Fluoride Action Network

Warrnambool: Plea on fluoridation

Source: Warrnambool Standard | October 22nd, 2007 | By SHANE FOWLES
Location: Australia

A WARRNAMBOOL councillor has called on the State Government to address the city’s rising anger over water fluoridation.

The city council has been strongly criticised for its lack of action with an anti-fluoride group claiming it is ignoring its ratepayers.

The depth of fury over fluoride was shown last week, when more than 95 per cent of respondents rejected the additive in a record Standard Talking Point vote.

Cr Michael Neoh said the Department of Human Services, which announced the fluoridation of the city’s water in July, had sidelined itself in the raging debate.

“They have been very quiet on the issue, when they are the responsible authority (for the decision),” he said.

“The DHS silence is a bit deafening.”

Cr Neoh said he was not going to enter the debate himself because he had no expertise in the chemistry of fluoride.

However, publicly breaking ranks from the council, he revealed there was some “merit” in the argument that the decision was anti-democratic.

He called on the DHS to be more forthcoming about its reasons for supporting water fluoridation. “The DHS needs to take some responsibility and address the facts or myths put out by the lobby groups,” he said.

Frustrated at the lashing the council has received on fluoride, Cr Neoh said campaigners should focus their energy on the DHS.

His comments came as the city council administration pulled down the shutters on the issue last week. Refusing to answer inquiries from The Standard, the council instead issued a statement distancing itself from the furore.

It said any comments on the decision to fluoridate the city’s water supply should be made by the DHS and Wannon Water.

“It is appropriate that any comments on this decision are made by those authorities having the relevant statutory functions,” the council said.

“Council is also not in a position to comment on responses to personal invitations regarding any meeting which may be convened on such matters.”