Ballina Shire Council has rejected a push to have a community poll on fluoride.
Councillor Jeff Johnson was unsuccessful with a notice of motion at yesterday’s council meeting, with no other councillor supporting his idea.
‘I’m surprised that my fellow Councillors think that this issue will just go away’, Cr Johnson said afterwards.
‘The decision to add fluoride to the water was made by a handful of councillors without any public consultation.’
‘While some Ballina Councillors think that a couple of ‘letters to the editor’ expressing different points of view constitutes public consultation I totally disagree.’
Cr Johnson questioned the move towards fluoridated water.
‘If adding fluoride to the water supply was such a ‘no brainer’, why does only 5 per cent of the world’s population drink fluoridated water? And half of this is in the United States. Why does 98 per cent of Europe choose not to add fluoride?
Ballina Shire Councillor and Rous Water delegate Sue Meehan labelled those who oppose adding fluoride to our water as believing in ‘extreme green pseudo science’. I find those comments offensive and it shows a total disregard for the diversity of opinion that exists in our community, said Mr Johnson.
Just because you don’t agree with someone, doesn’t mean you insult them and dismiss their views, said Mr Johnson.
‘I’m sure if a survey were conducted with all the schools in the northern rivers there would be vast differences in the rates of tooth decay both between schools and between individuals in those schools. What does that tell you?
‘For me, it tells me that fluoride isn’t the answer. It tells me that diet and behaviour are much greater causal factors than drinking a few glasses of fluoridated water each day.
‘Topically applied fluoride works, adding it to the water provides minimal benefit.
Cr Johnson said if the council believed that dental hygiene was an important issue, ‘then I believe the $100,000 per year would be better spent on an educational program in conjunction with local infant and primary schools.
Twitter accounts closed
Meanwhile, members of the Fluoride Free Northern Rivers group have rejected suggestions they were behind threatening Twitter posts aimed at Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell.
Social media giant Twitter closed the accounts of some users after they made threatening posts towards the mayor.
‘Last night someone posted ‘someone should end Jenny Dowell’ and then in another post said ‘I’ll offer 200 hundred dollars’ and I took that as a threat,’ Cr Dowell said of the first incident.
The comments were reported to Twitter by the mayor and the account was closed by Twitter.
However, more posts followed.
‘Another contributor posted another 15 posts saying ‘don’t think you can just block, I will bombard you with Facebook and Twitter accounts and continue the attack on you about fluoride, you’re not safe’, things like that,’ she said.
Twitter closed that account as well.