Anti-fluoride advocates Nazi references in public debate

February 18, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord has expressed his disappointment that fluoride debate has descended into the use of offensive Nazi references rather than a discussion of sensible health policy.

Walt Secord

Mr Secord said he received correspondence from the State’s Central West likening his legislation to Nazism – since it was introduced last week into State Parliament.

“One has to be very careful when tossing around Nazi-laden terminology when engaging in a public debate. It does the proponents of their argument a complete disservice and it is very offensive,” Mr Secord said.

The references to nazism were heard at public meetings in Oberon in the Central West and in the North Coast.

In addition, Mr Secord said it was time to start calling out community activists who want to “cosy up to anti-fluoride” activists – saying they are as bad as those advocating One Nation preferences.

Mr Secord said rather than humouring them or engaging in a fake debate about process, community leaders would be better served condemning anti-fluoride activists and their conspiracy theories.

“I am quite surprised by the number of people who pretend to support the anti-fluoride activists to curry favour with them,” Mr Secord said.

“Instead, they should show leadership and stand up to the anti-fluoride movements; they do themselves and the community a disservice by pretending to support them when they do not.”

Last week, Mr Secord introduced Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Amendment (Community Water Protection) Bill 2018 into the State Parliament to give the NSW Health Minister additional powers to direct local councils and water authorities to add fluoride to their drinking water supply.

It will provide a number of measures including:

  • Enabling the Health Minister to direct a water supply authority to add fluorine to a public water supply under its control; and
  • Increasing the maximum penalty for offences under the Act (which includes the failure to comply with a direction to add fluorine to a public water supply) from 5,500 to $50,000 and from $550 to $5,000 for a maximum daily penalty for a continuing offence.

In recent months, the anti-fluoride movement has been active in Gunnedah, the Central West, the North Coast and in the Bega Shire on the South Coast. Their activity and tactics have been similar to the anti-vaxxer movement.

“Fluoride is one of the great public health achievements and 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.”

“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.”

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