Group Gathers Enough Signatures To Put Fluoridation Issue on Santa Maria Ballot
Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, a group that opposes water fluoridation, has submitted enough valid signatures to require a vote on whether the city of Santa Maria should fluoridate its water, the Santa Barbara County Clerk's office has confirmed, the Los Angeles Times reports. The group submitted 4,545 signatures to the Santa Maria City Hall on Feb. 24, meaning that the fluoridation issue could be added to the November 2004 ballot (Los Angeles Times, 4/1). Regardless of whether a ballot measure against water fluoridation passes, Santa Maria still might have to fluoridate its water to comply with a 1995 law. The law states that communities with at least 10,000 water connections must add fluoride to their water supplies, provided that they can fund the project with a source other than tax revenue. Santa Maria has already accepted a grant to fund a community fluoridation project and has begun the fluoridation process (California Healthline, 11/11/2002). In November, Watsonville and Redding residents passed similar bans on the addition of fluoride to the water supply, but because the cities received grant offers to implement a fluoridation system, the state ordered them to fluoridate their water supplies (California Healthline, 3/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.