CHEMICAL NATION OR ORGANIC NATION?
Fluoridation is an important health and environmental issue, but it is only one part of a much bigger picture. Fluoridation is but one aspect of our reckless contamination of our bodies and the environment with any and every conceivable chemical for the sake of enriching for-profit corporations.
Organic is not our national policy. Chemical is our policy. If a plant or animal can be grown or raised without chemicals, it does not receive any tax break or subsidy. It does not even receive any government encouragement. But if some chemical company finds some small cost savings that can be achieved with the use of a its chemical, then we allow the chemical to be produced and used. Chemical foods are a little cheaper; cheaper is considered better. The long term, hidden costs of using the chemical on our bodies and the environment are ignored. Industry must be allowed to make profits, and if they claim they can make a profit producing an unnecessary and harmful chemical, it is our policy to allow the unnecessary and harmful chemical to be produced and used, as long as the adverse effects are not to obvious, as long as the chemical can be buried or disbursed when its use is complete, and as long as users have not yet proved that the chemical is harmful. Our regulatory agencies bend over backward to allow the sale and use of these chemicals. Our Environmental Protection Agency is a Chemical Permitting Agency.
Our policy is that the solution to pollution is dilution. The way to dispose of toxic fluoride scrubber liquor is to dilute it into our drinking water. We have lost our way.
The solution to pollution should be not to produce the pollution in the first place.
It should be our goal as a nation to be as organic, as non-toxic, as non-chemical, as non-coal, as non-petroleum, as non-gas, as non-fracking, as non-nuclear, as recyclable, and as humane to animals as we can possibly be. If we set this as our goal, we would be healthier and probably healthier. There would even be financial advantages: Our health care costs would drop. Our products would be of higher quality and would sell around the world and for a better price.
The best way to deal with garbage and trash is to recycle as much as possible and throw away as little as possible. To do that we should collect a deposit at the time a product is sold – whether it is a food or beverage container, a motor vehicle, or a computer – which will pay the cost of recycling it when its useful life is over.
What I read in the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act is consistent with such organic, non-chemical, and non-toxic goals. We should strive to discharge as close to zero toxic waste as possible into water and air. Any chemical or agricultural task which can be accomplished without the use of toxic chemicals should be done without them – even if it costs more to do so. It is counter-productive to produce toxic chemicals just so chemical companies can make profits. Instead chemical companies should learn how to make their profits without producing toxic chemicals.
to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters…. [I]t is the national goal that the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters be eliminated by 1985. [I]t is the national policy that the discharge of toxic pollutants in toxic amounts be prohibited….
Allowing water fluoridation necessitates dumping contaminants into navigable waters. Under the Clean Water Act the term “navigable” is very broad. Water downstream from fluoridated cities contains significant amounts of fluoride. Fish swim the other way.
The Safe Drinking Water Act issues the same call. The SDWA specifically prohibits requiring the addition of any chemical to drinking water for medical purposes. See 42 USC 300g-1(b)(11):
No national primary drinking water regulation may require the addition of any substance for preventive health care purposes unrelated to contamination of drinking water.”
I read these same organic and non-toxic values in § 300g–1 of the SDWA:
The Administrator … shall take into consideration … the effect of such contaminants upon … infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, individuals with a history of serious illness, or other subpopulations … identifiable as being at greater risk of adverse health effects due to exposure to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.
The EPA is to look after the most vulnerable. Instead, it looks after the profits of chemical companies.
I read these values in the definitions of Maximum Contaminant Level, and Maximum Contaminant Level Goal. The MCLG is the
level at which no known or anticipated adverse effects on the health of persons occur and which allows an adequate margin of safety.
The MCL specifies
a maximum contaminant level for such contaminant which is as close to the maximum contaminant level goal as is feasible.
Most critics of fluoridation focus on the MCL of 4 ppm. But it is not just the MCL that is too high; the MCLG is too high too. The EPA set the MCLG ridiculously high so that the MCL could be set ridiculously high.
All the plants and animals we raise can be raised organically, without chemicals like super-phosphate fertilizer. We not only over-fertilize our corn, cotton, soy, and wheat with super-phosphate fertilizer, we actually feed it to our farm animals! Plants and animals can be grown cleaner, healthier, and more nutritiously if they are raised without chemicals. Workers can be healthier working in organic agriculture.
The spoliation of sections of land in Florida and Louisiana to make super-phosphate fertilizer – which produces in turn most of the SiF used as fluoridation materials – is unnecessary. In most parts of the United States there is sufficient phosphate already in the soil; it is only necessary to adjust soil pH to release it.
Tax breaks for growing soy and corn that will be fed to food animals should end. It should be our goal to raise all food animals cleanly and organically on small farms, and to raise and kill them humanely. The price of meat would be higher and we should eat less of it. It should be a condiment instead of the main course. Large industrial farms – ugly slums of filth, disease, and suffering – should be shut down. I hope more of us will go so far as to quit using animals for food altogether. With our population at 7.0 billion and headed for 9.0 billion, we should eat a green diet that is as low as possible on the food chain.
GMOs should be banned. GMOs are alien species. Their existence may do us harm. In the case of the bees – which pollinate the crops we rely on – they are already doing harm. Chimeras pollute the gene pool. GMO pollen is spread everywhere by birds, insects, and the wind. Organic strains are being polluted. The only advantage of GMOs is that they create monopoly profit for certain corporations.
We should get all our energy from sun, wind, wave, tide, and geothermal. There is more than enough energy from such sources to supply all our needs. We can make all the electricity and hydrogen we need without coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear plants.
We should shut down all our nuclear plants. Uranium is filthy to mine. There are uranium tailings that run down the Colorado River and are in the drinking water of the Southwest. When the inevitable earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or coronal mass ejection comes, or when the inevitable human error occurs, a resulting loss in control can lead to a catastrophe.
There is only financial loss in the nuclear endeavor after the reactor shuts down. The cost of storing guarding nuclear waste for 100,000 years is far more than the value of the electricity which nuclear plants produce during their 40 year lives. And nuclear power is a stepping stone to nuclear weapons.
The chemical, fertilizer, agribusiness, nuclear industries would laugh at such goals and they would resist them. They believe that they will be unable to make as much profit producing a clean product. They are wrong: There is plenty of money to be made organically.
Corporations have limited liability. Most corporations care little about anything except maximizing profits, although there are some exceptions. Profits must grow, or new management will be brought in. In the case of industries that sell fluoride, management must poison its own children, or new management will be found which will.
The flaw in corporate structure is that the corporate veil which shields the shareholder from any financial responsibility – in excess of the amount invested—also shields the shareholder from any moral responsibility. The typical shareholder fails to demand high ethical standards of the corporation, in part because it might lessen profits.
Corporations are non-personal beings. They are super-beings. They have eternal life. The power of corporations needs to be curtailed. Executives and large shareholders should have personal liability for violations of law.
Humans can be counted on to some extent to have a conscience, which will in many cases govern excesses. However, corporations have no conscience.
Just as we broke free of royalty, we should break free of the giant corporations. The fluoride problem is just one part of a larger chemical, fertilizer, agribusiness, nuclear problem. Ending fluoridation is only one aspect of a democratization which must take place.
The fluoride problem grew out of the uranium and nuclear industry during World War II when rules could be broken in the name of national defense. The rule breaking never stopped.
The fluoride problem grew out of the chemical, agricultural, fertilizer industry – which resists finding a cleaner way to earn profits.
Big chemical companies make political contributions to candidates and in this way buy seats on the boards of EPA, CDC, FDA, and other agencies. The agencies created to protect people instead protect the profits of the big corporations. A constitutional amendment is needed to limit contributions and finance campaigns publicly.
I have traveled far afield from the fluoridation issue, but I have done so only because the fluoridation issue is so intertwined with the other issues mentioned. All the agencies need to start doing good and honest science – on all the issues that touch on our health and well being.
These are lofty standards. The money fixated would mock them as unrealistic. Nevertheless, we should strive to attain them. We should respect life in all ways possible. If we do we will be wealthier, not just in money but also in the peace and beauty which would surround us.
James Robert Deal, Attorney
WSBA Number 8103