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Bradford Fluoride Debate Continues

Bradford — The Bradford fluoride debate is back in the headlines. Valley News correspondent Jordan Cuddemi reports that the town’s Water and Sewer Commission quietly voted this week to reaffirm last month’s controversial decision to halt fluoridation in the town’s water supply.

Cuddemi’s report yesterday is available at this link.

Her article on the original vote can be found here.

Opponents protested what they saw as a secretive process. The commission’s original decision went unnoticed for months; Tuesday night’s vote was taken not on an announced agenda item but during the “other business” portion of the meeting.

They’ve also argued the health benefits of fluoridation, and Dr. Robert Munson, a Bradford dentist, offered this perspective: “If we lived in Utopia and I had the little tooth fairy angel who went around and gave the kids the proper dosage of fluoride tablets I would be a happy camper, but water is the most effective way to do that.”

Those in favor of ending fluoridation, however, take issue with being exposed to the drug without a choice.

Cuddemi reports:

“If it’s so good for you, why hasn’t the state made it mandatory?,” (Commission Chairman Robert Nutting) questioned. “Maybe we are wrong, maybe we are right, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

At last month’s hearing, commission members cited finances as a reason for stopping fluoridation. It was also stated that after the fluoride pump house shut down, the town didn’t have the necessary equipment to pump fluoride back into the water.

Currently, 44 percent of Vermont towns don’t fluoridate their water supply, according to Vermont Department of Health’s Public Information Officer Robert Stirewalt. Hartland, Hartford, Thetford and Windsor are a few of those towns.

The Valley News editorial board weighed in on the issue in a Dec. 2 editorial entitled “Bradford Regresses." And readers have been flooding the Forum with letters to the editor about the issues. Some agreed with the newspapers’ editorial, but others have argued against it. Many of those letters are linked to the bottom of the editorial in the “Related Links” section — let us know if we missed any.

What do you think? Submit a letter to the editor by emailing forum@vnews.com, or post a comment on our Facebook page.