The Australian Dental Association New South Wales was greatly concerned to read Cr Lisa Intemann's ill-informed comments in her latest column on the Port News website that water fluoridation's benefits are an "illusion."
In particular, ADA NSW is alarmed at Cr Intemann's refusal to acknowledge the expertise of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia's leading expert body in health and medical research which has high standards of integrity and scientific rigour that champion the pursuit of better health outcomes for all Australians.
The NHMRC has provided Australians with credible evidence for the safety of water fluoridation for many years and continue to update their research base periodically.
Port Macquarie-Hastings residents should know that water fluoridation is a safe, effective and equitable means of preventing dental decay in children, adolescents and adults.
The fluoridation of water supplies effectively delivers fluoride to all members of the community, regardless of age, individual motivation or socioeconomic status.
It is proven to reduce tooth decay in children and adults and, along with other measures such as regular tooth brushing and dental check-ups, help care for your teeth.
More than 18 international reviews have examined the evidence on fluoridation and general health since 1994, with none finding that fluoridation poses a known health risk.
More than 150 trusted organisations around the globe, including the US Centers for Disease Control, Australian Medical Association and the World Health Organisation, continue to recommend water fluoridation as a valued public health measure. The scientific knowledge and health expertise of these organisations clearly refute Cr Intemann's unfounded claims.
It is disappointing that council is proceeding with its non-binding community poll on September 4, asking residents if water fluoridation should be removed from the local water supply.
This poll, aside from perpetuating the spread of misinformation within the community, will achieve little else. Sadly, this appears to be a costly exercise driven by the personal agenda of a few individuals at the expense of the oral health of every Port Macquarie-Hastings resident.
We would urge anyone interested in the facts on fluoride to visit www.adansw.com.au/PortMacquarieFluoridation and vote to keep water fluoridation in the September 4 poll.
Finally, ADA NSW would also ask Cr Intemann how she justifies Port Macquarie-Hastings Council ratepayers pick up the $90,000 tab for this poll at this time, given council faces a far more urgent multi-million dollar repair bill for the devastating 2021 floods.
ADA NSW would suggest Port Macquarie-Hastings ratepayers would be justified in questioning if their elected representatives really do have the community's best interests at heart.
Dr Kathleen Matthews,
President, Australian Dental Association - NSW Branch