The controversial debate over water fluoridation is not confined to Australia but continues to be on and off the politico/ health agenda in many countries, depending on which side of the debate shouts the loudest.
In Australia, the fluoride debate is still a controversial subject despite the fact that 90% of the population is now receiving fluoridated drinking water. In Queensland, Cairns Regional Council announced in early 2013 that it was to eliminate fluoride
from its drinking water. Later in the same year, in August, the state government of New South Wales was prepared to remove the discretion of local councils in deciding what they put in their water supply. Neither of these actions has taken place without some sort of justification offered.
Statements made by such groups as the Australian Fluoride Action movement allege that fluoride harms just about everything in the environment and not just people. It is these sorts of claims, often unsubstantiated by scientific evidence, which may well influence action by councils. To counter their arguments, Dr Michael Foley, an Australian Dental Association spokesperson said that councils are making these moves only by following highly co-ordinated actions by activists. The Australian Dental Association has its own policy in relation to water fluoridation, stating that governments have to keep water fluoridation as part of their Health Policy.
There are some facts about fluoridation that are quite clear according to well documented statistics. One is that where water is fluoridated in Australia there are fewer visits to the Ballarat dentist
and tooth decay is less aggressive.