The mayor of Portland, Ore. is throwing in the towel in the fight to put fluoride in the city’s drinking water. He was a fan of the plan, but the fluoride proposal ultimately failed. Opponents of fluoride are over the moon, as voters had rejected it before it was finally approved in 1978 and then overturned two years later.
Last year the City Council voted again to add fluoride to the water supply that about 900,000 people drink, but opponents rallied enough signatures to force a vote.
After the measure was defeated, Mayor Charlie Hales said despite his yes vote, he’d accept the outcome.
“That’s sure disappointing, but I accept the will of the voters,” he said in a statement, via the Associated Press.
So what’s the fight really about? Proponents tout fluoride as a way to keep water safe and say it’s a good and affordable way to help improve the health of low-income kids, whose parents perhaps can’t afford to spend money on dental hygiene as often.
But opponents say it’s a chemical that could ruin the city’s pure water supply, and that it violates people’s rights to consent to medication.
Most American cities have fluoride added to their drinking water, making Portland the largest U.S. city without fluoride either already in its water supply or without plans to add it.
Portland, Ore., rejects adding fluoride to drinking water [Associated Press]