Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation in New Zealand approaching a crossroads

Fluoride Action Network | December 26, 2015

Today we are going to hear from Mary Byrne, spokesperson for Fluoride Action Network in New Zealand. But before that some exciting news on our annual fundraiser.

On Christmas eve we came within a whisker of reaching our mini-goal of $75,000. We heard from 31 people and at midnight EST had reached $74,932 from 355 supporters. Even though we took Christmas day off, the donations kept rolling in. By the late evening we had reached $76,242 from 361 donors.

Today’s surprise. We have waited till we passed our mini-goal before throwing in the sum total of all our “recurring” donations. This is a hefty $13,412 from 25 donors. So our current total on the morning of Dec 26 is $89,654 from 386 supporters. So with just 6 days to go before midnight Dec 31 we are almost half way to our overall goal of $200,000 from 1000 supporters.

To help us on our way to these very daunting totals we have a pledge of $800 when we reach 400 donors and another super angel will double the first $2000 we raise today. So the first few donations to us today will be worth nearly triple the amount donated and the rest double.

(See donation and competition details below)

Thank you for all for getting us to where we are today and for everything else you are doing to end this reckless practice in your communities.  As Mary Byrne’s bulletin makes clear, this is a worldwide team effort. FAN needs your generous support for this team effort.

Paul Connett, PhD
Coordinator of FAN’s 2015 Fundraising campaign

Heading for a National Showdown in New Zealand

The fluoridation issue has continued to heat up in New Zealand over the past year with local councillors, responsible for fluoridation, becoming increasingly concerned that fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.

According to a local Wellington newspaper:

Former Hutt City mayor and fellow board member David Ogden said the anti-fluoridation campaigners needed to be taken seriously. “Having been at a number of public meetings with the anti-fluoridation people there, they have some very strong arguments.”

Hutt City deputy mayor David Bassett said the lobby was winning over more and more councillors.”The whole vote is actually becoming closer and closer,” Bassett said.

And the situation summed up by another councillor:

“They come with their own group of professionals, eminently qualified and respected people in their area and it places local politicians in a very difficult position,” Laban said

Hutt City is one of the cities within the Wellington region, which is New Zealand’s national capital. Hutt City is one of only 23 councils out of 67 that has fluoridation. Presently in New Zealand, local councils are responsible for fluoridation.

Fluoride Free New Zealand was started in 2003 whenFAN’s former director Prof Paul Connett visited New Zealand on a speaking tour. Since then, Paul has toured New Zealand three times and this year, a former senior scientist at the US EPA Bill Hirzy accompanied him. These tours have pushed the fluoridation issue into the mainstream news and facebook news, bringing some awareness of the controversy to most age groups in New Zealand.

One of our major achievements this year is we have published a “Fluoride Free New Zealand Compendium”. This is in the style of a hard-bound professional journal and has been a big hit, with even our critics telling us it’s impressive! The feedback we have received on this has been phenomenal. We are selling this book for NZ$10 plus postage.


Over the years, we have been succesful in convincing many Councils to stop fluoridation. This year we fought off attempts to fluoridate Onehunga (major suburb in otherwise fluoridated Auckland).  However, when we succeeded in stopping fluoridation in Hamilton in 2013 (a referendum in Hamilton subsequently saw fluoridation returned), it triggered a huge and harsh backlash from the pro-fluoridation lobby and their friends in the media.

This has resulted in a stale-mate with many councillors being too scared to make a decision.  The backlash has been mostly orchestrated by the New Zealand Dental Association and Water NZ (an industry funded lobby group that deals with waste water). As an escape route, many local Councils are now calling on Central Government to take over responsibility.

The Labour party and the Green Party are both supportive of Central Government moving the responsibility to the local District Health Boards (DHB). The National party, currently in power, is saying it is a local council decision, but we are not certain they will stick to this stance. A move to the DHBs is mandatory fluoridation by the backdoor, since the DHBs are required to carry out Ministry of Health policy.

So our successes are leading us to a showdown. We will either end fluoridation in the next few years, or be pushed back into the 1950s with a draconian, unscientific, and down-right nonsensical policy of adding toxic fluoridation chemicals to all community water supplies.

Thankfully, due to the never-ending work by the Fluoride Action Network team in the US, we have a development that should stop these attempts at mandatory fluoridation in its tracks. The FAN bulletin of the 11th of December outlines the new studies that the US National Toxicolocy Program is going to undertake to look at fluoride and its effect on the developing brain.

This is really exciting news that we need to spread far and wide. Please read the FAN bulletin and our Fluoride Free New Zealand press release.

It is really important we all in the NZ network support FAN as their efforts are invaluable to us. For example, none of us would have heard of Bassin’s study on osteosarcoma had not FAN discovered her PhD thesis in one of the Harvard libraries; western researchers would have no idea how extensive the science was on fluoride’s neurotoxicity had not FAN translated so many of the Chinese studies and lastly, we in NZ should appreciate perhaps more than most, that we are not alone in our struggles. The things we have seen and learned firsthand in NZ (the arguments they use and the tricks they play) are being played out in all the other fluoridating countries.

We ask that all our supporters set up a regular $5 (or more) monthly payment to Fluoride Free New Zealand as well as consider a donation to FAN in the U.S.

Mary Byrne
Spokesperson for FAN New Zealand

Donation Details

Have you thought of entering our grand “12 days of Christmas” competition? Its very simple just make a donation of $20 or more and send us your guess of the total for donations and donors we will reach by our deadline (email: info@fluoridealert.org ).   The closest to this total dollar amount will win (in the event of a tie the one closer to the total number of donors wins).

There are TWELVE prizes (one added each day like the carol, 12 days of Christmas).  So far we have the following prizes

1) A presentation by Michael or Paul Connett in your community (FAN will pay air fare anywhere in North America and half anywhere else).

2) 10 copies of the prize-winning videotapeFluorideGate, donated by Dr. David Kennedy.

3) 1 deck of playing cards donated by FAN’s Science Director Chris Neurath. These cards have on their playing surface 52 reasons for ending fluoridation, with two jokers who disagree (the ADA and the CDC).

4) A copy of The Case Against Fluoride signed by co-author donated by Paul Connett, Senior Advisor to FAN.

5) 10 bumper stickers (Fluoride: Not in My Water) donated by Ellen Connett, Managing Director of FAN.

6 ) A nicely packaged copy of the 28 minute video Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation from FAN Director Michael Connett.

7- 12) FAN will continue to add to this list daily BUT we invite you to do the same with a fun or exciting gift of your own. Think of something that might help a group win its local battle, e.g. copies of books, bumperstickers, buttons, etc. (don’t send it just email us a description of what you would like to donate to info@fluoridealert.org )

We urge you to get together with friends and families to coordinate your efforts.  Only one guess per person is allowed.  Meanwhile please consider a donation today – large or small – to get us closer to our daunting (impossible??) goal of $200,000 by midnight EST Dec 31.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network, a project of the American Environmental Health Studies Project, you can either:

  • Donate online using our secure server.  If you should experience difficulty in donating at our secure server, please call Network For Good at 1-888-284-7978 and press option 3 to make your donation over the phone.
  • Or by check – please make checks payable to Fluoride Action Network and send to: FAN, c/o Connett, 104 Walnut Street, Binghamton NY 13905

See the many GIFTS available for your donation!

See all FAN bulletins online