Tasmanian Councils in Breach of Water Fluoridation Legislation

GENRE:  Email exchange


TO:        The President, Local Government Association of Tasmania

AUTHOR:  MM, Qld, Australia

STATUS:  Author had the last word….unless he ‘pings’ back again on his iPhone

DATE WRITTEN:  15th August 2013.

This is an email exchange  on 15/8/13 from 2.36pm to 10.20pm between MM (the author) and BE (President of the Tasmanian Local Government Association and Mayor of Beaconsfield ) – no privacy clauses attached.

MM  10.20pm:  

Tasmanians have the worst teeth in Australia – ADA Tas. quote Nov. 2011

Tasmania started fluoridating with Beaconsfield in 1953 when do you expect to see results?  The official data does not correspond with what you believe.  (Ref. The Examiner Aug 2009).

Tasmanians have some of the worst teeth in Australia with a tooth being pulled once every three minutes. (Ref. ADA Tas. Health Submission 2011)

According to the Australian Health and Medical Research Council: 11.2 per cent of Tasmanians aged 25 to 44 wear dentures, almost double the national average.

Tasmania has the highest percentage of people wearing a denture in the nation.

The rate of 23.1 per cent is 4.6 per cent higher than national average of 18.5 per cent. In 2009 Medicare Australia sent out 38,100 vouchers to Tasmanians, each valued at $153.45 for teenagers to get a preventative dental health check-up.The voucher covers  one annual preventative check consisting of an oral examination, a scale and clean, fluoride treatment, oral hygiene instruction, dietary advice and or fissure seal.  (Ref. AHMRC)

BE 8.50pm:

Please do what you think fit but I can assure the teeth of Tasmanians is all the better for this additive. My council was the first in Australia to have this with very positive results. I am sure the Department of Health will respond appropriately.

MM 4.43pm:

As I understand it, from 1st July 2013  29 Tasmanian Councils own TASWATER. One representative from each of the owners (Councils) is on the Owners Representative Group and the Board of TASWATER are accountable to this Owners Representative  Group.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but it would surely be important to these Councils if water fluoridation was in breach of Commonwealth legislation.

Water fluoridation was introduced into Tasmanian water supplies as a public health measure for the prevention of tooth decay, for dental protection, preventative treatment for dental health, or for whatever other wording used.  The historical data supports that fact.

The intent of water fluoridation has been one of dental treatment by way of ingestion of fluorides via the water supply, which the Therapeutic Goods legislation determines to be a therapeutic use under the following definition:-.

Therapeutic use means use in or in connection with:
(a) preventing, diagnosing, curing or alleviating a disease, ailment, defect or injury in persons or animals; or
(b) influencing, inhibiting or modifying a physiological process in persons or animals;

Unless the owners of TASWATER have determined to use water fluoridation for some other purpose as defined in the MSDS for such fluoride substances eg rat poison, wood and leather preservative or etchant for opalescent glass,  then the original decision for water fluoridation as a preventative treatment for dental health stands.

The Tasmanian Health Department certainly promote water fluoridation for the prevention of tooth decay and I have written to the Health Minister with the same information.

As the Local Government Association of Tasmania, would it not be in your own interests to be aware of important legislative requirements of your Council members?  It would certainly be in the interests of your Council members to have this information.

If however you wish me to contact TASWATER and the 29 Councils direct, please let me know.

BE 3.12pm:

Would you please advise where in Tasmania there has been a claim that fluoridated water has therapeutic benefit and thus breaching the Act?

For your information, Tasmanian Councils have not had the responsibility for water services for some years, a wholly independent  corporation (owned by local government) has responsibility in this area.

MM 2.36pm:

I have written to the Tasmanian Health Minister on 4th August 2013, concerning the non-compliance of water fluoridation with Commonwealth legislation.   I would respectfully request that you advise all member Councils, most of whom conduct water fluoridation themselves or through a water utility, of the following breach to this legislation.

The Commonwealth legislation referred to is:- The Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, Therapeutic Goods (Excluded Goods) Order No. 1
of 2011, Section 5 Item 10

The relevant legislation does not permit therapeutic use or claims to be made for substances used for the purification or treatment of drinking water.  Water fluoridation has no other purpose than to ìprevent tooth decay, which is a therapeutic use and claim.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), who are the Australian government authority regulating medicines and products which claim a therapeutic use, have classified fluorides for water fluoridation under Section 5, Item 10 of the above legislation; being substances for use in the purification or treatment of drinking water, if no claims are made for therapeutic use.

Fluoridation substances can only be classified as ëexcluded goods under the legislation (meaning, excluded from assessment by the TGA) if no claims are made for therapeutic use.  Although this legislation has been gazetted since 18th December 2002, the TGA have not yet assessed water fluoridation substances for human ingestion and an investigation is currently being conducted with the TGA.

If I do not hear from you within 28 days of this notice I shall take it that you have notified your members of the above legislation and compliance issues.

Disclaimer:  Before relying on the information contained in this email in any important matter, you should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for your purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to your particular circumstances.


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