BY DONNA WESTFALL
Every day I receive word of another city turning off fluoride. Today, I got word of the following from Wisconsin:
Fluoridation discontinued in St. Croix Falls The public works department in St. Croix Falls pulled the plug on the city’s fluoridation pumps on the morning of February 12 — a controversial decision made by the City Council Feb. 11.
This out of UTAH today:
Rep. Roger Barrus, R-Centerville, wants to ensure that Utah communities with fluoridated water know precisely what’s in the water.
Barrus, sponsor of HB72, believes if a fluoridation system is in place, it should have appropriate safety measures and full disclosure of water quality throughout the process, until it reaches the consumers’ tap. “What rational legislator would ever tell a constituent that `I support putting impurities in your drinking water, but I don’t want to give you a transparent process so you can know how much?’ Barrus said.
There are so many things I find fascinating about this process from educating the public, to reading the same astroturfers all over the nations newspapers who are paid by the pro-fluoride side, to our own local Democratic Party that continued to endorse keeping this harmful chemical in our water, to bills being introduced in different state legislatures.
I’d like to add that I contacted Dianne Feinstein’s office and spoke with Wes Chesbros’ assistant about the harm of water fluoridation but neither one ever did anything about it.
I asked Mark Geitzen who wrote up the bill for the Kansas House if he would allow me to share his story. I received his permission this morning. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have and I hope you are able to do something to help Kansas as it will help the rest of the United States and the other 8 or so countries in the world that still fluoridate their water.
MARK GEITZEN WRITES:
I am writing tonight with some great news! (February 18, 2013)
Earlier today, we had our Fluoride Bill, HB2372
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/measures/documents/hb2372_00_0000.pdf , successfully introduced on the House Floor in Topeka, Kansas.
To follow the progress of this bill in the days and weeks ahead, you may use
This development is nothing short of a miracle because during the past two months, our efforts to bring a fluoride bill to the Kansas House of Representatives revealed that only a few Kansas Representatives outside of Wichita’s delegation, were actually interested in helping us – and virtually no one was willing to stick their neck out, so-to-speak. Mostly, it is a matter of lack of education on the issue – which I understand very well, being a newcomer to the Fluoride Fight myself.
Without going into a lot of detail about the difficulties we have had thus far, let me summarize by saying that as recently as a week ago, the fluoride issue was considered to be dead for 2013, and that the best we could hope for was to get something introduced in next year’s 2014 session …and that, only if a lot more ground-work were done first!
In spite of the fact that it looked like getting an actual bill this year was going to be impossible, and that the best we could expect was a non-binding recommendation from the Kansas House of Representatives, recommending further study on the effects of fluoride, Deborah Sanders, (a Wichita veteran Fluoride-fighter who is now a registered Topeka Lobbyist with me on the Fluoride Issue) and I, sought and got a meeting with the powerful head of the Federal and State Affairs Committee, the Hon. Rep. Arlen Siegfreid. He is a friend of mine from years past, and he felt obliged to at least listen to us.
At first, Hon. Rep. Arlen Siegfreid also tried to tell us that it would be best to wait until next year… but by the time this late after-hours meeting was over on Tuesday, February 12th, Arlen had changed his mind. He said: (a) if, we could send him documentation proving that what we were saying about Harvard and the I.Q. factor were true, and (b) if we had “a bill in hand by morning”, ready to go, and (c) if we could get “an Okay” from The Speaker of the house, Hon. Rep. Ray Merrick, that he would make arrangements for us to get a bill introduced in his committee.
We had been working for months on drafting a bill, several versions in fact, but nothing was ready, and there was no agreement among the few Representatives who were still willing to work with us, as to which approach to take. One plan favored by the Democrats, was to submit a bill via the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, because if ingested fluoride lowers I.Q., than that would impact the prison population in Kansas, since those of lower I.Q are far more likely to end up in prison, as compared to those of higher IQ.
However, after rushing back to Wichita from Topeka, it was nearly midnight when I was able to begin working on the Bill’s wording, and I decided that I would be best to just start from scratch.
I took another bill that I was familiar with, gutted it completely, renamed it, and started building from there.
Thankfully, I had a resource worth its weight in gold. During the 2012 Sedgwick County fight over exactly what a “Fluoride Fact Sheet” was supposed to look like, Stephanie Walker had assisted me in making an actual “Fluoride Fact Sheet” which, Dr. Albert W. Burgstahler, Ph.D., and Dr. Paul Connett, Ph.D., then meticulously evaluated and worked on, rewording it to make it something that would be 100% completely factual and completely defensible as well. It was that language that became the foundational language for the new Kansas Bill.
It was after 3:00 am on the morning of February 13th when I finished the wording. With only a couple of hours of sleep, Deborah Sanders and I were back on the road to Topeka again where we completed the arrangements for the introduction of the bill. By the Grace and help of God, all went well!
Tomorrow, we will be in Topeka again. This time, we are hoping to get HB2372 transferred to the Health and Human Services Committee where it is most likely to be given a full hearing. This committee is headed by Hon. Rep. Dr. David Crum, another powerful man who is also the Assistant House Majority Leader in Kansas. Dr. Crum was among those who attended the preview of the Dr. David Kennedy, DDS, movie, “Fluoridegate-An American Tragedy”.
Please help us with the following:
1. If you are able to do so, please make a financial donation of $10, $50, or $100, because everything we do costs money. Our largest expense is printing costs. Printing key documents is necessary since Senators and Representatives will rarely actually see a simple “link” in an e-mail, even if it is in a letter from a constituent. Assistants handle their e-mail and you have to meet them, talk to them, and hand them the material when you are talking to them, and answer their questions then and there, if you want to truly influence them. Other costs include lobbying registration & fees, and of course travel expenses.
Please make your check out to the KRA, and send it to the address below. If you put the word “Fluoride” on the memo line, or if the check comes from anyone who is on this mailing list, we will account for it separately as we have done on all of our fluoride work thus far. We understand that currently there are more Democrat fluoride-fighters than Republicans, and I will personally guarantee that not one penny of funds designated for fluoride work will be used in any other way. Currently, the KRA is deeply invested in the fluoride fight, but we have about reached our limit among our membership …and the fight at the state level is just beginning!
In any case, having come this far, it would be a shame to let this bill now die in committee.
2. If you live in Kansas, please write a letter to EVERY member of the House of Representatives, asking them to SUPPORT HB2372. You are also welcome to do so if you live out-of-state, but only if you are an expert in the field would your letter be given much consideration. Avoid mass-mailings, but a copy & paste procedure is fine. If you do not have the time to write to every House member, then by all means, at least write to YOUR Representative. Hold off on writing to your Senator until later. Here is a helpful link: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/chamber/house/
3. PLAN NOW, to attend upcoming committee hearings. To EACH and EVERY Kansas resident, this is particularly important! To anyone who is an expert, regardless of your state of residence, (you know who you are…), please be aware that we will be calling on you to come for a committee hearing in the near future, maybe on short notice.
No matter where you live in the entire world, the passage of HB2372 will help you… and a setback in Kansas will be a bad indication for your own hopes and plans to remove fluoride from your community’s water supply.
If HB2372 passes, then I can almost guarantee you, that Kansas will be on its way to becoming the first Fluoride-free state in America. That would be progress that we could all celebrate nationwide, but this is just the first step!
Thank you for being a Fluoride-Fighter!
Mark S. Gietzen, President
Kansas Republican Assembly
5575 South Mosley Street
Wichita, Kansas, 67216-3631