Fluoride opponents have filed a lawsuit against Healdsburg over the language of a November ballot initiative that asks voters to weigh in on the use of the additive in the city’s water supply.
The lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to force the city to duplicate the language of the petitions that were circulated to place the issue on the ballot, rather than the simplified version approved this week by the City Council.
The language of the citizens’ initiative signed by more than 10 percent of voters asked whether a moratorium on fluoridation should be adopted until the manufacturer could provide information on the chemical showing it is safe for ingestion by all consumers. It also sought a list of all “contaminants” and their amounts in each batch sold, something the city said would be prohibitively expensive.
Because the city could not comply with those requirements, Healdsburg officials said it was misleading to ask voters to impose a moratorium that in effect would be a cessation of fluoridation.
Instead the city attorney recommended a more straightforward ballot question that was approved by the City Council:
“Shall the City of Healdsburg stop fluoridating its water supply?”
Healdsburg is the only city in the county to add fluoride to its water as a tooth decay preventative, but critics view it as a form of mass medication that can have adverse health effects. Healdsburg voters in 2014 overwhelmingly supported fluoridation.