Fluoride Action Network

Hamilton: Council’s bold water decision welcomed

Source: Waikato Times | June 28th, 2013 | By Dr Anna Goodwin, oncology consultant in Hamilton
Location: New Zealand

The recent Waikato Times’ front page story ‘‘COUNCIL GOT IT WRONG’’, completely failed to mention any of the substantive issues that were considered by the Hamilton City Council in making their decision after a four-day fluoride tribunal.

Without considering these facts, the Waikato Times practically called for the councillors’ heads and smeared the ‘‘anti-fluoridationists’’. The council website contains all the documentation and presentations that were considered in the very robust process of reaching their conclusion. If one’s brain has not been too damaged by fluoride already, they will appreciate the reasons why council made the correct decision. As a physician, I have been a victim of ‘‘pro-fluoride’’ propaganda and misinformation all of my life, often reciting the scientifically ill-founded mantra: ‘‘Fluoridated water is good for teeth.’’

My great awakening (and recovery from being a ‘‘tool’’) came only a few weeks ago, when I attended ‘‘Medical Grand Rounds’’ at the Waikato DHB. This turned out to be simply an indoctrination session for water fluoridation. Such a forum is meant to be for academic instruction, but this felt like academic totalitarianism. It was very clear that physicians of the DHB were expected to fall in line with the Ministry of Health dogma and not ask any questions. After this bizarre meeting, I began taking a critical look at the data in support of water fluoridation and found it really unimpressive in terms of controlling tooth decay.

Dental caries rates have been falling for decades without any apparent relationship to community water fluoridation status, mostly related to brushing with fluoridated toothpaste. Both sides of the debate agree on this point. There is also mutual agreement that fluoride toothpaste is toxic if swallowed and one must actually have teeth to derive benefit (babies are therefore at risk of toxicity from fluoridated drinking water).

America’s obsession with fluoridation (and their fluoride induced brain damage) might explain the US’s dubious political choices over the past 25 years and reckless spending. America has more people on fluoride than the rest of the world combined. The practice of water fluoridation has been abandoned in most of Europe. Importantly, countries that have stopped the practice have not seen an escalation in caries, nor have the cities in New Zealand that have abandoned fluoridation. To continue to prescribe a medication that is not really doing any good and potentially toxic, would seem to be outright medical quackery. And it is time for the Ministry of Health to admit it.

Clearly, fluoride is being used with medicinal intent, not prescribed by a doctor with knowledge of the patient. As well, it is clearly not with the consent of all receiving it, therefore it is medically unethical. There is clear evidence that many, if not most people, may be harmed by it.

Additionally, fluorosilicic acid (the product used to fluoridate our drinking water) is an industrial waste product that is contaminated by arsenic, lead and cadmium. Ethnic minorities absorb more of these toxins than whites, so they are actually disproportionately poisoned by fluorosilicic acid. It is not pharmacology grade and was never designed for human consumption. There have been no actual human studies on fluorosilicic acid, so I fail to see how it could be ‘‘settled science’’.

Actual consented, legitimate human studies have been done on calcium fluoride and sodium fluoride that were pharmacology grade. These are not what has been in our drinking water. I think it is downright amazing that someone thought it was a good idea to ever put industrial waste in our water supply and have the hubris to say, in effect, ‘‘it’s okay if it’s diluted and all fluoride is the same’’.

The whole idea seems outrageous, retrospectively. True believers in the ‘‘benefits of fluoride’’ should push to have fluoride added to sugar-containing soft drinks for the greater good and forget about giving toxic waste to the huddled masses, in our only water supply, whether we like it or not.

Both sides of the fluoride issue have agreed that topical application of fluoride toothpaste twice per day and reducing sugar in the diet, are effective means of controlling tooth decay. All the hysterical propaganda aside, the Whos in Whoville will soon wake up to find that their city council was not the Grinch for stealing away their fluoridated drinking water.

When the toxic canister is no longer refilled in a week or so, our teeth will not fall out on the day. As well, it will still be true that the best way to keep them is to brush them, floss them and avoid sugar. Indeed a city, or a nation, without fluoridation of their drinking water will be found to be no more disadvantaged than a dog without an iPhone or a chook without ballet slippers. Way to go HCC!