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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Push to fluoridate Byron’s water supply

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Cr Diane Woods wants Byron Council to reconsider fluoridating the Shire’s water supply, a move that has met with strong resistance from fellow councillor Rose Wanchap.

Both have submitted opposing motions for the upcoming Council meeting this Thursday, and it comes after a closed meeting was held with councillors and health professionals. Additionally a public meeting was also held at the Byron Community Centre where residents rejected the proposal.

While Cr Woods’s case for fluoridated water is a little light on detail, Cr Wanchap submitted a 1,900-word motion explaining her opposition and requesting Council maintain its no-fluoridation stance.

Cr Wanchap says in her motion, ‘The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify fluoride as an “unapproved drug”. The Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA) have never approved fluoride for drinking water. The TGA acknowledges that it has never evaluated fluoridation chemicals for safety or effectiveness.’

But in her motion in support of fluoridation, Cr Woods says, ‘The best and most effective, efficient, cost-effective and equitable method is by the addition of the recommended dose to the Shire’s drinking water’.

‘The addition of fluoride is endorsed by the Australian National Health and Research Council, US Centers for disease control, WHO, and Health Canada to name a few.’

Cr Woods, who is also on the board of water supply authority Rous Water, told The Echo, ‘I have always been in support of fluoride as I have three generations of my family who have benefited from the use of fluoride to protect teeth’.

Meanwhile Council staff say in Council’s agenda that the motion – if successful – does not include Mullumbimby’s supply.

They say, ‘Rous Water has four constituent councils: Ballina, Byron, Lismore and Richmond Valley. Rous Water supplies bulk water to the majority of these local government areas, but there are townships that are excluded, including Casino, Nimbin, Mullumbimby and Wardell.’

Cr Woods agrees that Mullum’s supply would be exempt from dosing if it were to go ahead, ‘except during a bad drought when water may have to be pumped from Rocky Creek to supplement the supply’.

‘The NSW health department is paying the capital cost for the plant and equipment but the cost of the fluoride will be borne by all councils whether it is in our supply or not.’

Previously Cr Woods said that Rous Water have asked councils to make a decision on fluoridation as plans are under way for dosing plants at Rocky Creek Dam.

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  1. There seems to be mountains of opposing debate on the pros and cons from a health perspective. This can be argued until everyone is blue in the face. What I personally object to is the mass medicating of residents via the water supply. This removes people’s choice as to whether they want to ingest fluoride or not. To me, this is the strongest and most irrefutable argument of all. I’m very disappointed that Diane Woods is pushing so hard for this to go ahead.

  2. If Cr Woods agrees that Mullumbimby supply should be exempt does this mean she does not care about their teeth? What is her reasoning behind this. If Byron residents are against the motion they should have as much right to no fluoridation as Mullumbimby wether their water comes from a different water supply or not. Cant say much more, speechless at how irresponsible governments can be.

  3. As a board member of Rous Water, Cr Woods should abstain from ANY involvement as a councillor in this matter!

    Shame on you Diane!

    My family have lived in the region supplied by Rous water for 5 generations. Our teeth are in great shape because we were taught to how to look after them!

    Flouride your own water, not mine!

  4. Time to think again Rose about those with whom you so often cast your vote in Council.
    You seem happy to side with Di Woods et al re rocks on Belongil beach (allowing no input from residents – most of whom greatly object to the loss of beach such an action will propel), yet object when she calls for the mass medication of local residents, once again without their input or say in the matter! Its a tyrannical governance we have at the moment with little community input or consideration, and you, Rose, are supporting these gung-ho councillors.

  5. There is absolutely no science that can support fluoridation of our water supply. It has nothing to do with teeth – that is a furphy. Shame on you Diane Woods.

  6. A clinic in the USa has just published a newsletter claiming that a toothpaste based on cocoa/chocolate (which contains a chemical called theobromine) is more than toothpaste containing fluoride. The article also quotes:
    Children are particularly at risk for adverse effects of overexposure. Scientists from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity,” 25 studies have now reported an association between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ in children. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of reported medical problems.claimed to be caused by the ingestion of fluoride. Why do we continue to poison ourselves when there are alternative and less dangerous ways of protecting our teeth.

  7. I am appalled that Byronshire would even consider mass dosing our water. Who will pay for the expensive filters we must buy to clear out the poison? Isn’t clean water under enough threat from CSG and other pollutants? Can we vote on this? Have we any rights as citizens not to ingest poison?

  8. I am sure that councilors do not realise that they are personally liable when making decisions of this nature and since Nuremburg cannot claim that they ‘did not know’. It is obviously Draconian to add a potentially lethal chemical to the water in the name of ‘someones opinion of health’. I am sure there are people who want to put all sorts of things in the water to benefit a nanny state, should this be allowed too?. This will no doubt turn out to be a costly future litigious matter for many but mostly for councilors who stand to lose their estates personally. go figure


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