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Concern over recent misleading publicity suggesting

fluoridation of water supplies might be linked to cancer

was expressed yesterday by the Public Health Advisory

Committee of the National Health and Medical Research

Council. .

Health authorities of all Australian States and

Territories are represented on the Committee.

Its chairman, Dr W. A. langsford, said today that

fluoride had been extensively researched. Not one of

the many claims of alleged hazards had ever been substantiated

, Dr Langsford said fluoridation of water was recom­

mended by the World Health Organisation as the best means

of preventing dental caries. The benefits extended to the

whole community, not just to children.

Dr langsford said that the American office of the

World Health Organisation (the Pan American Health Office)

had recently adopted the Tasmanian Royal Commission’s

Report of 1968 for use in promoting the extension of

water fluoridation throughout the Americas.

Dr Langsford stressed that continuing misleading

publicity might hinder fluoridation programs, thus leading '

to deterioration in. the dental health of Australians of

all ages. ·

The Medicine Advisory Committee of the NH & MRC, .

which met in Melbourne today, also associated itself with

the Public Health Advisory Committee's statement.

The chairman of the Committee, Dr B. G. Edwards,

said that it was a matter of profound regret that a NSW

municipal authority had withdrawn fluoride from its water

supply. Dr Edwards said this was directly attributable

to the 'Four Corners' program of 21 April.

The Medicine Advisory Committee includes repre­

sentatives of all major professional colleges and societies

in the health field. '

Dr Edwards said that his committee entirely refuted

the early, inadequate studies claiming a link between

fluoride and cancer which had been used in the program.

Such a link had already been rejected by concerned

authorities in the United Kingdom, the United States

and Canada.

CANBERRA: 3 May 1979