Clarification on fluoride story

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The story “Local activists stymied in requests for fluoridation data” in the April 3 issue attributed the funding of the Metropolitan’s Water District’s local fluoridation program to the child advocacy group, First 5 LA.

The funding did not come from First 5 LA; the MWD received a $5.5 million grant from the California Dental Association Foundation, in conjunction with the California Fluoridation 2010 Work Group, to cover the capital costs of planning, designing and purchasing equipment to begin the process of fluoridation.

On the First 5 LA’s web site, it states that on Sept. 20, 2007, the group’s “Board of Commissioners approved a $20 million Oral Health Community Development Project (OHCD) that will allow communities to fluoridate their water supply to prevent tooth decay, especially in young children.

The OHCD will supplement existing fluoridation efforts of the Metropolitan Water District by helping cities from throughout Los Angeles County achieve optimally fluoridated water levels.”

However, Carol Baker, director of public affairs for First 5 LA, said no funds, as of yet, have been given to any community for fluoridation programs. Furthermore, Baker said, the organization would only contribute funding to fluoridation programs for communities that desire such a program, and that extensive community outreach and education would need to be conducted.