The efforts by Cape Ann anti-fluoride proponents ascended another hurdle last week when the Rockport Board of Selectmen approved sending the question of discontinuing fluoride use in the town’s water to the state Legislature.
But when it will eventually come up for an official vote is still uncertain, especially in terms of making the ballot for the Nov. 4 general election.
“There is no way of knowing for sure how quickly the Legislature will act on the bill, but typically it takes longer for both houses (state representatives and Senate) to review, discuss and approve a bill, then return it to a municipality for the next local election,” said Town Administrator Linda Sanders.
A non-binding warrant article asking whether the town wanted to end fluoride supplementation of its water supply came before voters at the September Fall Town Meeting. By a 116 to 97 margin, voters decided in favor of taking fluoride out of the water.
Sanders said selectmen voted 4-0 at their meeting last week to send the question to the Legislature “because that’s what a majority of the people said they wanted at the recent (Town Meeting).”
Despite the Town Meeting vote, fluoride has its supporters in Rockport, including the town’s Board of Health and 35 area dental professionals who signed a public letter in support of fluoride supplementation.
The Cape Ann Fluoride Action Network has been instrumental in promoting the anti-fluoride position. The efforts included two days of presentations at Rockport High School in August, featuring noted biochemist and toxicologist Dr. Paul Connett, who is also the national director of the Fluoride Action Network.