The Hutt City Council have published a warning on their web site today that fluoridated water may not be safe for bottle-fed babies, especially, and children up to four years old. The Fluoride Action Network (FANNZ) applauds the council for providing this important health information to parents. This follows the issue of the same warning by the US Public Health Service and the American Dental Association late last year.
Documents uncovered by FANNZ from the NZ Food Safety Authority reveal that the standard for fluoride in infant formula was based on unfluoridated water – contrary to the ongoing claims made by the Ministry of Health.
International research has established that it is most important to keep children away from fluoride during the first 6 to 12 months.
Mothering magazine stated that “Dental fluorosis is not the only risk stemming from a baby’s exposure to fluoride.” In the same week as the US warning, an article in the prestigious British journal, The Lancet, reported that fluoride may damage a child’s developing brain. It described fluoride, as an “emerging neurotoxic substance” due to evidence linking fluoride to lower IQs in children, and brain damage in animals.
Fluoride is linked with other health problems as well, including weakened bones, reduced thyroid activity, and possibly, bone cancer in boys, according to a recent report from a team of Harvard scientists, the US National Research Council and other recent studies.
The Hutt City Council was the first council in NZ to implement fluoridation. According to FANNZ “this latest action goes to show that the current council is a prepared to examine the facts and act on the science rather than on blind faith”. FANNZ are also asking the question “is the HCC now ready to join the majority of water providers in NZ and around the world and stop this outdated and discredited practice altogether?”.