The Health Select Committee has proposed, effectively, mandatory fluoridation for New Zealand via the back door. They have recommended that the decision over fluoridation be taken away from local councils and put in the hands of the District Health Boards.
This would mean the public will have no say-so over the decision and fluoridation could be rolled out to all the unfluoridated areas of New Zealand. Christchurch, Nelson, West Coast, Napier, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Rotorua, Tauranga, Whangarei and the Far North, all places have either stopped fluoridation or have steadfastly rejected it. The DHBs are legally bound to follow the dictates of the Ministry of Health without regard to the wishes of the people in their district.
The MoH cannot win the scientific or ethical argument over fluoridation when people are given a fair chance to hear both sides, as shown by two robust Tribunal processes in New Plymouth and Hamilton. So the Select Committee wants to remove the power from the local communities to avoid having to substantiate their position.
Preumably the committee, which includes ex-dental nurse Annette King and ex-DHB CEO Kevin Hague, has also not listened to the evidence against fluoridation. It appears they do not realise that the science has changed dramatically in the past 15 years and they are the ones that are behind the times.
Modern research reveals that fluoride does not work by being swallowed, fluoridated water is too weak to provide the benefits of fluoride toothpaste, and there are serious adverse health effects associated with swallowing fluoridated water.
The Health Select Committee’s advice is a huge threat to the health of New Zealanders and for our democracy. Ireland and Singapore are the only countries in the world with mandatory fluoridation. The Health Minister of Israel, which until recently had mandatory fluoridation, has just banned it from 2014.
Fluoride Action Network NZ is hosting international fluoridation expert, Prof Paul Connett, in February next year and is asking fluoridation promoters to join him in a Discussion Panel. FANNZ will also ask if Select Committee will receive a presentation from him.
The Committee needs to prove it has has listened to both sides and the public deserve open transparent discussion on this issue rather than propaganda and closed door decisions being forced upon them.