The Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, has advised all local councils with unfluoridated communities that he intends issuing an instruction to fluoridate their water.
The decision on fluoridation has always rested with local communities, upon the advice of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Fluoridation in 1957. However, the last National Government and this Labour Government have acquiesced to the fluoridation lobby that was losing, and has now totally lost, the scientific argument about fluoridation. Fluoride Free NZ beat them hands down in New Plymouth and Hamilton when both sides of the issue were allowed to be heard.
The Director-General has merely given lip service to the legislated process while making it clear he had already made his decision (in line with Ministry of Health policy rather than science).
This blatant predetermination should not surprise us – it was apparent at the Fluoridation Bill’s first reading in 2016 that this was to introduce ‘mandatory fluoridation by the back door’. Some MPs stated so point blank.
Last year the Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister published a sham website ‘update’ on fluoridation science. This is being used as justification for claims that fluoridation is ‘safe and effective’, when the true science shows it is neither.
Since New Plymouth ceased fluoridation in 2011 tooth decay rates have declined across all population groups, according to official Government data. And there is no difference in decay rates between fluoridated and unfluoridated communities in Wellington and Auckland, for example. So there can be no lawful decision to fluoridate those communities.
With latest statistics (2020) of children examined by the school dental service showing that 28,394 5-yr-olds were 57 percent caries free and 37,941 12-yr-olds 66 percent caries free it is economic and pharmacological lunacy to attempt closing the gap by mass treating the population with a neurotoxin in their water.
On incomplete initial returns from councils to the Ministry of Health for capital costs of plant alone in communities over 500, in excess of $150 million would be imposed on the nation’s ratepayers.
Alternative and proven targeted approaches to improving dental health could be implemented at a small fraction of that aggregate national cost.
Meanwhile, the evidence of harm is now even more overwhelming than the evidence we had against Lead when we banned leaded petrol.
The Government also makes it clear that Councils (in fact ratepayers) will have to foot the bill when tooth decay is a health matter, not a local government matter.
We strongly encourage all affected councils to join in legal action against these ‘decisions’, as it appears that the statutory requirements will not be met.