Taken from page 3 of the minutes of the meeting of the Auckland DHB and Waitemata DHB Community and Public Health Advisory Committees.
Allison Roe raised the question of follow up on the issue of fluoridation (Page 5 of the minutes). She also raised concerns that she had about the validity of a particular study in the Napier area relating to fluoridation, after listening to Dr Paul Connett, international spokesperson for the (anti‐fluoridation) Fluoride Action Network.
Discussion on this included:
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s position on this issue is clear from its website and the press release they had issued relating to Dr Connett’s visit to Auckland. Information on ARPHS’s briefing on fluoridation of the new Auckland Council and local board members had also been sent to CPHAC members in December.
The importance of carefully evaluating research papers and not relying on individual opinion of their validity.
Dr Julia Peters (Clinical Director ARPHS) (present for the following agenda item) advised that:
- They had received feedback that information on their website concerning fluoridation is too technical and not sufficiently user friendly. They are looking at that.
- Based on over 60 years of research, the evidence overwhelmingly is that fluoridation does more good than harm. The only proven adverse effect is mild discolouration of teeth and this is barely seen in New Zealand because of the level of fluoridation here. Four major international studies in the last year supported the overall positive effect of fluoridation. In New Zealand, Professor Gluckman had stated that the science on this issue is settled.
- She believed that the issue is not about science, but about community values and the need to be thinking about the health of the whole population. Fluoridation has the greatest benefit for those who live in more deprived areas.
- ARPHS is willing to attend CPHAC to provide further updates relating to fluoridation when requested.