He said opponents rejected science in favour of pseudo-science and snake oil sellers.
But Sinead Seery from the Coolock, Dublin North-East branch said “this isn’t about scaremongering, it’s about choice”.
Ms Seery said it was time, not to examine the issue, but to stop fluoridation.
She said that “in this time term of austerity we’d actually money because it costs about 12 million to add it to our water”.
Fluoride is a medication and there have been studies indicating that it is harmful to other parts of the body, she said.
“It’s great for our teeth…but what about my liver, for example. I don’t know how much fluoride is going to be processed by my liver and…. we don’t know the long-term effects.”
Ronan McManus from Bray said that “as a preventative measure fluoride does tick all the boxes”.
He pointed to Irish studies which showed a 40 per cent reduction in cavities in areas that are fluoridated compared to areas where water is not fluoridated.
“There are no studies that show it has been harmful over and above dental fluorosis,” he said.
Mr McManus said the campaign was “gaining a little ground for anti-science and anti-government reasons. It’s very pro small government and anti government health measures”.
The conference voted to refer the issue to the Minister.