Fluoride Action Network

Tauranga, New Zealand throws out fluoride plan

Source: Stuff.Co.NZ | March 12th, 2002
Location: New Zealand

Fluoride is to stay out of the Tauranga water supply after a district council committee decided not to revisit the issue.

The council’s policy committee on Monday threw out a proposal to establish a tribunal to hear evidence, believing the community has well and truly thrashed out the issue in the past.

Bay of Plenty medical officer of health Dr Phil Shoemack and Otumoetai dentist Dr Graeme Lynam had called for a “rational scientific look” at the issue.

They claimed there had been a 10-fold increase in dental problems among children since fluoridation ceased in 1992, though these figures included the wider Bay of Plenty as well as Tauranga.

Dr Shoemack and Dr Lynam met Tauranga mayor Jan Beange late last year and argued that the council had a responsibility to rule again on the matter.

Dr Shoemack said problems with children’s teeth had worsened to the point where something now had to be done. Dentists, and particuarly school dental nurses, had expressed concern about the worsening trend in the decay of children’s teeth.

Dr Shoemack and Dr Lynam said the dental health system had been unable to cope with the increased work.

Ms Beange said “for us to medicate the water is quite wrong – it’s a personal choice”.