Decades of assurances that consuming fluoride in drinking water is a safe and an effective way to prevent cavities are being called into question as a jarring Fluoridegate controversy erupts across the nation.

A series of disclosures are surfacing about the actions of water fluoridation promoters that point to a likely tsunami of Fluoridegate investigations, hearings, and explosive courtroom entanglements.

Tennessee state legislator Frank Niceley states, "There is a real Fluoridegate scandal here. Citizens haven't been told about harm from fluorides, and this needs to be investigated by the authorities and the media."

Washington D.C. toxic tort attorney Chris Nidel says, "I think when we look back we'll ask why Fluoridegate didn't surface earlier. There are serious concerns about possible conflict of interest and heavy editing of information being fed to the public about fluoride risks and impacts."

On January 7, 2011 officials at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services recommended lowering the amount of fluoride in drinking water.

Health officials stated that their recommendation was simply a fine-tuning of fluoride levels to prevent a largely unnoticeable teeth staining called "dental fluorosis." But information now being shown to law firms, legislators, and investigative journalists affirms that the tooth staining is often disfiguring, that fluorides pose multiple other risks, and that questions about conflict of interest, undue influence and improper actions warrant investigation.

Americans are surprised to learn that the Centers for Disease Control's Oral Health Division is in charge of making assessments and statements for CDC about outside-the-mouth fluoride safety and research.

The apparent conflict of interest is drawing fire from several angles.

"This is clearly the fox guarding the henhouse," states Daniel G. Stockin about the CDC. Stockin is a career public health professional and former manager of the EPA Western Regional Lead Training Center. He works at The Lillie Center, a small firm in Georgia known for its efforts toward ending fluoridation.

"A number of groups, law firms, and journalists now want the names and job descriptions of persons inside CDC, both now and previously, that have been responsible for CDC's promotion of water fluoridation," Stockin says.

Other key issues are surfacing: Was improper influence by dental groups the reason CDC did not issue a press release four years ago about risks related to baby formula and fluoride? At the time, CDC quietly admitted on a little-noticed web page that because of possible dental fluorosis, parents may want to mix infant milk formula with unfluoridated water.

The Gerber baby products company now sells an unfluoridated water so parents of babies can avoid using fluoridated water for mixing milk formula.

Additional explosive questions offer to ignite investigative hearings: Why did CDC not openly share with the black community CDC's own data showing black Americans to be disproportionately harmed by the worst forms of dental fluorosis? Who is to pay for expensive teeth repair for persons unwilling to live with disfiguring dental fluorosis?

In a 2010 letter the President of the 5,000-member Coalition of African American pastors voiced his opposition to fluoridation, citing concern about higher amounts of fluorosis in black citizens.

The Fluoridegate developments also threaten to embroil private sector organizations.

Stockin says law firms are investigating legal strategies for personal injury, failure to warn, negligent misrepresentation, consumer fraud, environmental justice harm, and medical malpractice.

"Actions against private sector groups will bring public sector fluoride proponents to the witness stand, for the first time exposing the relationships and communications between government fluoridation promoters and private sector groups," Stockin says.

"This will expose the fluoride money trail and tell Americans about kidney risks, thyroid issues, and dental fluorosis," he adds.

The National Kidney Foundation quietly withdrew its endorsement of fluoridation in 2008 and did not put up a visible link to its new statement on its website or issue a press release to alert its members.

NKF is a recipient of grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control.

In 2006 a National Academy of Sciences report designated kidney patients, diabetics, infants, and seniors as "susceptible subpopulations" that are particularly vulnerable to harm from ingested fluorides.

A 1999 statement about fluoride supplements in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology predicted fluoride trouble ahead:

"It is only a matter of time until a case is brought that gets public attention. The risk is that noticeable fluorosis will be perceived by the public as a toxic consequence of fluoride ingestion -- which, arguably, it is -- and there will be a reaction against all uses of fluoride..."

Laura Seydel, well known Atlanta environmental activist and daughter of CNN founder Ted Turner says, "As a parent and citizen, I am outraged at what hasn't been told to Americans about potential harm from fluorides to susceptible groups."

"I call on our political leaders to hold Fluoridegate hearings to investigate CDC and other groups that have not openly shared vital information about fluorides with Americans," Seydel says.

"The world is not flat, and fluoridation is not safe," Stockin concludes.

The Lillie Center, Inc.