Anti-fluoride protester (in New Zealand)makes Sarin gas threatPublished: 4:14PM Thursday September 12, 2013
An anti-fluoride protester has accosted the New South Wales chief medical officer and threatened to attack her with the poison gas used in Syria.
"We know your face, I have friends in Syria, do you know of Sarin gas?" Dr. Kerry Chant was told after giving a submission to Lismore city council on the benefits of fluoride last night.
The remark was made to her in the car park by an "angry observer", according to the state opposition Labor party's health spokesman Andrew McDonald.
It followed the local council's decision to overturn a ban on fluoride in drinking supplies.
"(She) had flown to Lismore simply to encourage the council to follow NSW government policy," Dr McDonald told parliament, after introducing a Labor bill today that would force local authorities to fluoridate their drinking water.
"This behaviour is typical of some of the more extreme elements of the anti-fluoride debate."
Dr. McDonald is calling on the NSW government to act to protect the dental health of the state's children and to end the "anti-fluoridation circus".
The government needs to step in and take control of the issue in order to protect councils and individuals from extreme groups, he said.
Local councils can currently choose not to add the dental health booster to their water supplies.
The legislation, which comes after a fluoride backlash by some communities, means the state government will be able to force local authorities to fluoridate public water supplies.
About 300,000 people in NSW currently do not have access to fluoridated water, which Dr McDonald described as "one of the most cost-effective health interventions ever used".
"Every day without fluoride puts a child at risk of preventable dental decay," he told the lower house.
"It's time for the New South Wales government to step in and take control."
It follows several recent attempts from local councils to block fluoridation.
Last night, Lismore Council overturned a ban on fluoride after seven years of lobbying by local health professionals.
Dr. McDonald said the government could not afford to risk local councils being intimidated into opposing fluoridation by "a fringe element" of the community.
"For many of these children the damage has already been done," he said.
"It's time for this anti-fluoridation circus to end."