Israel Dental Association and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, for example) ending the mandate had the full support of Health Minister Yael German, a longtime skeptic about water fluoridation, and advocate of personal choice about fluoride use.
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich reports that Prof. Arnon Afek, Director-General of the Health Ministry told The Jerusalem Post, “Mandatory fluoridation is medical treatment. Individuals have the right to decide if they want it or not. The question is not if fluoride is beneficial but how it should be delivered. We cannot force people…”
The Health Ministry press release offers background on the process that brought authorities to this decision: “The Water Regulations were formulated in accordance with the recommendations of the ‘Adin Committee’, which considered the issue, and [recommended] ending mandatory fluoridation in Israel. The Regulations were approved by the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee of the previous Knesset.”
Minister German states, “I am pleased that we have joined the majority of countries in the world that do not fluoridate or that even forbid the fluoridation of drinking water. Adding fluoride to drinking water forces the consumption of fluoride also upon those who are not desirous of this, an approach that is not accepted in the vast majority of countries of the world.”
“End of mandatory fluoridation in Israel – starting from 26-Aug-2014.” Press Release, Israeli Ministry of Health (08/20/2014).
“Israeli Health Minister German outlaws fluoridation of all tap water.” Judy Siegel-Itzkovich. The Jerusalem Post (08/17/2014).
AUGUST 15, 2014
HEALDSBURG FLUORIDE-FREE MOVIE NIGHT SUCCESS
The Healdsburg Fluoride-Free Movie Night crowd at Villa Chanticleer happily munched hot popcorn and other fluoride-free refreshments while watching a free screening of “The Case Against Fluoridation” by international water fluoridation authority, toxicologist Dr. Paul Connett.
There was a lively discussion after the movie, with fluoridation questions answered by former water fluoridation supporters, Dr. Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH, and Dr. Laura Gaeta Wilson, DDS.
The evening was sponsored by Fluoride-Free Healdsburg. Visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org for more information.
JULY 21, 2014
HEALDSBURG FLUORIDATION UPDATE
By Clark Mason / The Press Democrat
Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood is a dentist who believes in the effectiveness of fluoridated water in combating tooth decay…Monday night [Wood] convinced his fellow council members to have a group of health professionals…write a defense of fluoride for voters to consider. “They have more expertise than I on this issue,” he said of Save Our Smiles, a loose group of professionals he said has worked on fluoridation issues in Sonoma County.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Save Our Smiles is a program of Community Action Partnership (CAP), created to provide the school entry dental screening mandated by AB 1433. ]
Healdsburg, the only city in Sonoma County to fluoridate its water, has been doing so since voters approved the practice in 1952. But a group of anti-fluoride activists gathered more than sufficient signatures to put the issue on the ballot to try to get voters to end fluoridation.
It’s part of an even larger struggle activists are waging to keep fluoride from being added to the Sonoma County Water Agency’s system, which is delivered to Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Windsor, Sonoma Valley and northern Marin.
The proposal — including how fluoride might affect fish — is currently being studied, with the findings to be delivered to the board of supervisors, probably by the end of the year, Sonoma County Director of Health Services Rita Scardaci said Monday.
Defenders of fluoridated drinking water say the evidence shows it is overwhelmingly safe and prevents tooth decay.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the American Dental Association all stand behind it.
But fluoride critics claim it is a toxic hazard that can cause fluorosis, or discoloring of the teeth, as well as skeletal fluorosis, leading to pain in the bones and joints, and other medical issues.
They say it amounts to a form of mass medication that isn’t necessary when people who want fluoride can get it in toothpaste, mouthwash or by visiting their dentist.
On Monday, Laura Wilson, a Santa Rosa dentist who spoke to the Healdsburg Council, described fluoride as more akin to poison and said that’s why people are advised to call poison control center if they swallow toothpaste…
But defenders of fluoride say repeated studies have not found a clear link between fluoridation and cancer, for example, and over the decades it has not posed any significant health risk in the United States.
Since the Healdsburg City Council placed the measure on the ballot, activists have showed up at subsequent council meetings to ask the city to put warning labels in utility bills advising residents not to mix city water with baby formula for infants under 6 months old.
They cite information from the CDC that it may increase chances of mottling of tooth enamel when the babies get their teeth.
Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, a nutritionist and former Rohnert Park councilwoman who spearheaded the signature-gathering campaign for the Healdsburg measure, told the City Council “it’s not your fault it’s fluoridated. It got voted in by the people. It needs to be voted out by the people.”
SOURCE: “Healdsburg asks ‘Save Our Smiles’ to write pro-fluoridation ballot argument” by Clark Mason / The Press Democrat (July 21, 2014)
Visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org for more information.
JULY 15, 2014
HEALDSBURG RESIDENTS DISCUSS FLUORIDATION WITH NEW INTEREST
With the Fluoride-Free Healdsburg measure heading for a vote in November, Healdsburg residents are discussing water fluoridation with new interest, asking questions, and looking for answers.
Over sixty years ago, a national public relations effort claimed that water fluoridation would greatly reduce tooth decay and posed no health risks. Today we have overwhelming evidence that neither claim is accurate. [* see NOTE below]
The 1952 campaign to fluoridate Sonoma County communities was part of the national effort. That year Santa Rosa and other cities voted to reject water fluoridation. With around 600 votes in favor, Healdsburg was the only city in the County to approve water fluoridation, which continues to the present.
In June, 118 Healdsburg residents signed a letter to the City Council requesting a warning in municipal water bills, alerting customers to the risk of dental fluorosis (mottled teeth) when babies drink formula mixed with fluoridated water. Dental fluorosis is a visible sign of systemic fluoride poisoning, and according to the Centers for Disease Control affects some 41% of U.S youths ages 12-15.
In July, 50 residents wrote to ask that the Council provide studies showing that drinking water treated with sodium fluoride does not cause health problems and is effective in reducing tooth decay, and asked that the studies be available to the public before the proposed Town Hall Forum on Fluoridation.
At the same time, the Healdsburg City Council was invited to be the official sponsor of the Town Hall Forum, proposed to be held at Healdsburg City Hall in September. Not a debate, the Forum would be an opportunity for residents to hear both sides of the issue presented, and to ask questions and get answers from experts representing both positions.
City Council sponsorship would be in keeping with recommendations of the 2013 Sonoma County Grand Jury Report on Fluoridation. The recommendations, made to the Board of Supervisors, are equally appropriate considerations for the Healdsburg City Council: “advise and inform all residents by multiple methods, e.g., utility bill inserts, bilingual notices through printed or social media, and radio, of its meetings, hearings, discussions, presentations, and votes relating to fluoridation” and “With respect to fluoridation…allowing for both pro and con views to be heard.”
* NOTE: For example, World Health Organization tooth decay statistics (1970-2010), the NIDR study (1986-1987), NRC Report (2006), and studies by Bassin (Harvard School of Dental Medicine 2001), Choi, et al (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine 2012), and Grandjean (The Lancet 2014). Links or PDFs are available by request at CleanWaterSonomaMarin.org and FluorideAlert.org provides the most complete archive of fluoridation research.
Visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org for more information.
JUNE 16, 2014
OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE FOR A FLUORIDE-FREE HEALDSBURG
The Northern California City of Healdsburg is the only city in Sonoma County to fluoridate its public water supply.
Until recently, many Healdsburg residents were unaware that their tap water has been fluoridated for over 60 years. As a result of growing concern, residents formed the grassroots organization Fluoride-Free Healdsburg and, working with Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, began the ballot initiative process to allow a long-overdue vote to end fluoridation.
Of the over 1000 residents who signed the petition to qualify the initiative for the ballot, the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters has certified 867 signatures, more than enough to allow Healdsburg voters, for the first time since 1952, the opportunity to choose clean, fluoride-free water.
On Monday June 2, 2014, the Healdsburg City Clerk presented the Fluoride-Free Healdsburg ballot initiative petition to the City Council, which announced that the measure will be on the November 2014 ballot.
At today’s City Council meeting, Fluoride-Free Healdsburg presented a letter signed by 118 Healdsburg residents requesting that, as long as Healdsburg water remains fluoridated, the Healdsburg City Council add a brief warning to municipal water bills, alerting young parents to the risk of dental fluorosis when babies are fed formula prepared with fluoridated water:
“Your public water supply is fluoridated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if your child under the age of 6 months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis. Consult your child’s health care provider for more information.”
The warning is similar to warnings already adopted by the cities of San Francisco and Sunnyvale, and the State of New Hampshire.
Visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org for more information.
JUNE 10, 2014
DR. KAREN MILMAN NAMED NEW SONOMA COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER
Karen Milman, MD, MPH will be the new Sonoma County Health Officer, replacing Dr. Lynn Silver Chalfin, who resigned in November. Dr. Milman is slated to take over from interim public health officer Dr. Karen Holbrook beginning on August 5, 2014.
Dr. Karen Milman, a physician Board Certified in preventive medicine, has served as Director of the Prevention Division of Seattle-King County, Public Health in Seattle, Washington, and as the Public Health Director of Nevada County, California.
The Press Democrat‘s Elizabeth M. Cosin reports: “Also on the horizon for the county’s next health officer is a looming controversy over a plan to improve dental health by adding fluoride to the drinking water supplied by the county Water Agency. The county has been studying the move for two years while activists opposed to it have raised various questions about the impact on people, wildlife and water quality. The county last year expected results from its latest study this spring, but completion of that study has been pushed back in part until the county named a new public health officer. Milman said she was aware of the issues facing the county and looked forward to helping find solutions.”
SOURCE: “Seattle official named new Sonoma County Health Officer” by Elizabeth M. Cosin. The Press Democrat (June 10, 2014).
MAY 23 2014
THE 65TH HEALDSBURG TWILIGHT PARADE
Yesterday all Healdsburg turned out to celebrate at the 65th Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair Twilight Parade. “Thousands of people lined the 10-block route Thursday evening for the annual parade, which kicks off the Memorial Day weekend and the Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair…the parade’s lineup included military trucks, classic cars, homemade floats, bicycles, bands, dancing horses, dogs, clowns and even a rabbit.” – Elizabeth Cosin, “Healdsburg Twilight Parade Kicks off Ag Fest.” The Press Democrat (5/22/2014).
FLUORIDE-FREE HEALDSBURG WAS THERE TOO, marching in support of a new ballot measure that gives Healdsburg residents the opportunity to vote for fluoride-free water for the first time in over 60 years. Members and supporters carried signs, balloons, and an 8-foot long banner created by Healdsburg web designer Brian Pardini .
Visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org for more information.
MAY 14, 2014
BOYNE CITY COMMISSION VOTES TO STOP MUNICIPAL FLUORIDATION
In a 3-2 vote yesterday, the City Commission of Boyne City, Michigan voted to stop adding fluoride (in this case, hydrofluorosilic acid) to municipal water.
Boyne City water has been fluoridated since 1973. Earlier in the year, concerns about water fluoridation were raised independently by Commissioners Laura Sansom and Derek Gaylord. They were joined in the final vote by Commissioner Gene Towne.
In explaining his position opposing continued fluoridation, Towne said, “It comes down to choice. I don’t see how you can control the dosage if it’s in everything. If there’s a chance that it [fluoride] could cause any health problems…this should all come down to your choice.”
SOURCE: “Boyne City Michigan Discontinues Fluoridation” by Steve Zucker, Petosky News.com (5/14/2014)
MAY 14, 2014
UNION MISSOURI FLUORIDATION UPDATE
Following last April’s recommendation by the Parks, Building, Development and Public Service Committee, this week Union Alderman voted 7-1 to end water fluoridation.
Before the vote, the Alderman heard comments from the public, including fluoridation advocate, Dr. Ben Conner, a dentist with Mercy McAuley Clinic, Washington, Missouri.
At the April meeting the City Engineer touched on employees’ safety concerns, and pointed out that the additive corrodes city infrastructure.
Alderman Vicki Jo Hooper said that the safety of city employees a consideration in her vote to stop municipal fluoridation.
SOURCES: “Union Aldermen Vote Against Fluoride” by Gregg Jones, Editor, Union Missourian (5/14/2014); “Union May Stop Adding Fluoride to Well Water” by Gregg Jones, Editor, Union Missourian (4/23/2014)
MARCH 22, 2014
CLEAN WATER SONOMA-MARIN JOINS OTHER NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ACTIVISTS AT THE CLEAN WATER CALIFORNIA PARADE & RALLY IN SAN FRANCISCO
Carrying banners, signs and balloons, parade participants of all ages assembled at 11:00 am in San Francisco’s Union Square, then, accompanied by a marching band, made their way down Market Street to the rally at Justin Herman Plaza across from the Ferry Building and Saturday Farmers’ Market.
That’s Stephen Fuller-Rowell in the hat. And look! a CWSM sign. Photo by C. Lucero
Marchers joined street theatre artists and distinguished speakers from across the United States, all gathered to urge water suppliers and public health officials to issue public warnings about the risks of feeding babies formula mixed with fluoridated tap water.
Kristie Lavelle of Clean Water California explained that fluoridated water contains 200 to 250 times more fluoride than breast milk. Babies who ingest fluoridated water when teeth are forming are at high risk of developing dental fluorosis, permanent damage to tooth enamel, discoloring teeth and making them more brittle and prone to chipping. She pointed out that, according to government statistics, visible dental fluorosis is found in more than 40 percent of U.S. children ages 12 to 15. And dental fluorosis is just the beginning of life-long risks from fluoride in tap water.
In a pre-event interview, speaker Michael Connett of Fluoride Action Network (FAN) said a peer-reviewed study by Dr. Philippe Grandjean and Dr. Philip Landrigan, published this month in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet Neurology, reveals that fluoridated water can lower children IQs. “We should listen to the evidence and act to protect our children’s brains, not the water fluoridation industry,” said Connett.
Other speakers included Jay Sanders, President of Clean Water California, journalist and children’s advocate Arlene Goetze who convinced the City of Sunnyvale to include a baby formula warning in in its annual water quality report, Jacques Durand of the Sierra Club’s Loma Prieta chapter, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeff Blokker, and Henry Rodriguez, Executive Director of the San Antonio, Texas LULAC Zapatistas and lead author of the 2011 LULAC resolution against fluoridation.
Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH (President of Washington Action for Safe Water, West Coast Coordinator for Fluoride Action Network (FAN), and member of the Clean Water Sonoma-Marin Advisory Board ) participated in some street theatre. Seriously, this is the video to share with your dentist.
Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, Executive Director of Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, electrified the crowd, including Farmer’s Market shoppers at the Ferry Building across a busy street.
ANOTHER CLEAN WATER CALIFORNIA SUCCESS
Thanks to the example of Sunnyvale, and the efforts of Clean Water California, in June 2014 the San Francisco PUC report will include a warning about one of the risks of using fluoridated water to prepare baby formula.
ZAC BRITTON & THE CLEAN WATER SONOMA-MARIN SIGNS
Clean Water Sonoma-Marin signs are in many of the Parade photos thanks to ace volunteer Zac Britton who brought the signs to San Francisco and handed them out.
There’s a free Clean Water Sonoma-Marin bumpersticker for anyone who sends us photos of events where Clean Water Sonoma-Marin signs turn up. Reach us through the Contact page. We’ll let you know where to email the photos and you’ll tell us where to send your prize.
SOME REASONS NOT TO MISS THE NEXT EVENT:
APRIL 23, 2014
UNION MISSOURI DISCUSSES AN END TO FLUORIDATING MUNICIPAL WATER
The Parks, Building, Development and Public Service Committee of Union, Missouri has recommended that the city’s broken fluoridation equipment not be repaired.
City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann reported that equipment repairs would cost between $25,000 to $30,000.
Zimmerman went on to explain some problems with the fluoridation chemical, saying “It’s an acid and it eats the pipes. ” He noted safety concerns, saying, “Employees are handling it and they don’t want to.”
Zimmerman concluded, “This isn’t something we have to do. “
The recommendation to stop fluoridation of municipal wells was approved by a 5-1 vote, but the required vote of the full Board of Aldermen will wait until after dentists and other residents have the opportunity to offer input.
SOURCE: “Union May Stop Adding Fluoride to Well Water” by Gregg Jones, Editor, Union Missourian (4/23/2014)
FEBRUARY 14, 2014
HEALDSBURG VOTERS REQUEST CWSM HELP WITH BALLOT INITIATIVE
Today a group of concerned Healdsburg citizens requested Clean Water Sonoma-Marin’s assistance with a ballot initiative, an amendment to the Healdsburg Municipal Code, to halt the addition of fluoridation chemicals to Healdsburg Municipal water.
Healdsburg, a small city with a population of around 8000, set in the heart of Northern California’s world famous wine country, has fluoridated its municipal water for over 60 years.
If the initiative qualifies for the November 2014 ballot, it will be Healdsburg voters’ first opportunity to vote on water fluoridation since 1952. [Read more]
Visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org for more information.
FEBRUARY 7, 2014
CLEAN WATER SONOMA-MARIN TREASURER LIBBY MOSS DIES
After 10 vibrant years living with cancer, on February 5th, 2014 Elizabeth Tallulah (Libby) Moss died at home in Rohnert Park surrounded by her family and friends. Libby, a founding member of Clean Water Sonoma-Marin and its first Treasurer, was a proactive participant in the democratic process. In addition, she dedicated 30 years of her life to children in her career at San Francisco Child Protective Services. A former CPS colleague says Libby always did what ever was necessary to provide her clients the services they needed. In retirement, Libby remained a fierce advocate for social, economic, and environmental justice. In lieu of flowers, Libby’s family asks that tax-deductible donations in Libby’s memory be sent to Clean Water Sonoma-Marin Charitable Trust, PO Box 2248, Rohnert Park, CA 94927. Memorial donations may be made online also.
FEBRUARY 7, 2014
NEWS FROM FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK
By Stuart Cooper / FluorideAlert.org
LATEST FLUORIDE-FREE VICTORIES
Wellington, Florida – Council members voted 3-2 on January 28 to end fourteen years of fluoridation. The decision came after hours of debate and testimony from medical experts and residents. Ultimately, a majority of councilors agreed that citizens shouldn’t be forced to ingest an unnecessary chemical in the public drinking water supply.
While fluoridation has ended for now in Wellington, a number of pro-fluoride dentists from the region are working to overturn the council’s vote with the help of the Palm Beach Post newspaper.
Amherst County, Virginia – The Service Authority Board voted 3-2 in January to discontinue fluoridation due to conflicting opinions on what levels of fluoride really are “optimal.” Several Board Supervisors felt that the additive was unnecessary and a waste of resources. The board is currently being attacked for their decision by the local newspaper and some regional dentists and health officials.
Woodsville, Oregon – In January the Woodsville City Council considered the idea of adding fluoride to the drinking water. Prior to making a decision the council polled the residents and the response was overwhelming with 100% of respondents voting no to fluoridation. According to the City Administrator, “what public response we had was overwhelmingly negative,” which resulted in the council ending their fluoridation discussions.
Despite the unanimous vote from [Woodville] residents in opposition, the Oregonian newspaper (which endorsed efforts to fluoridation Portland) wrote a misleading article on the vote entitled, “Wood Village Leaders Give Up on Fluoride After Vocal, If Small, Opposition From Residents.”
Bantry, Ireland – Town Councilors voted unanimously to call for an immediate end to fluoridation throughout Ireland. Skibbereen and Clonakitty also passed similar motions last year. Support for this historic vote was provided by the local group West Cork Fluoride Free.
AND A BITTER DEFEAT
FARM BILL UPDATE: SULFURYL FLUORIDE
On Tuesday (02/04/2014), the U.S. Senate voted 68-32 to pass the Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the “Farm Bill.” Today, President Obama signed the bill into law…
The following language, which reverses the EPA’s proposed phase-out of the neurotoxic fumigant sulfuryl fluoride, was added at the eleventh hour in conference committee last week after intense lobbying by the National Pest Management Association and Dow AgroSciences:
Agricultural Act of 2014 – Sec. 10015 Regulation of sulfuryl fluoride. “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall exclude non-pesticideal sources of fluoride from any aggregate exposure assessment required under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 346a) when assessing tolerances associated with residues from the pesticide.” [Page 806 at http://www.agri-pulse.com/uploaded/Farm-Bill-conference-summary-2014.pdf]
Dr. Paul Connett says, “It looks like our long fought (8 years plus) victory on Dow’s use of sulfuryl fluoride as a fumigant on food – has been stolen from us by lobbyists in DC. Remember sulfuryl fluoride leaves fluoride residues on food – some of them very high – 120 ppm on processed foods and wheat flour, and even 900 ppm on powdered eggs (about 1/3 of the eggs used in the US come in powdered form). 900 ppm is only a tad below the 1000 ppm in toothpaste which one is told not to swallow. Only used a pea sized amount of eggs or your omelette?”
Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, points out that the language undermining an aggregate risk assessment of fluoride exposure is “especially shameful.”
See the 2012 FAN article SULFURYL FLUORIDE for more detailed information.
FEBRUARY 5, 2014
SUPERVISOR RABBITT EXPLAINS HIS CONTROVERSIAL REQUEST
TO THE SEBASTOPOL CITY COUNCIL RE. WATER FLUORIDATION:
Tuesday night, the Sebastopol City Council voted unanimously to join the City of Cotati in opposing fluoridation of Sonoma County’s drinking water. Even though Sebastopol’s household water supply would not be directly affected, Council members were concerned about the environmental effects of fluoridated wastewater, and both local farmers and local consumers objected to usingfluoridated recycled water.
The 5-0 vote came despite a last minute written plea from county Board of Supervisors Chairman David Rabbitt, who asked the council to hold off on its discussion pending the completion of ongoing engineering, financial and wildlife studies related to the fluoridation proposal.
“I don’t even know where I stand on the issue right now — I’ve been leaning toward not doing it [fluoridating Sonoma County water],” Rabbitt said in an interview Wednesday. But “there’s three major reports that are not complete. Why would you make a decision before you have those?”
“…Rabbitt said even Supervisors haven’t decided the issue yet and are only investigating the idea. He said the board would be sending letters to other communities, as well, urging them to withhold opinions until all the information is in.”
Referring to his letter, Supervisor Rabbitt said it “wasn’t meant to be strong-arming, telling anyone what to do. It was just, ‘Hey, there are other reports that are due.'”
SOURCE: The Press Democrat: “Sebastopol votes to oppose county water fluoridation” by Mary Callahan (Posted 2/5/2014 at 7:38 pm)
FEBRUARY 5, 2014
REPORT FROM SEBASTOPOL
By Stephen Fuller-Rowell, Sonoma County Water Coalition co-founder and Sonoma County Fluoridation Advisory Committee Member
Opponents of fluoridation in Sonoma County won another victory in Sebastopol on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. The Sebastopol City Council voted unanimously to send a letter to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors supporting Cotati’s opposition to fluoridation.
Sebastopol now joins Portland, Davis and Cotati as west coast cities which have publicly opposed fluoridation in the last eight months.
The fluoridation discussion began with a surprise. Mayor Robert Jacob reported that he received a letter from County Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt twenty minutes before the start of the City Council meeting requesting that Sebastopol wait till all studies are complete before taking a position on the issue.
City Councilmember Sarah Gurney also reported on a conversation with County Health Services Director Rita Scardaci before the meeting when a similar request was received.
Many of the dozen or so speakers during public comment expressed strong feelings about this attempt by the County Board of Supervisors to influence the Sebastopol vote.
Most speakers, including local dentist Dr Silvano Senn, spoke passionately in favor of the letter supporting Cotati and opposed waiting for more studies.
Sebastopol Water Information Group founder Dr Jane Nielson spoke eloquently of how she used to think fluoridation was beneficial, but now, after much research, she opposes fluoridation because studies show it’s ineffective.
Director Scardaci repeated her request for the letter to be delayed. She was the only speaker during public comment to oppose sending the letter.
Fluoridation Advisory Committee member and Sonoma County Water Coalition co-founder Stephen Fuller-Rowell suggested additions to the draft letter such as potential diversion of First 5 funds.
During Council deliberations, Councilmember Sarah Gurney, as Sebastopol’s Health Action representative, called for continued improvements in delivery of dental services, health education, and a focus on parental responsibility and healthy food.
Mayor Jacob agreed with other City Councilmembers and members of the public that other issues should be added to his letter.
Councilmember Patrick Slayter spoke in favor of the sending the letter, but went on record as supporting freedom of choice, rather than the other issues to be mentioned in the Mayor’s letter.
Councilmember John Eder said the timing of the letter from the Board of Supervisors ‘spoke volumes’ and argued in favor of supporting Cotati and opposing any financial impact on Sebastopol that might result from the proposal to fluoridate the County water supply.
Councilmember Gurney’s motion to approve the letter with additional issues added was seconded by City Councilmember Michael Kyes and approved unanimously.
JANUARY 13, 2014
SONOMA COUNTY DHS SEEKS ANALYSIS OF WATER FLUORIDATION IMPACTS ON ENDANGERED FISH
Currently the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is studying a Department of Health Services (DHS) proposal to fluoridate drinking water provided by the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA), a water wholesaler governed by the Sonoma County Supervisors in their role as members of the SCWA Board of directors.
The Agency’s customers provide drinking water to the majority of Sonoma County residents. In addition SCWA supplies all water for the North Marin Water District (NMD), and 25% of water used by the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD).
DHS has appointed a Fluoridation Advisory Committee (FAC) to provide recommendations a preliminary engineering design and cost estimate, financial planning, and public input . In addition, a FAC working group is soliciting professional qualifications (RFQ) for a technical analysis of the possible effects, if any, of water fluoridation on the Endangered Species Act specified fish population, officially an “Aquatic Assessment and Mass Balance Calculation of public water fluoridation currently under consideration.”
The RFQ deadline is January 17, 2014, after which “the County will enter into a professional services agreement with the most qualified individual(s)/firm(s) to provide the services described.” Finalist interviews will be conducted (if applicable) on January 24, and the Notice of Intent to Award will be posted on January 27, 2014.
SCOPE OF WORK AS DESCRIBED IN THE RFQ:
Provide a literature review, interpretation and technical report on what existing scientific data and the specific characteristics of the discharge systems in Sonoma County suggest in relation to the potential impact of water fluoridation to 0.7 – 0.9 mg/L on water quality and ESA listed species (NCC Steelhead, CC Coho; Salmon and CC Chinook Salmon) within the proposed action area. The report should include:
1. Use a Mass Balance approach to determine expected fluoride concentrations and major inputs of fluoridated potable water in the Sonoma County Water Agency service area. The calculation will include an analysis of the geographic boundaries, water transport pathways in Sonoma County and major inputs of potable water from wastewater discharge and irrigation runoff of recycled water to the Sonoma County Water Agency service area.
2. A review and analysis of scientific literature on the known effect of various concentrations of fluoride, at various Ph levels and temperatures, and considering the duration of exposure, on the ESA listed salmonids.
Report authors will present their findings to public bodies and government officials and be available to answer technical questions and provide clarification upon request.
“Sonoma County Water Fluoridation Analysis of Impacts on Endangered Fish.”
Sonoma County Gazette (1/13/2014).
“Fluoridation: Aquatic Assessment. Request for Proposals #081213.” County of Sonoma Department of Health Services, Administration Division. Date of Issue 8/13/2013. PDF. http://www.sonoma-county.org/health/
DECEMBER 9, 2013
RECAP OF FLUORIDATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (FAC) MEETING 12/04/2013 & COMMENTS ON THE 2014 4th DISTRICT SUPERVISORIAL RACE
By Marlene Lily, Media and Outreach Director, Clean Water Sonoma Marin, Santa Rosa, California
I went to the meeting of the Fluoridation Advisory Committee last week. The audience was very small. There are two new members: Stephen Fuller-Rowell of the Sonoma County Water Coalition and Jack Atkin of the Sonoma County Taxpayers Assn. I think Jack’s appearance is good news. My hope is that he will draw attention to the ridiculous cost of this plan…Stephen has been doing excellent work to oppose fluoridation for many months, focusing primarily on environmental issues.
The gist of the FAC meeting was that the whole process is now in slow motion. Last summer, the DHS put out a request for proposal for an environmental assessment, and no proposals were submitted. Now they have to redo the RFP [Aquatic Assessment Department of Health Services Request for Proposals]…
Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh pointed out that the SCWA is not required to fluoridate under AB733 because it’s a wholesaler, and only has 156 connections. [Outgoing County Health Officer] Lynn Silver-Chalfin [MD, MPH] agreed with that [especially noteworthy as a complete reversal of her former position]…
Laura Gaeta-Wilson, D.D.S...has developed a financial analysis of the cost to give fluoride tablets to the at-risk children…about $1 million total, MUCH less than the cost of fluoridation, with no environmental damage and without poisoning the entire population.
Committee member Ernie Newbrun [Ernest Newbrun, BDS, MS, DMD, PHD], a…longtime fluoride promoter, asserted that fluoridation is effective. Stephen Fuller-Rowell disagreed. Newbrun said that proof of effectiveness is in the literature. [Fuller-Rowell] said, “I’ve read the literature and it’s not there.” …[Fuller-Rowell] later said that since it’s not effective, “there’s no benefit whatever to offset the cost.”
Howard Pollick [Professor Howard Pollick, BDS, MPH] another longtime fluoride promoter (in the audience) asked if the FAC has a scientific subcommittee. Chalfin said a scientific subcommittee could be considered…[but Vanderwolk] said that the scope of the committee’s work is engineering and environmental. Other than the environmental ones, scientific considerations are outside the scope of the committee. I remember that at one earlier meeting I attended, Chalfin said health effects would not be discussed…I wonder if the supervisors are aware that the committee has been limited in this way…
NOVEMBER 22, 2013
TRIBAL COUNCIL VOTES TO STOP ADDING FLUORIDE TO HOOPA WATER
By Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune, Serving Klamath and Trinity River Communities, Humboldt County, California
The Hoopa Valley quietly followed the lead of France, Sweden, Belgium and dozens of other nations from around the world when it stopped putting fluoride into the water supply earlier this year.
The new Tribal Council voted unanimously for the change just a few weeks into their terms.
Murphy Lott, the senior water treatment operator for the local Public Utilities District (PUD), said, “I was told by the Manager that the new Council voted to stop using it, and I agree with that decision.” Read more.
NOVEMBER 22, 2013
DR. LYNN SILVER CHALFIN ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION AS SONOMA COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER
By Guy Kovner, The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa California
Dr. Lynn Silver Chalfin, Sonoma County’s health officer for about a year and a half, announced her resignation this week in e-mails to co-workers and health care colleagues.
NOVEMBER 22, 2013
MARIN ACTIVISTS DOUBLE DOWN ON FLUORIDATION
CLEAN WATER SONOMA-MARIN DIGS IN ITS HEELS FOR WHAT LOOKS TO BE A PROTRACTED LEGAL BATTLE WITH THE MARIN MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT OVER WATER FLUORIDATION
By Gideon Rubin, San Rafael Patch Editor, Marin County, California
Two weeks after being told to take their fight somewhere else, local anti-fluoridation activists insist they have no intention of backing down from their fight with a local water district.
The leader of a local organized group has vowed to take her fight to the courts in what looks to be a protracted legal battle.
Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, who heads Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, told Patch she plans to file a civil grand jury complaint against the Marin Municipal Water District.
“That’s going to happen,” she said. “That’s the next step.”
NOVEMBER 14, 2013
COTATI REJECTS ADDING FLUORIDE TO CITY WATER SYSTEM
Sonoma County Gazette, Sonoma County, California
Tuesday November 12, 2013 Cotati became the first city to follow the 2012-13 Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury’s recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, “With respect to fluoridation, the Board of Supervisors make impartial decisions based on the best evidence available, allowing for both pro and con views to be heard.”
Kim Caldewey, PA, MPH, of the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, made a Powerpoint presentation in support of water fluoridation, supported by testimony from Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Anthony Fernandez. Ms. Caldewey is on the staff of County Health Officer Dr. Lynn Silver Chalfin. The head of Department of Health Services Rita Scardaci, RN, BSN/PHN, was present but did not speak.
The argument against water fluoridation was presented by Sonoma County Water Coalition co-founder Stephen Fuller-Rowell, and Cotati thyroid specialist Richard Shames, MD. Additional testimony was provided by the Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Sonoma County Water Agency Chris De Gabriel, Santa Rosa dentist Dr. Laura Gaeta-Wilson, Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, Director of Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, and other members of the public.
After hearing and discussing the many facets of the fluoridation issue, the Cotati City Council voted unanimously to write the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to say that Cotati opposes water fluoridation. [Reprinted with the permission of the Sonoma County Gazette.]
Read Dave Williams’ article in the Community Voice (11/15/2013).
OCTOBER 21, 2013
INTERNATIONAL FLUORIDATION AUTHORITY DR. PAUL CONNETT RETURNS
Over the past 17 years, Dr. Connett has become the foremost authority on stopping fluoridation of public water systems. As such he has made invited presentations to professional associations and government agencies both here and abroad, including the US EPA.
In March, April and October 2013, Clean Water Sonoma-Marin sponsored Dr. Paul Connett’s visits to Northern California to work with Clean Water volunteers, confer with public officials, and help educate the public in Marin and Sonoma Counties.
Watch the video of Dr. Paul Connett’s presentation at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa, California: The Case Against Fluoridation: My Challenge to Fluoridation Promoters.
OCTOBER 10, 2013
WILL DURST TREK WINERY FUNDRAISER FOR CLEAN WATER SONOMA-MARIN
If you weren’t there you missed a great evening!
OCTOBER 2, 2013
COUNCIL REJECTS FLUORIDATION OF DAVIS WATER SUPPLY
By Tom Sakash, Yolo County News, The Davis Enterprise, Davis, California
On a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the City Council rejected the idea of adding fluoride to drinking water in Davis, as council members said they’d prefer to tackle preventative dental health care in town with a more efficient and cost-effective program than fluoridation.
Mayor Joe Krovoza, Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson and Councilmen Brett Lee and Lucas Frerichs voted against fluoridation; Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, who supports the practice, dissented.
“I certainly wonder about a more efficient way,” Frerichs said. “Putting a chemical in our water supply, to me, seems to be an inefficient way to deliver fluoride, particularly when 99-plus percent of it ends up down the drain, flushed down the toilets, watering the yards and or greenbelts and a number of other possibilities.
OCTOBER 2, 2013
Online comment on Davis Decision
By Dexter Gelfand – 10:33 am
One thing that struck me as a key difference between advocates, pro and con fluoridation, was that those supporting adding this chemical to the water supply named “authorities” who endorsed the action, and with little or no facts or figures, asserted that “we all know its safe and beneficial”, as a sort of party line, while those opposed to fluoridation cited actual studies, facts and figures, and actual personal experiences of varying degrees of health issues directly caused by over exposure to fluoride…
SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
SANTA ROSA FORUM ON WATER FLUORIDATION
In response to the Grand Jury’s recommendation that both sides of the fluoridation issue be presented and carefully considered, the bipartisan Santa Rosa Forum on Fluoridation was held September 30, 2013, at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, California.
For those who were unable to attend, the two-part Forum video offers an opportunity to hear both sides, and to get answers to questions about water fluoridation.
Forum sponsors were the Sonoma County Water Coalition, Clean Water California, and Clean Water Sonoma-Marin. Stephen Fuller-Rowell, co-founder of the Sonoma County Water Coalition, was the Forum moderator.
[Read more and watch the full Forum on video.]
AUGUST 11, 2013
ISRAELI SUPREME COURT TERMINATES HEARING ON FLUORIDATION
According to Science Reporter Doug Cross, recent media reports that “the Israeli Supreme Court has banned fluoridation” are inaccurate. Fluoridation has not been outlawed in Israel. What happened at the Supreme Court is anticlimactic and the situation is more nuanced.
In November 2012, Yaacob Gurman brought a Petition before the Supreme Court to overturn the law mandating that any community in Israel with a population over 5000 people must fluoridate its water.
“But in April this year, before Gurman’s Petition could be heard, Health Minister Yael German introduced the new Public Health Regulations (Sanitary Quality of Drinking Water and Drinking Water Facilities), 2013). These were approved by the Knesset and came into force in July.
“The new Regulations specify that fluoride must be added in certain circumstances (section 20). But this is then modified by section 40, which states that Section 20 shall only remain in force for a period of one year. Thereafter the requirement for mandatory fluoridation will be abolished.
“And last week the Court decided that this effectively dealt with the petitioner’s complaint, and terminated the hearing. So the sad news from Israel is that there was no Supreme Court ruling banning fluoridation. Indeed, the case in question was terminated prematurely, when it became evident that events had overtaken the petition and the case was ‘exhausted’.”
The Supreme Court’s only ruling was that the Plaintiff’s legal costs should be paid by the Respondents, the Minister of Health and the State of Israel.
Cross explains further, “The Court’s action does not require all fluoridation to cease within the next year. It merely recognises that fluoridation may be permitted to continue for another year, at the discretion of local authorities, and will then be subject to review by the Health Ministry. As a result, existing schemes are effectively operating under license until then.
“If the Ministry decides to abolish fluoridation altogether, then the new Regulations allow it obtain an Order to terminate all existing schemes. But as my correspondants confirm, that is by no means guaranteed to happen, at least in the immediate future.”
SOURCE: “Israeli court did NOT ban fluoridation” by Doug Cross, CSci, CBiol, FSB at UCAF.org
JUNE 29, 2013
ABILENE, KANSAS: SAFETY ISSUE CLOSES CITY FLUORIDE ROOM
By Gail Parsons, The Abilene Reflector-Chronicle
…City Manager David Dillner said the emergency safety switch in the fluoride room at the water treatment plant has become corroded making it nonfunctional. If a problem were to arise while an employee is preparing the fluoride, the employee would use that switch to alert other plant workers that they were in distress or that there was a problem.
“From our stand point we look at is as an employee safety issue,” he said.
The corrosion has been a slow steady occurrence since the plant opened in 1998. The Abilene City Council will need to determine if they want to authorize the room to be cleaned and the corroded switch replaced, or discontinue the fluoridation program…
JUNE 26, 2013
THE 2012-2013 SONOMA COUNTY CIVIL GRAND JURY PUBLISHES ITS REPORT ON FLUORIDATION
In the fall of 2012, Clean Water Sonoma-Marin Director Dawna Gallagher Stroeh filed a Citizen’s Complaint with the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury regarding the proposed fluoridation of Sonoma County water.
The Grand Jury accepted the fluoridation issue for investigation, and has just issued a thought-provoking report.
Findings include that “The Board of Supervisors advise and inform all residents by multiple methods, e.g., utility bill inserts, bilingual notices through printed or social media, and radio, of its meetings, hearings, discussions, presentations, and votes relating to fluoridation,” and, “With respect to fluoridation, the Board of Supervisors make impartial decisions based on the best evidence available, allowing for both pro and con views to be heard.”
The Grand Jury Report on Fluoridation concludes, “IT’S OUR RESPONSIBILITY: learn the facts, form educated opinions, and get involved. Our lives and the lives of our children depend on it.” [Read more]
MAY 23, 2013
CLEAN WATER ACTIVISTS MARCH IN THE HEALDSBURG TWILIGHT PARADE
Clean Water Sonoma-Marin volunteers were joined by other activists to march for clean, fluoride-free water in Healdsburg, where municipal water has been fluoridated for over 60 years. Shown here waiting for the 2013 Healdsburg Twilight Parade to begin, the marchers were thrilled to have their message greeted by rousing cheers at several points along the parade route, including in front of the grandstand when the announcer read the Clean Water Sonoma-Marin mission statement.
APRIL 12, 2013
ISRAEL HALTS MANDATORY FLUORIDATION PROJECT
Israeli Minister of Health Yael German announced yesterday “that the regulations that require fluoridation have expired and that ‘professional views are in dispute.’ [German] said that opponents of fluoridation claim it could cause osteoporosis, reduction of insulin efficacy in dealing with sugar, the accumulation of aluminum in the body, IQ reduction and fluorosis (spotting of teeth). As the Health Ministry has responsibility for monitoring water quality, it is also responsible for monitoring on fluoridation.
“German, who previously as mayor of Herzliya opposed “forcing” residents to take the mineral with every drop they drink, said there were more effective and safer ways to protect children’s teeth – such as fluoride pills, toothpastes and education.
“She said she signed new regulations for stricter supervision of water supplies that included canceling mandatory fluoridation. German then even appealed to the High Court of Justice against the Health Ministry’s requirement – since 2002 – that water be fluoridated in every authority with at least 5,000 residents…
“Ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu said that during the coming year, the ministry will invest funds to help the socioeconomically disadvantaged protect their teeth in other ways, if local authorities decide not to continue fluoridating their drinking water.
“The voluntary organization Adam, Teva Ve’Din – which has for the last decade tried to change regulations regarding water standards, including better monitoring of contaminants – congratulated German on her decision, because water quality standards are “outdated.”
“It said that during the coming year, there will be time for a public debate to decide if fluoridation is harmful or beneficial.”
SOURCE: New order drops water fluoridation requirement by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, Jerusalem Post (4/12/2013)
APRIL 10, 2013
UTAH EFFECTIVELY HALTS FLUORIDATION
Utah Halts Fluoridation by Requiring Disclosure of Contents of Fluoridation Materials: Corporatocracy Watch, Matthews & Associates: Lawyers for Injured People, Houston, Texas
With the “Safe Drinking Water Disclosure Act” – H.B. 72 – the state of Utah is holding the companies that “fluoridate” Utah’s drinking waters accountable for pouring huge amounts of other toxic chemicals in the water along with the fluoridation chemicals…
The bill – H.B. 72 – is not designed to permanently stop water fluoridation…The bill is simply designed to force companies such as Thatcher and Mosaic Chemical to disclose exactly what is contained in the…fluoridation chemicals being dumped in Utah’s drinking water.
[The bill takes effect July 1, 2013]
The fluoridation companies came under intense scrutiny after Utah’s analysis of various spills and releases of the fluoridation chemicals revealed that in addition to fluoride, there were several other “tramp” chemicals…that included aluminum, arsenic, lead, mercury and berillium [toxic elements in themselves, whose bioavailability can be increased in the presence of fluorides]…
On Aug. 31, 2007, when 2,500 gallons of raw acid were released at a Utah water treatment plant, the cost of the cleanup brought the attention of Utah law enforcement…The new bill requires any company “fluoridating” Utah’s water to disclose precisely what chemicals are in the fluoridation batches…
The big question now seems to be whether it is even possible to separate fluoride from the other toxic chemicals that are gathered in the process of mining [or manufacturing] fluoride…
Read the complete article on the Matthews & Associates Law Firm website.
FEBRUARY 26, 2013
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TAKES NEXT STEP TOWARD FLUORIDATING COUNTY WATER
By Derek Moore, The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday pressed forward with a controversial plan to put fluoride into most of the county’s drinking water during an emotional hearing in which dozens of speakers debated whether the chemical compound is a panacea or a poison.
Dentists and other health care professionals, along with a larger, more vocal contingent of fluoride skeptics, packed board chambers for the marathon five-hour public hearing.
Despite reservations expressed by some supervisors, the board unanimously authorized additional financial analysis and engineering studies of adding fluoride to most of the county’s drinking water…
Based on preliminary estimates, the project could cost up to $8.5 million in capital upgrades to the county’s central water system, plus ongoing upkeep starting at $973,000 a year, according to a county report…
About three-quarters of the nation’s population served by public water systems, or about 196 million people, are now receiving fluoridated water.
Currently in Sonoma County, the only fluoridated water is delivered to residents of Healdsburg, the adjacent Fitch Mountain area and Two Rock Coast Guard Base…
Santa Rosa dentist Anthony Fernandez, a proponent of fluoride as a preventive measure, said the least expensive filling he offers is $160. He urged supervisors to “do the right thing,” and for dramatic effect, he played the shrill sound of a dentist’s drill on the public address system via his smartphone.
Opponents were not amused...“You’re listening to members of the dental association that gave us mercury,” Dr. Robert Rowen, who has an integrative and nutritional family medicine practice in Santa Rosa, told the board…
FEBRUARY 22, 2013
SONOMA COUNTY CONSIDERS AUTHORIZING MORE WATER FLUORIDATION STUDIES
By Brett Wilkison, The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday (02/26/2013) is set to advance one of its most hot-button projects: a bid to introduce fluoride to most of the county’s drinking water to improve dental health.
A new county report concludes that move, though still in its study phase, would be feasible, although it could also be complex and expensive…The new report could bring fiscal watchdogs into the mix.
Based on preliminary estimates, the project could cost up to $8.5 million in capital upgrades to the county’s central water system, plus ongoing upkeep starting at $973,000 a year, the report found…
The project would affect three quarters of the county…More than 50,000 Novato-area residents served by the county Water Agency also would get fluoridated water for the first time.
Pam Jeane, an assistant general manager at the Water Agency, called the project’s cost “significant”…
The potential impact on ratepayers is unknown. At least one Water Agency customer — the district serving the Novato area — contends state law forbids such costs being passed on to ratepayers. The district could challenge the move partly on those grounds.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is set to authorize additional financial analysis and engineering studies, at a cost of about $103,000…The latest interim step has reignited the decades-long local debate among supporters and opponents of water fluoridation for dental health…
Fluoride is a chemical compound and was introduced to U.S. drinking water nearly 70 years ago. About three-quarters of the nation’s population served by public water systems — or about 196 million people — are now receiving fluoridated water…
The measure is backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the surgeon general, the World Health Organization and the American Dental Association…But opponents of the county’s proposal continue to raise concerns about the health and environmental implications of fluoridated water…
“Why do it when we have other options?” said Brenda Adelman, a Guerneville resident and longtime activist on Russian River water issues…
State law requires fluoridation for all public water suppliers in California with more than 10,000 connections. The unfunded 18-year-old statute has not been widely enforced.
Currently in Sonoma County, the only fluoridated water is delivered to residents of Healdsburg and the adjacent Fitch Mountain area.
AUGUST 4, 2012
NEW HAMPSHIRE REQUIRES WARNING OF RISK TO BABIES FROM FLUORIDATED WATER
On June 5, 2012 the New Hampshire State Legislature approved HB1416, which mandates that the following warning be included in the water quality section of consumer confidence reports of all fluoridated public water systems:
“Your public water supply is fluoridated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if your child under the age of 6 months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis. Consult your child’s health care provider for more information.”
That law takes effect today.