Amesbury, Mass., residents vote to stop water fluoridation initiative

Saturday, November 12, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: water fluoridation, Massachusetts, health news

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(NaturalNews) Residents of the Massachusetts coastal city of Amesbury have successfully defeated a measure that would have restored a policy to once again begin adding sodium fluoride chemicals to the city's water supply. In a vote of 1,677 to 1,352, 55 percent of area residents declared to city officials and to the world that they are not interested in forcefully medicating their entire community with fluoride chemicals at taxpayers' expense.

Amesbury first began adding sodium fluoride chemicals to its water supply back in 1967. But in recent years, concerns about the source and quality of the chemicals put the program on hold. Health officials had been pushing to reinstate the fluoridation program, but the local Board of Health decided to present the issue before voters for consideration.

Before the election, when Amesbury was still a town -- voters also approved a measure to convert Amesbury from a town into a city during the same election -- officials held a town hall meeting to discuss the fluoride issue. The Board of Health voted 3 to 1 to recommend a "yes" vote on the fluoridation measure, but several concerned citizens also showed up to oppose the measure, which was ultimately left up to voters to decide.

In the end, Amesbury residents decided to scrap the fluoridation program despite the Board of Health's endorsement. And it was all made possible, in part, by the willingness of one local resident, Christopher Martel, who stepped up to the plate and led a campaign to inform his neighbors about the dangers of fluoride.

"I feel great," said Martel to Newbury's Daily News following the vote. "It was 17 days since we found out it was going to be on the ballot and we worked hard every day. Sometimes you're called upon to do something and that someone needed to step up."

Other local residents submitted letters to the editor and opinion pieces in the Daily News before the vote took place. Dayle Johnson, for instance, submitted a letter that was published on Nov. 5, that explained how fluoride exposure is linked to digestive problems, vitamin deficiencies, urinary problems, circulatory disorders, heart failure, leukemia, mental problems, psychosis, osteoporosis, cancer, and a whole host of other illnesses (

Other communities that have nixed fluoride in recent weeks and months include Lakeshore, Ontario; Palmer, Ak.; Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; Churchill, Manitoba; New Plymouth, New Zealand; Pinella County, Fla. (Tampa); Spencer, Ind.; College Station, Tex.; and Spring Hill, Tenn. (

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