Water fluoridation is wrong, according to a group of Wanganui medical professionals.

They have been providing the Wanganui District Council with up-to-date scientific information explaining their position. They say it will enable the council to accurately present the anti-fluoridation stance in next year’s referendum document.

Ear, nose and throat surgeon PJ Faumui, osteopath Nigel Brooke and registered nurse Anne Carlile are fronting the group and say their views are supported by the Fluoride Action Network.

“Wanganui seems to be engaging in a more open process than many centres round the country with this debate,” Mr Brooke told the Chronicle yesterday.

“Hokitika and Greymouth have both said no to fluoridation this year following Rotorua, Christchurch, Gore, Southland, Wairoa and Timaru last year.

“Communities large and small in the United States, Australia and New Zealand are saying no to water fluoridation as up-to-date information becomes more available.

“We want to make sure Wanganui people know where to get information about the anti-fluoridation stance.”

Dr Faumui expressed alarm at claims being made for water fluoridation on the basis of old, flawed studies.

“That these claims are not valid has been clearly shown by the York report, a prestigious systematic review of the literature, published in 2000.”

He said that without reliable evidence that water fluoridation is safe and effective it makes no sense for the Ministry of Health to keep pressuring communities to introduce this “outdated practice.”

Anne Carlile’s concern centred on the ethics of water fluoridation and recent research on fluoride’s effect on brain and thyroid function.

“Swallowing fluoride to stop tooth decay is like swallowing sunblock to stop sunburn,” she said.

The group (website: saynotofluoridation.co.nz) is sending a flier to all households and is seeking support.