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The non-profit health advocacy group Fluoride Free New Zealand is concerned about misinformation and ongoing scaremongering perpetrated by the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) regarding water fluoridation. The NZDA have shown pictures of children with mouths full of rotting teeth, and even use these to lobby councils to maintain the out-of-date crumbling policy of water fluoridation.
Children with this level of decay require general anaesthetic surgery, and these photos are shocking and traumatic to all concerned. Information received by Fluoride Free NZ under the Official Information Act, shows there is no relationship between general anaesthetics in children and the presence of fluoridation. The primary cause of this type of decay that requires surgery is early childhood caries. This is a result of a baby being left to suck on a baby bottle or having a sugary drink in the bottle, and the NZDA knows this.
The NZDA is a profit-making organisation that receives funding streams from corporate interests such as Colgate. The NZDA has a paid representative to defend water fluoridation. If his response on Radio NZ on the significant study that was just published in one the British Medical journals is anything to go by, it looks as though he will defend fluoridation come hell or high water.
Last year The Lancet published a study classifying fluoride as a neurotoxin. Last month two important peer reviewed studies showing a link between fluoridation and harm were published. The first, published in Epidemiology and Community Health, one of the main British medicals journals, looked at thyroid disease patient numbers from 99% of GP practices in the UK. It found that women living in fluoridated areas have a 60% increased chance of suffering from underactive thyroid. The second was published in the US in Environmental Health and shows that there is a strong correlation between an increase in ADHD in children and increased prevalence of fluoridation. This is on top of the 43 out of 50 human studies that link fluoride to lowered IQ and the 31 out of 33 animal studies that have found fluoride exposure impairs the learning and/or memory capacity of animals.
The World Health Organisation has recently issued a report on Sugar Intake for Children and Adults. They found that sugar was definitely a cause of dental decay and that “Although exposure to fluoride reduces dental caries at a given age, and delays the onset of the cavitation process, it does not completely prevent dental caries, and dental caries still progresses in populations exposed to fluoride”.
Therefore the executive at NZDA could be using their time, energy and money to promote a reduction in sugar intake and successful targeted programmes like those that are being run in Scotland and Wales. Instead, they continue with misleading propaganda to prop up the failed policy of water fluoridation. The NZDA could really help children, if only they would accept the reality that water fluoridation is not the great panacea it was once thought to be. At best it only delays dental decay, and worse, it is actually harming people.
While a number of organisations endorse water fluoridation for face-saving political reasons, or to ensure continuation of funding, thousands of independent scientists and medical professionals now condemn the practice as ineffective, unsafe, and unscientific. It is in breach of the principles of modern pharmacology, and a breach of ethics and fundamental human rights.
The NZDA should be dissolved for its regime of bullying and shunning its growing number of members who disagree with fluoridation policy. When brave dentists speak out publicly, out of concern that the public should be getting the whole story and be informed accurately of the issues, they are vilified by colleagues and marginalized even though their opposition to fluoridation is based on sound scientific evidence. In contrast, the NZDA cannot produce any reliable evidence supporting any claims in favour of fluoridation. Notably, no fluoridation safety studies have ever been conducted anywhere in the world.
It is time for the NZDA to stop denigrating and belittling those opposed to fluoridation, and instead embark on a respectful, mature discussion where the facts are discussed openly so the public can come to understand this issue.