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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fluoride issue delivers endorsements for Long and Justice



Citing concern over the Pinellas County Commission’s decision last year to stop adding fluoride to the drinking water, a group of medical and dental associations has endorsed two Democratic challengers, Janet Long and Charlie Justice.

Long and Justice are running against Republican incumbents Neil Brickfield and Nancy Bostock, both of whom supported halting fluoridation last year in what ended up being a four to three vote.

At the time, they said that modern diets and access to dentistry meant most residents were getting enough fluoride on their own and adding more to the water could be a health hazard. Dentists, many of whom argued their case before the commission, said that it would take massive amounts of fluoride to endanger anyone’s health and that ending fluoridation would lead to more tooth decay in young children.

The five organizations that endorsed the two Democrats are: Upper Pinellas County Dental Association, Pinellas County Dental Association, Pinellas County Dental Hygiene Association, the Community Dental Clinic, and the Pinellas County Medical Association.

Fluoride has a central role in Long and Justice’s campaigns. They have both promised to add it back into the drinking water if they are elected.

In recent months, dentists and doctors have been lining up to support Long and Justice through contributions to their campaigns as well as personal appeals to their patients. Some dentists are handing out campaign flyers in their offices and have posted candidates’ signs.

[Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 3:13pm]


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