This year, the state of Nebraska passed a law mandating fluoridation of drinking water but gave communities the chance to opt out by 2010.

Last week, more than 60 communities voted on the issue, the majority of which said no to fluoride.

Jeff Green of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water reports, via the IAOMT:

Up to 40 cities, of the 52 that we have been able to obtain reports on, are now listed as rejecting the state fluoridation mandate in Nebraska. FAN has most of them listed on their website, and are updating, though currently missing some percentages listed here. [Note: As of Friday, the total was 49 of 61 total communities rejecting fluoridation.]

Unfortunately so far there has been no news service that has tabulated all of the election results on the issue, and some individual reports have been incorrect.

The amazing aspect is the complete rejection of the Nebraska Legislature’s decision (even to override the Governor’s veto) by such large margins.

For those of you who Have not read of the Nebraska plight, which is already 70% fluoridated, the Nebraska Dental Association convinced the State Legislature to mandate fluoridation for all of the rest of the communities with 1000 service connections, unless the citizens placed the issue on the ballot to opt out. The legislation prohibits any already-fluoridated communities from revisiting the issue.

The Governor vetoed the bill on the grounds that the communities would be forced to spend money to determine something they already have a right to initiate and determine themselves, which he called an unfunded mandate.

The Nebraska Senate over-rode the Governor’s veto.

Hastings became our model for grassroots strategy, sporting 3 ballot measures on the issue.

The first was a ballot measure to opt out of fluoridation placed on the ballot by the City Council, which had already immediately voted to implement the State law, with the text derived from the league of cities. Supporters of safe drinking water in Hastings rejected this as sufficient, as it ignored the realities of the contaminated and unstudied product that would be delivered.

The second was created by circulating an initiative that featured the accurate description of the product to be added, hydrofluosilicic acid (terminology that the the City Council refused to incorporate).

The third measure on the ballot was an initiative that citizens circulated that addressed criteria for direct water additives intended to treat humans, rather than the water, which established requirements for accountability, disclosure/transparency, compliance with law, and conformance with AWWA standards.

The incorporation of these same criteria as a due diligence approach to the issue, behind the scenes in other communities, has halted all fluoridation, as no product will fulfill reasonable, and even expected, criteria or the legislative intent.

The media completely ignored the water additive criteria bill. But, as a mainstay in community discussions, opposition to safe drinking water criteria signaled to audiences that the support and endorsements for fluoridation were askew, prompting the education on all versions to rise.

Each of the measures to opt out and the water additives criteria bill was overwhelmingly supported by the voters, 67-33%, 68-32%, and 71-29%, respectively.

The Executive Director of the Nebraska Dental Association has reported that there must have been some confusion, so they will go back to the Legislature to “allow” the communities to vote again (my emphasis!!!).

Nebraskans for Safe Water is expected to propose a safe drinking water additives criteria bill that was enacted in Hastings to the Legislature, along with this record of rejection of the fluoridation mandate.

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