Food safety officials in Australia and New Zealand plan to allow bottled water firms to add fluoride to their products.

A public consultation on the proposal was released by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today (11 November).

The move follows an application from the Australian Beverages Council, which would enable producers to add fluoride up to a total content of 1mg per litre. 

Supporters of the move argue that adding fluoride to bottled water will help to improve dental health, particularly in children. Fluoride is present in different quantities in tap water, but not in the majority of bottled waters.

FSANZ said: "We propose to approve the application, with the condition that the presence of added fluoride must be stated on the package label."

The US Food and Drug Administration already allows fluoride in bottled water at up to 1mg per litre.