California state law requires water agencies with more than 10,000 water service connections fluoridate their drinking water supplies. The applicable statutes are found in the California’s Health & Safety Code, §§ 116409, 116410, and 116415.
An interesting twist in this legislation is that a public water system is not required to use public funds for this purpose, and is exempt from the requirement to fluoridate its water until sufficient outside funding becomes available.
The City of San Diego successfully avoided the requirement to fluoridate for many years. So enlightened were San Diego’s leaders that they even enacted a local law in 1954, that prohibited fluoridation of the public water supply. San Diego Municipal Code Section 67.0101 states, “it is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person, including the City of San Diego and for its elective or appointed officers or employees, to use in or add to the water supply of this City any Fluorine, Sodium Fluoride, Sodium Silico Fluoride or any Fluoride compound, or to treat such water supply with aforesaid chemicals before delivery to the consumers thereof.”
That was a great law. It outlawed the use of fluoride in our municipal water system. However, once outside funding became available to pay for fluoridation, that local law became at odds with, and was preempted by the state law. Other California cities, however, have not been so quick to buckle under to the statutes cited above. Below we will discuss how La Mesa, Escondido, and Redding managed prohibit fluoridation, in spite of the State law.
In June 2008, the San Diego City Council accepted an offer of funding from the First 5 Commission of San Diego County for the purpose of fluoridating the City’s public water supply. This organization may have had good intentions in doing so, yet surely were misguided. In view of what we now know about the dangers of adding fluoride to our water supply, perhaps the most efficient way to stopping the practice locally would be to cut that funding.
The First 5 Commission of San Diego consists of five members: a member of the Board of Supervisors, the Director of the County Health and Human Services Director (HHSA), an appointee of the Director of HHSA and two members appointed by the Board of Supervisors. These individuals were likely unaware of the detrimental effects of water fluoridation when they made the grant of funding to the City of San Diego to commence fluoridation.
The stated intent of the California legislature in enacting §§ 116409, 116410, and 116415, was to “decrease the burden the Medi-Cal and the Denti-Cal programs place upon the state’s limited funds.” Unwittingly, by putting this legislation in place, the legislature may have accomplished the exact opposite.
Scientific evidence is now overwhelming to show that fluoridation of our water supply has caused far more harm than good. One need only invest an hour of time to learn this, by watching Dr. David Kennedy’s documentary: Fluoridegate – An American Tragedy.
La Mesa, Escondido, and Redding California, Successfully Rejected Fluoridation
Unlike San Diego, nearby cities of La Mesa and Escondido resolved not to comply with the State’s requirement to fluoridate. La Mesa did so by voting in March of 1999 to reject any outside funding offered for the purpose of installing the infrastructure to fluoridate its water. The Escondido City Council, also in March of 1999, 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. (More details are available here.)
In 2001 the case of Macy v. City of Escondido was filed in an effort to prevent the City of Escondido’s use of HFSA to fluoridate its water supply. This class action lawsuit against the City of Escondido and the State of California Department of Health, challenged fluoridation on constitutional grounds. The plaintiff’s brought suit to “challenge the constitutionality of using contaminated, industrial grade Hydrofluorosilicic acid to fluoridate the public water supply . . .”
The case dragged on for 4 years, with a fairly steady stream of rulings supporting the plaintiffs. Before the final disposition of the case, however, the judge initially assigned the case was appointed to another court. The tide then turned against the plaintiffs, and the trial court ruled in favor of polluting the water with hazardous waste. On appeal the title of the case was changed to COSHOW, et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. CITY OF ESCONDIDO. On August 17, 2005, the decision of the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling. After reading the court documents, and the strong arguments against fluoridation, it is difficult to understand the Court’s rationale. It suggests that if one is consistently losing arguments in court, the course of action is to simply replace the judge.
Redding, California, did it differently. In November of 2002, voters in Redding approved Measure A to reject fluoridation. Measure A does not ban fluoridation outright. Instead, the measure forbids the city from adding chemicals to the water supply which lack federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for their health claims. While the FDA lacks jurisdiction to regulate public drinking water, Under 21 U.S.C.S. §321, the FDA is conferred with the exclusive authority to approve any “drug.” A drug is defined as a substance “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease.” If the purpose of adding fluoride to water is to prevent dental decay, then it clearly is being used as a drug. The FDA has never approved hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) as a drug for human consumption, nor is it ever likely to do so. More details are provided here.