ROCKPORT — With town voters poised to cast ballots at the polls next Tuesday, the Rockport Board of Health is hosting a panel discussion on the issue of community fluoridation of the town’s drinking water Thursday night at the Rockport Public Library.
The forum, tiled “Discussion of Fluoride: Myth, Misinformation and Meaningful Use,” is slated to run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the library’s Brenner Friends Room.
The discussion is billed as addressing of “the risks and benefits of supplementing the normally occurring fluoride in the town’s water system”, according to a Board of health announcement. The forum will include a question-and-answer session, with all questions to be submitted in writing on index cards to the panel. There will be no open questions and debate from the floor.
Town Board of Health members Dr. Sydney Wedmore, Dr. Russ Sandfield and Dr. Sydney Jiminez will be hosting the event, with the panel to include: Dr. Tom Carbone, a local pediatrician; Dr. Myron Allukian, dentist; Dr. Herman Lilja, toxicologist; Dr. John Fisher, a dentist and chairman of tyne Better Oral Health for Massachusetts Coalition; and Victoria Chase, the oral health coalition’s fluoridation coordinator.
The forum comes just five days before voters will be asked at the May 5 town elections whether they are “in favor of discontinuing the fluoride supplementation of the Rockport water supply.”
If approved, the question would direct the town to discontinue community fluoridation of the town’s water supply. The question, petitioned by a group called the Cape Ann Fluoride Action Network, was submitted by the town’s selectmen to the Legislature and approved through a special act for the town ballot.