Well, I am not surprised this has happened but am surprised it’s happened so quickly.
Disaffection with the Hamilton City Council decision to stop fluoridation has resulted in an attempt by at least one councillor to get the decision reversed and submitted to a referendum. The Waikato Times is reporting:
The notice of motion from Mr Wilson being circulated today among city councillors today would force the council to debate when it meets in three weeks whether it should hold a referendum.
Mr Wilson said the controversial decision had been hijacked by the anti-fluoride lobby and was not what the majority of Hamiltonians wanted.
“The anti-fluoride position are mostly well-meaning individuals that have misinterpreted the science. And then there’s a group of nutters who are convinced this is mass-medication. There is considerable good science that shows fluoridation is a good base for public health. I believe the majority of people in Hamilton want fluoridation, and they should have the final say.”
Seems to me this would be the best outcome. Hamiltonians have shown in the previous referendum and recent polls they support fluoridation and there has been a lot of criticism of the Council’s recent decision.
Mind you, the anti-fluoridationists are not happy:
the co-ordinator of Fluoride Free Hamilton, Pat McNair, said a referendum was not necessary.
“A tribunal is a robust process where reasoned evidence from both sides can be given. A referendum is just peoples’ opinion in the street.
“The others [Councillors who voted against water Fluoridation] in their summary gave very good reasons why a referendum would not work.”
Ms McNair said she would only accept a referendum if lobbies from both sides of the argument had equal amount of money to campaign with, as education costs “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Ms McNair really seems to not like a democratic and full discussion. She preferred a almost behind-doors tribunal dominated by 90% anti-fluoridation submission when the city itself had voted 70% support for fluoridation. The real problem is not money to campaign with – but the presence of activist groups to do the campaigning. She had everything her own way with the tribunal, no wonder she doesn’t want a referendum and the associated public discussion
A referendum will give opportunities for supporters of fluoridation to organise and get their case across. Hopefully they will do so. If not they will only have themselves to blame.
See also: Fluoridation