Is Our Drinking Water Safe?

By Allison K. Sanger
National Coordinator, Secure the Heartland

On Sunday, February 6th, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette featured an entertaining, if not factual, editorial about Secure Arkansas’ latest legislative efforts. You, sir, have certainly expressed your opinion. Now, it’s time for a rebuttal or two, don’t you think? I know I do! After all, the love of a good argument is something we all can get behind. Though of course, I wouldn’t say that wanting to know what chemicals are in my drinking water is a reason for an argument. To me, its just plain common sense. However, you do have some arguments, obviously. So, I’ll endeavor to answer them.

“Try going to a Wal-Mart’s gardening section and declaring that Big Boy tomatoes are the tastiest. You’re bound to collide head on with a Roma tomato fan, poor soul, who’ll be delusional enough to call you on it. Ah, Arkansas! True grit and feisty about it.”

Sure, let’s compare potentially dangerous industrial waste in our drinking water to a disagreement about which tomato is the best. After all, it would seem drinking water safety is just as trivial. Right? No, I don’t think so. Here’s an answer for you… the best tomato is the one that hasn’t been genetically modified.

“Arkies don’t much cotton to shady dealing.”

You nailed that one on the head! That’s exactly why Secure Arkansas supported House Bill 1205. The fact that we DON’T know what chemicals are being added to our drinking water, and our legislators are apparently just fine with that, is the biggest “shady deal” of all.

“The paper says the bill would require manufacturers to provide water system operators with information about what they’re putting in our water. So far, so necessary.”

You’re absolutely right. House Bill 1205 IS “so necessary.” We are in complete agreement that system operators should know what’s in the chemicals they are adding to our drinking water. Not only that, but the good people of Arkansas should be aware of what they’re ingesting.

“Besides, a federal agency is in charge of additives in the drinking water. It’s called the Environmental Protection Agency.”

The EPA would NEVER fail to disclose findings, or fail to test for ALL the potential harmful things in our drinking water. You’ll have to excuse my sarcasm and eye rolling. All I can say is, if that’s the case, why did it shock the nation when Philly had 50 some-odd pharmaceutical drugs found in their drinking water? You can’t butter your bread on both sides. Either there is a margin for error on the part of federal agencies, or there isn’t. I’m not aware of any poll, report or stat that says the federal government and its agencies are omniscient. Although I’m sure they wish they were.

“And the state tests water all the time.”

Really!? Hmmm… is once a year now labeled by definition as “all the time?” I was unaware of this semantic change. Wow, I guess I must stay on my diet “all the time” then. I’ll have to give myself a good pat on the back for my dedication.

“… says the real argument is about . . . fluoride. Oh, Lord, not again.”

Oh yes, again and again and again, until our legislators start listening. There is a vast amount of documentation out there that does not support fluoridation of water. The numbers against it are growing daily as more and more legislators and Americans become educated about the facts. Apparently, you haven’t spent a lot of time looking at those facts, or you just simply want to believe outdated sciences from the 70’s.

“Wasn’t fluoride a staple Soviet conspiracy back when there were still Soviets around?”

I don’t think you’d find many people today that believe fluoride in our drinking water is a mass conspiracy prevaricated by the Russian communists. And for you to imply that those of us who are against ingesting unknown industrial waste products on a daily basis are in the same category as conspiracy “quacks” is not only offensive, but outrageous. However, you have a constitutional right to voice your opinions as surely as any “other” quack, so I’ll endeavor to be tolerant.

“Don’t you just hate it when they show us up, fluoride or no fluoride?”

Seriously? You’re going to use the argument that kids in the rural south are no dumber than those in the Yankee east as a valid argument to support fluoridation? Let’s look at stats that compare us educationally as a nation against those nations that do not fluoridate. I’m not saying that fluoride in the drinking water makes you stupid, but please… if you’re going to use that argument to discredit legitimate proposals for legislative change, make sure you’re looking at valid statistics to make your point.

“What do the doctors at the CDC know? You need to get on the Internet, darn it, where you can find the real truth.”

What do the doctors at the CDC know? Hmm… let’s get on the Internet and find out, shall we? According to the CDC’s website, they are currently in the process of recommending a change to the current allowable levels from 0.7 to 1.2 mg per liter. They are now thinking about recommending the allowable level be lowered to 0.7 mg/L in order to avoid any adverse health effects from over-fluoridation. Also, according to the CDC, the EPA allows up to 4 mg/L in drinking water.

It looks to me like there is a wide range of potential error in 0.7 mg/L and 4 mg/L. In addition, neither organization regulates amounts by law. They just give recommendations that are not enforceable unless the State regulates. It’s not even mandatory that fluoride has to be added to our drinking water. In light of all this uncertainty about what is safe and what isn’t between the EPA and the CDC, maybe we should just save the tax payers some money and do away with fluoridation all together. At least until the all-knowing safeguarding agencies can make up their minds.

Or — here’s a novel idea — maybe we could just ask the manufacturers who provide us with fluoride to give us a list of the chemical by-products that are also in that bag of fluoride. Compromise is always a good thing, don’t you think?

“… good ol, paranoid ol’ Secure Arkansas…”

Perhaps if you were more worried about the facts, and less about condescending sound bites, you would be able to comprehend and retain the legislation that Secure Arkansas has been fighting for. I wasn’t aware that wanting the English language to be the official language of Arkansas was grounds for a paranoid diagnosis. Thank you for taking the time to address this crazy behavioral disorder, though I could have done without the patronizing pat on the head. I’d apologize for the eye rolling I’m doing at this point, but I can’t seem to help my poor ol’ self.

“… worried about additives from-hold your seat-China or Mexico!

Forget all the people and agencies who test your water. Not to mention the Department of Homeland Security, who sure as heck better have people watching the water supply.”

Imagine being worried about importing chemical waste products that go into our drinking water from countries that are not mandated by law, in either their country or our own, to state ALL of the chemical compounds in their products. How silly of us to be concerned about our children’s safety. We must deserve to be mocked and ridiculed in editorials for our nerve.

Do you know what I find crazy? I find it crazy that you DON’T want to know. I find it crazy that you think the EPA and the CDC are looking out for your best interest in this matter. If they were, we wouldn’t even be having this debate.

As far as Homeland Security being on the look out… you have GOT to be joking, right? The only thing they are on the “look out” for are Americans exercising their God-given right to the pursuit of life and liberty. Well, that and copping a feel at the airport, but there’s really no need to discuss that shameful activity in more detail, is there?

“Why not just file a bill against fluoride and let’s have it out?”

Secure Arkansas would be more than happy to support legislation that prohibits fluoridation of our state’s drinking water. And here we thought we were being more reasonable by only asking that the ingredients added be disclosed. As far as an anti-fluoride bill being rejected by Arkansas, I think the general assembly should be confident enough to put it to a vote. Let Arkansans decide. Fluoridation or no. Transparency or no.

“THEN THERE was House Bill 1292. The honorable who filed it was Jon Hubbard from Jonesboro. That legislation would restrict the use of state services for illegal aliens to emergency care only.”

Oh, for SHAME. How dare tax payers not want to foot the bill for the ever-increasing illegal aliens that have flooded our country. As far as prenatal care and vaccinations are concerned, maybe the illegal aliens can get those services from their country of origin, or apply for legal citizenship in the U.S. Either is a more viable alternative to the tax payer just endlessly paying for border-crossing criminals. Yes, criminals. Because according to federal LAW, illegal aliens are breaking the LAW. The average tax payer can’t afford medical care in the U.S., so why should illegal aliens?

Wake UP! The U.S. is all but bankrupt. We cannot keep footing the bill and maintain our own fiscal responsibilities to the American citizen. The legal American citizens, that is.

“Don’t pussyfoot about it. That’s un-Arkinsaw. It may even be un-American.”

You know, it’s so nice of you to tell us what our own intentions are for proposing legislative changes. If not for people like you, why… we might not even know our own minds. Here we thought we spelled out pretty clearly EXACTLY what our intentions were with the bills we have brought forward. We must need to dumb down the terminology so that we’re more easily understood.

As far as being un-American… I thought involving ourselves in the governing of our state and country was as American as you can get. Isn’t that what our forefathers fought for? It’s what WE fight for. Apparently, you fight for the right to discredit and patronize those of us you disagree with. Thankfully, the laws of this great country still allow you to do so.

Thank you for the floor, sir. I’ve enjoyed our debate. A two-sided conversation is always preferable to a one-sided diatribe, isn’t it? I encourage every concerned citizen in Arkansas to visit the CDC and EPA websites and study the material they have published there. There are many independent studies available as well that are raising concerns about drinking water safety.

This is neither a conspiracy theory, nor a sensationalized media drama. It’s a very real issue every American should concern themselves with. Please feel free to contact us at Secure Arkansas with any questions about these topics you may have.

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