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Fluoride decision

The bottled water industry has welcomed the decision by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to recommend that bottled water companies be permitted to voluntarily add fluoride to selected brands.

Australasian Bottled Water Institute (ABWI) Executive Director, Tony Gentile said “The bottled water industry is in the business of providing choice and convenience to its consumers. This recommendation, if adopted by the Australia New Zealand Food Regulations Ministerial Council (ANZFRMC) will enable us to provide our consumers with an additional choice when purchasing bottled water.

“ABWI members recognise that in today’s marketplace, consumers want choice. The current food laws do not allow us to add fluoride to bottled water. The recommendation if adopted will allow bottled water companies to provide side-by-side alternatives allowing consumers to purchase fluoridated bottled waters or non fluoridated ones as they can now.

“We understand that many of our consumers currently purchase bottled water as they wish to avoid consuming fluoride and it is important that they always be given a choice. Fluoridated bottled water brands will be clearly marked as such on the front panel of containers,” added Tony Gentile.

The bottled water industry has often come under attack with suggestions that as spring water is not fluoridated, it was a contributing cause of dental decay in children. This suggestion was totally repudiated by Tony Gentile who said that there was absolutely no evidence of this being the case. With Roy Morgan market research indicating that in fact bottled water does not replace tap water but is chosen by parents as an alternative to other packaged beverages.

“The convenience and safety of bottled water is recognised by our consumers who value its availability as a calorie-free beverage choice,” concluded Gentile.

The recommended maximum levels for the voluntary addition of fluoride to bottled water are the same as those currently permitted for municipal water supplies. The application was lodged by the industry with support from the Australian Dental Association.

For further information contact:

Tony Gentile

Australasian Bottled Water Institute

0412303757

abwi@bottledwater.org.au

www.bottledwater.org.au

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