Commercial in confidence: public health without confidence
Implementing public health measures with obvious benefits becomes a complex struggle when commercial interests are paramount
The evening of 25 March 2009 was cool for the community consultation — a necessary step before the implementation of fluoridation of the Cobram water supply. There were only a few people present in the Civic Centre, but they warmly applauded the initiative. None of the expected antifluoride lobby turned up, and the meeting was a short one …
Thus, it was expected that Cobram would follow the path of nearby Yarrawonga and this seemingly routine adoption of a well researched public health measure would be quickly achieved.
Wrong! Over 5 years later, Cobram still has not had its water supply fluoridated.
The story so far
Cobram, a small country town on the Murray River in Northern Victoria, is where the Murray Goulburn Co-operative, one of the largest milk producers in Victoria, has existed since 1949. In 1951, the Co-operative diversified into cheesemaking. It is a major contributor to the local economy. In early 2014, the company announced that it would build a $74…