The public is waiting for dental groups like the AMA to start reading the published studies of fluoride’s neurotoxicity. Does AMA advise the consumption of fluoridated water to pregnant women and to the carers who bottle-feed infants? If so, they should be reading the Mother-Offspring studies and the over 60 IQ studies which have found an association between exposure to fluoride and reduced IQ in children. (EC)
The Australian Medical Association will pressure anti-fluoride councils ahead of Queensland and NSW local government elections, and have warned a mid-NSW council against a proposed move to remove fluoride from the water supply.
Mayor Peta Pinson last month told council her research and meetings with anti-fluoride campaigners over the years had convinced her that fluoride is a “poison”. Her deputy mayor Lisa Intemann is a long-time campaigner to have fluoride removed.
NSW AMA president Dr Kean-Seng Lim said he would be “very disturbed to see the health of the population being used as a political playing card”.
Dr Lim said if Port Macquarie Hastings decided to hold a popular vote the AMA “would be advocating for good, evidence-based public measures to remain in place”.
“It would be a shame to see a populist view override what is clear scientific evidence. Fluoride works. It reduces the rate of tooth decay and reduces cost, and it is safe.”
Queensland AMA president Dr Dilip Dhupelia has also promised to campaign against anti-fluoride councils before the state’s local government elections on March 28.
The poor health impact of the removal of fluoride by 13 Queensland councils in 2013 was now coming to light. “These areas are seeing some of the highest rates of dental decay,” he said.
In 2018, the Queensland chief health officer found children accounted for a quarter of hospitalisations for dental conditions.
Sometimes the only option for children with a lot of dental decay was to remove teeth under general anaesthetic. And Dr Lim said: “If we are in a situation where we are subjecting a child to this for a preventable problem, then we are clearly not doing something right.”
A council can remove fluoride only with the approval of NSW Health. It refused a similar request from Balranald Shire in 2010 after a local survey found most people opposed fluoridation.
NSW Health wrote to the Port Macquarie Hastings Council a week ago saying NSW’s Health continuing support for fluoridation was based on “many years of reliable evidence and the ongoing support of the National Health and Medical Resear ch Council”, a spokesman said.
Dentist Bruce Coleman started practising in Port Macquarie in 1984 before fluoride was added.”One glance is all it takes to see whether someone grew up with fluoridated water,” he said.
“We have gone from pre-fluoride, children coming in with decay in every deciduous tooth, and they are in pain,” he said. Often they had to have eight teeth removed under general anaesthetic.
‘They don’t see what I have seen in my life.’
Bruce Coleman, dentist
Of those campaigning to remove fluoride, he said: “They don’t see what I have seen in my life.”
Dr Coleman said he often dealt with older people whose teeth had been replaced by uncomfortable dentures that made eating difficult. In nursing homes, he sees teeth turned to “pussy stumps” among people who haven’t had fluoridation or cared for their teeth.
Port Macquarie voted to remove fluoride in 1991 but NSW Health fluoridated the water in 2012 using its powers.
When councillors asked Cr Pinson if holding a poll would raise only false hopes of fluoride’s removal, given NSW Health was unlikely to approve its request, Ms Pinson said she didn’t agree with anyone who said it wasn’t “doable”.
‘We are masters of our destiny.’
Peta Pinson, Port Macquarie Hastings mayor
“We are masters of our destiny and our community and we could be standing up to the health department. I am standing up to the government who makes us put this poison in the water.”
She told the Herald that her personal view was irrelevant. If the people voted to pursue removing fluoride, she would. If they didn’t, she would drop it. “I am not going to die in a ditch over it,” Cr Pinson said.