Anchorage Anti-Fluoride Effort Finds Newly Powerful Mainstream Support


The effort to stop fluoride from being added to Anchorage’s water supply is one of those fights that tends to elicit rolled eyes and a chorus of snickers in political circles and on local talk radio shows. In political circles, the alleged danger of fluoride in our drinking water ranks right up there with other perceived fringe theories like chemtrails and Muslim terrorist compounds in the Mat-Su. What, too soon on that last one? Sorry.

If you’re not familiar with the fluoride in the water supply issue here is a good recent article from KTOO.

The less-than-kind response from the political establishment to the anti-fluoride effort hasn’t stopped one earnest young candidate from making it his signature issue. Dustin Darden has run almost continuously the last two years for Anchorage Mayor, Assembly, and State House, and each of his campaigns has made fluoride one of his key issues.

While Darden isn’t currently registered as a candidate for any office, he is still campaigning against his old nemesis, fluoride. This time that campaign is taking the form of two voter initiatives. One would require the firms supplying Anchorage with fluoride for our drinking water to provide more detailed information on the contents of the product and certify its safety for human ingestion. The other initiative would stop the fluoridation of Anchorage’s water supply altogether.

You have to find it adorable the way Darden made the “t” in water into a cross.

Both initiatives have been approved by the Municipal attorney and the Clerk’s Office and are now supporters need to get the required 5,734 signatures of registered voters in order to see them appear on the Muni ballot April 4.


So far this is all a pretty straight forward story. A fringe candidate (Darden has not received more than 9.5% of the vote in any of his runs for office the last two years) is pushing what is commonly viewed as a fringe issue.

However, when the initiative applications are examined, some interesting, mainstream and newly powerful political names appear. Those applications require a sponsor to be listed, which as expected is Darden himself, along with a co-sponsor and the names and signatures of at least ten qualified voters, before the ballot language is reviewed and the larger round of signatures can be gathered.

Initiative proponents regularly use that list of voters is regularly to demonstrate who are the core group of supporters. For instance, with last year’s failed effort to repeal the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to the Muni’s non-discrimination code, sponsors included only conservative women among the list of initial signatories as a way of showing it wasn’t just old, conservative, white men attacking the LGBT community.

The initial paperwork for this year’s two anti-fluoride initiatives includes the names of two ascending state house representatives. Incoming House Majority Leader Rep. Chris Tuck appears on both fluoride initiatives as the Co-sponsor and newly elected Rep-elect Jason Grenn is listed among the first ten signers for the initiative to discontinue the Muni’s use of fluoride entirely.

In an interview last week Grenn said his signature on the petition shouldn’t be seen as an endorsement: “As it states now, I would vote against it. I don’t believe we need to change our city code to remove fluoride.” So why did he sign? “I believe in putting things on the ballot to have people vote yes or no on them, so it could be pretty much anything and if someone stops me in front of REI or Carrs, I sign,” he said. It appears Darden passed his application around at a candidate forum the two attended and Grenn accommodated.

Tuck is a different story. “I am an anti-fluoride-in-the-water person” he said in an interview last week. He continued, “You can’t control how much of it you’re getting when it’s in your water supply. People are brushing their teeth with fluoride and getting fluoride treatment, it’s just really hard to maintain and control when some people are drinking more water and others less water.We have some of the best water in the world and I just don’t really want it contaminated with fluoride”

Tuck said after hearing a presentation on the arguments in favor and opposed to the fluoridation of water a few years ago, he did his own research on this issue and its history and came to the conclusion that sodium fluoride, as opposed to the naturally occurring calcium fluoride, is unhealthy.

Even so, don’t expect to see Tuck as the face of an anti-fluoride effort this year. Tuck said with recently moving from the legislative minority to the post of House Majority Leader is occupying his time these days: “I’d like to be more involved in the campaign, but I’ve got other things I’m working on.”

It is unknown if Darden will be able to muster the volunteer base needed to gather the 5,734 necessary signatures to get the two initiatives in front of voters. It’s an even bigger unknown if voters will have an appetite for either if Darden succeeds in getting them on the April 4 ballot.  Having such a high-profile member of more mainstream politics as the House Majority Leader on board, however, should help move this issue from mockery worthy theory to a slightly more serious issue worthy of discussion.


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7 Comments on "Anchorage Anti-Fluoride Effort Finds Newly Powerful Mainstream Support"

  1. Fluoride is highly toxic and a cumulative poison, like lead, arsenic, and mercury. I have asked many forced-fluoridation fanatics to tell me how much accumulated fluoride in the body they think is safe. So far not a single one of them has been able to answer the question.

    It is unlikely to just be a coincidence that the US, Australia, and Ireland, which have had high rates of forced-fluoridation for decades, also have high rates of joint problems, and poor health outcomes in general.

  2. Modern science indicates that ingesting fluoride is ineffective at reducing tooth decay and harmful to health http://www.FluorideAction.Net/issues/health

    The EPA was recently served with a citizens’ petition urging them to ban fluoridation based on extensive studies showing that fluoride gets into the brain, where it shouldn’t be, and can alter neurodevelopment

    Fluoride was never expected to get into the brain when the first human fluoridation experiments began, nor were the brain effects ever studied. Do legislators really believe that the brain needs to be fluoridated or is it in their own political interest to make believe it’s OK

    Lobbied legislators should never be allowed to prescribe drugs to all their constituents whether they want it, need it or are harmed by it.

  3. The statements below are not supported by science or evidence. The Fluoride action network website is propoganda. Fluoride at .7ppm is absolutely safe and effective. Communities in Canada and the US that remove fluoride from drinking water move children into suffering and costly dental procedures. This costs tax payers more for children on Medicaid. See and easy to read facts like Don’t be fooled by fear mongers. Turn your attention instead to things we know little about like Monsanto and pesticides in the food system.

    • You appear to be ignorant of the fact that fluoride is a pesticide. Sodium fluoride and sodium fluorosilicate were already being used as insecticides and rodenticides before forced-fluoridation started in Grand Rapids, Michigan on January 25, 1945. Fluoride-based pesticides such as sulfuryl fluoride are still being used “in the food system” in the US, without even taking into account the fact that the fluoride pollution which is dumped into public water supplies makes its way into all of the processed food and drink which is made using fluoridated water, and food which is cooked in fluoridated water. The fact is you can’t cite a single good quality original research study which indicates that taking fluoride in water is anything but harmful and useless. Fluoridationists go on about the science they don’t understand and usually haven’t read because forced-fluoridation is the epitome of pseudoscience. Fluoride is even more toxic to humans than rats, by the way.

  4. Both the 2000 York and 2015 Cochrane reviews of all the pro-fluoridation literature found that most of them were so badly done, that they had to be rejected. None of the remaining poor quality studies at “high risk of bias” had any safety data and had conclusions of small dental benefit in which the panels had low confidence. On the other hand, the 2006 National Resource Committee confirmed that fluoride consumption was detrimental to several biological symptoms and again, had no evidence of safety at ANY LEVEL of consumption, especially for “susceptible populations” like pregnant women and their fetuses, bottle fed infants and young children, the elderly or any with a prolonged health condition.

    In the past ten years, there has been a LOT of science confirming harm. I recommend the citations in these three items:

    2016 TSCA Petition to the EPA from AAEM, IAOMT, FAN, MAF, FWW, & OCA (neurotoxicity & regulations):

    2016 letter to the American Thyroid Association from Richard Shames, MD, et al. (endocrine disruption & cancer)

    2016 letter to the National Governors Association from Erin Brockovich, Robert Bowcock and “elite” whistleblower attorney, Michael D. Kohn (lobbying & advocacy)

  5. Jennifer Meyer | February 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    It would serve everyone to retake 7th grade chemistry and stop regurgitating non scientific propaganda. A faster route would be to talk to your dentist. Your take on the York and Cochrane reviews are incorrect. Thank you for the spirited discussion.

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