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Portland Citizens Vow to Fight Back Against Water Fluoridation

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page, Politics and Democracy page and our Oregon News News page.

The Portland, Ore., City Council may be adamant about becoming one of the last major cities in the U.S. to add fluoride to the local water system, but citizens opposed to the move are equally adamant about stopping them.

A group that calls itself "Clean Water Portland" announced immediately after the council voted 5-0 to add the chemical to the region's drinking water it would challenge the decision through a citizen-initiated referendum, OregonLive.com, a local media source, reported.

The referendum differs from an initiative, which opponents previously called for, in that it has the potential to suspend the city's pending ordinance that takes effect in about 30 days, even though city officials have said they weren't planning to add fluoride to drinking water until 2014.

"If the petition qualifies for the ballot, the effective date of the ordinance is suspended until a public vote," Andrew Bryans of the city auditor's office said.

Clean Water Portland needs to collect nearly 20,000 valid signatures to put the measure to a vote.

Voters have routinely rejected fluoridation

Kim Kaminsky, the group's spokeswoman, said she will be filing the necessary paperwork soon with Portland's auditor. There are other requirements as well, but those were all expected to be fulfilled quickly.


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