QUEENSLAND’S chief health officer Jeanette Young has implored Bundaberg Regional Council to consider the facts when making its decision regarding fluoridation, saying the science is “indisputable”.
When the NewsMail asked councillors for their personal views on the science of fluoridation, the overwhelming majority were either against it or had yet to be convinced.
Cr Vince Habermann said he was opposed to fluoridation because only “0.8% of the water that it would go into is consumed by humans.”
Just two councillors – deputy mayor David Batt and Cr Danny Rowleson – believed the science for fluoridation was sound.
But all the councillors were united in their opposition to fluoridation based on the costs involved.
“Health is a State Government issue and I do believe that fluoridated water will reduce long-term health costs, so the State Government needs to come to the party and fund both the initial infrastructure and the ongoing costs,” Cr Batt said.
Cr Greg Barnes said he “felt unqualified” to comment on the fluoride science, but added: “My GP has provided me with professional medical advice for over 20 years and neither he, nor my dentist or orthodontist, have ever mentioned or recommended it.”
Cr Judy Peters said she also remained undecided but would seek information from other councils that had fluoride installed in their water system.
Dr Young said fluoridation was one of the few areas in medicine that was “absolutely black and white” and pointed to Townsville as a prime example.
“Townsville has had fluoride in its water supply since 1964 and the only difference between Townsville and the rest of the state was that they had far better teeth,” she said.
“Numerous studies have shown kids in Townsville have between 40-60% less tooth decay.”