A United States campaigner against fluoride, Emeritus Prof Paul Connett, will outline the “case against fluoride” at a public meeting in Dunedin tomorrow.
Prof Connett, of St Lawrence University, New York, will speak at the Otago Pioneer Women’s Memorial Hall, at 262 Moray Pl, at 2pm.
An environmental chemist and director of the International Fluoride Action Network, he is also lead author of The Case Against Fluoride, a book published in the United States last year. His speaking tour of New Zealand has been supported by the Fluoride Action Network New Zealand.
In an interview, Prof Connett said the dental health benefits of fluoridating the water supply were only minor, but such fluoridation risked somewhat reducing the IQ of young people, and also posed longer-term risks to brain and bone health.
He was disappointed University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry representatives and Dunedin Hospital department heads had not taken up invitations to meet him during his New Zealand tour.
He had already taken part in a debate on fluoride issues at a Hastings District Council meeting at Hastings on Tuesday, this week, he said.
• In comments on the New Zealand Ministry of Health internet site, ministry officials said fluoridation and a healthy diet were the most cost-effective ways to prevent dental decay.
At the low levels found in the New Zealand water supply, fluoride was not toxic even if consumed throughout a lifetime, the ministry claimed.
Health officials said an independent review of Prof Connett’s views on fluoridation had been undertaken, and they saw no evidence requiring any change to the water fluoridation policy, but would continue to monitor research on the subject.