UPDATE: TOTT News has received word that the Australian government has amended the Therapeutic Goods Act to exclude “fluoridated reticulated drinking water” as an approved therapeutic good.
The submission was lodged on 17 April 2019 and made available to the public on 19 June 2019. Legislation has been changed as of 11 July 2019.
Comment: Thank you to our readers for the tip. As mentioned on the podcast at the start of the month, we knew they would act quick on this one, as it left them exposed. They sure acted efficiently, haven’t they? What were they afraid of? — Ethan.
Australian councils do not have legal approval to add fluoride to community water supplies, according to advice from a prominent lawyer.
In a 43-page recommendation to Port Macquarie Council, Tim Robertson SC has exposed a federal loophole that calls into question fluoridation programs across the country.
LAWYER EXPOSES LOOPHOLE
New legal advice has given hope to fluoride campaigners across the country, with recommendations warning providers don’t have appropriate approval to add the chemical to water supplies.
A report has been submitted to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council during a routine review of existing fluoridation programs in the area, which commenced in February 2012.
Tim Robertson SC, who specialises in environmental and constitutional law, explored whether fluoridation is prohibited without approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA):
In his 43-page recommendation to council, Robertson detailed the nature of federal law prevailing over state law under the Constitution — exposing that council fluoride programs are illegal.
“Section 109 of the Constitution operates and the Therapeutic Goods Act prevails to the extent that … the Fluoridation Act is invalid.”
In his conclusion, Tim re-affirms his position and discusses potential legalities for council:
“Fluoridated water is an unregistered therapeutic good under the TG Act.
The TG Act binds council. Its supply of fluoridated water is in breach of the Act until fluoridated water is registered as a therapeutic good or excluded from the TG Act.
Council is exposed to both civil and criminal liabilities.”
Tim Robertson is a well-known lawyer in New South Wales, having lead legal action against Allianz Stadium earlier this year, showing traces of carcinogenic substances had been detected at the site.
Port Macquarie Hastings Councillor Peter Alley told the ABC the legal advice surprised him, and it’s now up to the TGA, Federal and State Health Ministers to work to try and find a way forward.
Council have confirmed they will be actioning with Federal and State bodies in light of this advice.
FLUORIDE IN AUSTRALIA
The acceptance of the benefits of water fluoridation occurred in Australia in December 1953, roughly two years after acceptance in the United States.
Many of Australia’s drinking water supplies subsequently began fluoridation in the 1960s and 1970s.
Currently in Australia, artificially fluoridated drinking water is provided for 70% or more of the populations in most states and territories.
A large majority of councils are obliged to add fluoride to water under state law, such as the NSW Fluoridation Act , which sets the guidelines for council programs across the state.
The addition of fluoride to drinking water supplies is generally governed by Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, which recommend a maximum concentration of 1.5 mg/L for fluoride, which mirrors World Health Organization recommendations.
In Queensland, state laws requiring mandatory fluoridation were abolished in 2012, handing responsibility to individual councils to consult with local constituents on fluoridation programs.
Despite the progress, many major councils — such as Brisbane City Council and Gold Coast City Council — maintain multi-million dollar budgets that make campaigning difficult for those calling for community meetings.
This new advice blows open a debate that has become heated in recent years in Australia.
WHY THE CONCERN?
Like other countries with water fluoridation programs, Australia has organised anti-fluoride groups that contest the health benefits of fluoride.
In addition to claiming that fluoride offers no health benefits whatsoever, campaigners have presented evidence to councils that reveal how moderate fluoride exposure can lead to reduced IQ, damaged bones, brain, kidneys and thyroid, dental fluorosis, and many more severe effects.
The National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC’s) most recent review on the safety of water fluoridation concluded that, at current Australian levels, “there was no evidence that water fluoridation at Australian levels is associated with other health effects”.
However, numerous studies in recent years have suggested the chemical is linked to lower intelligence in children and thyroid problems that can cause weight gain, fatigue and depression.
This has caused Australian health authorities to review the case for fluoride in drinking water amid concerns, after evidence supporting associated risks to health has risen in recent years.
As of June 2018, a total of 53 studies have found that elevated fluoride exposure is associated with reduced IQ in humans, while 40 studies have found that fluoride exposure impairs the learning and/or memory capacity of animals.
The human studies, which are based on IQ examinations of over 15,000 children, provide compelling evidence that fluoride exposure during the early years of life can damage a child’s developing brain.
For example, after reviewing 27 human IQ studies, a team of Harvard scientists concluded that fluoride’s effect on young brains should now be a “high research priority”:
Filmmakers have also exposed the dangers of the industry in Australia via various documentaries, including Fire Water: Australia’s Industrial Fluoridation Disgrace and Don’t Look. Won’t Find.
The new recommendations open up a can of worms for a political system that continues to promote fluoridation, despite overwhelming evidence suggesting harms of adding the mining byproduct to water supplies.
Looking to take action? Get in contact with Tim Robertson via the Fredrick Jordan Chambers office: firstname.lastname@example.org or (02) 9229 7333.
Fluoridation of the district water supply | Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
Memorandum of Legal Advice | Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
Mandatory fluoridation in Queensland scrapped | TOTT News
Fluoride & IQ: The 53 Studies | Fluoride Alert
Impact of fluoride on neurological development in children | Harvard School of Public Health
Fire Water: Australia’s Industrial Fluoridation Disgrace | Sapphire Eyes
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