Fluoride Action Network

Authority ‘powerless’ on fluoride Return to sender

Source: Geelong Independent | January 26th, 2008 | By Peter Farago
Location: Australia

ANTI-fluoride protesters delivered their message to the wrong address when they marched on Barwon Water this week, according to chairman Roger Lowrey.

Barwon Association for Freedom from Fluoridation supporters rallied outside the authority’s Ryrie Street headquarters before delivering about 600 letters expressing non-consent to fluoridation to Mr Lowrey and managing director Michael Malouf.

About 100 people participated in the rally, some marching from Johnstone Park to deliver the letters claiming fluoridation required residents’ informed consent under a Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

The rally took to the steps of Barwon Water where BAFF president Keith Oakley called for a stop to “mass medication”.

Naturopath Phillip Robertson said the authority needed a “tough guy” like former Geelong and District Water Board member Norman Boyce to stand up for residents against fluoride.

The rally was named in honour of Mr Boyce, who was on the board in the 1980s.

But Mr Lowrey said the protestors’ should have sent their letters to Department of Human Services, which was responsible for fluoridation.

“Barwon Water is not responsible for introducing fluoride. It would only fluoridate supplies if directed by the department secretary,” Mr Lowrey said.

Barwon Water also had no power to block fluoridation.

“Under the Health (Fluoridation) Act 1973 it is an offence not to comply with a directive from the Department of Human Services,” Mr Lowrey said.

The Department would bear the cost of fluoridating Geelong.

Mr Malouf said the Barwon Water board had given in-principle support to fluoridation because of the department’s “compelling evidence” of dental health benefits.

Meanwhile, a split in the anti-fluoride lobby has created two protest groups.

Former BAFF secretary Peter Linaker, who resigned last year, is organising a separate march on February 21 to call for a referendum on fluoridation in Geelong.