CLEARFIELD — Fluoride opponents assembled Thursday in their battle to remove the compound from drinking water.
Christine Harker, who organized the meeting at the North Branch of the Davis County Library, told the 30 people in attendance they need to share information with their neighbors if they want to get fluoride out of their water supply. That is one thing she has learned since the 2000 election, when Davis County residents voted to fluoridate water, 52 percent to 48 percent.
“I didn’t know anything about it because I thought nobody would vote for it,” she said.
The County Commission has placed the question of keeping fluoride in the water on the November ballot. Fluoride opponents are hoping to overturn the results of the earlier vote.
Those who attended watched a movie about the effects of fluoride and heard from Marc Flack, a dentist from Salt Lake City who called fluoridation a dental dogma. He said other communities in the state are watching to see what happens.
“If we don’t vote this out of the water Nov. 2, we will all be sucking fluoride throughout the whole state,” he said.
Lorna Rosenstein, of Water Watch of Utah, also spoke. She said the issue needs study.
“I just encourage people to look at this carefully. It is a far more complicated issue than just their teeth,” she said.
Cost is another issue, according to Rosenstein. She cited the Davis County Health Department’s 2000 estimate that it would cost $1.38 per person per year to fluoridate the water. All cost reports since then have put the number above $4 per person per year.
David Hansen, chairman for Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, worked to gather enough signatures to get the measure back on the ballot. He was pleased with Thursday’s turnout. During the meeting, he sat next to David Irvine, the attorney for the Davis branch of Utahns for Better Dental Health, who has worked to stop the revote. In Wednesday’s Standard-Examiner Irvine accepted a challenge from Hansen to debate the issue of fluoride.
“I guess if they’re going to debate, they need to know where we stand. I hope we change their minds,” he said.
James Mason, co-chairman of the pro-fluoride group, who was also at the meeting, said that didn’t happen. He said he attended the meeting to find out “where they are coming from.”
“The evidence is overwhelming that fluoride is safe, effective and affordable,” he said.
Chris Martinez, the Democratic candidate for Davis County Commission, attended the meeting. He said he attended to better inform himself on the issue.
“I’d have to read a lot more about it,” he said as he left with a handful of brochures.
Hansen said about 40 people attended Tuesday’s meeting at the Bountiful library, and he expects more to attend another meeting on Sept. 28 in the Layton branch of the library.