Fluoride a national priority, says NZMA

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) strongly supports community water fluoridation, and welcomes the new Ministry of Health website www.fluoridefacts.govt.nz.

“This is a position we have held for over 30 years,” says NZMA Chair Dr Mark Peterson. “It was well supported by science at the time and we have seen nothing in the scientific literature since then to change that view.

“This is a significant health equity issue – and one we believe needs to be nationally consistent, not left to debate at a local or regional level. Given New Zealand’s naturally low levels of fluoride, we would all benefit from fluoridation of the water supplies – and this is particularly true for lower socio-economic communities.

“Too often we’ve seen the weight of poorly informed public opinion take precedence over scientific evidence, to the detriment of public health – particularly the health of vulnerable groups.

“The application of scientific knowledge and principles is fundamental to medical practice. The information on the FluorideFacts website meets that standard, and will be a valuable resource for those looking for facts on the matter, rather than relying on pseudo-science and ideology.”