ASA    Complaints

18 October 2016

Fluoride Free NZ

Dear Fluoride Free

Re: Fluoride Free NZ Digital Marketing- Complaint 16/359

I enclose a copy of correspondence received from COMPLAINANT 1 concerning the above advertisement.

The relevant section in the Advertising Codes of Practice appears to be: Code of Ethics – Basic Principle 4, Rule 11, Rule 2;

I would appreciate your comments in regard this complaint so that we may place the matter before the Complaints Board for consideration. May I please have your written response on 26-0ct-2016 and would you advise if your response is on behalf of any other parties.


Please note: If you choose to alter or remove your advertisement in response to this complaint, send a copy of the altered advertisement to the ASA or advise us of its removal before the date given for your response. The Chairman may consider the complaint settled if she is satisfied the action taken resolves the issue at the centre of the complaint.


We ask that you do not make any direct contact with the primary Complainant or any duplicate Complainants. Any matters you wish to address to the Complainants should be directed to this office in the first instance.


I have also written to Givealittle
Yours sincerely

Case ManagerT (04) 472 7652

Po Box 10-675,

Wellington 6143

Complaint Advertiser Fluoride Free NZ

Product/Service Health and Beauty:Ad Type: Digital MarketingAd

Details:      Other
Fundraiser website

Advertising for Fluoride Free NZ’s Givealittle campaign ( breaches the following rules of the Advertising Code of Ethics: Rule 2. Truthful Presentation; Rule 6. Fear and Rule 11. Advocacy Adve1iising.
Context: There is a new bill proposing a law change for water fluoridation, which would pass decision making from DHBs to local councils. Fluoride Free NZ have announced that they will be opposing this bill, and this is the reason for the Givealittle campaign – to fund TV adverts opposing fluoridation.

Givealittle Campaign

COMPLAINANT 1 Details :I have been in contact with Givealittle about Fluoride Free NZ’s campaign page on their site. They said that they do not consider their campaigns to be adverts, and therefore do not believe that they come under the ASA’s jurisdiction. However, their campaigns appear to be advertisements, going by the definition on the ASA’s website:
“The word “advertisement” is to be taken in its broadest sense to embrace any fonn of advertising and includes adve1iising which promotes the interest of any person, product or service, imparts information, educates, or advocates an idea, belief, political viewpoint or opportunity. The definition includes advertising in all traditional media and new media such as online advertising, including websites and social media platforms when used for commercial purposes. Emails and SMS messaging that are selling or promoting a product, service, idea or opportunity are also covered by the codes, as are neck labels and promotions attached to a product Other examples include posters, pamphlets and billboards (whether stationary or mobile) and addressed or unaddressed mail.”
Although the Givealittle campaign is ending soon (unless it is extended by Fluoride Free NZ again), I feel that this shouldn’t be sufficient grounds for the complaint to be settled if it is successful.

On the Fluoride Free NZ campaign page, there are breaches of the ASA’s Code of Ethics Rule 2, regarding truthful presentation:
-Fluoride Free NZ has listed themselves a charity, which they are not ( Clicking on their profile ( also lists them as a charity.-The premise in the title of the campaign – “Stop Mandatory Nationwide Fluoridation in New Zealand…” – is false. There is no plan from the government to implement mandatory nationwide fluoridation.-Fluoride Free NZ says, “Fluoride is now known to be neurotoxic and can be harmful at certain levels”. This is misinformation, as only high levels of fluoride are harmful; the level used in drinking water is considered safe.-Fluoride Free NZ says, “The US National Toxicology Program is currently undertaking a review of all studies where fluoride has been shown to hann the brain to try to ascertain what dose this harm occurs. They are also embarking on their own animal studies. For this reason, among others, we believe fluoridation chemicals have no place in our water.” This is likely to confuse the public into thinking that the fluoride in our water causes hann. I have attached a letter from the United States Department of Health & Human Services which clarifies this.-The link to Fluoride Free NZ’s petition (­of-nz-stop-mandatory-fluoridation-for-all-of-new-zealand) takes people to another website containing misinforrnation and scaremongering about fluoride.
Breaches of ASA’s Ethics Code Rule 6, Fear:
-Mentioning that fluoride is a neurotoxin is likely to receive an emotional response. Only high levels of fluoride are harn1ful; the level used in drinking water is considered safe.
Breaches of Ethics Code 11, Advocacy Advertising:
-Given the factual errors listed above, opinion has not been clearly distinguished from fact on this page.
A quick read of the Donations tab makes it obvious that people are being deceived or having their existing misconceptions reinforced by Fluoride Free NZ’s adve1iising. Example comments are:
-“good luck, we have had enough of enforced poisoning”-“If we can maintain control of our water supplies we can surely be in control of them completely, including keeping fluoride out.”-“Much cheaper to just leave it out – much healthier kiwis for much less cost. It’s a no-brainer!”-“All MPs have had my many comments on this insane anti-health crime against people and environment. MANDATE FOR NO FLUORIDATION!”-“Don’t force the entire population to drink water defiled with toxic fluoride…”-“We wholeheartedly suppo1i you in the fight to free us from involuntary medication using a toxic poison!”-“Unfortunately the very children whose teeth the government seeks to protect are the very ones most at risk from the toxic effects of flmide as they are likely to be poorly nourished…”-“Fluoride is a neurotoxin!”
-“Fluoride is a neurotoxin. It has no place being added to the shared public water supply”

Givealittle Campaign Advertising
The advertising around the Givealittle campaign on Fluoride Free NZ’s Facebook page repeatedly breaks the ASA’s Ethics Code Rule 6, Fear with statements such as:
-“Stop mandatory nationwide fluoridation”-“Hazardous waste should never be added into our drinking water deliberately”-“HFA is a toxic waste product of the corporate phosphate fe1iilizer industry”-“Uranium” [added into drinking water]-“Over 23 tonnes of hydrofluorosilicic acid (*HFA) has flowed into Lake Taupo over the last 47 years”-“putting it the power into the hands of the District Health Boards (DHB), who are under the direct control of Central Government”-“The local DHBs will be forced to add fluoridation chemicals to the drinking water of every community in the country, and councils and the public will be powerless.”-“It is senseless to pour a toxic waste product into clean water at the expense of the environment, and our own bodies”

From these links:
- 3968611938 l 76 4.27126. l 28729960477380/l386202728063424/ 4.27 l 26.128729960477380/1370553229628374/ l l 938176 4.27126.128729960477380/1367442236606l 40/ l l 938176 4.27126.128729960477380/1362529847097379/-
Complainant Details 
Name: Organisation:

9/10/2016                                        Cause- Stop Mandatory Nationwide Fluoridation in New Zealand: Fundraising for Media Campaign We urgently need your help to get our new TV and radio advertisements on air. These ads will also go out on social media Fluoride Free New Zealand supporters are professionals and ordinary citizens who are passionate about the health of our families and our community.  We’re  volunteers,  working hard to get the best quality water possible for New Zealanders and to live up to our clean, green reputation. Fluoride is now known to be neurotoxic and can be harmful at certain levels. The US National Toxicology Program is currentl yundertaking a review of all studies where fluoride has been shown to harm the brain to try to ascertain what dose this harm occurs. They are also embarking  on their  own animal studies. For this reason,  among others, we believe fluoridation chemicals have no place in our water.(see  video footage  of committee meeting See video footage here
Please also sign our petition­ of-new-zealand
and visit our Stop Nationwide Mandatory Fluoridation Campaign page (­ zealand-campaign/)Page created by:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1/2
9/10/2016                                          Cause M Stop Mandatory Nationwide Fluoridation in New Zealand: Fundraising for Media Campaign Charity Wellington
The Government is proposing to shift responsibility from the local councils to the District Health Boards. We are concerned that this will result in mandatory fluoridation as the DHBs usually carry out MoH policy.Therefore, all currently nonfluoridated areas such as: Kaikohe Kaitaia KeriKeri Whangarei Leigh Warkworth Huia Wellsford Onehunga Waiuku Tuakau Cambridge Morrinsville Matamata Te Aroha Pokeno Putaruru Tauranga Coromandel Town Whanganui New Plymouth Marton Bulls Samson Otaki Levin Waipukurau Napier Paekakariki Petone Nelson Blehneim Motueka Greymouth Hamner Hokitiki Queenstown Kaikoura Christchurch Ashburton Gore and many more may likely to be fluoridated in the near future..

  • $40,246.11 donated
  • 405 generous donors                                                                                                                                               212
,0/2016                      Givealittle- Cause- Questions- Stop Mandatory Nationwide Fluoridation in New Zealand: Fundraising for Media Campaign  Givealittle – Cause – Questions – Stop Mandatory Nationwide Fluoridation in New Zealand: Fundraising for Media Campaign 

  • chris asks

If you cant answer the question. is fluoride is a neurotoxin at 0.7 Parts Per Million? Maybe you can answer this one as well Show me the scientific paper that says Community Water Fluoridation at .7 Parts Per million causes I.Q loss
on 22 Jun 2016

Fluoride Free New Zealand Chris, I have already answered this question. There is no scientific paper to say fluoride at 0.7ppm causes IQ loss nor is there a scientific paper to say fluoride does not cause IQ loss at 0.7ppm. But you are talking about parts per million in the drinking water when we need to talk about individual dosage.  So the question is flawed to start with.
And please don’t troll this page, I have given you an answer.

chris asks Can you show me the link to the scientific paper that states fluoride is a neurotoxin at 0.7 Parts Per Million? Or it this just a proposal at this stage. The same that was made by Grandjean from the Asian studies,
on 19 Jun 2016

  • Craig asks

What levels of flouride are known to be neurotoxic and what is the level of flouride found in our flouridated water supplies?
on 18 Jun 2016

0\lquestions                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2
A10/2016                        Givealittle – Cause – Questions – Stop Mandatory Nationwide Fluoridation in New Zealand: Fundraising for Media CampaignFluoride Free New ZealandHi Craig,
Ministry of Health recommends between 0.7ppm and 1ppm with a target of 0.85ppm. Auckland has recently lowered its target to 0.7ppm. A number of other councils have done the same.
It is now well established that fluoride is a neurotoxin but no one knows what DOSE (note: not LEVEL) this effect occurs.
A committee meeting held by the US National Toxicology Program on December 2 2016, received a proposal to undergo a systematic review of the literature on fluoride’s toxicity in respect of neurological impairment ie IQ reduction and also complete their own study on neurological behaviour. (Watch the video here
A very telling comment regarding fluoride exposure and IQ was made at the end of that committee meeting by Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D. Director, NIEHS & NTP.
“I just want to make the comment that both John and I served on the HHS effort that revised what the recommendation was and brought it down. From a high as possibly 1.2 down to .7. And part of that had to do with the fact that when you looked at all of the literature there was evidence for effects occurring certainly as low as about 2.5, maybe lower than that and going from 1.2 to 2.5 is only a margin of exposure of about 2 fold. And we know nothing, as I said before about differential susceptibility and vulnerability that occurs within the population. And that was part of the justification for taking it down to .7 which actually was kind of the low end of what had been recommended in 1962 as the low end of the range for public health protection.”
Watch video her                                                                                                                            212