FEDERAL Member for Mallee John Forrest has entered the fluoridation debate.
Mr Forrest told Sunraysia Daily he objected to mandatory fluoridation and that it should only be enforced after a plebiscite.
He said he would then vote no.
Victoria’s Health Department plans to introduce fluoride to water supplies in Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang.
The Loddon Mallee region has been identified as a region with a high number of people needing hospital treatment for dental conditions.
Bur Mr Forrest said fluoridation was not the answer.
Instead, he believes the best way to strengthen teeth is by breastfeeding children and maintaining dental care as an adult.
The Victorian Fluoride Action Group Mildura branch will hold a public meeting at the Setts early next month.
Guest speakers will include former president of the Australian Dental Association SA branch, doctor Andrew Harms, and naturopath and former biological sciences lecturer at Victoria University, Philip Robertson.
While Mr Forrest will not be attending the meeting, he informed the group he was opposed to compulsory fluoridation.
“It might have positive outcomes for teeth, but people have to be very particular about what they ingest,” he said.
“I object to compulsion.”
He said it was a big issue for Mildura and Swan Hill.
“Most people are uninformed and the authorities continue to tell us there are no side effects.
“But that’s what they’ve told us about other things that we’ve later regretted.
“The best way to strengthen teeth is to breast feed your children and, when you’re an adult, continue to look after them.
“There are other options.”
While Mr Forrest has little federal influence over state issue his comments have been met with enthusiasm by the Victorian Fluoride Action Group Mildura branch.
Daniel Zalec, organiser of November’s “The dark side of fluoride: what you haven’t been told” public meeeting, said the response from the public has been positive.
The meeting will be held at the Setts on November 7 at 7:30pm.