FSANZ considers permitting fluoride in bottled water

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 11th November 2008

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) proposes amending the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to allow manufacturers to voluntarily add fluoride to bottled water.

The addition of certain substances, such as fluoride, must undergo a pre-market safety evaluation by FSANZ before they are approved for use at specified levels.

If FSANZ approves the sale of bottled water containing added fluoride, it will be a voluntary permission. Manufacturers will be able to add fluoride or not, under the conditions of the food standard.

Voluntary addition of fluoride to packaged water

(Application A588 – Draft Assessment)

The Australian Beverages Council Ltd has applied for approval for the voluntary addition of fluoride, at a level of 0.6 – 1.0 milligrams per litre (total of naturally occurring and added fluoride), to packaged (bottled) water. This level equates to fluoride levels in fluoridated reticulated water supplies.

The applicant claims approval would enable bottlers to offer fluoridated packaged water to consumers as an alternative to fluoridated reticulated water, or as a source of fluoride for those who do not have access to fluoridated reticulated water. FSANZ has concluded that there are no public health and safety concerns and propose to approve the application, with the condition that the presence of added fluoride must be stated on the package label.

Submissions: FSANZ welcomes public comment from industry, public health professionals, government agencies and consumers up until Tuesday 23 December 2008. Details of the applications above can be found at: www.foodstandards.gov.au.