NEWBURY–While the budget articles passed without discussion, the question of fluoride in their water was a hot topic at the Newbury Village Annual Meeting. The two-hour gathering, attended by 42 residents was held May 26 at the Newbury Town Hall.
Article 6, which asked residents to consider if they wanted to continue adding fluoride to the village water supply, passed by 20 votes with six abstaining, but only after strong arguments from both sides of the debate.
Dr. Charles Barton, who has a dental practice in Bradford but is not a village resident, spoke first on the issue. He stated upfront that he was not an expert on fluoride nor was he trying to convince anyone of how to vote. He referred to handouts that he gave out prior to the meeting regarding the positive effects of fluoride, one from the Vermont State Dental Society and the other titled “6 Reasons to Support Water Fluoridation.” Barton explained that there have been hundreds of studies on fluoride and all of them have shown fluoride to be safe. He stressed that the people who most benefit from fluoride are those who are least able to afford dental care.