A retired dentist says the public, not Moreton Bay Regional Council councillors, should decide if the region continues to pipe fluoridated water into homes.
Peter Houston, a supporter of fluoridation, said a referendum could be held at the same time as the federal election on September 14.
Mr Houston, a former Redcliffe City councillor, said councillors were not up to making the decision.
“People in leadership aren’t scientists,” he said. “They’d rather run away from something than be scientifically sure.”
Cr James Houghton, who has called fluoride (in sodium fluoride form, not as it occurs naturally) a poison, admitted he was not a scientist, but hit back at Mr Houston, saying he was not one either.
Cr Houghton said Mayor Allan Sutherland was considering a referendum. Cr Sutherland did not return the Times’ call.
Cr Houghton said he did not support spending money on a referendum, as he was confident people would reject fluoridation because they were more aware of the dangers of fluoride now.
This week Australian Dental Association (ADA) president Dr Karin Alexander said an article titled Effects of Fluoridated Drinking Water on Dental Caries in Australian Adults backed fluoridation.
Recently published in the Journal of Dental Research, the researchers who wrote it found Australian adults with a greater than 75 percent lifetime exposure to water fluoridation have significantly lower decay compared with those with less than 25 percent exposure.
“The ADA continues to be dismayed with the scare mongering from fringe groups that lack consideration of the national and international scientific evidence such as that outlined in the recently published report of the significant benefits for dental health that occurs from the fluoridation of water supplies,” Dr Alexander said.
“The ADA warns that removing fluoride from drinking water will cost the community more in the form of higher incidence of dental decay.”
Last week council planned to arrange talks with the the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the region’s water supplier Unitywater, which is co-owned by the two councils, on practicalities of ceasing fluoridation.
In recent weeks MBRC councillors have heard about the benefits of fluoridation from Queensland Health officials and from controversial anti-fluoride campaigner Dr Paul Connett.