DENTAL experts have flagged concerns that “extremist” anti-fluoride groups could pressure more regional councils into removing the naturally occurring compound from drinking water.
Australian Dental Association chief fluoride expert Dr Michael Foley raised the concerns after two councils recently decided to stop adding it to the water supply.
Mackay Regional Council voted on the move last week, and the Gladstone Regional Council made the call in July.
Polls suggested a majority of respondents supported the decisions.
Dr Foley, who blamed the moves on pressure from “nutty” fringe groups, is among the chorus of voices calling on the State Government to take over responsibility for fluoridating water.
He said most politicians avoided the issue “because they don’t want to face the wrath of the extremist fringe groups” when they won’t see any benefits for at least another decade.
“Surely both sides of politics can get together to stop this lunacy that’s happening with water fluoridation, because at the end of the day people’s health is being affected by these lunatic, conspiracy-theory fringe groups,” Dr Foley said.
“As a health professional I’m entitled to get really annoyed when these nutty conspiracy theory groups bombard councils because it ends up impacting on the health of Queenslanders.”
There are now only 24 councils out of the state’s 77 that are still actively adding fluoride to water, with many of those in the southeast corner.
Five council areas, mostly in Central Queensland, have high enough levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the water that there is no need to add more.
But Queenslanders for Safe Water president Merilyn Haines said water fluoridation was “unethical mass medication” without the “express consent of the community.”
“When you’re adding fluoride chemicals to drinking water, it’s done with the deliberate intention of having a therapeutic effect on part of the human body,” Ms Haines said. “It’s both a medication and a treatment through the water supply without any informed consent.”
The retired medical-laboratory scientist denied her group bombarded councils to convince them to stop adding fluoride, nor were they approaching any more councils. “We’re not bombarding them,” Ms Haines said. “We just present respectful correspondence with lots of scientific information.”