Fluoride compounds are medicines when given to you in a pill but not when put in your water supply – this is the absurd Regulation passed into law on the word of the Minister of Health, Dr Coleman.
Last week (27th January) Dr Coleman exempted fluoride chemicals from the Medicine’s Act. However, in doing so he has admitted that fluoride compounds, and fluoridated water, are in fact medicines as only medicines or related products can be exempted from the Act. There was also no rationale as Medsafe says that any substance for which a therapeutic claim is made is subject to the Medicines Act. The only reason for adding fluoride chemicals to the water supply is the claimed therapeutic benefit of reducing dental decay.
In late November last year Medsafe opened a public consultation on a proposed amendment to regulations under the Medicines Act 1981 – to avert a ruling against them by the Court of Appeal, which would likely have ruled that fluoride substances added to drinking water are medicines.
Although admitting that there is no universal acceptance of the claimed positive health effects of of adding fluoride to drinking water supplies the Ministry of Health and Minister of Health, Dr Coleman, have pushed through a regulation with unbelievable speed.
1300 submissions on the issue were received which closed on 9th January 2015. 11 Wellington working days later there was an Order in Council before the government Executive regulating into law that fluoridating agents used in fluoridating drinking water are not medicines or related products under the Act. The Regulations began being drafted before the consultation began, and the usual 28 day rule from passing a Regulation until it comes into force was waived.
“I know for a fact that there were submissions on the known and other worrisome bodily effects of fluoride, not just on dental health, that were submitted to Medsafe. It is obvious they would not have even had time to read all the submissions, let only discuss and consider them. The consultation was a sham” says Mary Byrne.
The New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) is responsible for the regulation of therapeutic products in New Zealand and with the stated mission of enhancing the health of New Zealanders by regulating medicines and medical devices to maximise safety and benefit.
Mary Byrne says, “There was an absolute onus on Medsafe to determine whether or not water fluoridation is solely a therapeutic dental care treatment or if it also involves negative bodily health effects over a range of reported conditions, putting at risk the public safety. Shedding this responsibility appears to be a crass abrogation of duty of care by incautiously promoting an arbitrary amendment to the Act for a purely political end.”
This whole process was initiated by the Ministry of Health, astoundingly on the recommendation of a High Court judge who knew he was making a wrong decision that the Court of Appeal would overturn. Minister Coleman accepted a Crown Law recommendation to progress such an amendment following a recent court case.
“The Minister has made a mockery of the Medicines Act and highlighted the absurdity that while monitored prescription sodium fluoride is classified as a medicine he has had signed into law the facility for councils to add unmonitored industrial waste products to a public water supply that can no longer be classed as medicines. It is hard to fathom how a Minister of Health can possibly think this is acceptable,” concluded Mary Byrne.
We understand that the Regulation is to be legally challenged.