LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Efforts to mandate water fluoridation in larger Arkansas communities ended Wednesday after supporters fell short of a majority in the Senate Public Health Committee.
Legislators failed to pass a bill that would require communities of 5,000 or more to put fluoride in their water systems.
Supporters say fluoride is safe, economical and effective in fighting tooth decay and other oral problems — especially in children.
However, opponents questioned the effectiveness of fluoride and said residents in the communities should have the right to choose what they have added to their water.
The bill failed on a voice vote, and sponsoring Rep. Tommy Roebuck said he would not bring the bill up again. Roebuck, D-Arkadelphia, is a dentist.