Sat. Jul 20th, 2024


A broad coalition of Portlanders have resoundingly rejected adding fluoridation chemicals to the city’s water supply.  By a 61% to 39% margin, Portland voters agreed with the position of most western nations that there are safer, more effective, and less intrusive ways to promote oral health than adding a chemical linked to thyroid disease, IQ loss, and other ailments to the water supply.

“We are proud of our Portland colleagues who used science and integrity to defeat fluoridation and the public relations blitzkrieg that backed it,” says Paul Connett, PhD, FAN’s Executive Director.

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Portland’s clean water campaign was spearheaded by Clean Water Portland (CWP), a broad coalition formed in August 2012 after a newspaper revealed secret ongoing fluoridation meetings with Portland City Council members that were illegally kept off the record. With virtually no public input, the City Council mandated fluoridation for the city on September 12. CWP then led an unprecedented effort that gathered over 40,000 signatures in less than 30 days to halt the mandate and force the referendum vote.

Fluoride chemicals are the only chemicals added to public water for the purpose of medication. Most western countries, including the vast majority of Europe, do not fluoridate their water.

“Most of Portland’s media falsely reported that fluoridation promoters had science on their side and that opponents used emotion,” says Connett.

“Those opposed did their homework, relying on recent scientific findings from theNational Research Council (NRC) and Harvard that raise serious questions about the safety of current fluoride exposures.”


When they lined up Portland’s top political insiders, a long list of endorsers, a huge campaign war chest, and highly motivated supporters in the media we heard once again that fluoridation could not be stopped.

But thanks to your work Portland learned that the myths of fluoridation’s safety and effectiveness are just that.

The overwhelming vote in Portland is a message to the country that fluoridation should be questioned by anyone who values clean water and is willing to look past glossy mailers, hollow endorsements, and TV commercials that elevate drama over fact.

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