Supporters backing the removal of fluoride from New Plymouth’s drinking water are preparing for a long fight.
The Fluoride Action Network of New Zealand (FANNZ) was in the city last night drumming up more support to end what they say is the unsafe addition of a toxic substance into our water.
FANNZ spokeswoman Mary Byrne said almost all of Western Europe had abandoned water fluoridation and it was time New Plymouth also gave up the senseless 60-year-old practice.
“Havelock North and Kapiti have both reduced their fluoride intakes, we need to do the same here,” she said.
The group held an information evening at the Tasman Social Club rooms last night, attended by a dozen concerned residents. Films were shown that demonstrated dangers and misinformation surrounding fluoridation of drinking water.
The community will get its say on the controversial issue at some stage in the New Plymouth District Council’s current term.
But exactly when is still up in the air.
Corporate policy and strategy manager Kate Macnaught said the public would be invited to make submissions for or against the continued fluoridation of city’s water supply “some time in the next three years” but could not go into any more detail.
“Council have yet to determine when and how this will take place,” Mrs Macnaught said.
Earlier this year, European Commission figures showed fluoridation levels in some North Island districts were too high for bottle-fed babies, prompting a flurry of debate around the issue.
The New Plymouth district has maximum fluoride content of 0.7 milligrams per litre of water.
The European Commission stated that water with 0.8 milligrams per litre of fluoride could lead to mottled teeth. The Ministry of Health website says water fluoridation is a proven public health measure to reduce dental decay.