Citizens meet to stand against water fluoridation

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Carroll County Citizens for Safe Drinking Water met Tuesday night to discuss ways to stop the fluoridation of water in Carroll and Boone counties early next year. The Arkansas legislature passed a law in early 2011 requiring fluoridation of water in cities and counties of more than 5,000 people.

The meeting, which lasted more than an hour, included break-out sessions where citizens discussed everything from legislation to media campaigns to raise awareness on the perils of water fluoridation.

Eureka Springs Alderwoman Joyce Zeller was among one of the speakers who adamantly opposes industrial-strength fluoride in the local water supply. Zeller and other speakers at the meeting said that the chemicals that are used to fluoridate water are a byproduct of smelting ore and are not sold in the United States. Alderwoman Mickey Schneider told the Citizen in an interview last month that the fluoride comes from countries like China and Mexico but that the Carroll-Boone Water District had located a European company that could possibly provide a better grade of fluoride.

Zeller talked about supporting the Arkansas Water Additive Accountability Act, which was sponsored by State Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, and co-sponsored by State Rep. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville. The legislation was introduced in February 2013 and died in the Arkansas Senate in May 2013.

Citizens at the meeting questioned how Delta Dental, which they say is paying for equipment to fluoridate Arkansas water, can be classified as a non-profit organization since Delta Dental is also an insurance corporation.

"We would like to know how a non-profit can also be an insurance company," said Becky Gillette, who spoke at the meeting. "I've been a business reporter for several years and this doesn't make sense."

Further investigation by the Citizen revealed that Charity Navigator shows Delta Dental Plan of Arkansas is listed as a 501(c)(4) organization. According to the Internal Revenue Service, 501(c)(4) tax exemption status "provides for the exemption of two very different types of organizations with their own distinct qualification requirements." The two types of organizations are social welfare organizations and local associations of employees. The IRS defines social welfare organizations as "civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare and local associations of employees where membership is limited to the employees of designated person(s) in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively for the promotion of social welfare."

According to the IRS website, organizations that engage in substantial lobbying activities sometimes also are classified as social welfare organizations. Corporations were allowed to give unrestricted contributions to political campaigns and 501(c)(4)s grew exponentially as a result of the Citizens United case.

No matter their political affiliation, local politicians agree with citizens who say that the fluoride issue is not just a medical issue but also a personal rights issue.

"From my standpoint, it's not the state's business to get involved in people's personal health decisions," Ballinger said. "There are individuals who believe fluoride is damaging to them. Whether the science or facts show it's damaging, which I think it does, it's irrelevant because individuals believe fluoridation is damaging so the state should let people make their own health decisions."

Speakers at the meeting encouraged citizens to take action and ask for personal exemptions for themselves and their family members that would require schools to provide bottled water to children whose parents request the exemption.

According to the speakers at the meeting, Delta Dental provided grants that paid for the water fluoridation equipment at CBWD.

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  • Dentists Suing Delta Dental of Missouri


    Other issues raised by the plaintiffs in the complaint include:

    Delta Dental opened offshore bank accounts "for unknown purposes in Turks and Caicos."

    -- Posted by nyscof on Thu, Dec 4, 2014, at 5:45 AM
  • Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation in the above article.

    Fluoride is a nutrient that is naturally present in all bodies of water,in the earth's crust and in all living things. It is natural part of all of our diets. Just like iron in small amounts prevents anemia, fluoride in small amounts prevents dental decay.

    Sometimes there is already the appropriate concentration of fluoride in the water to prevent cavities and sometimes a miniscule amount more is added to bring the level up to an appropriate level. There is a strong body of high quality research supporting the safe and benefical effects of community water fluoridation on preventing dental decay.

    There is nothing "industrial stength" about community water fluoridation. We are talking less than 1 tablespoon of fluoride in 1300 gallons of water.

    Perils of water fluoridation?! What perils? Prior to widespread community water fluoridation, virtually all children developed dental decay at a young age, and toothaches and tooth loss from extensive decay were common in chilhood as were dentures in young adults. Now that was a perilous time!

    We are so much better off with community water fluoridation. Life really is better with teeth and we have community water fluoridation to thank for that.

    BTW, I am not a dentist but you should know that there are plenty of insurance companies that are non-profits. It sounds like you are trying to paint a picture for some conspiracy or conflict of interest involving Delta Dental. That is just nonsense.

    There are no conspiracy theories when it comes to water fluoridation. No one is trying to medicate you against your will or take away your rights. Or dump their toxic waste. That is misinformation, plain and simple.

    If you prefer not to drink water with fluoride in it, so be it. But don't deny this beneficial nutrient from those who really need it. Community water fluoridation is public health prevention at some of its very best.

    -- Posted by Peddoc4healthyteeth on Thu, Dec 4, 2014, at 3:15 PM
  • This is one of the worst I have ever read concerning the possible benefits of fluoride. Be advised, this is the worst action any community can take, is to put fluoride in the drinking water. Dentist put enough fluoride in children's mouths during the course of their young lives. Why would you want adults to drink this water with what has proven to be negative results. The Federal government need to intervene and out law it's use. Check other is outlawed as a dangerous chemical. Read the facts before stating something that affects everyone's health.

    We once lived in a free society where you could make choices for yourself and family. Not anymore!!! You have always got someone so misguided as to insist any chemical is safe to put in your body, with the screwed logic, it is healthful.

    You people need to read up on this and not accept anyone's word that it is safe.

    -- Posted by Concerned Person on Thu, Dec 11, 2014, at 5:13 PM
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