Fluoridation opponents could get issue to voters

Opponents of a decision by Traverse City commissioners to continue adding fluoride to the public water supply could get the issue before voters in November.
AP Wire
Jun 28, 2014

Ben Hansen, who leads the group Fluoride Free in TC, is among those working to pull together a petition to circulate among Traverse City voters to create an ordinance that would stop fluoridation.

"I am baffled, I am disappointed, and I am disgusted by what happened," Hansen said of the commissioners' vote.

City commissioners voted 5-1 this month to continue fluoridation through a process that gets fluoride levels in water up to a federally recommended level. The Grand Traverse County Health Department cites studies saying fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay and is safe.

"We don't think it's a good idea to add any chemical to the water that isn't absolutely necessary for water treatment," Hansen said.

Mayor Michael Estes said officials reached out to doctors and dentists about the issue and responses were that there were no ill effects.

"They said it was positive for dental care. That's been consistent from all the local dentists and doctors that have come before the city commission," Estes said.

The petition would need signatures from 527 registered Traverse City voters and must be filed with the city clerk's office by July 29. Once a petition is filed, commissioners can either vote to adopt the proposed ordinance or send the issue to the voters.

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