DON'T DELAY IN FIGHTING DECAY: It's a touchy subject, but Dr Adrian Frick strongly believes fluoride should be introduced into the Bundaberg water supply.
DON'T DELAY IN FIGHTING DECAY: It's a touchy subject, but Dr Adrian Frick strongly believes fluoride should be introduced into the Bundaberg water supply. Mike Knott BUN121118FLU1

Bundaberg dentist pushes fluoride case

PROMINENT dentist Dr Adrian Frick has aired his concerns after another fast-food outlet is set to open up shop in Bundaberg, yet the region still doesn't have fluoridated water.

Here is a letter penned by Dr Frick:

AFTER receiving an update email from the Bundaberg Regional Council I noted with interest that a proposal for a new Hungry Jack's restaurant along Bargara Rd is likely to be approved by council.

The claims and justifications are that the "dining” option will create 50 jobs and will be good for development and the economy as a whole.

I would like to make a few points with a direct comparison to the decision to not fluoridate Bundaberg's water supply.

Firstly with regard to economics, another fast food dining option will do nothing but make the other dining options already available in Bundaberg slightly less viable.

Indeed fast food stores do not generate any income that translates into growth of the local economy, and if it is owned by someone from outside the area it will actually create a drain on the economy.

"Creation of 50 jobs” is a diversion.

Fast food is very difficult for some folk to resist.

This is a long and windy debate but it is quite clear that there is no such thing as a safe level of high fat, high salt, high sugar food options combined with deep fried carbs, washed down with black cola drinks based on sugar and phosphoric acid.

Science knows this.

I remind the council that diabetes, heart disease and cancer are not funny. Nor is dental decay. People have choices, sure, but what role does the council have? Surely some role, of some sort.

Fluoridation of the town's water supply. Science says it's perfectly safe if well managed which it is in a first world country like Australia.

There is an anti-fluoridation lobby filled with anti-science vigilantes but they are incorrect and survive by creating fear and doubt.

In a civilised society such as Australia, these people should be ignored.

The world is not flat, we did go to the moon, vaccinations are an amazing discovery, and, antibiotics work and are really handy when you are about to die. Forget the conspiracy theories and rely on scientific evidence.

NSW has almost 100 per cent coverage of water fluoridation and the only difference in health outcomes is people from NSW have less dental decay, and fewer associated hospitalisations from dental related infections. It's safe and it works. Check out the NHMRC guidelines on fluoridation of water supplies. It's interesting reading. Our council fails the test.

Bundaberg has one of the highest rates of dental decay in Australia, which will be reduced by 30 per cent in the child population, and 20 per cent in the adult population by water fluoridation.

The return on investment, worst case scenario will be $7 return from every $1 spent by our elected leaders, on us, the citizens of Bundaberg. And the benefit to the community will be immense. An actual win for Bundaberg as opposed to more fast food outlets.

I imagine it is quite easy to approve a fast food outlet in the position of councillor. And yet it contributes to morbidity for Bundaberg. I know it is very difficult to approve the fluoridation of Bundaberg water supply if you are a councillor. How perverse given it would create a significant, measurable benefit to this community.

Council says, "fast food outlets good, fluoridation of water supplies bad”.

It's completely nuts. And presents as profoundly opportunistic for reasons unknown to me. We should all be expecting more from our elected representatives.

Dr Adrian Frick


ADAQ President