Fluoridation should be forced on everyone through mandatory legislation says the NZ Dental Association, following yet another crushing defeat for its failed policy when Hamilton councillors voted 7 to 1 to stop fluoridation.
This proposal was handed out to delegates at the recent Local Government NZ conference. Of course the document omitted the fact that it is now accepted that fluoride does not work from swallowing and that there are serious questions over safety being raised by the scientific community. Only 22 of 67 NZ councils fluoridate any of their water supplies and there are only seven countries in the world that have more than 50% fluoridation.
The NZDA claims there is a problem with the decision-making process over fluoridation, so wants it changed. But it isn’t the process that is the problem. It is NZDA’s scientifically unsupportable fluoridation policy that is the problem. The Tribunal process, employed by New Plymouth and Hamilton Councils, is the best we have ever seen in NZ. The tribunal process is recommended by the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Chief Science Advisor. It is fully consistent with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Fluoridation in 1957 – decision-making by local councils, in special consultation with the public.
The outcome has twice now been to reject fluoridation in spite of DHBs doing ‘everything they could have done’ to sway those councils. When councillors set aside the time to listen to all the evidence surrounding fluoridation they are deciding to stop.
Mandatory fluoridation legislation, as proposed by the NZDA, was introduced into Queensland Australia in 2007 It met with immense resistance and litigation. It was repealed in November 2012, returning the decision to local councils – the very thing the NZDA wants to stop in NZ. Sixteen councils have since ceased the practice. The same resistance occurred in the UK when Strategic Health Authorities (equivalent of DHBs) were given the power to make a (predetermined) ‘decision’ on fluoridation. They are now being disbanded. The Health Minister of Israel reversed that country’s mandatory fluoridation policy this year.
This attempt to attack individual rights, and our very democracy, by the NZ Dental Association shows why it is so important we have an open, transparent, public, national discussion on fluoridation to publicly determine the facts – something the NZ Dental Association and other vocal fluoridation-promoting minorities have refused to participate in.