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For week ended January 24, 1999 Posted 2 Feb 1999
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Flouride opponents in Mesa gear for battle; proponents ask why

Summarized by Denise Bodman

Flouride opponents in Mesa gear for battle; proponents ask why
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 24Jan99
By Robbie Sherwood: The Arizona Republic

Recently, the Mesa City Council (Mesa, Arizona) approved water fluoridation in order to prevent tooth decay. The approval has re-opened a decades-old debate about the safety of adding fluoride to water. Former Mesa City Councilman, Louis Stradling (also a former LDS bishop) is leading the charge, attempting to get an initiative on the next city ballot. He is supported by several LDS state legislators, who represent the area.

The Vice Mayor of Mesa, John Giles, also LDS, supports fluoridation, and is confident an initiative against fluoride would fail at the ballot box. Further, Giles states that fluoridation is not a Mormon issue. He says, "LDS people believe in intelligently studying issues and making proper decisions based on facts. That's what I did, and that's why mainstream LDS people, just like mainstream Mesans in general, will support fluoride."

Cities across the country have fluoridated water, and there appears to be no ill-affects to such fluoridation according to numerous research studies. However, several groups, including some scientists, do not support fluoridation for health reasons, as well as "Big Brother" reasons. One anti-fluoride website states that "States on the map with highest fluoridation rates would indicate highest suppression of free will." And Utah leads the way for non-fluoridation. In addition, it sates that fluoridating water is a Communist and Nazi tool for mind control.

Mesa Vice Mayor Giles hopes that fluoridation will be on the March 2000 ballot so that the issue can be settled once and for all.

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