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July 14, 2024

Mayor cuts Nimbin centre off social media over fluoride criticism

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Image of Jenny Dowell from her election promo video: vimeo.com/46799460
Image of Jenny Dowell from her election promo video: vimeo.com/46799460

Melissa Hargraves

Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell has pulled the pin from communicating with some of her constituents on social media outlets which she says were being used to attack her over contentious issues such as fluoridation.

Cr Dowell told Echonetdaily she would take a break from using her Facebook or Twitter accounts after some comments she received were ‘over the top’.

The mayor defended cutting off, or ‘defriending’, the Nimbin Environment Centre (NEC) on social media recently, saying she regretted doing so ‘out of frustration’ but would be ‘looking to re-engage’ with the centre via social media.

Cr Dowell said she used social media to inform the community about events and council matters and ‘don’t expect to be constantly attacked on there’.

Her comments follow NEC claims she ‘defriended’ the centre because she didn’t like all the criticism over her vote on fluoride recently.

(Lismore City Council recently again voted to continue with the controversial plan to fluoridate the area’s drinking water supply.)

NEC president Philippe Dupuy told Echonetdaily there had been no personal attacks made against the mayor by the centre.

‘If personal attacks happened through our social media platform we would deal with that internally, we certainly do not accept that kind of behaviour,’ Mr Dupuy said.

‘Just because we oppose fluoridation of water supply, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell has removed us from her Facebook account,’ he said.

‘Fluoridation of our water will impact on the environment and that is our voice; the mayor has no right shutting us down because we don’t agree with her on this issue.’

Campaign success

Mr Dupuy said the NEC was successful in a social-media campaign to retain the bench seat out the front of their building.
He said the mayor was pushing for the bench to be removed so the street was more accessible for people with disabilities such as blindness.

‘Through our social media campaign the mayor was able to hear the many voices of the people who used the bench seat, some who had disabilities that used the seat as a rest stop,’ he said.

‘Through our social media engagement the mayor was able to hear the voices and acted appropriately and we retained the seat.

‘There has never been and never will be a personal attack on the mayor and we feel by her closing us down over fluoride she is not listening to her community,’ Mr Dupuy said.

Cr Dowell said her life has been dominated by people using the social media platforms to contact her about council matters.

‘The negative comments I received went over the top, and yes I do regret it (cutting off the NEC) but I have tried to find them again on Facebook but haven’t been able to friend them again,’ she said.

‘I would also ask that people be a bit more moderate in their language which I think is reasonable to ask.

‘NEC was the last straw, I use social media to inform the community about events and council matters. I don’t expect to be constantly attacked on there.’

Concerns over impacts

Although Nimbin will not be fluoridated at this stage, Mr Dupuy said the impact on the surrounding environment is of concern.

‘NEC opposes the process of mass medicating the population to reach a target audience that will not drink tap water anyway, they are drinking soft drinks,’ he said.

‘Most water will get flushed down the toilet and end up in the environment.

‘We are seeing more studies that indicate impacts from fluoridation on species other than humans.

‘Anyway, humans are the environment so we are also concerned about the impact on them.’

Mr Dupuy said NEC campaigned and invested many voluntary hours to protect the environment on the northern rivers.

‘It is hypocritical that Council promote tourism in the northern rivers yet jeopardise that very environment by adding more pollution to our water,’ he said.

‘Our local environment is under constant pressure and is polluted daily so why would we be adding more pollution to it. It does not make sense.’

The NEC is a longstanding community organisation with its roots in successful battles in the past that saved Terania Creek and the Nightcap forest from old-growth logging.

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  1. Councillor Dowell,you can’t take the heat so you opt to get away from the fire.
    [Think of people who are] … battling cancer [when you] vote to put a known toxic poison into our water system.
    Val Pinney

  2. All politicians do the same thing as Jenny Dowell has done and block those who criticise them. It is part of their spin to use social media to keep the uninformed uninformed and pursue their agenda. If Jenny Dowell thinks that people will stop criticism h of her as a Mayor becasue she has blocked them off facebook then she is deluded. This sort of action is indicative that politicians do not value democracy and only pay lip service to it when it suits them. If Jenny Dowel feels offended by this then she should resign and let someone with real respect for their constituents to take over the role of Mayor. What is over the top is her decision to poison people and the environment with flouride.

  3. come on, treeman, jenny dowell has been by far the best mayor lismore shire has ever had ! – but all the more frustrating that she follows some logic i don’t understand, to support a known poison to be added to the drinking water……… i am glad i’ve got my own water !!!

  4. I am anti-fluoridation and am very saddened by Jenny’s refusal to accept the science indicating the potential harm fluoridation may cause, and by the disrespect shown for our human right of choice re. fluoride. However, I have seen many of the comments posted on Facebook (not only in responses to posts by the NEC but also in other threads) in relation to her stance, and I find some of them even more objectionable than Jenny’s position. Whilst I completely understand and empathize with the fear, anger and dismay that many people are feeling as a result of Council’s decision, I also understand and respect the fact that Jenny acted as she did out of her perception, however mistaken it may be, that it was in the community’s best interests.

    If we can do no better than to respond with comments that are, to say the least, vulgar, offensive and toxic, then we do ourselves and the community as a whole far more damage than the addition of fluoride to the water ever could. There’s an old saying that applies here, along the lines of: “Holding onto rage is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die.”

    I implore everyone who wishes to continue to campaign against fluoridation to do so in a spirit of goodwill and understanding, because emotional toxicity is counter-productive. We will make far more headway if we are respectful and reasonable, and rather than add my voice to any anti-fluoridation group that invites destructive and disrespectful comments I will campaign alone on this issue.

  5. I agree with her. The whole ‘social networking’ phenomenon has, sadly, become another weapon in the hands of the narks and sociopaths. Most of the people who send nasty emails would never have had a voice worth recognition if technology hadn’t given them the licence to do so.

  6. “The mayor is not listening to us” . Translation; she has a different view to us. To paraphrase Bertrand Russell, it is always amazing to see how simple people are so certain in their views, while intelligent people have doubts. Fluoride is not a poison when administerd in small doses. It will do a power of good to those children whose parents lack parenting skills. Why do experts like dentists promote fluoridation when it is against their self interest? Because they know its worth. Please people. Use your brains. Not your emotions.

    • Exactly Allen simple people are certain that fluoride is OK… those of us with some intelligence have our doubts about it… when in doubt miss it out…

  7. Pretty disappointing Jenny… I would like to see the costs of this mass medication programme.

    Given that the health of the citizens is the issue here (supposedly) I would like to see the diets and health records of the councillors supporting this mass medication programme… if they are healthy people eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables: even then they are not qualified (IMHO) to dictate what is appropriate medicine for the citizens of their electorate.
    And they (the councillors) must be reminded that with the increasing findings about the negative consequences of fluoride could very well render them liable, they will have a ‘duty of care’ in this issue.

    Modern medicine is not static new discoveries are occurring every week… the discovery of our micro-biome (Gut Bugs) is an example… these bugs are a vital part of our immune system… their disturbance/depletion can have devastating results on the host.. my point is we really don’t know enough about physiology to be accepting 1960’s science i.e. water fluoridation.

    No healthy person respectful of their physiology would take medicine if they were not ill, particularly if there was any doubt about its efficacy.

    Farmers feed animals for slaughter antibiotics and it works a treat… no sickness… more profit. However the bugs become resistant and we end up with super bugs… slowly the governments hear the message from the doctors and now we see the farmers being regulated into not mass medicating healthy animals antibiotics.

    How does this relate to fluoride in our drinking water….
    As the farmers were short sighted, and conned by large corporations, they could not foresee the consequence of their actions.
    We also are animals and our physiology is equally as complex… who knows the long term effects and how can it be easily monitored… given the high percentage of unhealthy people with hundreds of illnesses and hundreds of carcinogens already identified why add another en-mass.

    A precedent must be set …no mass medication …. you (councils) haven’t the qualifications the knowledge the authority or the right to medicate us.

  8. If Jenny Dowell doesn’t want to be “attacked” via social media, why is she attacking people by gratuitously forcing a cumulative toxin down their throats against their will? Hypocritical thugs like her are truly disgusting.

  9. I saw the Facebook comments about fluoride,and all I can say is that this is what happens when you threaten to poison someones water supply,it makes them angry.They can’t believe the audacity of someone who supposedly has all the science(and let’s face it,we all have internet) making decisions on our behalf but voting against the common good.We are up against so much health wise and environmentally,what with gmos coming in without labelling,csg threatening to pollute our farmland and ground water,a government who doesn’t seem interested into transitting into a green economy,but just wants business as usual,the list goes on,so its really not at all surprising the reaction she got from nimbin enviro centre Facebook fans,what does she want us to do,sit back and enjoy the fluoride?

  10. I feel a bit sad that Jennie is subject to so much abuse since I hold her in great regard. Although I strongly agree that fluorite should not be added to the drinking water, I believe she is sincere in her opinion. It is so prevelent with organised religions, most of us respect people’s belief in this area and we all know what abuse of other religions will lead to. I also think it is unfair to single her out, the majoritiy voted in favour of fluorite.
    I sincerely hope that eventually fluorite is not added to the water like in most countries now.
    Nevertheless, I wish Jennie a happy New Year and thank her for all the good work she has done.

  11. A friend works in Casino council and has seen how they add fluride to their water. He was disgusted as the people doing it had no idea and just “dumped a whole load” in the water supply. Would this be the same for Lismore? I’m firmly against fluride in our water.

  12. People are fighting for their health, their health rights freedom and their rights in general Mayor Dowell ! you and others like you in these positions of power and control over us all chronically poisoning the population with hazardous waste known as water fluoridation and the people are supposed to say ‘yes ma’m no ma’m 3 bags full ma’m’ – your appalling arrogance is as shocking as your willful and reckless negligence and lack of ethics; unfortunately there are many more like you.

    You were all sent extensive evidence against water fluoridation/pollution and you chose to arrogantly ignore it / dismiss it – this is outrageous and a disgrace.

    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 study also found that fluoride does not eliminate tooth decay, citing dietary sugars as the primary cause. People living in areas with fluoridated water and/or using fluoride toothpaste still got dental caries.  

    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 and also added to this hazardous waste soup is aluminium sulphate); 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.

    Water fluoridation/pollution – NOT SAFE NOT EFFECTIVE http://fluorideinformationaustralia.wordpress.com/not-safe-not-effective/

  13. Allan, who commented above, is a typical example of a toxic waste pushing hypocrite. By writing “Fluoride is not a poison when administerd (sic) in small doses. It will do a power of good to those children whose parents lack parenting skills.” he displays exactly the simpleminded certainty he derides. If he were more intelligent, and had bothered to research the issue, he would know that there is no good quality evidence to support his statements. He goes on to ask “Why do experts like dentists promote fluoridation when it is against their self interest?” You have assumed what you are trying to prove, Allan. It’s called circular reasoning, genius. Take your own advice and use your brain, if you know how. If you understand what I have written you will start by taking a good hard look in the mirror, but I suspect you are so lacking in self awareness you will remain oblivious to the need for that.

  14. We will be launching a national Fluoride? Not Without Consent campaign in February 2014. Please join us on our facebook page and watch for information on what you can do in your shire. The government is breaking the law by treating people against their will and without their consent and it is time for all Australians to stand up and have their voices heard en mass. You can find us on facebook by searching Fluoride? Not Without Consent.

  15. PS… Pure water = good health
    Polluted water = poor health

    So called third world countries often don’t have clean unpolluted drinking water; we do (so called first world countries) until the flat earth thinking politicians with their 1960’s science mindset decide to pollute it.

    I think their idea of science is what many of them learnt at school thirty years ago…science has moved on and continues to move; it’s dynamic not static. One has to ‘read’, to stay abreast of new research; what you learnt at school ( even ten years ago) is often now found to be, at best, only partially true; or obsolete knowledge.

    Their arrogance in this matter astounds me.

    Is this an attempt to address a health issue in the Lismore shire i.e tooth decay. Clearly it hasn’t worked to any degree of success anywhere else. And never will where the target market are consuming unhealthy foods daily. One only has to look in the supermarket trolly’s of the average shopper to see the number of tooth decay causing food and drink they purchase.
    The horses have bolted guys closing the gate… well it isn’t even a gate its a pathetic attempt to fool the electorate that you they are in safe hands; we’ll save you don’t worry.

    But tooth decay is only a very small part of our health problems.
    The answer of course is education; peoples’ awareness needs to be broadened about the dangers of eating rubbish.
    A magic pill approach, which is what this fluoride business is essentially, does not work; it gives people a reason to not take responsibility for their actions: in this case their health.
    I mean, why worry, and go to all that trouble of cooking fresh healthy food when you can get it cheaply already cooked at a junk food franchise.
    Do they actually clean and floss their teeth after each meal; probably not. Telling them to do that will never win any votes will it: better to give them a short cut around personal responsibility; always a vote puller; something for free.

  16. From 1982 says it all:-

    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.

    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 fluoridations.



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