The federal government has known for five decades that blacks were even more susceptible than whites to serious damage from fluoride added to water supplies, but it urged local governments to fluoridate the population anyway, according to newly released documents. In addition to knowingly inflicting major dental problems known as “fluorosis” on whites and especially blacks through the controversial forced mass-medication scheme, federal health officials never even bothered to inform blacks about the risks. Despite the mounting scientific evidence of harm and the ethical concerns surrounding the involuntary medical treatment, authorities across the United States continue fluoridating public water supplies.

The recently uncovered documents, obtained using Freedom of Information (FOIA) Act requests by the anti-fluoridation group Fluoride Action Network (FAN), reveal that the U.S. Public Health Service fully understood the consequences of its actions. The tale begins in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945, when authorities there began a massive involuntary medical experiment by adding the controversial chemical to the water supply. The theory was that fluoride, now labeled a “neurotoxin” by perhaps the world’s most prestigious medical journal and myriad experts, might reduce cavities.

The results of the experiment, which for the first time focused on the chemical’s effects on the black community, revealed that blacks were far more susceptible to dental fluorosis than whites. Indeed, an internal 1962 memorandum from Public Health Service official F.J. Maier, “sanitary engineer director” with the “Division of Dental Public Health and Resources,” stated that “negroes in Grand Rapids had twice as much fluorosis than others.” The condition, which is caused by fluoride consumption, produces a wide range of problems. In moderate to severe cases, it damages tooth enamel to such an extent that teeth can literally fall apart.

In the memo, Maier expressed concerns over “opponents” of forcible fluoridation using the data to fight back against the mass-medication plot then under way across much of the nation. He also asked whether the explosive findings about fluoride’s effects on blacks would change the “optimum fluoride levels” for communities “with a larger number of negroes” such as DeKalb County in Georgia. Despite being aware of the damage, no changes were made, and officials never took steps to educate black Americans about their increased risks of dental fluorosis, FAN said in a statement.

Today, dental fluorosis has reached unprecedented levels among all Americans — with blacks continuing to suffer the most. According to another set of recently released documents obtained using FOIA, well over one third of white children in America were diagnosed with the condition in a 1999-2004 national survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By contrast, a shocking 58 percent of black children in the United States suffered from dental fluorosis in that period, according to the CDC survey.

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