California's mandatory fluoridation program is rejected by key cities.

California has a mandated water fluoridation program which identifies and prioritizes the top150 cites for fluoridation. Although California mandated water fluoridation, it never funded the program and therefore cannot legally require it. They leave the choice to the cities.

Recently (March '99) California's #1 fluoridation priority, City of La Mesa, said No Thank You. This was soon followed (March '99) by the #4 priority, the City of Escondido, which passed an Ordinance to prohibit fluoridation.

#1 On Fluoridation Priority List Says No Thank You

By unanimous decision, the Board of Directors of Helix Water District, which is listed as first on the California's mandatory fluoridation priority list, took action yesterday to prevent the mandatory fluoridation of their water supplies by directing their staff to advise the California Department of Health and Human Services, a fluoridation task force coalition, and the other water agencies and communities that they service, that Helix will reject any grant offered them that would require that they add fluoride to their water.

The independent decision to reject any funding for fluoridation purposes comes on the heels of a March 9, 1999 unanimous resolution by the City of La Mesa that opposes the fluoridation of its citizens and requests that Helix Water District ensure, "...That every means available and necessary is used to vigorously oppose putting fluoride in the water supply."

Helix Water District supplies approximately 250,000 customers in the east San Diego county cities of La Mesa, El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and parts of Spring Valley. Other water districts, Otay Lakes and Padre Dam, would also be effected, as they receive water from Helix and in turn supply water to the Riverview Water District and Lakeside Water District. Padre Dam is #15 on the fluoridation priority list.

Each of the Directors of the Helix Water District expressed the reasoning behind their individual decision to reject converting their water supply into a delivery system for mass medication, noting that the mission of their water district is to remove impurities by treating the water, not to add to them, or medicate people. Helix is currently undergoing a $28 million upgrade and expansion program, and the Board of Directors may soon consider the use of Ozonation, which would replace the use of chlorine as a primary disinfectant.

The creation of the State's fluoridation priority list was established by the enactment of unfunded mandate AB733 in October 1995, calling for fluoridation by all water suppliers with more than 10,000 connections. Each water district was required to submit an estimate of the capital costs for purchasing and installing fluoridation equipment, with the least cost per customer given the #1 priority.

El Cajon is expected to review the issue this month, as is the northern San Diego county city of Escondido, which is #4 on the priority list.

On March 2, 1999, the voters of the City of Santa Cruz (#12) affirmed a 1998 ordinance enacted by their city council that prohibited fluoridation without a vote of the people, and joined San Diego (#18) and Sunnyvale (#81) with laws that conflict with the State. The Santa Cruz ordinance prohibits the addition of any substance, including fluoride, that is intended to effect humans physically or mentally rather than treat the water.

Marion Standish of the California Endowment, a charitable group created as a result of Blue Cross converting from non-profit to profit status, has reported that they have granted $10 million for the purpose of implementing fluoridation, but are not intent on forcing the funds on unwilling communities. Whether the grant triggers the funding scheme of AB733 is yet to be tested.

Members of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water throughout the state question the sanity of continuing to force fluoridation when the original goal of 1 milligram per day for a child from all sources is already achieved in non fluoridating communities, and that the mass medication amount used to fluoridate exceeds the level that any professional in the country can ethically prescribe for a child 6 years of age and younger and still conform to the revised policy recommendations for total exposure by the American Dental Association and American Academy of Pediatrics.

"When does this stop?", asks David C. Kennedy, a practicing dentist in San Diego and Past President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. "In the Wall Street Journal, December 21, 1998, the U. S. Center for Disease Control admits that 22% of all of our nation's children now display physical signs of fluoride overdose. Since the State made its decision in 1995, there have been six studies that link fluoride to neurological impairment and lower IQ in children. How many more have to suffer before the main stream media and the people who care about our kids and country and future rise up all at once and tell the promoters of adding industrial hazardous wastes to our water to back off ?"

No. 4 On State's Priority List Passes Ordinance to Prohibit Fluoridation

The City of Escondido, which is listed fourth on California's fluoridation priority list, took a stand yesterday to protect their citizens against the State's plan to fluoridate their public water.

Following more than 40 speakers, and at times contentious discussion between Councilmembers, the City Council passed an ordinance that prohibits the addition of any substance to the water, including fluoride, that is intended to treat humans, rather than improve the drinkability of water.

While promoters of converting the water supply to a delivery system for fluoride contended that there was no evidence to show that any harm to individuals had ever come from "optimal" levels of fluoride in the water, Councilmember Keith Beier questioned whether health professionals endorsed the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) revised policy recommendations for controlled dosage drops and tablets that are used as a substitute for fluoridated water in non fluoridated communities.

The revised policy recommendation was published by the AAP and the American Dental Association (ADA) in 1995 in order to reduce the risk of fluoride poisoning to children from over-exposure to fluoride from all sources, not just the water. The AAP and ADA schedules show that infants should have no further exposure to fluoride even if there is no fluoride in their drinking water.

Councilmember Beier further questioned why professionals were required to evaluate a child's weight, growth and development, unusual susceptibility, and total exposure to fluoride from all sources before being able to prescribe even 1/4 of what that child is expected to receive in the water. Beier noted that the amount of fluoride the State was intending to put in the water exceeded the amount that any health professional could ethically prescribe to a child under 6 years of age.

Supporters of the ordinance displayed sodas, fruit juices, white grape juice, baby foods, and cereals bought from their neighborhood stores that contain up to 6 times the amount of fluoride intended for their water, yet contain no labeling so that parents could limit their children's intake.

David Nelson, the fluoridation consultant for the state Department of Health and Human Services, offered the State's opinion that the ordinance would not prevail against the State.

In an aggressive tone, Nelson indicated that they had no intent at this time to force fluoride down the city's throat, but that they certainly had the power to do so, and that it might come to that.

Nelson contended that the determination of which communities were to be fluoridated, and how a $10 million grant from California Endowment for implementation of fluoridation is spent, was his agency's own internal decision, and that they might just skip around the priority list and provide funds to Cities that want to fluoridate.

In what some audience members could only imagine was a mis-statement, although uncorrected, Nelson additionally stated that if the City did not pass the ordinance, and accepted $10 million, the city could sit back and let the State's legal department and the Health and Human Services fight the lawsuits that would come up.

A contentious moment of the meeting occurred in response to Beier's statement that, after his listening to hours of discrepancies between the fluoridation proponents' own facts and representations, and the recognition that the substance to be added to the water was an industrial hazardous waste, he was trying to determine what was driving the ADA and others to push so hard. Referring to the millions of dollars paid to the ADA for the endorsement of fluoride products, Beier suggested that one should just, "follow the money."

Escondido's stance against the State's plan to fluoridate was one of several that took place during the month of March.

[Special thanks for Mayor Pro Tem Beier for having the courage to stand tall for benefit of all citizens]

On March 2, the voters in Santa Cruz affirmed a March 1998 ordinance passed by the city council that prohibited fluoridation without a vote of the people, and expanded the ordinance to include prohibition of any substance intended to affect the physical or mental functions of persons consuming the water.

On March 9, the City of La Mesa voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting the prohibition of fluoridation, and requested that Helix Water District, which supplies water to their city, ensure, "...That every means available and necessary is used to vigorously oppose putting fluoride in the water supply."

On March 17, Helix Water District, listed as No. 1 on the State's fluoridation priority list, directed their staff to advise the California Department of Health and Human Services, a fluoridation task force coalition, and the other water agencies and communities that they service, that Helix will reject any grant offered them that would require that they add fluoride to their water.

On March 22, members of the Los Angeles chapter of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water filed a lawsuit containing more than 20 causes of action against the Los Angeles City Council and Department of Water and Power, as Los Angeles prepares to fluoridate based on a vote of the City Council. Los Angeles was the last major city in California to allow the people a say, in 1975, which resulted in 213,000 citizens of Los Angeles voting to reject the 1974 City Council's decision to fluoridate.