Fluoridation in New Zealand is the topic of the US Fluoride Action Network’s 26th of December bulletin. See below…
The fluoridation issue has continued to heat up in New Zealand over the past year with local councillors, responsible for fluoridation, becoming increasingly concerned that fluoridation is neither safe nor effective.
According to a local Wellington newspaper:
Former Hutt City mayor and fellow board member David Ogden said the anti-fluoridation campaigners needed to be taken seriously. “Having been at a number of public meetings with the anti-fluoridation people there, they have some very strong arguments.”
Hutt City deputy mayor David Bassett said the lobby was winning over more and more councillors.”The whole vote is actually becoming closer and closer,” Bassett said.
And the situation summed up by another councillor:
“They come with their own group of professionals, eminently qualified and respected people in their area and it places local politicians in a very difficult position,” Laban said
Hutt City is one of the cities within the Wellington region, which is New Zealand’s national capital. Hutt City is one of only 23 councils out of 67 that has fluoridation. Presently in New Zealand, local councils are responsible for fluoridation.
Fluoride Free New Zealand was started in 2003 when FAN’s former director Prof Paul Connett visited New Zealand on a speaking tour. Since then, Paul has toured New Zealand three times and this year, a former senior scientist at the US EPA Bill Hirzy accompanied him. These tours have pushed the fluoridation issue into the mainstream news and facebook news, bringing some awareness of the controversy to most age groups in New Zealand.
One of our major achievements this year is we have published a “Fluoride Free New Zealand Compendium”. This is in the style of a hard-bound professional journal and has been a big hit, with even our critics telling us it’s impressive! The feedback we have received on this has been phenomenal. We are selling this book for NZ$10 plus postage.
Over the years, we have been succesful in convincing many Councils to stop fluoridation. This year we fought off attempts to fluoridate Onehunga (major suburb in otherwise fluoridated Auckland). However, when we succeeded in stopping fluoridation in Hamilton in 2013 (a referendum in Hamilton subsequently saw fluoridation returned), it triggered a huge and harsh backlash from the pro-fluoridation lobby and their friends in the media.
This has resulted in a stale-mate with many councillors being too scared to make a decision. The backlash has been mostly orchestrated by the New Zealand Dental Association and Water NZ (an industry funded lobby group that deals with waste water). As an escape route, many local Councils are now calling on Central Government to take over responsibility.
The Labour party and the Green Party are both supportive of Central Government moving the responsibility to the local District Health Boards (DHB). The National party, currently in power, is saying it is a local council decision, but we are not certain they will stick to this stance. A move to the DHBs is mandatory fluoridation by the backdoor, since the DHBs are required to carry out Ministry of Health policy.
So our successes are leading us to a showdown. We will either end fluoridation in the next few years, or be pushed back into the 1950s with a draconian, unscientific, and down-right nonsensical policy of adding toxic fluoridation chemicals to all community water supplies.
Thankfully, due to the never-ending work by the Fluoride Action Network team in the US, we have a development that should stop these attempts at mandatory fluoridation in its tracks. The FAN bulletin of the 11th of December outlines the new studies that the US National Toxicolocy Program is going to undertake to look at fluoride and its effect on the developing brain.
It is really important we all in the NZ network support FAN as their efforts are invaluable to us. For example, none of us would have heard of Bassin’s study on osteosarcoma had not FAN discovered her PhD thesis in one of the Harvard libraries; western researchers would have no idea how extensive the science was on fluoride’s neurotoxicity had not FAN translated so many of the Chinese studies and lastly, we in NZ should appreciate perhaps more than most, that we are not alone in our struggles. The things we have seen and learned firsthand in NZ (the arguments they use and the tricks they play) are being played out in all the other fluoridating countries.
We ask that all our supporters set up a regular $5 (or more) monthly payment to Fluoride Free New Zealand as well as consider a donation to FAN in the U.S.
Spokesperson for FAN New Zealand