A PUSH to rid Taranaki’s water supplies of fluoride is about to get serious again.

New Plymouth woman Joy Hodson, who owns organic food shop Natural Selections, has organised a petition and a public meeting to be held on Monday night, in an attempt to lobby local councils, starting with the New Plymouth District Council, into removing fluoride from water.

It is not the first time members of the public have pushed for such a move, but Ms Hodson said yesterday she believed she would finally win the fight.

“There is so much more awareness now about the issue now. People are much more aware of their environment and what they are putting into their bodies.”

New Zealand was one of six countries world-wide where more than 40% of the population still drunk fluoride, and it was estimated that most people took in between 2mg and 5mg of fluoride per day, she said.

A study funded by the Health Research Council and ACC had recommended that older women should be advised about the risk of hip fractures from drinking fluoridated water, Ms Hodson said.

“Fluoride concerns me because it is a toxic waste that they are putting in our water. It is only common sense that a toxic waste in our water will mean a toxic waste in our bodies.

“After learning about fluoride, I don’t want to drink this, but my choice is taken away because it’s in my water.”

She believed it was a fallacy that fluoride in water led to improved dental health.

According to Ms Hodson’s research, tooth decay had declined in New Zealand and throughout the world whether fluoride was added to water or not.

“In April last year the leading pro-fluoride promoter in Canada reversed his 20-year support of fluoridated water. Dr Hardy Limeback, president of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, admitted that, speaking as head of preventive dentistry, he unintenionally misled his colleagues and students.” There was a petition circulating around Taranaki and Ms Hodson hoped to address New Plymouth district councillors about fluoride and water next month.

In the meantime, the public meeting to drum up more support for the campaign and give the public more information on the subject would be at 7 Mangorei Rd, New Plymouth, at 7.30pm on Monday.

New Plymouth District Council public health engineer Anthony Wilson said his department did not have an opinion on fluoridation, and he conveyed to councillors the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, which promoted fluoridation of water supplies.

Taranaki Health clinical director of dental services, Tony Waghorn, said there had been a large reduction in tooth decay thanks to fluoridation.

Although countries without fluoride had also had reductions in tooth decay, it could be due to fluoride toothpaste, he said.