Despite claims by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman this week that fluoridation is the best thing since sliced bread, the latest data from the Ministry of Health shows there is no difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.
This is despite the fact that fluoridated data includes the most affluent area in the country, Wellington, and non-fluoridated data includes the poorest areas of the country such as Northland and rural East Coast. If this trend is allowed to continue, non-fluoridated areas may actually surpass fluoridated areas in terms of dental health.”No wonder fluoridation promoters such as Coleman, the Ministry of Health and the DHBs are desperate to fluoridate the whole country as soon as possible. If they leave it any longer non-fluoridated areas will be doing better than fluoridated ones” says Mary Byrne, National Coordinator for Fluoride Free New Zealand.
The Government is currently progressing a Bill to shift responsibility of fluoridation from the local councils to the District Health Boards. Jonathan Coleman says there are “35,000 children under 5 having teeth pulled out of their heads last year”. He fails to mention that half of these children live in an area already fluoridated.
It is not surprising that dental decay rates do not show any benefit from fluoridated water because it is now well accepted that if fluoride works, it works on the outside not from swallowing. A submission to the Health Select Committee from Dr Murray Thomson, former editor of the NZ Dental Journal and ardent pro-fluoridationist says: “Fluoride works by being present at low levels in the oral fluids, rather than through being incorporated into the developing enamel (as previously assumed).”
Ms Byrne responded by saying: “This new theory, being used to justify fluoridation and cover-up this huge mistake, is patently absurd when we consider that fluoride secreted from salivary glands, 0.016ppm, is 62,500 times less than the recommended toothpaste of 1000ppm.”
“Minister Coleman is not telling New Zealanders the truth about dental decay rates and fluoridation. He continually cites a survey from 2009 (using data from 2008) which only had around 60 people in each age group, and completely ignores the NZ School Dental Statistics that have around 25,000 children in each age group. Authors of the 2009 Survey say it should not be used as a fluoridation study, but Minister Coleman continues to do so as a means to sell a snake-oil to the NZ public.”
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