Efforts are under way to stop the implementation of fluoride into Davis County”s drinking water and to place the issue back on the November 2002 ballot to overturn the fluoride directive.
“We”re planning a re-vote on the issue in November 2002,” said David Hansen, who has led efforts in the local area to fight the addition of fluoride to the county”s drinking water, a measure that Davis and Salt Lake County voters approved by a narrow majority a year ago.
Hansen said petitions are currently being circulated to gather the approximately 8,600 registered county signatures needed to put the issue before voters in 2002. He said once those signatures are certified by the county clerk, the Davis County Commission will be asked to place a fluoride re-vote on the ballot.
“Clearly, the majority of voters are saying “no” to fluoridation,” Hansen said. “And once those signatures are gathered by the end of this November and certified, they will be taken to a judge who will be asked to issue a stay order, preventing the adding of fluoride to the county”s drinking systems, according to Richard Brown, who is part of the anti-fluoridation citizens group.
Brown said the group already has 5,000 signatures, more than half the number they need.
The Davis County Board of Health”s directive is that fluoride be added to all county drinking systems by May 2002. A slim majority of voters approved the water fluoridation measure in the November 2000 election.
“In my view, the question was already put to the voters. If they actually get enough signatures, which they have not done yet, and if they were to get those certified, which they have not done yet, and take those to a judge, I find it hard to believe that a judge would not view the current election results as binding,” said Davis County Health Director Lewis Garrett.
“In other elections, if this was done, it would grind the wheels of government to a halt,” Garrett said.
News of an anti-fluoridation petition and other efforts to halt its implementation came as little surprise to former Davis County Board of Health Chairwoman Beth Beck, who strongly supported the county”s fluoride initiative.
“Dave Hansen can”t let this go. He”s like a zealot. He thinks his rights supersede those who want fluoride in their water. He thinks they (voters) were duped or some strange phenomenon. More people voted for fluoride than against it. He just can”t believe that people have a different viewpoint other than his and that there”s any merit to it,” Beck said.
Hansen”s group has also begun a petition drive in Salt Lake County to gather 30,000 valid signatures to get the Salt Lake County Safe Drinking Water Act on the ballot.
A news release from Hansen said the fluoridation agent intended for use is an industrial waste product called hydrofluorosilicic acid, which is an unpurified by-product extracted from the smokestack scrubbers of the phosphate fertilizer industry. The initiative would ban the use of hazardous or toxic waste products, require the product to be contaminant free, and require that only FDA-approved substances be used for fluoridation. Since the FDA has never approved any health claim for ingested water fluoridation chemicals, this act would effectively ban all water fluoridation, according to the news release.