The Chief Executive
PO Box 123
We wish to make a formal complaint regarding the interview conducted by Jesse Mulligan titled “Complaints over Anti-fluoride ads” aired between 1-4pm on Thursday 11th August 2016 on NZ National Radio.
The two broadcasting standards that we consider to have been breached in this case are ‘Standard 8: Balance’ and ‘Standard 9: Accuracy’.
‘Standard 8: Balance’
Broadcasters must make reasonable efforts to present competing viewpoints about important issues.
The principle reason we believe that the interview breached ‘Standard 8: Balance’ was because Radio NZ refused to allow our point of view to be heard at all during this discussion segment, despite the fact that the entire interview was about our own TV advertisements. No attempt was made prior to the interview to seek input from Fluoride Free NZ or any scientists opposed to fluoridation. Our request to the producer prior to the interview by phone that we would like to present our side of the issue during this discussion to provide balance, was refused on the grounds that “we had already had prime time TV”. Obviously reasonable efforts were not made to present competing viewpoints about this important issue.
Broadcasting Standards require each broadcaster to provide both sides of an issue regardless of other exposure. The RNZ discussion segment was more than nine minutes long, aimed at criticizing our 30 second paid advertisements. Playing a ten second recorded audio clip of Professor Paul Connett’s presentation does not constitute presenting both sides in a discussion.
This was not ‘Balance’; it was discrimination against a non-profit public health watchdog group tasked with ending water fluoridation in New Zealand. Is it RNZ’s mandate to protect MoH policy by silencing those who criticize policies? It is RNZ’s job to provide listeners with news and balanced discussion on important issues.
And with no input from us, listeners were not given the important information that one complaint had already been received by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over one of the adverts and that they had rejected the complaint outright. Nor were listeners made aware that both adverts were approved by the Television Commercial Advertising Board, who obviously saw nothing wrong with either advert. Both these pieces of information were crucial to a fair and balanced discussion on the validity of the adverts.
Therefore, we are now formally requesting that Professor Paul Connett be given an equal opportunity on air to respond to the claims made by Peter Griffin. We consider that he must be allowed the right of reply, given that he was personally attacked and slandered during the interview by both Jesse Mulligan and Peter Griffin.
‘Standard 9: Accuracy’
We believe ‘Standard 9: Accuracy’ was breached numerous times during the 9’19” interview. The interview was conducted solely with Peter Griffin, who is a spokesperson for the pro-fluoridation Science Media Centre. Mr Griffin has no scientific qualifications; his degree is in creative writing. However, this was not mentioned once. It would be reasonable for a person to assume that if RNZ has invited someone from an organisation called “Science Media Centre” that the person would have scientific qualifications, and therefore qualified to comment on the science surrounding an issue. It was extremely misleading not to inform listeners that Mr Griffin did not have any scientific qualifications.
As well as that, Mr Griffin provided no scientific sources for his strongly held opinions, nor did he demonstrate any depth of research or competency in his discussion of this complex subject and many of the claims he made were factually incorrect, misleading, and slanderous and were left unchallenged by Jesse Mulligan.
Throughout the interview, Mr Griffin was unable to point to a single inaccuracy in either of our TV advertisements, and instead used the interview to slander opponents of water fluoridation, including international fluoride expert and retired chemistry and toxicology professor Paul Connett, PhD.
Professor Paul Connett, in contrast, has spent the last 21 years researching this topic. Prior to that research, he had always supported water fluoridation. In 2010, with two other scientists (Professor James Beck, MD, PhD and Professor Spedding Micklem, DPhil.) he co-authored the book “The Case Against Fluoride” (Chelsea Green, 2010). Every argument in this book is backed up with citations to the scientific literature (80 pages of references in all).
In order to provide examples of some of the breaches of accuracy and balance that occurred during the interview, we have used the transcript below to insert our highlighted comments.
Fluoride Free NZ
PLEASE NOTE: a printed copy of this complaint has also been couriered to your PO Box today (17th August 2016) by CourierPost Tracking Number LV 122 602 518 NZ. In the printed version the highlighted sections of the complaint are clear and easy to identify.
Transcript of Peter Griffin’s Interview on the Jesse Mulligan Show
1–4 pm 11th August 2016
JM: Several groups are preparing complaints to the advertising standards authority over anti-fluoride ads that have screened here in NZ on TV3. The ads were funded by an organisation called Fluoride Free NZ which bought four primetime ad spaces on the 31st of July.
The ads make some pretty alarming claims including that fluoride is a waste product collected from the chimneys of the fertilizer industry.
“This fluoride chemical also contains traces of Lead, Mercury, Arsenic and sometimes Uranium. It is banned from being released into the air, sea, lakes and rivers because it is toxic to animals and the environment. Instead ratepayer’s money buys this toxic chemical handled by workers wearing hazmat suits like this. “
And then a second ad argues that fluoride doesn’t even improve dental health. “98% of Europeans do not have fluoridated water and their teeth are just as good if not better than ours”.
My guest right now is Peter Griffin, of the Science Media Centre. He’s among many in the science community who are really concerned about the ads. Hi Peter.
PG: How are you doing?
JM: Good. Let’s go to some of these claims first of all. Is there any truth to what was said in those ads such as “that fluoride is a waste product?”, “That it contains several poisons and possibly Uranium?”
PG: Ah, well, no look there are lots of claims made there. The ads are pretty tame compared to what the Anti Fluoride brigade say in public, but things like you know ultimately it is a chemical that is going into the water. FFNZ: Here PG completely avoids the question and doesn’t even attempt to deny the validity of the facts stated in the ads. He must provide an answer to this important question and supply supporting evidence, as it is the crux of the interview. He also offers us an insight into his intentions by referring to those who crowd-funded the ads as “the anti-fluoride brigade” rather than scientists, health-professionals and well-informed concerned parents and ordinary New Zealanders who believe they have the right to access clean safe water and not be medicated against their will.
It’s being applied into the water supply. It’s commercially available; it goes through a vetting process…, FFNZ: Please provide us with full details as to what PG believes is involved in this “vetting process”. An empty claim is not sufficient, evidence must be provided. …it’s tested to make sure that it’s safe and that’s been the process for decades in New Zealand and around the world as well. FFNZ: This is a false and dangerous claim, often repeated in ignorance regarding fluoridation. No safety studies have ever been conducted in the world on water fluoridation, as confirmed here from two different sources:
1. Quote from the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA: “To answer your first question on whether we have in our possession empirical scientific data on the effects of fluorosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride on health and behaviour, our answer is no.”
2. Quote from the Water Research Centre in the UK: “I can inform you categorically that WRC-NSF has never tested any samples of disodium hexafluorosilicate or hexafluorosilicic acid. Therefore in this case we have no test data to release nor names of clients – these simply do not exist.” Source: http://fluoridealert.org/articles/f-testing/
So there may be trace elements of something in there but that goes for all sorts of things that we consume. FFNZ: Just because there are trace amounts of chemicals in “all sorts of things we consume” does not mean it’s a sensible or responsible public health policy to purposely add extra toxins like lead, aluminium, mercury, arsenic, uranium (and fluoride) to our drinking water.
What people forget about is exposure and dosage and the fact that you are exposed to very tiny minute amounts of this stuff. And the fluoride itself could be toxic if you took a lot of it, but the amount that’s being put into the water supply are so minute that it’s deemed to be safe.
FFNZ: This is not true. In reality, the amounts added are not miniscule. The lowest level used in NZ is 0.7 ppm (mg/liter fluoride). This is 175 times higher than the level that nature puts into human breast milk. Human milk seems to have a barrier against fluoride transfer and fluoride is only found in extremely small amounts, irrespective of the level of fluoride in the water in that area. One scientific theory is that nature is deliberately filtering fluoride out of breast milk, protecting the new-born baby’s developing tissues from fluoride (a very toxic ion – see Barbier et al, The molecular mechanism of fluoride’s toxicity, 2010). So in our view it is reckless to remove this protection for bottle-fed babies by deliberately fluoridating the water.
The pro-fluoridation lobby agrees that the amount added to the water is substantial enough to effect human health, as that is the whole point of fluoridation – they believe it produces a biochemical change. If fluoride levels were “miniscule”, with the connotations that provides, there would be no biochemical effect on human health, negative or positive.
And this is decades of evidence that suggests that. FFNZ: This is not true. See our above comment regarding safety studies. Sadly, fluoridating countries (including NZ) have not conducted any comprehensive research on a litany of potential negative health effects resulting from consuming fluoridated water.
JM: Are there any scientists that disagree with you? FFNZ: Is PG aware that in New Zealand, 322 health professionals have already added their names to a group calling for an end to fluoridation, including 12 Ph.D. Scientists, 17 Dentists & 37 GPs and Medical Doctors?
Additionally more than 4,000 international professionals have signed a statement against fluoridation, including government officials, thousands of medical professionals, and Nobel Prize winner, Arvid Carlsson. Source: http://fluoridealert.org/researchers/professionals-statement/
PG: There are always outliers…, FFNZ: Here PG attempts to discredit those who are against adding fluoride chemicals to the water by labelling them as ‘outliers’. …we deal at the Science Media Centre on climate change, on genetic modification, there are always some scientists who say let’s follow the precautionary principle, let’s make this 100% safe before we do anything. FFNZ: Does PG disagree with the precautionary principle and does he not think fluoride should be proven 100% safe before it’s added to public drinking water? His comments seem to suggest so, so it would be good to clarify his views on this. What percentage of safety does he think it should be, if not 100%?
So there are those voices and Paul Connett, who is a retired Chemistry Professor, has come through the country recently, that’s why these ads are playing now it was sort of to coincide with his visit and he really is on a campaign to get fluoride taken out of the water supply. Not only here in New Zealand but all over the world. FFNZ: This implies that most of the world fluoridates, but in actual fact, 96% of the world and 98% of Europe does not fluoridate. Why is RNZ not seeking to hear from both sides?
JM: And what did he have to say for himself?
PG: Well recently, on the 5th of July, I went to a school in Petone to listen to him. I went with an open mind there and I actually recorded some of what he said. I think you’ve got a clip of it. Paul Connett (recorded): A key question for citizens “Do you really want your children drinking a neurotoxic chemical? I would love to see that sign up all over this New Zealand. If you know a millionaire or two let’s pay to get this on television, pay for it on roadside ads”.
JM: So he is pretty fired up. FFNZ: Dr Connett sounded like an expert, reasonably articulating the scientific case against a bad medical practice. This is because when you consider the efforts that countries are going to, to reduce children’s exposure to lead – because it is neurotoxic – then you cannot believe how the same agencies can stand by and allow another neurotoxic substance (toxic waste sourced fluoride) to be deliberately added to the public drinking water.
PG: He is pretty fired up and Paul he is a great speaker, he is a little bit like Lord Monckton, the climate change skeptic, who comes through New Zealand on a regular basis. These guys are great debaters, no one wants to go up against them because they sort of cherry pick all of this evidence which sounds really credible and it makes incredibly compelling stuff when you are sitting there in the audience. FFNZ: “They sort of cherry pick all of this evidence which sounds really credible.” Please supply supporting evidence for this serious charge of “cherry picking”.
And I actually sat there, myself starting out going wow this is actually really compelling and then seeing all of the stuff that he put up which aren’t in the ads like the link to autism…,
FFNZ: Professor Connett mentioned that a study was published last year in the peer reviewed mainstream journal Environmental Perspectives that found a link between fluoridated water and increased rates of autism.
…to neuro-disorders. FFNZ: Professor Connett gave a reference to a summary of over 300 animal studies that have found fluoride effects the brain and 50 human studies (out of a total of 57) that have also found fluoride to have an adverse effect on the brain.
All sorts of crazy stuff, cherry picking particular studies from China… FFNZ: Professor Connett examined the Xiang et al study (2003a, b) and chose that because 1) it was one of the best studies (fluoride promoters usually cite the most flawed studies) and 2) it was done in communities with fluoride content in the water at levels very close to the levels used in fluoridation programs. In a series of sub-groups in the High Fluoride village, Xiang found little lowering of IQ at 0.75 ppm, but a drop of nearly 5 IQ points at 1.5 ppm. This leaves no margin of safety to protect all of NZ’s children who drink water at 0.85 ppm (or even 0.7 ppm that some councils have adopted) and get fluoride from other sources as well, that the Chinese children were not getting, like fluoridated toothpaste (nor were the Chinese children bottle-fed).
…that, places there that have very high exposure to fluoride, that sort of thing. FFNZ: It is very important to understand that 1.5 ppm is not a very high exposure! Moreover, if you take the average of all 20 studies in the Harvard meta-analysis that had measurements, it was 3.52 ppm, which still leaves an inadequate margin of safety.
It all looks good but it’s a clever facade really. None of it stands up to scrutiny and when you actually look at the balance of evidence, it actually suggests that fluoride in the water supply is effective and it’s safe. FFNZ: This is simply not true and needs to be substantiated. The world-renowned Cochrane Review found no modern, reliable evidence that fluoridation actually reduces dental decay.
What balanced review has Griffin scrutinized? Please supply details. If it was the study commissioned – and signed by – Sir Peter Gluckman and Sir David Skegg, is he aware of the errors and misrepresentations contained in it? Please see the international critique of the highly flawed Gluckman-Skegg review here: http://fluoridefree.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Critical-Analysis-of-2014-NZ-Fluoridation-Review.pdf
JM: Let’s look at another claim in those ads that people in Scotland have better teeth than us, even though they don’t have fluoride in their water.
PG: Yeah, well that may well be the case but they are still getting fluoride in some capacity. One of the ads points out, a lot of European Countries don’t have fluoride in the water supply, that’s because it’s either available in sufficient quantities in the water already so they don’t need to add it or they are giving it to their population as a supplement in salt or in milk. And that is quite common in Europe.
FFNZ: This is very misleading and completely incorrect. The truth is very few European countries have more background fluoride than 0.2 ppm; only four countries add fluoride to some of their salt (Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland); and in Europe only Bulgaria has any milk available with added fluoride. Additionally, milk and salt products that have fluoride added to them are only purchased and consumed if people choose to. Fluoridated water is forced on 50% of the NZ population and most Kiwis can’t afford to remove it from their water if they want to. It is incredibly expensive to remove fluoride from water and that’s why Fluoride Free New Zealand has become a larger group of people. If we could all just buy a simple cheap filter, we would.
So we are all getting fluoride in some capacity it’s just that some parts of the world like here in New Zealand and other places they put it in the water supply because it’s not in sufficient quantities naturally in the water. FFNZ: That is not true. The natural levels of fluoride in the water in Scotland are typically less than 0.05 ppm. Source:”Forensic Geoscience; Principles, Techniques and Applications
Whereas the levels in New Zealand are artificially increased to at least 0.7 ppm but mostly 0.85 ppm, as that is the MoH recommended level.
JM: They’ve got a different perspective to you and as you say they want to be cautious so is there anything wrong with them putting this information in a public forum, like TV, and letting people make up their own minds?
PG: Well, as I saw as I was sitting in Petone probably about 50 people in the room. I looked around at the faces of the people and they went from being open minded, and this was just Paul, no one from, no pro-fluoride people there were, no scientists there. FFNZ: Why does PG presume there were no scientists there? We know that there were scientists there. And why should a speaker not be allowed to speak on a topic? FFNZ is not the fourth estate and does not have an obligation to provide both sides, whereas, RNZ does have a statutory obligation to provide both sides of every issue – yet this interview was conducted by garnering the views of only one side. RNZ should have informed people that Prof Connett has been asking for a debate on this issue for 13 years, and as recently as the past month, it is the first time he has actually had one, with Professor Mike Berridge, who was willing to debate him. The debate can be seen on FACE TV (Sky Channel 083) at 7.30pm on Wednesday 17th of August and is moderated by Cameron Bennett.
And I could see their face, there expression changing from one of open mindedness to, “Oh my god we’ve got to stop this from ever going into our water supply in Petone”. So I think when there is a fear that when people make these decisions independently without access to the evidence they are going to make the wrong decision
FFNZ: This is nonsense and a complete contradiction. PG says he went with an open mind to Prof Connett’s talk in Petone, but that around 50 other people who also went with an open mind became strongly opposed to fluoridation when presented with the evidence. But then PG claims people are making decisions independently without access to the evidence, so they are making the wrong decision. If everyone in the room was against it after being presented with the evidence and PG was still for it, then he is the ‘outlier’, and, more likely, he didn’t go with an open mind.
It appears that PG has a very low opinion of others and appears to think that if anyone is influenced by arguments contrary to his own, that they are somehow being brain-washed. People in New Zealand have had ample opportunity to hear the case for fluoridation, as evidenced by RNZ conducting an interview on fluoridation and only hosting the pro-fluoridation side.
…and I think that is what happened in Hamilton in 2013. When the Councillors decided to take fluoride out of the water supply. That was overturned on a public referendum
FFNZ: This is completely untrue. Hamilton City Council listened to four days of information about water fluoridation at a tribunal. They heard both sides of the argument from experts, scientists, medical professionals, researchers, and ordinary Kiwis. They had ample time to ask questions and hear answers. After this thorough process they voted 7 to 1 to stop fluoridation.
It was the political pressure from the District Health Board that followed, which resulted in forcing a public referendum. The DHB was able to out-spend FFNZ 10 to 1 and created a simplistic propaganda programme to preserve the reputation of fluoridation and get the well-informed council decision overturned. The DHB’s expensive PR programme consisted entirely of scaremongering tactics; personal opinions and endorsements; and inaccurate sound bites – none of which were ever backed up by references to scientific studies, despite being repeatedly requested to. The DHB also refused point-blank to attend the Council-organised public information evening for voters, where they had been invited to present their case and answer questions from the floor.
…but these are some of the issues that we face with things like GM. If you have Councils, you have elected officials that are subject to lobbying from the likes of Paul Connett, saying for various reasons that we want to take this out of the water supply. I think that is dangerous to public health. FFNZ: We totally disagree. Surely in any democracy BOTH sides should be allowed equal opportunities to present their arguments? And in our case Paul Connett wants fluoride out of the water for the benefit of public health; it is of no personal benefit to him, unlike the corporate lobbyists who want to keep fluoride in the water.
JM: So someone, whether a private citizen or someone in local government. If they want to make a considered decision on what has become quite a contentious topic how do they go about it?
PG: Well you know there’s lots of information out there. Probably one of the most compelling ones is the Cochrane Collaboration. They do literature reviews of all the studies and they did one last year on fluoride and they found that the introduction of water fluoridation resulted in children having 35% fewer decayed missing and filled baby teeth and 26% fewer decayed missing and filled permanent teeth.
FFNZ: This is very misleading and a perfect example of the lying with cherry-picking statistics that has been propping up fluoridation for 70 years. PG did not mention the most important things about the Cochrane Review, which were the following statements: “We had concerns about the methods used, or the reporting of the results, in the vast majority (97%) of the studies.” and in the authors’ conclusions they state: “There is very little contemporary evidence, meeting the review’s inclusion criteria, that has evaluated the effectiveness of water fluoridation for the prevention of caries” and “The available data come predominantly from studies conducted prior to 1975” and “We did not identify any evidence, meeting the review’s inclusion criteria, to determine the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries in adults.”
Also the Cochrane review of fluoridation’s ‘effectiveness’ did not produce the glowing results anticipated by promoters. The authors could find NO high quality research that showed that:
1) It provided additional benefits over and above topically applied fluoride
2) It reduced inequalities among children from different socio-economic groups or that
3) Tooth decay increased in communities when fluoridation is stopped.
4) It provided any benefit to adults
In addition, the Cochrane team was not convinced that studies showing that water fluoridation reduces decay in children are applicable to today’s society, as nearly all the studies reviewed (dating back to the 1940s – 1960s) had a high risk of bias and were conducted prior to the availability of fluoride toothpaste and numerous other sources of fluoride which we have today.
So that is an international study. The New Zealand Oral Health Survey here from 2009 looked at thousands of people and found a significant reduction in tooth decay in fluoridated areas.
FFNZ: This oral health survey is NOT a study. It is a survey which only contained about 60 children in each age group. In comparison, the New Zealand School Dental statistics, that are collected every year, and freely available on the MoH website, have about 45,000 children in each age group. Therefore, it is misleading for the MoH, or anyone else, to use data from the 2009 Oral Health Survey.
Within the publication itself it states:
“It is important to note that it was not one of the objectives of the 2009 NZOHS to compare the oral health status of people by fluoridation status, and therefore the survey cannot be taken as a fluoridation study. The following results are a snapshot in time and constitute an ecological analysis based on current place of residence. As such they do not take into account lifetime exposure to fluoridated and non-fluoridated water supplies. Individuals who currently live in fluoridated areas may have spent time in non-fluoridated areas, and the reverse is also true. Furthermore, there may be other confounding factors that haven’t been taken into account.”
Most of the NZ data found in the New Zealand School Dental statistics indicates little or no difference in tooth decay between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities and these data often show non-fluoridated areas have better teeth than fluoridated areas. These facts were also revealed by Dr. John Colquhoun in the 1980s. Dr Colquhoun also revealed that the trial that launched fluoridation in NZ in 1964 (Hastings versus Napier, 1954-64) was a fraud.
The latest New Zealand study carried out by pro-fluoride dentists and published this year, shows there is no difference in decay rates between the vast majority of New Zealand children. If RNZ had sought the views of both sides, listeners could have been informed of this important fact.
You can look at individual studies, and people like Paul Connett can quote outlying studies, but what does the balance of evidence say about this? And that is where you have to go the literature reviews and the government studies. And so far the evidence is suggesting that it is actually good for children’s health, their teeth, in particular. And it’s good for tackling inequality because there are some people who aren’t getting enough fluoride through toothpaste for instance. So what about those people? They will miss out; their lives will be impacted by having bad teeth. FFNZ: As published in the March 2014 Lancet Neurology journal http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/grandjean-20141.pdf fluoride is no longer classified as a nutrient. Its classification is now accepted as a neurotoxin. The body has no requirement for toxins.
JM: Given the science, as you say is relatively settled on this matter, FFNZ: There is nothing more anti-scientific than the very idea that science can ever be settled, is static, or is impervious to challenge. Science, by definition, can never be settled – an ugly fact that can destroy public health propaganda. …do you think TV channels should be refusing to run a campaign like this?
PG: Yeah well, this is quite an unusual thing because it costs a lot of money to get an ad on TV so this is tens of thousands of dollars they’ve raised and we haven’t really seen much like this in a long time on New Zealand TV but where are the checks and balances really that a programmer goes through when it is screening an ad. Obviously explicit stuff, sexual content, whatever really highly offensive stuff won’t get through but there is a case I think for them to look a bit more closely at some of these ads that have dubious claims being made that could have a public health impact. FFNZ: PG’s vague criticism of dubiousness is most irresponsible. Please list which claims in the ads you perceive as “dubious” and supply evidence to back up your statement. Why in this interview did PG not dispute one single fact raised in the ads despite the fact that the programme is titled “Complaints over Anti-fluoride ads”? Accordingly, we consider PG’s complaints to lack substance. We also firmly hold that every fact stated in the ads is true and important for public health awareness, so why should they not be shown on TV?
JM: Hard for them though right? I mean if they read the study that you point them towards that is obviously one thing they look around on the internet they find people who look like legitimate scientists who say the opposite. So… FFNZ: Jesse Mulligan seems to be slandering Professor Paul Connett here, by suggesting he is not a legitimate scientist. Paul has studied fluoride for over 20 years and is a Professor of Toxicology. How is PG an expert in fluoridation with his background in technology journalism?
PG: It is a tough call for them and really there are lots of natural health products out there that may not be underpinned by good evidence either but they are also on TV.
FFNZ: This is a really confusing statement which we would like clarified. Fluoridation officials say that they are just supplementing the water with a “natural substance.” Fluoridation chemicals are neither natural, nor safe.
I think ultimately that is why we have the Advertising Standards Authority. There has already been numerous complaints about these guys in other capacities and they have been upheld. FFNZ: RNZ should have sought input from FFNZ since we aired the adverts. If so, listeners would have been advised of the important fact that a complaint had already been made to the Advertising Standards Authority over one of the adverts and the ASA has rejected the complaint outright.
So ultimately I think this will send a message to all broadcasters that next time maybe we’ll make a different decision about it. FFNZ: We stand by our statement that every fact stated in the ads is true, so why should they not be shown on TV? If RNZ had sought the views of FFNZ they would have been able to advise listeners that both adverts had been submitted to and approved by the Television Commercial Approvals Bureau before airing.
JM: What complaints are you talking about?
PG: So there has been other complaints in other outlets about the claims of anti-fluoride.
FFNZ: Please answer the question and elaborate on the complaints to which you were referring.
JM: Like Newspapers, so on and so forth.
PG: Yeah, so we’ve seen this for natural health remedies all over the place. FFNZ: Again this is very confusing and does not help PG’s argument at all as the Ministry of Health claims that Fluoride is “natural.”
People make complaints and they have to take these claims off their websites. So you know this one may well go to that point where they have to retract that but what it will ultimately send a message to TVNZ, Mediaworks, Sky, the rest of them is that next time we are not going run that ad because its already been subject to a complaint.
FFNZ: PG has stated that there were numerous complaints and was asked to elaborate on it twice, yet he couldn’t give one single example and instead he referred back to generally disparaging remarks about natural health remedies. We contend many TV ads get complaints, some even get pulled from the air, but that does not preclude that company or organisation from running other ads. It seems PG’s purpose in this interview is to warn people not to watch factual advertisements made by Fluoride Free New Zealand.
JM: Peter Griffin from the Science Media Centre, nice to talk with you, thanks for coming in today.