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February 5, 2023

Lismore to get fluoridation

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Melissa Hargraves

Lismore residents will soon get fluoride in their water after Lismore City Council rejected a last-minute bid by Greens Cr Vanessa Ekins not to go ahead with the planned building of dosing plants by Rous Water.

A packed gallery reacted strongly and began walking out as the majority of councillors declared their faith in NSW Health’s claims, made at a workshop last week, that there is no harm associated with fluoride.

A shoe was thrown into the centre of the council chambers as a sign of disrespect for the decision.

Cr Ekins failed by one vote to get her motion passed (Crs Dowell, Schiebl, Marks, Battista, Meineke and Ritchie against).

She said she wanted to prevent fluoridation on the grounds of ‘lack of evidence of community support, the inconclusive science and the compulsory nature of artificial water fluoridation’.

Cr Neil Marks’ subsequent motion to refer the decision-making process to the state government was passed with a majority of one (Crs Ekins, Bennett, Clough and Houston).

It is the third time that the council have voted on the issue this year.

Cr Ekins said that neither dosage nor concentration can be guaranteed.

She referred Council to a recent case in Jindabyne where the community were overdosed with fluoride for four days. She also noted there had been some 12 breakdowns in the last few years at the nearby Casino fluoridation plant.

Cr Gianpiero Battista asked Cr Ekins if she immunised her children, without making any reference to the fluoride debate.

Cr Ekins answered that she did not immunise her children as babies and referred to recent court cases in Italy and USA where ‘the pharmaceutical companies have paid compensation to families who have injected their children with MMR immunisation as babies and they have autism. It has been admitted publicly, with millions of dollars paid in compensation.’

Cr Marks said Rous Water tests for heavy chemicals. Cr Ekins replied that Rous may not be able to afford to do ongoing tests.

‘Rous currently only tests for 25 chemicals in the water supply out of a known 250 pesticides and herbicides that are used in our catchment, because of the cost involved,’ she said.

Cr Marks said his core belief was that ‘fluoride is an acceptable risk if a risk at all… this is our legacy which we will have to own; you don’t have to like it, it is what happens with democracy’.

Cr Smith declared that his children are ‘fully vaccinated’ and went into the fluoride debate ‘on the fence’.

He added that ‘vaccination is an accepted health measure that is undertaken around the vast majority of the world where fluoridation is not’.

‘I cannot support fluoridation as the questions still remain, when I can’t answer them I can’t give my support,’ Cr Smith said.

‘Where there were 15 countries in the world fluoridating there are now only eight, and about to go to seven,’ Cr Smith said, ‘and why aren’t there dental health problems in those countries that are not fluoridating?’

Cr Glenys Ritchie declared herself a pro-fluoride councillor and said that with all the information and research she is still ‘not convinced there is a discernible risk of harm if the dosage levels of a maximum level of 1ppm in the water supply are rigorously maintained’.

Cr Ritchie did not perceive the anti-fluoride movement as an ‘overwhelming lobby group’ in the Lismore local government area (LGA).

She is currently investigating ‘opt-out’ options with Rous Water for residents who do not want fluoridated water, such as water tank rebates and potentially bringing the fluoride concentration down below 1ppm.

Cr Greg Bennett declared that he is neither for or against fluoride but he does support pro-choice.

Cr Marks invited the mayor to speak on the issue.

Cr Dowell acknowledged that it was Human Rights Day, and ‘the human right for me is that children should have healthy teeth and the 15 per cent increase in dental health outweighs the [rights of] adults to say they don’t want fluoridation’.

Cr Ray Houston does not support fluoridation for two reasons.

‘I am pro-choice; this is Human Rights Day and it is a fundamental human right,’ said Cr Houston. ‘The other issue I have is this is a very scatter-gun approach to reach a very small group of people.’

Cr Battista said that children were not represented in the chamber.

‘Thank you for the doctors and specialists who every day are faced with instances of children with terrible teeth… these kids get picked on for their bad teeth,’ he said.

Cr Ekins added that she knows ‘children who have been picked on and teased because of fluorosis’.

Cr Clough acknowledged that all councillors are concerned about dental health in the community but challenged the solution of medicating the whole community.

‘There is no guarantee of the dosages,’ said Cr Clough. ‘A friend of mine did a survey of his son’s class and 48 per cent don’t even drink tap water.’

Cr Ekins said she had been approached by the Head of Toxicology at SCU who expressed concern over research coming out showing impacts of fluoride on invertebrates and other living things in our environment.

‘We are not testing for this, we are only worried about our teeth; it does not make sense to me at all,’ said Cr Ekins, ‘I am concerned fluoride will be the DDT of the future.’

She wrapped up the debate by claiming that ‘sugar is the real enemy… we also have epidemics of diabetes and obesity’.

Mayor Dowell confirmed this morning that there are currently no plans to extend fluoridation to Nimbin.



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  1. I’d like to be able to support the Greens but I’m disturbed by the strong element of anti-science within at least part of its membership. Cr Ekins represents the worst of that with her backing of crank views about flouridation and vaccination.

  2. This debate is ‘pathetic’ in the true sense of Greek pathos.
    It is now the luck of the draw, depending on where you live, whether you will be dosed with fluoride without your consent. The World Health Organisation should know about this. One has to ask WHY the heavy push to get rid of this now known poison in drinking water? Apparently so much of this stuff is lying around as waste material that this is considered the most ‘convenient solution’? What a way to ‘control’ the population. The mind boggles at the lack of consequential thought processes. When you know that some councillors sat proudly at the final Ballina public meeting of the fluoride issue, stating and showing that they were drinkers of coke you realise what you are up against! Of course there is also the much hidden fact of financial subsidy ‘bribes’ to assist councils to get fluoride in the water.
    So what about rainwater tank subsidies for the many who are against fluoride? And where is the present- day vote on such an important public health issue now that people are becoming more enlightened?

    It is revealing that these same arbitrators do not mention the essential childhood health education measures that Simon Richardson suggested. Of course the long-term devastating problems will eventually be revealed according to Schopenhauer’s ‘3 Stages of Truth’. But unfortunately it is all too late for present and future populations of Ballina and Lismore.
    Anything that is questionable and set in irreversible motion should be cautioned and simply not allowed to happen in today’s fast-changing society.
    Carmel Liertz http://www.performanceconfidence.com

  3. Totally [wrong]. Another obvious example that the goverment does not support the people but instead thinks forefully poisoning them is ok.
    Dictatorship! Nothing else to say. Sense does not seem to apply when we have psychopaths running the show. Feel very sorry for the communities’ health which will now greatly suffer as a result of fluiride in their water supply.

  4. I am flabbergasted that this decision was made on the mayors extra vote!!!
    The mayors extra vote is to break a deadlock on contentious issues of less significance than this.
    If the issue here is our childrens dental health then we will have to force them to drink tap water too – just for the own sake mind you.
    It would be far cheaper to subsidise flouride toothpaste for families with children without taking any chances with our health.
    What a piece of trickery by nanny Dowell and her helpers. When the decision was made at council against the imposition of flouride in our precious drinking water she did not look at all concerned and merely went on with the next item on the agenda. She knew very well it would not end there because flouride is a “pet” of hers.
    With this in mind how dare she use her casting vote to push this through.

  5. Disgusting. This is not a democracy. Its a capitalist state made to look like a democracy. I bet money went into quite a few pockets for this to get through. Corruption and corporations win again. Shameful.

  6. So the majority of the Lismore councillors have voted for fluoridation even though there are no clear scientific data to confirm that fluoride does wonders for children’s teeth. The precautionary principle was thrown out of the window along with the right to choose. Mass medication can mean babies having many times the dosage of an adult, can’t it?
    The weirdest thing about all this is that the targeted group of children that Cr Dowell moving speech so clearly refer to, do not drink water. They are mostly in that socio-economic bracket who get by on mostly fast junk food and soft drinks. I propose that at the next council meeting, those wise men and women pass a law to force children to drink council water. If that fails then the whole exercise of fluoridation is meaningless.
    And what about us user pay objectors? if we pay for a service then by right we can refuse payment if it is not what we want. Is that so or have the rules changed again?
    As for our little friends out there in the environment who never have a say in our stupid human- centric debates, they just have to cop it sweet. We know that fluoride is deadly and like most things it accumulates and possibly react with other chemicals,of which there are no shortage, to create an environmental nightmare.
    So thanks to Vanessa for putting some good arguments it is unfortunate that they were beyond the capacity of dafts to understand. As for the mayor’s Lamentations about the children’s teeth, they have a hollow ring to them given very little is done about the lack of dental services in the community at any level of government.

  7. From 1982 which says it all: –

    From 1982 Former NIH (National Inst. of Health) scientist opposed to fluoride

    Statement by James B. Patrick, Ph.D. at the Joint Congressional Committee on Health and Appropriations Against the Inclusion of Fluoridation in the Preventive Health & Health Services Block Grant, Held August 4, 1982.
    Dr. Patrick earned his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University majoring in chemistry. His experience as Antibiotics Research Scientist was with the National Institute of Health and Lederle Laboratories.
    Dr. Patrick is Senior Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Mary Baldwin College, Stauton, Virginia, 1967 to date. He is author of 28 technical papers and holder of 7 U.S. patents.
    A number of scholarly volumes and numerous technical articles have been written showing the biochemical and toxicological hazards of deliberately exposing the population to continuous dosages of such a potent chronic toxin as fluoride. I cannot summarize them in the time of space at my disposal here, but will confine myself to sketching three points…….

    For these three reasons, as well as for a number of others that I have not attempted to cover here, I strongly advise against the legislature of this Commonwealth having anything to do with fluoridation.

    It is a scientific disgrace that a well organized lobby of the American Dental Association ever managed to stampede American legislators into ignoring the highly technical but very cogent objection to fluoridation.

    Full Document: http://www.nofluoride.com/eight.cfm

  8. Australia wide in dental crisis after widespread fluoridation in every State, first commencing Beaconsfield, Tasmania in 1953 = likewise USA in dental crisis after widespread ‘fluoridation’ first beginning in 1945 Grand Rapids Michigan

    The only answer EVER was to provide access to affordable dental health care services for all the population, not the disposal of hazardous waste pollutants fluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, beryllium, etc., (known as water fluoridation); into our drinking water supplies and hence also the contamination of our food chain and using the populations’ kidneys as hazardous waste disposal/filtration units.

    A reminder of Ballina Council/Rous Water.

    ##**** In April 2010, just before Rous councillors voted on fluoridation, Rous Water general manager Kyme Lavelle controversially tabled legal advice warning that councillors would be personally liable for fines until fluoridation was approved.

    ##**** The vote as a result dramatically swung from against fluoridation, to supporting it.

  9. My parents grew up without fluoride. They both had dentures from the age of 40+. I grew up with fluoride and I have all my natural teeth (I am 66). My children had fluoride and I hope with will have my experience not the experience of my parents.

  10. To quote Dr. Phillip R.N. Sutton, Formerly Academic Associate and Senior Research Fellow, Department Oral Medicine and Surgery, Dental School, University of Melbourne, Author of The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation (1996):

    “We are all affected by this potentially dangerous fraud: The convincing of Governments and people generally that it is ethical, safe and beneficial to medicate, compulsorily, many millions of people throughout their lives with small but uncontrollable doses of a cumulative and very toxic substance because of the notion that it reduces the prevalence of dental decay. All this, although neither its safety nor any scientifically-proved reduction in the number of decayed teeth has been demonstrated.”


  11. “In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster than ANY other chemical.” Dr. Dean Burk PHD (34 years at the Natioanl Cancer Institute)

  12. For the health and safety of the population (especially long term) All Australians must Say NO to the dumping/disposal of these hazardous waste pollutants fluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc., known as ‘water fluoridation’ polluting our water and also polluting our food chain, us, our animals, our environment and all life.

    The Australian people have to demand much better from all those in these positions of power and control over us all.

    Australia wide in dental crisis after widespread fluoridation in every State, first commencing Beaconsfield, Tasmania in 1953 = likewise USA in dental crisis after widespread ‘fluoridation’ first beginning in 1945 Grand Rapids Michigan

    The only answer EVER was to provide access to affordable dental health care services for all the population, not the disposal of hazardous waste pollutants fluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, beryllium, etc., (known as water fluoridation); into our drinking water supplies and hence also the contamination of our food chain and using the populations’ kidneys as hazardous waste disposal/filtration units.


    REPORT Brief Overview: http://fluorideinformationaustralia.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/brief-overview-of-water-fluoridation_pollution-11-september-2013-diane-drayton-buckland1.pdf


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