3 May 2011

Australia - Fluoride case could have flow-on effects

Fluoride case could have flow-on effects
Posted May 3, 2011 09:31:00
A Lismore man says he's won a David-and-Goliath battle with Rous Water.
Al Oshlack says the Land and Environment Court has ruled that the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act must be applied if fluoride is being added to a water supply.
He says it's a landmark decision that will form the basis of a subsequent case on the 21st of June.
"This will be the first time that I know of in Australia that a case has ever been held," Mr Oshlack said.
"Over the 55 years we've had fluoridation in NSW there's never been one court case and nor has there been any scientific analysis in human health and the impact on the environment caused by fluoride," he said.
The chairman of Rous Water says a decision by the Land and Environment Court this week could see the debate about fluoride resolved once and for all.
Richard Staples says the decision exposed a conflict between the Fluoridation Act and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
Cr Staples says that could lead to a wide-ranging legal debate.
"I think it's possible because if the environment is interpreted in its widest sense it would include human health and welfare as well," he said.
"So perhaps the whole issue of fluoride could be tested legally instead of just the mountains of information we're seeing on both sides which is never resolved," Cr Staples said.
Meanwhile, the Rous general manager says the authority was acting under the directions of the Health Department when it started work on the dosing systems needed to add fluoride to the water supply.
Kyme Lavelle says the advice will now be tested in court.
"That was the first stage, but the case now has to be heard on its merits," he said.
"(It) can question now the impact of fluoride on the environment which obviously the Department of Health will have to respond to, and its experts," Mr Lavelle said.

Shame we haven't got a Land and Environment Court here.

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