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Corporate Accountability International

This organization really should know better. It has its own Hall of Shame for corporate scoundrels. In its ongoing campaign against bottled water, it raised a stink about the prospect of bottled water being served at the upcoming Presidential inauguration ceremony. Such a stink, now they’re crowing that the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies affirmed that tap water will be served instead.

Three weeks ago, I sent them the following email in response to their campaign to get bottled water removed from the ceremony.

High quality tap water?

I stopped supporting your organization because of this myth you are peddling about tap water. I live in California, which mandates fluoridation of tap water. Washington DC also fluoridates its water. Nobody should be drinking fluoride in water. Period. End of story. This is a scam of massive proportions, which you are helping to perpetrate. There are other pollutants in tap water that are reduced but not eliminated by the filtering that is done, but at least they are not added deliberately. Would you like a spot in my Greenwashers Hall of Shame?

If you do not respond to this email, I assure you, I will take your support of tap water to pieces. I agree that bottled water presents its own problems, but tap water is not safe to drink, unless distilled or extensively filtered, and you should know better than to promote it as such. Corporations are not the only entities abusing the public trust. Government agencies that enable corporations to get away with their crap are just as bad, if not worse, since they are pretending to protect the public. Far from it. Why do we have nuclear power plants? Genetically modified food crops sprayed with carcinogenic pesticides and herbicides? Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas? I could go on and on. The government winks at all this, while pretending to work in the public interest. Whose side are you on, anyway?

I got no response. The thing is, this organization should know all this. It must think fluoridation is fine and dandy, that those who complain about it are just a bunch of right-wing wackos. Some of those who have protested fluoridation are of that variety. Others are scientists with integrity, such as myself and Gary Null, who has documented the fluoride fiasco extensively. His white paper contains a definition that may be misleading.

Fluoride is a compound of fluorine, and while fluorine is one of earths natural elements, fluoride is a chemical byproduct…

Fluorine doesn’t occur naturally in its pure form on Earth; it is far too unstable. Fluoride is ionized fluorine, which occurs naturally bonded to metals in several minerals. Fluorine also forms covalent bonds with nonmetals, but those compounds are man-made, such as freon. Fluorine is a deadly poison, one of the most deadly elements on the planet, the most electronegative element in existence, which means it is the most powerful oxidizing element in existence. Fluoride is only useful against tooth decay because, as a broad spectrum poison, applied topically it will kill bacteria on the teeth. Look at the small print on toothpaste containing fluoride. It has a warning about swallowing, because it is no secret that fluoride can kill, or in smaller doses cause brittle bones or dental fluorosis, a syndrome named just for the effects of excessive fluoride on teeth. The CDC, while promoting fluoride as protecting teeth, says this:

Dental fluorosis is a change in the appearance of the tooth’s enamel. These changes can vary from barely noticeable white spots in mild forms to staining and pitting in the more severe forms.

The site lists common sources of exposure to fluoride, but tellingly leaves out one of the primary sources, pesticide residues. Fluorine is used in many pesticides, and non-organic fruit juices often have significant levels of fluoridated pesticide residues, much higher levels than are recommended for tap water. Fluoride was being tested as a treatment for osteoporosis, but that had to be abandoned because it caused bones to become brittle and more likely to fracture, another case of a treatment worse than the disease.

Fluoride is just one problem with tap water in communities that use it. Other contaminants include by-products of chlorination, resistant bacteria, pharmaceutical residues, and heavy metals. Tap water is filtered, but not enough to get rid of all the contaminants. To do that would cost a fortune. It can be done with an expensive home water filter; the cheap ones don’t do much. They might reduce heavy metals or chlorination by-products, but won’t filter out fluoride. Somehow I doubt the tap water that will be served at the inauguration will be refiltered. Does Corporate Accountability International know that fluoride is a neurotoxin? The Nazis experimented with it to keep their prisoners docile. As if we needed politicians to act even more stupidly than they do already! Is this organization aware that the Nuremberg Code outlawed forced medication? Is fluoridating water to allegedly prevent tooth decay not an example of forced medication?

Even the government has recommended lowering the amount of fluoride to the bottom of what they call the optimal range, which really should be zero, since ingesting fluoride has no benefits whatsoever.

HHS is proposing that the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water can be set at the lowest end of the current optimal range to prevent tooth decay, and EPA is initiating review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water.

These actions will maximize the health benefits of water fluoridation, an important tool in the prevention of tooth decay while reducing the possibility of children receiving too much fluoride.

The element most closely related to fluorine is chlorine, but ionic chloride is nothing like fluoride in biological activity. Chloride is an absolutely essential nutrient. Table salt is sodium chloride. Yes, too much salt is dangerous, but so is too much water. Sodium fluoride, by contrast, is a deadly poison; the amount of salt people commonly ingest daily, if sodium fluoride were substituted for sodium chloride, would kill an elephant. This is why the recommended concentration of fluoride in water is less than one part per million. The concentration of salt in seawater is over 30 parts per thousand. This is too salty for hydration, but it doesn’t bother fish, and if one drank a glass of seawater, the excess of salt wouldn’t damage a person; the body would just be forced to urinate it out. The US Geological Survey defines fresh water as less than 1000 parts of salt per million. In contrast to the salts, the covalent compounds of chlorine are more similar to those of fluorine; both are extensively used in pesticides, and can cause a variety of problems for higher life forms, such as cancer and hormone disruption.

So while I agree that governments should be investing more to provide safer tap water, and that bottling water is causing major problems, in many communities, including most of California and Washington DC, the tap water is far from safe to drink. Corporate Accountability International should be ashamed of itself for promoting tap water as safe. Besides, the drain on water resources from bottling pales in comparison to the amounts used to obtain natural gas and oil, which is the last thing this planet needs, however much Obama wants to brag about how much oil and gas is now being produced locally so that this country isn’t as dependent on imported oil.

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