Fluoride Approved, 8 People Kicked out of City Council
City council was a heated place to be on Wednesday as commissioners voted 5-0 to approve fluoridating Portland's water supply, likely by mid-2014. A large crowd booed and heckled council members as they explained their reason for the vote, and mayor Sam Adams ordered at least eight citizens be removed by security.
It was the end to a debate that has raged for much of the last month, with fluoride advocates and opponents sparring in the media and on city sidewalks. The pro side believes adding fluoride will mean healthier teeth and lower health expenses, especially for the city's poor and under-privileged. Those opposed call fluoride a poison that builds in the human body, responsible for any number of maladies, especially amongst children.
Every commissioner said they'd received thousands of phone calls and e-mails from people on both sides of the issue, but all said they'd been convinced the health benefits outweigh the risks, and that cost gains from a healthier population will more than offset the expense of adding fluoride to the water.
It's unlikely this is the end of the debate. Between now and whenever the water bureau can begin pumping fluoride into the system, voters will likely attempt to gather enough signatures to put the issue on a ballot. Stay tuned to FM News 101 and KXL.com for all the latest on this continuing story, and be sure to sound off on our Facebook page.