Dear Ms Genter and Green MPs,
The Green Party can win a huge amount of support by being the party that provides a universally popular solution to the fluoridation issue. You can do this by promoting a New Zealand style CHILDSMILE programme instead of supporting the current Health Amendment Bill.
A cost-benefit analysis report from the TDB Advisory Board, commissioned by New Health NZ, estimates that a NZ version of the successful Scottish CHILDSMILE programme would cost ~$12 million and would deliver benefits of between $51 and $61 million annually (attached). Non-fluoridated Scottish children now have better teeth than New Zealand children.
A policy based on CHILDSMILE will be a win for everyone.
We hope all Green Party MPs will view the video of one of the most important presentations from the HSC hearings – for which Julie Ann Genter was not present. It is NZ fluoridation legal expert, Lisa Hansen. She covers:
- The costly NZ fluoridation legal battles
- Legal issue of putting a medical substance in public water supplies
- There have never been any safety studies conducted anywhere in the world
- Gluckman Report, acknowledged Harvard meta-analysis found a 7 point IQ drop but called it “of no functional significance”
- CHILDSMILE is the only solution for NZ, TDB report findings
The Green Party should oppose the current fluoridation Bill because:
- The Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill is very unpopular among Green voters and puts the Greens at risk of losing valuable support to NZ First, who oppose the Bill.
- The National Party is trying to introduce mandatory fluoridation, without having to take any of the political heat that would result.
- The fluoridation chemical compound used in NZ is an environmental pollutant, an industrial waste by-product from the fertilizer industry. Fluoridation chemicals contain lead, aluminium, arsenic and sometimes even uranium. Green support of the Bill exposes you to criticisms of hypocrisy.
- There is no consensus within the Green party to support a Bill designed to extend fluoridation from the national level.
- Opposing this Bill is likely to result in additional support for the Greens from the tens of thousands of people in NZ that strongly oppose fluoridation.
Most New Zealanders will agree the Bill should be opposed because:
- The Bill is undemocratic. It is designed to remove public consultation on the issue. Four of the eleven DHB members are appointed by the Government. DHBs are contractually obligated to implement Ministry of Health policies.
- Local councils have expressed concern that their community’s wishes will no longer be considered. Councils have also objected saying they do not believe they should have to pay thousands of dollars for set-up and running costs for a decision they do not make.
- It is not feasible to move the cost to cash-strapped DHBs.
- Nearly 70% of 5-Year-olds in non-fluoridated New Zealand are free of dental decay, whereas only 40% of Maori children and 32% of Pacific Island children in fluoridated areas are free of dental decay (see graph). Supporting fluoridation ignores the fact that fluoridation isn’t helping these children, often from New Zealand’s poorest families.
- Children in fluoridated areas require general anaesthetic oral surgeries for severe decay just as much as children in non-fluoridated areas (MoH data available upon request) Fluoridation stands in the way of programmes that really work. A full NZ CHILDSMILE programme will reach all children, in all areas.
- The latest MoH NZ School Dental Statistics released this March for all NZ age fives and year eights show there is no difference in dental decay rates between children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas, and often show non-fluoridated areas have better teeth than fluoridated areas (graph).
- There are solutions that work that cost less and target the children that need help. See our attached booklet which explains the improved dental health in non-fluoridated Scotland to such an extent they have now surpassed NZ children. GA surgeries for tooth decay has been cut in half AND they are saving around 5,000,000 pounds a year.
We believe the party or coalition that provides a policy solution to the current impasse, with a programme that helps everyone, doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights, and saves millions, will gain tremendous support across the board.
We are very keen to meet with the whole Green Party caucus about our lobby’s support. Please contact us if any of you have questions at any time.
National Coordinator & Media Spokesperson, Fluoride Free NZ
FFNZ Communications and Administration
List Coordinator for NZ Health Professionals Opposing Fluoridation