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Here's a reason to support a Florida county's decision to cut fluoride out of its drinking water: The idea came from the Nazis.
The Nazis put fluoride in water to pacify Jews during World War II, a local resident told members of the Pinellas County Commission on Oct. 4, 2011, before the commission voted 4-3 vote to stop fluoridating water for about 700,000 residents.
"History shows, actually, that in Nazi Germany, one of the first things that they did was add fluoride to the water in the ghettos where the Jews stayed," Matt Leffler of Clearwater said.
Once the St. Petersburg Times published its story about the decision — similar, anonymous comments on the Web piled up:
"Do you guys know where water fluoridation started? In the death camps in WWII."
"There have been many links to cancer going back to the original tests on fluoride done by the Nazis on the Jews."
One reader declared the Nazi-fluoride connection "an absolute historical fact." Several readers linked to sources on the Web.
Certainly Nazis, who killed millions of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, were known for chemical tests and inhumane medical experiments. So PolitiFact Florida had to know: Did that include adding fluoride to water?
Read our analysis to find out why there's no teeth to this claim.
See individual item.