Pinellas County commissioners vote to put fluoride back in water

5:02 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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  • Janet Long included "pro-fluoride" stickers on all of her campaign signs.

Pinellas County, Florida -- Passionate supporters and critics of fluoridation packed the Pinellas County commission chambers in Clearwater Tuesday, making one last pitch before a brand-new commission.

Last year's controversial vote to eliminate fluoride in the county's water supply is believed to be one of the reasons two commission newcomers defeated a pair of conservative incumbents in November.  Democrat Janet Long defeated Republican Neil Brickfield, while Democrat Charlie Justice defeated Republican Nancy Bostock.

Long and Justice both campaigned on restoring fluoride, while Brickfield and Bostock both voted against it.

Tuesday's public hearing got boisterous at times, with fluoride critics laughing at -- and heckling -- dentists and PhD's who contended fluoridation is low-risk and high-reward.

Commissioners voted to put fluoride back into the water after over two hours of public comments at the meeting.

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