This is the finding of a new survey carried out by Hawke’s Bay and Hutt Valley District Health Boards: 58% of people did not support fluoridation even “somewhat”. This shows that people are really clear – New Zealanders do not agree with adding an industrial by-product, classified as hazardous, to our drinking water. Many of those who thought it may be good for teeth, still thought it shouldn’t be in the water supply. Perhaps this is because more than half of those surveyed said they were aware of health risks related to water fluoridation. Read more in Fluoride Free NZ’s press release.
TV3’s online article about this study went on to state serious factual errors. The truth is that since New Plymouth ended fluoridation in 2011, there has been NO increase in dental decay rates, according to annual statistics available on the Ministry of Health website.
On the misrepresentation of statistics, Dentist Dr Stan Litras stated in FIND’s press release, “Policy should be made on the best scientific evidence, not on anecdotes and unsupported reports. For example, we consider it totally inappropriate the way that young children needing General Anaesthetics for rampant decay are used as leverage for pushing water fluoridation. To our knowledge, there has never been a single reliable study suggesting that water fluoridation has any beneficial effect whatsoever in preventing cases of rampant child decay (Early Childhood Caries). It’s like an ant pushing back against an elephant. In the case of Taranaki five year olds, we see many times more GAs conducted in fluoridated Hawera than in New Plymouth just up the road, which ceased fluoridation in 2011.”
FIND (Fluoridation Information Network for Dentists) is an independent group of dentists that consider and discuss the evidence of risk versus benefit of water fluoridation in New Zealand.
The report’s findings were misrepresented again by Water NZ when in their press release they stated “Water New Zealand is encouraged by a recent report written by two New Zealand dental scientists which reveals that most New Zealanders see the benefits of having fluoride in drinking water. “This report re-iterates what most sensible people know: that the science about the benefits of fluoride is robust and that most of us are in favour of having fluoride in our taps,” says John Pfahlert, CEO of Water New Zealand. There is no mention or requirement in Water NZ’s constitution to push fluoridation, their role is to monitor contaminants. What is worse is that Water NZ is not only ignoring the contamination from fluoridation but is also actively promoting its expansion.
The facts of the DHB study are clear: It is time to abandon the outdated harmful practice of adding industrial grade fluoride to our public water supply and stop the contamination of New Zealand’s water supplies, streams, rivers and lakes. It is completely unacceptable for DHBs and paid defenders of fluoridation to continue to push this outdated, ineffective and unsafe practice, particularly when there are programmes they could be implementing that really work, are safe for everyone and save money.