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UK Against Fluoridation

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Fluoride won’t be added to Albuquerque area’s water

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Water authority board members killed a move to resume fluoridation of the municipal water supply to prevent tooth decay by voting 4-2 to cut funding for the program from the water utility’s 2017 fiscal year budget.
The $212 million budget, which the board approved during its Wednesday’s meetin, May 19th, 2016 at 12:05amg, had included $250,000 for the installation of fluoridation equipment at the San Juan-Chama Drinking Water Plant. But City Councilor Trudy Jones, the board chairwoman, introduced an amendment that eliminated that money.
Board members voting in favor of Jones’ amendment and against fluoridation were city Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry, Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz and City Councilor Ken Sanchez.
Voting against the amendment and in favor of fluoridation were County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins and City Councilor Pat Davis.
Adding fluoride to water supplies for the purpose of preventing tooth decay dates back 70 years in the United States and has been championed by public health officials as among the most dependable ways of enhancing the oral health of entire communities. Opponents, however, say the practice does little to prevent tooth decay, causes health problems and is a violation of individual rights.
Up until 2011, when the water utility terminated the practice, fluoride was added to the Albuquerque municipal water supply. Fluoride does occur naturally in water, and even without supplementation the Albuquerque municipal water supply averages fluoride levels of 0.4 parts per million.
In 2014, the water authority board considered resuming the addition of fluoride to increase levels but agreed instead to take up the issue once the Centers for Disease Control issued recommendations for optimal fluoride levels in water. The CDC has since issued a recommendation of levels of 0.7 parts per million, setting the stage for Wednesday’s vote.
The board’s action followed often-passionate public comment by 17 people, 10 opposed to adding fluoride to the metro area’s drinking water and seven in support of it.
“Are you sure fluoride has no unintended consequences?” Don Schrader, Albuquerque activist and fluoride opponent, asked the board. “Are you sure fluoridation causes no long-term harmful consequences? If you vote to fluoridate, will you someday live to find out you were deceived?”


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