Anti-fluoridation organisation Fluoride Free NZ has heeded Health Minister Andrew Little’s call for “a good public debate” on the possible fluoridation of public water supplies, saying it is well past time the public got to hear the “true science” on the issue.
In an open letter to Little, Fluoride Free NZ says as “New Zealand’s leading advocate for science in the fluoridation debate, we formally accept your offer”.
The open letter comes after Little on Friday told Stuff that water fluoridation was “a policy we’re considering right now”.
“We have to grapple with this problem because oral health is absolutely vital to overall health,” Little said. “Let’s have a good public debate, let’s challenge those who want to ignore the science – let’s take them on, head on, because it’s time we did that.”
In the open letter, released on Monday, Fluoride Free NZ says it applauds Little for the initiative in light of years of claims that “the science is settled; there is nothing to debate”.
“Of course science is never settled – that is its core strength,” the letter says.
On its website, Fluoride Free NZ describes itself as an organisation that was established in 2003 “to end water fluoridation in New Zealand”.
In the open letter, Fluoride Free NZ says it agrees there is “far too much misinformation and disinformation spread about fluoridation, and far too many decision makers ignoring the science and relying instead on their personal belief systems”.
“To be most useful to the public, we consider that such a ‘debate’ needs to be in the form of an inquiry rather than ‘point-scoring’ via debating techniques,” the letter says. “It needs to be transparent and public, and the Government needs to take financial responsibility for ensuring all views can be heard.”
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