Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Where good bills go to die

Rep. Frank Niceley introduced a bill that would require bottled water companies and distributors who do business in Tennessee to reveal via label the amount of fluoride in their water. This is needed, as Frank said, because growing research indicates that fluoride in water has negative effects on diabetics, pregnant women, nursing women, and some older people.

Frank really did his homework on this legislation, and even got the bottlers of English Mountain Spring Water, one of Tennessee's largest spring water bottlers and a business in our district, to give their input. They favor this consumer protection, and were happy that someone was addressing the issue. It turns out that it won't cost them any extra to implement this as long as they are allowed to use up their old labels first-Frank happily amended the bill to allow for that.

Because water that is bottled from a truly natural Tennessee source-and isn't tap water (a great deal of the bottled water you buy at the store is really tap water)-is going to be naturally low in fluoride, such labeling is going to also alert you to when you are really buying glorified tap water, or water from a high fluoride out-of-State source that may not be so safe-how do you know?

The result? Well, the bill was sent to Summer Study Committee, a place where bills are studied and then die a slow death into the realm on nonexistence. It is the place where good bills go to die.

Frank's bill on animal ID
was amended to the point of turning a meaty bill into water, and rolled for another week yet again.



At Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:00:00 PM, Blogger Kat Coble said...

I don't necessarily think that this IS a good bill. I was going to go into it here, but decided to post on my blog instead. Basically, I think the problem with this bill is that it amounts to protectionism.

At Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:14:00 PM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

I am far more concerned with the unbelievable potential for the destruction of property rights inherent in any mandatory animal ID program than in any notions that the bill that would prohibit the State of Tennessee from participating in any mandatory animal ID program amounts to "protectionism."

At Wednesday, April 25, 2007 6:18:00 PM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

Ah-you speak of the labeling bill.

I don't agree. I have long thought fluoride was dangerous in our drinking water. I see no problem with labeling to warn of high fluoride content. I doubt very seriously that it is going to stop anyone from buying any water product they please.

At Wednesday, April 25, 2007 7:19:00 PM, Blogger Lesley said...

David, I comment on Kat's blog, but I think if Nicely's bill were truly altruistic regarding the protection of consumers from glorified tap water, he would not have proposed that it go into effect July 1, but rather phased in so that companies could respond in a cost-effective manner.

And I do think it's at least partially protectionist. Would he have introduced the bill if that company was not in his district? Probably not.

At Wednesday, April 25, 2007 9:16:00 PM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

The bill has in fact been amended so that companies can respond in a cost-effective manner. The amendment was made after Frank spoke with bottled-water distributors. He really did his homework on this.

At Thursday, April 26, 2007 8:08:00 AM, Blogger W said...

That's a relief. Now I can tell which companies don't have enough flouride and are bad for my teeth.

At Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:46:00 AM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

If you take that angle, this law would help you, too.


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