Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation in ‘spin’: Expert bags campaign, MPs claim no support for fluoride

Source: The Geelong Independent | November 5th, 2004
Location: Australia

Spin, not science, is driving a renewed State Government push to fluoridate Geelong’s water supply, according to a US fluoride expert.

Professor Paul Connett said the Government should organize a forum for both sides of the fluoride debate to present their evidence and be cross-examined before an expert committee so the community could make an informed decision.

But he said a Government brochure promoting fluoride as a safe and effective way of reducing tooth decay did not objectively present information about fluoridation.

“The Department of Human Services has let you down”, he said.

“They’ve produced a couple of pamphlets but this is PR spin, not science”.

“They’re not looking at science objectively, they’re just spinning it”.

Victoria’s chief health officer, Dr Robert Hall, last month said the brochure – titled ‘Water Fluoridation Helps Protect Teeth Throughout Life’ – provided evidence-based information.

“Water fluoridation helps protect teeth against decay and is the most effective way of allowing everybody access to the benefits of fluoride, “ Dr Hall said.

But local MPs have distanced themselves from the fluoride push.

Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said there was no community call for fluoridation.

“It will only happen if there is a significant level of community support,” she said.

Member for South Barwon Michael Crutchfield said fluoride was not an issue for the “average person”.

“Some people have strong views but I think most people are uninterested,” he said.

Mr Crutchfield said groups wanting fluoridation would have to gain community support.

Member for Geelong Province Elaine Carbines said she had found no evidence the community wanted fluoride.

“In five years, one person has contacted me in support of fluoride, yet I’ve received mountains of correspondence opposed to it,” she said.

Professor Connett will speak at a public meeting at the Geelong West Town Hall on November 25 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.