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  • Celeste Hamilton Dennis

    I'm normally proud of Portland, but this week I wasn't:

    "Portland has the right to keeps fluoride out of its water because the battle cry of American freedom trumps a data point on a graph. Even when surveys of 1st-3rd grader’s dental health recommend water fluoridation, the issue is contorted and amplified into a political screech with unpleasant lows and cringe-worthy highs. Portland remains out-of-step with dental health by choice, by political motivations, and by often-valid concerns over government intrusion. Yesterday’s vote was a failure of science communication, and it falls on public health officials to rectify that, to take back the word “chemical.” Perhaps re-framing the conversation in terms of dental health or water fluoridation as regulation, not just addition, could help. Until political questions are seriously informed by scientific answers, fear and freedom beats facts."