WHILE the fluoride debate rages on throughout Queensland, Whitsunday Regional Council is yet to make a decision on whether to fluoridate the potable water supply or not.
Councillors recently voted to take up an offer from the director of the Public Health Unit to visit the region and discuss the benefits of fluoridation in a series of public meetings.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said she understood the issue of fluoridating the water supply was being widely discussed across the region and it was important that residents had the opportunity to be fully informed.
Dates for these community meetings are expected to be announced in the near future. Currently, not everyone is convinced of the benefits of fluoridation.
Andrew Finlay, who leads the Whitsundays Take Down Fluoride campaign, said he believed this was “just going to be pro-fluoride propaganda with no reference to what’s actually going on”.
Mr Finlay said 123 people had already signed his petition to stop fluoridation of the Whitsunday water supply, which was in his belief, a people’s choice issue.
“There’s a lot of people who believe that fluoride can actually be bad for the body,” Mr Finlay said.
Many dentists however, argue that water fluoridation is essential for dental health, particularly in children.
President of the Australian Dental Association (ADA) Queensland branch, Bruce Newman, said he hoped Whitsunday Regional Council would look favourably on the fluoride debate.
“It is still the most efficient and effective method of providing health care to the public,” Mr Newman said.
But Mr Finlay maintains this focus on fluoride is a case of putting the horse before the cart.
“Everybody’s pointing towards fluoride as the answer [to better dental health] when we should be pointing towards better diet,” he said.
The petition against fluoridation can be found here.