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Labor moves to force councils to fluoridate water

Shadow minister for health and the north coast Walt Secord. Photo AAP Image/Mark Graham

On Tuesday (February 13), Labor introduced legislation in the NSW Parliament to create tough new fluoride laws it claims would ‘override the anti-fluoride movement’ and effectively force councils like Byron Shire to fluoridate their water.

The laws would give the NSW health minister additional powers to direct local councils and water authorities to add fluoride to their drinking water supply.

It would enable the health minister to direct a water supply authority to add fluorine to its public water supply, increasing tenfold the maximum penalties for failure to do so (from $5,500 to $50,000).

‘Like anti-vaxxers’

NSW shadow health minister Walt Secord, who introduced the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Amendment (Community Water Protection) Bill 2018 into the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council, has likened the resistance to water fluoridation to the anti-vaxxer movement

Of 53 non-fluoridated water supply systems in NSW with a population of at least 500 people, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby are among the top 10.

Mr Secord cites the World Health Organisation, the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Dental Association together with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare as supporting fluoridation.

But he claims local councils and local water authorities ‘are becoming reluctant to combat or confront the anti-fluoride activists.’

‘Fluoride is one of the great public health achievements,’ he said, adding, ‘it is mind boggling that any group would oppose its introduction.’

‘We are seeing a repeat of the same tactics being used by the anti-vaxxer movement now occurring in the area of fluoride. They are irresponsible and irrational views.’

Communities ‘want fluoride’

‘The proposed new laws are sensible and give the health minister the power to direct a recalcitrant local water authority to put fluoride into the community’s drinking water.

‘The community’s views are very clear on this issue. They want fluoride in their drinking water and a tiny group of conspiracy theories should not hold the whole community to ransom.

‘Fluoride protects our teeth and overall dental health leads to a healthier overall person.’

‘We owe it to the next generation to give them the best and healthiest start in life. Good dental hygiene and health affect the overall person’s health outcomes.

‘Our nation’s children should not have to risk unnecessary tooth decay and dental problems,’ he said.

Anti-fluoride campaigner Al Oshlack. (Darren Coyne)

‘Fanatical support’

But Mr Secord’s claims have been refuted by Fluoride Free Northern Rivers (FFNR) spokesperson Al Oshlack, who said his move risked Labor’s chances for election in the region with his ‘fanatical support for fluoride’.

‘I told Walt that what he is doing by carrying on like this – coming after people on the North Coast – puts Labor at risk of holding those state seats, Mr Oshlack told Echonetdaily.

He added that lumping fluoride opponents with anti-vaxxers was ‘insulting’

Mr Oshlack said the group had ‘four clear reasons for opposing fluoride’.

‘It doesn’t work; it’s not ethical; it’s actually illegal, as it’s not been approved as a therapeutic substance by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA); and there have been systemic breakdowns in many fluoride plants, including here in the Northern Rivers,’ he said.

‘There’s no doubt at all that water fluoridation is detrimental, both to human health and the environment,’ he added, citing cases in the Hunter Valley and in Queensland where fluoride had leaked into waterways.

‘I can’t see why health department bureaucrats or councillors have the right to force a medication in the water supply – there’s no grounds for it and they’re not qualified to make these types of decisions.

‘If water fluoridation is therapeutic, why is it not registered as a medication under the Therapeutic Goods Act?’ he queried.

Last year FFNR considered taking out a Federal Court challenge to establish the legality of fluoridation.

Mr Oshlack said that matter is currently on hold while the court considers a related issue regarding the TGA’s position on fluoride.

Systemic failures

FFNR took out several GIPAs (freedom of information requests) on Rous Water last year, which Mr Oshlack said showed ‘systemic failures in its fluoridation system.

‘Rous Water runs four fluoride plants and our GIPAs have revealed that there have been systemic breakdowns.

‘The Corndale plant, which is the biggest in the area, was flooded during a flood.

‘There’ve been at least 10 complete breakdowns of the plant, in which highly concentrated fluoridated water has escaped into the plant, involving clean-ups requiring it to be shut down for up to five weeks at a time.

Despite reports in Echonetdaily and other media at the time, Mr Oshlack said, ‘Rous Water did deny or refute any of the allegations we made.’

NHMRC report

Mr Secord said the findings of a 2017 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) report into water fluoridation included that water fluoridation at current Australian levels ‘reduces the occurrence and severity of tooth decay by 26-44 per cent’ and ‘is not associated with cognitive dysfunction, lowered IQ, cancer, hip fracture and Down syndrome’ .

He added the report found ‘there is no reliable evidence of an association between water fluoridation at current Australian levels and other human health outcomes including: chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, heart disease, high blood pressure, low birth weight, mortality, certain muscle and skeletal effects, thyroid function, and self-report health outcomes.’

Mr Secord said that the legislation still allowed for ministerial discretion, ‘if a water system was too small or remote for fluoride or fluoride was naturally occurring’.


15 responses to “Labor moves to force councils to fluoridate water”

  1. jwillie6 says:

    After 70 years of use in the US, it is obvious that fluoridation has failed. Tooth decay is still rampant.

    The Journal of the American Dental Association (Dye 2017) reports, “65% of poor 6-8 year-olds and 12-15 year-olds have cavities in their primary and permanent teeth, respectively. More than 40% of children have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. “… there has been little improvement in preventing caries initiation,” said Dye.
    “Childhood tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness in America.”

    • jwillie6 (or whoever you are) – Provide a quote from that report that proves community water fluoridation (CWF) is ineffective at reducing dental decay. You seem to have the irrational opinion that drinking water fluoridation is the only measure which influences the risk of tooth decay either positively or negatively. Obviously, that “thinking” is absurd and some out-of-context numbers is irrelevant.

      You are ignoring 70+ years of evidence that, according to nearly all relevant experts, continues to confirm the benefits of CWF to reduce dental decay and related health problems. Because of the continual evaluation of that evidence and the resulting scientific consensus, over 100 national and international science and health organizations (and their thousands of members – experts in their fields) continue to recognize the benefits of fluoridation. These organizations include The WHO, the Australian Department of Health, the Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association.
      ~> Search on “ada fluoridation facts compendium” and “I like my teeth – what do water fluoridation supporters say?”

      How do you explain that fact?

      There are no such national or international science or health organizations that publically support the anti-F propaganda.

      How do you explain that fact?

      Proof of the fringe, outlier status of fluoridation opponents can be found on the Fluoride Action Network “Professionals Statement To End Fluoridation” initiated in 2007. At the end of 2017 only 378 dentists, 581 physicians and 106 pharmacists had signed the FAN Professionals Statement to End Water Fluoridation. Worldwide that is less than 0.02% of the 1.8 million practicing dentists, about 0.005% of the 10-15 million practicing physicians and 0.005% of the more than 2 million practicing pharmacists.

      Does it make sense to believe the claims of far less than a 10th of one percent of science and health professionals or the conclusions of nearly all scientists and health professionals in the world who have not joined the fringe, outlier anti-F activists? No

      • jwillie6 says:

        Mr. Johnson is very wordy (cut/paste) in an attempt to defend the big money fluoridation scheme. Current science shows it is ineffective for teeth and dangerous to health. He claims he is not paid for this.

        The fluoride issue is simple. No government has the right to force individuals to take a medicine without their informed consent.

        It is immoral and unethical to force fluoride or any drug on all citizens without their consent.
        A doctor or dentist cannot force that on ANYONE. They would lose their license to practice if they did.

        It should be illegal for the government to force it on EVERYONE without consent.

        Use as much fluoride in your own glass of water as you like. Just leave the rest of us out of being forced to consume it. It must be a matter of choice and informed consent.
        We all deserve that.

        • jeremy white says:

          Well said jwillie6.
          Agreed in full.
          Another thought! Sugar is the largest problem for tooth decay. Why not put the flouride in sugar, so that those who consume the most sugar, get the most medication? Pretty simple I would think.

      • Ross Thatcher says:

        Randy Johnson,

        The fact that even so much as ONE Health Professional would sign a petition against forced-medication (poisoning) speaks volumes. That thousands have overcome their lamestream indoctrination and managed to put their name and voice to this social injustice against our God-given Free Will makes all your statistics insignificant.

        I can think of no example in history where the vocal majority have ever been right. But when a vocal minority stand up to be counted, you can guarantee there’ll be some worm-tongue there to incite the masses to persecute them.

  2. Lesley McMillan says:

    Fluoride has caused hypothyroidism for me. Diagnosed in 2007 my TSH level returned to normal after I stopped ingesting fluoride. Eleven years later I am still not taking thyroid medication however it is a day to day battle to avoid physical contact and not ingest anything with fluoride in it. Living in Australia where almost everything is manufactured using fluoridated water this is almost impossible. My diet is restricted to fresh meat/fruit/vege. We have to make our own bread, yoghurt, ice cream. I am not against fluoride but would very much like our water supplies to be free of this poison and arsenic, cadmium, lead according to the Australian Drinking Water Standards. Don’t we live in a DEMOCRATIC country – where everyone has the right to CHOOSE?? I totally respect our health ministers point of view – if he thinks fluoride is good for him, by all means add as much as he wants to his own glass of water but please leave it out of public water so that we ALL have a choice about it.

  3. Maxim says:

    1. What “conspiracy theories” is mr. Secord referring to? Or is he talking about the “Facts”
    2. I walk around Byron and see beautiful smiles, not horribly decayed teeth… are local dentists inundated with decaying teeth in this area?
    3. Maybe Walt Secord should be more concerned by his dual citizenship

  4. Victor Cusack says:

    Now 80, I well remember the endemic decay of my generation’s teeth before Fluoride was introduced into the Sydney water, and the dramatic drop in decay that was obvious later. My teeth (those left) and those of my generation suffered terribly, and I am appalled at these passionate non-scientific w****s that want to reinflict dental disaster on future generations by denying this simple healthy solution.

    • Ross Thatcher says:

      Victor, was this around the same time the toothbrush and dental hygiene awareness, not to mention plumbing and electricity, were also introduced? Maybe even bathing or showering daily too, and doctors washing hands before delivering babies and performing surgeries. Funny coincidence, isn’t it?

  5. Andy says:

    Bad teeth come from too much sugar in the diet and depleted minerals in the food chain.If you are a fluoride junkie suck toothpaste.Labor will lose the next election if they continue to promote one size fits all policies.Any local council that considers fluoridation of the water in the Byron Shire is also doomed.

  6. Param says:

    If you want to protect your teeth with fluoride, use fluoridated toothpaste. If you want to protect your brain and your whole body from incremental damage from toxified tap-water, don’t use fluoridated water. Mercury used to be the perfect material for tooth fillings. Now, the tide turned.

  7. Neal Brown says:

    The political vilification of anti-vaxxers and anti-flouriders deliberately obscures the central point:

    Since when did bureaucrats assume the right to force medicate the population?

    Will those same bureaucrats take responsibility when it goes wrong? If Walt Secord agrees to be sued when his actions damage health, then I will still disagree with the legislation, but hear some integrity. Won’t happen. Nobody will be responsible. Nobody will even recognise that there might be a linked effect. The jury is already in, stuffing chemicals in the people is acceptable. The population must submit. It is happening wholesale.

    Surely in a half-sane world, those people who want to inject numerous substances directly into their children’s blood stream, trusting authorities that have shown time and again that they don’t deserve it, should be as free to do so as others should be free not to. (Though I am worried that dosed up kids may go psychotic in the playgrounds with my kids, but in the name of freedom I accept that.)

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2967791/Is-tap-water-poisoning-troubling-question-s-lips-scientists-war-fluoride-water-protect-teeth-spark-depression.html#ixzz578XFG6yF

    “New research found areas of England with water fluoridation are linked to rates of hypothyroidism 30 per cent higher than expected. Hypothyroidism causes depression, weight gain and tiredness.”

    According to a Harvard study https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2012/07/28/harvard-study-finds-fluoride-lowers-iq/:

    “Children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas.”

    “Fluoride readily crosses the placenta. Fluoride exposure to the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain, may possibly lead to damage of a permanent nature.”

    Commenting on this:

    “It’s senseless to keep subjecting our children to this ongoing fluoridation experiment to satisfy the political agenda of special-interest groups,” says attorney Paul Beeber, NYSCOF President. “Even if fluoridation reduced cavities, is tooth health more important than brain health? It’s time to put politics aside and stop artificial fluoridation everywhere, says Beeber.”

    or this study – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956646/

    “Fluoride has modest benefit in terms of reduction of dental caries but significant costs in relation to cognitive impairment, hypothyroidism, dental and skeletal fluorosis, enzyme and electrolyte derangement, and uterine cancer. Given that most of the toxic effects of fluoride are due to ingestion, whereas its predominant beneficial effect is obtained via topical application, ingestion or inhalation of fluoride predominantly in any form constitutes an unacceptable risk with virtually no proven benefit.”

    or this article published in Lancet that says flouride is a neruotoxin, fetuses being particularly vulnerable:

    https://id.elsevier.com/ACW/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.jbs.elsevierhealth.com%2Faction%2FconsumeSsoCookie%3FredirectUri%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.thelancet.com%252Faction%252FconsumeSharedSessionAction%253FJSESSIONID%253Daaa5LgmCtU6lIfd90gogw%2526MAID%253DGHPk%25252FXT4OTuI%25252Fy0ANmGxtg%25253D%25253D%2526SERVER%253DWZ6myaEXBLHjHqxM%25252BACUdQ%25253D%25253D%2526ORIGIN%253D463311034%2526RD%253DRD%26code%3Dlancet-site#article_upsell

    There’s plenty more studies that throw massive doubt on flouridation. Arguing either way isn’t the point. Forced medication is an ethical issue. Whether you come up with information pro or con the national (world) forced medication agenda, it is unconscionable to ram stuff into anybody’s body by legislation. My teeth are in my head and I don’t want them to be used as a limp excuse for chemical dosing courtesy of someone else’s agenda over my body.

    To put it another way, Over-My-Dead-Body, a time frame that fluctuates depending on what is successfully stuffed into it against my will.

  8. Colin Varian says:

    FORCED FLUORIDATION IS A FAILURE, ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL STATISTICS.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/dentists-are-fed-up-with-doing-tooth-extractions-on-toddlers/9425958
    “The National Child Oral Health Study shows dental decay is the most prevalent oral disease in Australian children. One in three children between the ages of five and six have symptoms of decay in their baby teeth.”
    “Oral health in Australia
    1 in 3 children aged 5-6 years have decay in their deciduous teeth
    4 in 10 children aged 12-14 years have decay in their permanent teeth
    The cost of treating dental decay is estimated at $5 billion per year
    Statistics are even higher in Indigenous, migrant and rural children
    Source: National Child Oral Health Study”

  9. Ewan says:

    Education in oral hygiene and the avoidance of decay causing manufactured foodstuffs and liquids from a young age is more successful in preventing tooth decay. If you want fluoride for your teeth then use fluoridated toothpaste and observe the recommendations of some manufacturers/suppliers of not swallowing it but to rinse out and spit out the residue. Why would they do that? Do they know something we don’t?

  10. Tom Rothsey says:

    A quick history of the initiation of water fluoridation, heavily influenced by one of the largest producers of the toxic waste later added to water supplies, Alcoa aluminium.

    In 1931, H. Trendley Dean of the U.S. Public Health Service initiates studies on fluorides under the jurisdiction of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. Mellon is founder of Alcoa aluminum, who is one of the main suppliers of toxic sodium fluoride as a by-product of aluminum manufacture. He publishes a purposely skewed study showing that, at 1ppm, fluoride results in the reduction of tooth decay. Remember Alcoa, they appear again.

    In 1943, Researchers from the US Public Health Service examine the health of residents of Bartlett, Texas to see if the 8ppm fluoride in the drinking water was affecting their health. It was checked again in 1953. They find that the death rate in Bartlett was three times higher than a neighboring town which contained 0.4 ppm fluoride.

    In the same year, The Journal of the American Medical Association on September 18 states, “fluorides are general protoplasmic poisons, changing the permeability of the cell membrane by inhibiting certain enzymes. The exact mechanism of such actions are obscure. The sources of fluorine intoxication are drinking water containing 1ppm or more of fluorine, fluorine compounds used as insecticidal sprays for fruits and vegetables (cryolite and barium fluoro- silicate) and the mining and conversion of phosphate rock to superphosphate, which is used as a fertilizer. That process alone releases approximately 25,000 tons of pure fluorine into the atmosphere annually.”

    1944: The city manager of Grand Rapids, Michigan announces that the Michigan State Department of Health is planning a long range experiment with fluoridated water and that Grand Rapids was selected as the location for the experiment. The city commission approves a motion to fluoridate on July 31, and decide it is to begin in January 1945, despite the warning issued three months earlier by the American Dental Association. Grand Rapids becomes the first city in the United States to conduct this experiment. It was to serve as the test city to be compared against un-fluoridated Muskegon for a period of ten years relative to tooth decay, at which time it would be determined whether or not fluoride was “safe and effective.” Dr. H. Trendley Dean was put in charge of the project. The experiment was terminated early with the pronouncement that fluorides in public water supplies was “safe”. See 1945.
    1944: Oscar Ewing is put on the payroll of the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), as an attorney, at an annual salary of $750,000. Within a few months, Ewing was made Federal Security Administrator, with the announcement that he was taking a big cut in salary. The US Public Health Service, then a division of the FSA, comes under the command of Ewing , and he begins to vigorously promote fluoridation nationwide. Ref: May 25-27 Hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce.
    A by-product of aluminum manufacture is toxic. Ewing’s public relations strategist for the fluoride campaign was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, Edward L. Bernays. Bernays conducts a public relations campaign to promote fluorine ingestion by applying Freudian theory to induce public acceptance. It was one of Bernays most successful campaigns. More on Bernays later, the name is synonymous with brainwashing.

    An editorial in the Journal of the American Dental Association in October, 1944 stated:

    “We do know that the use of drinking water containing as little as 1.2 to 3.0 parts per million of fluorine will cause such developmental disturbances in bones as osteosclerosis, spondylosis and osteopetrosis, as well as goiter; and we cannot afford to run the risk of producing such serious systemic disturbances in applying what is at present a doubtful procedure … .”

    And they added:

    “There is no margin of safety, and that with their present knowledge or lack of knowledge of the chemistry of the subject, the potentialities for harm far outweigh those for good.”

    1945 Newburgh, New York has their water supply fluoridated. Subsequent exams of the children by x-ray reveal that almost 14% have cortical defects in bone, compared to the nearby unfluoridated town of Kingston, where 7.5% have bone defects.
    1945 As a result of government propaganda on fluorides, the ten year Michigan study was terminated after 1 year. The fluoride-free control city, Muskegon, was then fluoridated to conceal any differential between the two cities.

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