Nearly 150 people showed up at the Harborview Center in downtown Clearwater, Fla., to hear chemistry experts who oppose fluoridation speak out against Pinellas County's recent decision to add fluoride to the bulk of the area's water supply, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
Paul Connett, a professor of chemistry at St. Lawrence University, and William Hirzy, a chemist and union representative with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, challenged information presented by county officials, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations that promote the benefits of fluoride, the Times reported.
Pick Talley, the Pinellas utility director, and Dr. John Heilman, the county health department director, were invited to debate Connett and Hinzy on the benefits of fluoridation. Both declined to show up for the debate.
County officials say they declined to send a representative to a forum they viewed more as a protest, the Times reported.
Citizens for Safe Water, a group opposed to fluoride, sponsored the debate.