A Mosgiel group has formed to fight to get fluoride out of the Dunedin water supply until the chemical is proved safe.

Group co-ordinator Dennis Enright, of Mosgiel, said nearly 50 people attended a public meeting about fluoride in the Downes Room last week.

From the meeting, a working group was formed to lobby the Dunedin City Council to suspend fluoridating the water supply until it could be proven safe.

“We are concerned by a lack of evidence.”

The debate about the effects of fluoride had to be widened beyond claims it reduced tooth decay, he said.

“No-one is talking about the issues including how it makes your bones brittle.”

The council should stop forcing people to consume fluoride.

“They are mass-medicating us for the benefit of a small portion of the population who don’t brush their teeth,” he said.

A community meeting in Mosgiel about eight years ago stopped the council introducing fluoride to the town’s bore water supply, Mr Enright said.

However, when Mosgiel was switched to town water supply from the Mount Grand treatment plant last year, residents were exposed to fluoride.

At the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board meeting in Coronation Hall yesterday, Dunedin City Council 3 Waters manager Tom Dyer gave an update on the feasibility of returning Mosgiel to treated bore water without fluoridation.

If Mosgiel was returned to bore water, it would need to be chlorinated to stop water being infected from bacteria, he said.

To build a new treatment plant would cost up to $16million.

“At this stage that’s not a programme of work we are suggesting we should be progressing.”

On the subject of fluoridation, the council did what the Ministry of Health recommends, he told board members.

In an email to the Taieri Times last week, Mr Dyer said the ministry recommends drinking water to contain fluoride at between 0.7 and 1.0 parts per million, which was safe for consumption.

The town supply had fluoridated at the lower end of the recommended range for many years, he said.

At yesterday’s meeting, he said new legislation could be introduced giving health boards the power to mandate fluoridation.

Community board chairwoman Sarah Nitis said as the decision on fluoridation could be given to health boards, the community board would stop asking the council to investigate returning Mosgiel to unfluoridated bore water as it could be “a waste of ratepayer money” if the legislation was introduced.

*Original article online at https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/mosgiel-lobby-group-fighting-fluoride