The GOP's Fluoride Loophole

By Chris Edwards of Creswell, Oregon. Chris is the general manager for a small forest products company in Creswell, Oregon and blogs at Oregon Sunrise.

Oregon doesn't have a sales tax; we don't pump our own gas; and very few of us drink fluoridated water. In fact we rank 46th in the nation for the consumption of fluoridated water, with only 23 percent of Oregonians drinking it.

Apparently our teeth aren't good enough and the Republican controlled Oregon House of Representatives wants to change this. The House passed a bill on Monday requiring communities of more than 10,000 people to add fluoride to their drinking water.

Before addressing the stupidity of a huge loophole in the bill, let's address the premise.

Fluoride is probably a good thing. Rotting teeth is bad. Strong healthy teeth is good (from an American point of view). But forcing communities to fluoridate their water is wrong. It's not a big issue, but it is wrong nonetheless.

If a community doesn't want fluoride, they ought to be able to pass. Doesn't our state government have better things to be taking up than minor causes that cost our citizens more money; causes that we seem to be doing fine without? Is there really anyone in Oregon whose quality of life has been significantly affected by the lack of fluoride in their water? Maybe our newpapers should start delivering broccoli with the morning edition?

Some of us don't want to be forced to consume more chemicals than necessary. I really don't care how many gallons of fluoride "experts" claim one would supposedly have to drink to incur harm. I prefer to think that God made water good. If He wanted it fluoridated, then He would intend it and it would be.

Of course we pollute water and we therefore have to clean it with chemicals; but fewer is better.

As long as we are fortifying, why stop at fluoride? Why not add 100% of the USRDA of essential vitamins and minerals? "Total2O."

Neither Portland, Eugene, Bend, Springfield nor Medford fluoridate their water currently.

Is there a reason for this? Certainly some communities have a strong organic nuts and berries contingent (granolas); while some communities can't afford to treat the many sources of their community's water.

Which brings about the absurdity of the loophole. This unfunded state mandate, if passed, would not require a community to fluoridate if it can't afford to do so without raising water rates. What are the chances that communities that don't want to fluoridate their water are going to miraculously find money (i.e. $1M) to carry out this mandate? With such a large loophole, what's the point of the bill in the first place? This bill's premise is questionable and its implementation is laughable.

When I was young, Republicans generally carried the "smaller government" banner and Democrats were the party of more programs. What happened? Republicans have shown, at many levels, that they don't necessarily believe in smaller government as long as it's their government (and they still don't want to pay for it). Democrats meanwhile have come to oppose bigger government by default of their efforts to be the "opposition" party (which seems to be a fallback position for lack of a sale-able party message and messenger).

In the big scheme of things, it's all very silly. If I considered it any more serious than that, I probably wouldn't sleep at night.

  • nyscof (unverified)

    Not only is fluoridation silly, it's ineffective, harmful and, not only wastes your taxdollars, but pulls more bucks from your wallets then would occur if your water remain fluoride-free.

    America's children are fluoride over-dosed from many sources and it's ruining their teeth with dental fluorosis - white spotted, yellow brown and sometimes pitted teeth. It often costs thousands of dollars to hide these blothces to be part of the new pure white smile culture.

    Silicofluorides, the chemicals used by 91% of US fluoridating communities, is linked to higher blood lead levels, in studies by Masters and Coplan and confirmed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control scientists.

    Besides many adverse health effects, higher blood lead levels are linked to higher rates of tooth decay. This may be why most, if not all, of our large fluoridated cities are experiencing tooth decay crises.

    To add insult to injury, dentists pat themselves on the back for advocating fluoridation that will put themselves out of business. Most decay is found in the poorest segments of society; but dentists won't actually treat them because they aren't paid enought to do so.

    Therefore, you and I pick up the tab when simple fillings turn into thousands of dollars of dental work treated in hospital emergency rooms.

    Dentists use their "humanitarian efforts" for leverage to get what they really want from congress.

    Recently, the American Dental Association lobbied against a bill creating Dental Health Therapists who with two-years training would treat some people dentists won't or can't treat and for less money.

    After 60 years of water fluoridation and 50 years of fluoridated toothpaste, dentists have hardly put themselves out of business. They make more money and work fewer days and hours than physicians. A pediatric dentist makes almost twice as much as a pediation.

    New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation

  • iggi (unverified)

    i've lived in Oregon all my life and i haven't had a cavity since i was a kid...screw fluoridation, what a waste.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)


    You may have missed the recent BlueOregon discussion about fluoridation. Some folks think the more fluoride, the better and would support mandatory fluoride injections if the ADA thought it was a good idea. Others, including myself, believe that fluoride should be applied topically, as in toothpaste, and not taken internally. There is also the matter of contamination of the "fluoride" used in water treatment, which is an industrial waste product likely to contain heavy metals and other nasty stuff.

  • dberg (unverified)

    Children who get a flouride supplement at school have better teeth than those who live where the water is flouridated. That's because children don't drink water any more. They drink soda. So why put flouride in the water? It's a waste of money.

    Personally, I believe in the benefits of flouride. I buy flouridated water. And, I drink it.

  • Sally (unverified)

    Fluoridation is morally wrong and violation of individual rights. Water fluoridation is the single largest case of scientific fraud, promoted by the government, supported by the taxpayers dollars, aided and abetted by the ADA and the AMA, in the history of the planet.

    Many doctors and dentists want fluoridation because it increases their business. Some reports show as high as 50% increase in cavities in fluoridated areas. The doctors find an increase in kidney and liver trouble, diabetes, fractures, goiter, paralysis, thyroid problems, asthma, cancer and several other diseases. Fluoridation is ALL about GREED! Promoters USE kids to try to make themselves LOOK good!! These greedy bastards!! Wake up America!! If they didn't sell this waste off to would cost them billions of dollars to dispose of it!

    Sodium fluoride is a hazardous waste product of the nuclear and aluminum industries. In addition to being the primary ingredient in rat poison and cockroach poisons, it is also a main ingredient in anesthetic, hypnotic and psychiatric drugs. Many drugs have been pulled from the market recently...and more to come!! ALL rightfully so. Fluoride is in many's in cheese, bread, juices, table salt, beer, vegetables...AND MORE...where ever something is made that has fluoridated water, you got fluoride!!
    Read "The Big Lie: Fluoridation helps the Poor" by Dr. Joseph Mercola. Read also: Dentists Cause Cavities by Dr. Joseph Mercola.
    Read "The Fluoride Deception" by Chris Bryson..... Fluoridation is ALL about money!! At the expense of everyone's health they promote this crap! Those BASTARDS!!!!! And it affects animals too!

    My house is for sale....I have to move because I cannot use fluoridated water. I should be a tester of that crap!! Now all of Oregon might be fluoridated. I had planned to move to Eugene. Now what?

  • (Show?)

    Glad to see the bill passed and that Oregon is getting ready to join the 20th century.

  • rob (unverified)

    Hey, I grew up in an upstate NY town that heavily fluoridated it's water. I've had one cavity my whole life. I've also had these nice little dark yellow stains since I was a kid in grammar school that more than one dentist has attributed to over fluoridation. Of course, I'm entirely behind fluoridation in places like Texas (and other Red states generally). Helps keep 'em under control.

  • LG (unverified)

    For what it's worth, House Democrats are the reason the fluoride bill passed last week. Without 22 Ds joining 14 Rs, it would not have passed. So Chris' big gov argument is all wet.

  • Laura (unverified)

    I agree that if the community doesn't want it, the government shouldn't step in and force what could be considered harmful waste products down the throats of citizens. Great debate about this here flouride debate

guest column

connect with blueoregon