New Health New Zealand has been arguing that the compounds used to fluoridate water are medicines.
A High Court judge said that the concentrations they were used at did not class them as medicines. New Health’s appeal against the judge’s decision is pending.
To solidify the judge’s decision, a regulation was passed specifically exempting two of the compounds from the definition of medicine.
New Health asked a judge to review the way the regulations were made. In the High Court at Wellington, Justice Stephen Kos has dismissed that challenge.
He said there was broad discretion to declare whether something was, or was not, a medicine. The regulations confirmed what was already the Ministry of Health’s policy.
The regulations did not try to reverse either a policy or a judge’s ruling, or alter them in any way, he said.
The regulations were not used for an improper purpose, adequate consultation including with New Health took place, and the process had not failed to take into account relevant factors.
New Health says it was formed to promote the welfare of health consumers.
The Ministry of Health has accepted advice that fluoridating domestic water supplies is a proven way to reduce tooth decay.