What is more serious, one dental filling or thyroid disease? Mr Dunne thinks a dental filling is more serious.
Associate Minister Peter Dunne, says that the new peer reviewed research from the UK, which showed that fluoridation increased the rate of hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) by 60% “not to have shifted the balance of health benefit versus health risk”.
The latest UK research was published in the peer reviewed Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health and covered 7,939 of the 8,020 GP practices. It therefore covers 99% of the UK population. Mr Dunne says that since a New Zealand review was completed last year, he does not need to concern himself with this research, done in February of this year. He has put it aside to be looked at the next time there is a fluoridation review in New Zealand, which at this stage is scheduled to be in ten years time.
Presumably Mr Dunne has done the same with the new research from Harvard University, published in the Journal of Environmental Health also in February, showing a strong correlation between an increase in ADHD in children and increased prevalence of fluoridation.
Mr Dunne seems to think that the claimed health benefit of reducing dental decay by one filling (misleadingly advertised by promoters as 40%) is worth risking people’s health. This follows his extraordinary statement that sugar is not the main problem associated with tooth decay. It appears that Mr Dunne and the Ministry of Health are in a state of denial about the real cause of tooth decay and completely blinded to the probability that it is causing harm. And it has to be noted, that one less filling is the best scenario that promoters can come up with which is highly disputable.
The first thing Mr Dunne should do is ask the Ministry of Health to provide its own research on thyroid function and water fluoridation. He will find that the Ministry is very good at criticising quality research but is incapable of presenting any evidence to refute it. There have been no studies completed on thyroid function and water fluoridation until now even though doctors in France, Germany, Austria and Argentina previously gave patients fluoride tablets to treat over-active thyroid (i.e. to lower thyroid function).
Mr Dunne’s dismissive approach, using a one line statement from the Ministry of Health to justify fluoridation, is consistent with the cavalier approach of Health Minister Jonathan Coleman who hurriedly signed the exemption of fluoride chemicals from the Medicines Act within 9 days of receiving 1,300 submissions. The vast majority of these submissions opposed to fluoridation.
Mr Dunne is either incapable of looking at fluoridation objectively or is more concerned with protecting fluoridation than he is about protecting the health of New Zealanders.