Supreme Court decision on fluoride in water is welcomed by local destist

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The dentist who first pressed for fluoride to be added to a South Taranaki town’s water supply has welcomed a Supreme Court judgement that will finally allow it to go ahead after a legal battle that lasted nearly six years.

Sandie Pryor ran a practice in Pātea for 22 years and saw a clear difference in the rate of tooth decay in children there when compared to youngsters in neighbouring Hāwera, where fluoride was added to the water supply.

She first approached South Taranaki District Council about adding fluoride to Pātea’s water in 2009, and asked again two years later when work was taking place on the town’s supply.

After public consultation the STDC decided in December 2012 to add fluoride to the water in both Pātea and Waverley, a decision which resulted in a legal challenge by anti-fluoride protesters who argued it was a medicine and as such people had the legal right to refuse it.

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