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22-November 2013

Fluoride row: Byron Bay votes to uphold ban in water supply

There are concerns oral health will suffer after Byron Bay voted no to adding fluoride to the area's drinking water. Photograph: Frank Baron

Byron shire council has voted to uphold a ban on adding fluoride to the area's drinking water, after a campaign by local residents and doctors.

The council voted 5-3 in favour of the ban. At the council meeting on Thursday a petition containing signatures of local residents was submitted. The petition was titled 'We, the people of the Byron Bay Shire, strongly object to having our water poisoned with FLUORIDE!!!'.

Another letter addressed to NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant and signed by several doctors also opposed the proposal to add fluoride.

'We the undersigned are medical practitioners and health professionals who have concerns about the efficacy and safety of water fluoridation,' it said.

Citing heated controversy and disagreement” in scientific and medical communities, the letter claimed it was imprudent to initiate further fluoridation of public water supplies until such time as modern data can either substantiate or refute the alleged benefits and the safety or otherwise is established.

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