ANTI-FLUORIDE campaigners have warned the State Government it will have a serious fight on its hands if it ­decides to mandate water ­fluoridation in the Far North.

A petition started by a Hervey Bay activist has called on the government to resume the mandate and State control of fluoridation in Queensland.

The petition, which started about two weeks ago, has so far attracted only 17 signatures.

State legislation currently dictates that each local government in Queensland makes the decision to add fluoride to their water supplies.

Cairns Councillor Ritchie Bates is leading the charge to have the tooth-strengthening chemical reintroduced into the city’s water supply.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning, however, has argued the decision should be the State Government’s.

Far Northern co-ordinator of Queenslanders for Safe Water Air and Food (QSWAF) Bill Kilvert said Cairns did not need fluoridated water.

He claimed fluoride was not safe and effective, its use was a human rights and medical rights issue, there were negative impacts upon the human body, fluoridation had been ­rejected by “nearly all countries” and that many professionals had changed their minds about the chemical.

“Our 1000 members would be very angry if the government mandated fluoride,” he said.

“We would fight very hard to get it out of the water but we would hope we would not have to do that.”

Mr Kilvert, a retired Telstra worker, said he had no medical background but had done about 5000 hours of research on the issue.

Barron River MP Craig Crawford said the government would need to further investigate the issue before it decided to mandate water fluoridation.

“We haven’t made any decision to go down that path or not,’’ he said.