NZ Review of Fluoridation – Dirty Politics? You decide.

The original report on behalf of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor can be read here:

Fluoridation Review titled Health effects of water fluoridation: A review of the scientific evidence.

The corrected version of the report is found here.


Left: Dr Peter Gluckman Right: Prof David Skegg



See details of who the contributors were and their background regarding fluoridation.

Read the Comparison with International Reviews.


Key Correspondence Dates (Emails were received under Official Information Act Requests)


4 February 2014 – Professor Paul Connett speaks at the Mt Eden War Memorial in Auckland marking the start of his 2014 New Zealand tour.


5 February 2014 – Read the minutes of the meeting of the Auckland DHB and Waitemata DHB Community and Public Health Advisory Committee where Dr Julia Peters, Clinical Director, Auckland Regional Public Health Service provided these responses to questions around the lack of safety and ineffectiveness of fluoridation raised by Dr Paul Connett’s presentation.


9 February 2014 – Dr Roger Blakeley, Chief Planning Officer for Auckland Council, is asked to review Dr Paul Connett’s summary on ‘Why Fluoridation Should be Ended in New Zealand’ by Councillors who attended his presentation.

Subsequently, Dr Blakeley requests the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor (PMCSA), the Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ), and the Ministry of Health, to review the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies. Email to Prof Gluckman from Dr Blakeley

“Sir Peter,

As you would be aware, there was a recent public meeting in Auckland on fluoridation of water supply, which was attended by 250 people including some Auckland Councillors and Local Board members. One of them has forwarded some notes as background to the presentation by Professor Paul Connett. They are attached. You will see that it is a very different case than I read on your website from the link below, and that presented to me by Dr Julia Peters, Clinical Director, Auckland Regional Public Health Service.”

Read Fluoride Free NZ’s Critique of ‘What is in the water?’.


9 February 2014 – Email from Prof Skegg to Prof Gluckman

“As you know in 2012, we considered making fluoridation the subject of one of our Emerging Issues papers. This would have required us to appoint a panel of experts to review the extensive literature that has been pouring out. …….I agree that the anti-fluoridation campaign is gathering momentum, and local authorities are in a difficult position. How would you like to proceed? The quickest response would be for you and me to issue a joint statement, which could be at least in part an amalgam or our joint statements.

Alternatively, the royal Society could appoint a panel to review the evidence – the usual approach for academics such as ours – but that would take several months to come to fruition. Would that create more uncertainty, or would the fact that it is occurring give local authorities some much needed breathing space?”


9 February 2014 –  From Prof Gluckman to Prof Skegg

“My bias is that we must address Auckland City properly. My thoughts are a combined response between my officer and RSNZ may be more powerful and stop people trying to dissect out differences.”


11 February 2014 – Prof Gluckman emails Prof Skegg

“I talked to Blakeley today. He is in no hurry and I think he sees value in a solid report. The pressure has come from Councillors who have been influenced by Connett. He ________ has little idea of what is involved – he just wants his solution. He would put some dollars in but thinks the Ministry of Health should too. I am seeing Chai next week and suggest I see if Chai would co-fund a project as we discussed yesterday.”


15 February 2014 – Prof Skegg emails Prof Gluckman

“I think Stephen _______ will have briefed you about our Council discussion on Thursday. We would like to proceed to set up a panel in conjunction with your office. Because this joint exercise will be a new approach, it would be sensible to draw up a Memorandum of Agreement – setting out the ground rules for selecting the panel, announcing its formation, providing administrative support, reviewing and publishing the report, etc.”


19 February 2014 – Prof Peter Gluckman sends letter to Dr Blakeley with action around commenting on the recent presentation in Auckland.

“After discussing with the Prime Minister, he has agreed that my Office should assist Councils by preparing a report  on the scientific and related perspectives on the issue.”


19 February 2014 – Email from Dr Blakeley to Prof Gluckman

“Thank you for your letter and the action proposed that you and the Royal Society of NZ will prepare a definitive analysis and report on the issue of the addition of fluoride to water supplies. Your proposal is warmly welcomed and will be an invaluable contribution to public understanding of this issue. I confirm that Auckland Council, on our own or with other Councils, will contribute $15,000 to the project. I understand from your letter that, with that confirmation, you will now proceed with the study.”


19 February 2014 – Timeframe for the report confirmed by RSNZ to Dr Blakeley and Stephen Town

  • 1 April : Project Start
    • Writer appointed and will start supplementary review of the literature co-Chairs to identify key headings
    • RSNZ to begin Expert Panel recruitment
  • 17 April: Recruitment and appointment to Expert Panel completed
  • 15-30 May: RSNZ convene Expert Panel for state-of-the-science briefing June 15: first draft report circulated to Expert Panel for feedback
  • 6 July: Report sent for international peer-review and review by Ministry of Health July 30: Report finalized
  • 7 August: Co-Chairs’ cover letter completed
  • 15 August: Report provided to Ministry of Health and Councils
  • 22 August: Report published


19 February 2014 – Prof Gluckman sends letter to Dr Chai Chuah, Acting Director-General of Health requesting $25,000 in funding for the proposed NZ Review.


26 February 2014 – Dr Chai Chuah, Acting Director-General of Health confirms that MOH will provide $20,000 of funding for the NZ Review.


6 March 2014 – Prof Gluckman confirms terms of reference and project plan to Dr Blakeley.

“Attached are the terms of reference and project plan”


21 March 2014 – Request by Dr Blakeley for invoices to be made out to:

  • $5k from Auckland Council
  • $5K from Hutt City Council
  • $5K from Local Government NZ


5 April 2014 – Prof Skegg emails Prof Gluckman

“As you will see below, however, ________ is questioning the feasibility of our approach. As you know, I have always had concerns that ________whereas the benefits of fluoridation can be summarised succinctly – the literature on potential risks is vast and quite complex. I can understand why any reputable scientist would be reluctant to put their name to a report if they have not had time to take a first-hand look at the evidence. Also I do not know whether _________ has familiarity with epidemiological concepts and methodology.” 

Do you envisage that we could present our report as a synthesis of reviews by reputable evidence-based groups in other countries, as suggested in the correspondence below? Otherwise I think we need to consider a much longer gestation (the latest two policy papers from RSNZ Fellows took the best part of a year) and it will not be easy to persuade a first-rate epidemiologist to take on this task.


8 April 2014 – Fluoride Free NZ presents to the Auckland Council Long-term and Annual Plan Hearings Committee. Read the Meeting Agenda. Committee Chair Penny Webster verbally agrees that it needs to be noted that fluoridation is provided a timeline for discussion. Subsequent Minutes from the meeting show no mention of Penny Webster’s verbal agreement. Auckland Council reneges on it’s position to review fluoridation. See minutes of the meeting.


10 April 2014 – Prof Gluckman emails Prof Skegg

“There is an urgency and a reality – the fluoride issue is hot and Auckland will be the next where the issue is played out. Our prime audience is are the Councils”


6 May 2014 – Fluoride Free NZ confirmed with Dr Blakeley whether the Council would be seeking public/stakeholder consultation this year on fluoridation continuing or ceasing?

His response was “Council will be asked to give a direction on what process it wants to follow in evaluating fluoridation”.


27 May 2014 – Prof Gluckman emails Prof Prof Skegg

“The Litras argument reinforces the importance of the section on levels of fluoride ingestion in NZ (and related pharmacokinetics and toxicity data).

I wonder how they argue for ‘residual fluoride levels in saliva’ coming primarily from sources other than water. My interpretation of the literature thus far indicates that a constant low level of fluoride in saliva is protective -water being a good source.”


29 June 2014 – Fluoride Free NZ followed up on the earlier correspondence to ensure that their feedback would be considered.

Dr Blakeley’s response, “Council will be asked to give a direction on what process it wants to follow in evaluating fluoridation”. He goes on to say, “I am sure Council is well aware of your interest and wish to make your views clearly known. The elected Council needs to resolve what process it wants to follow and will give direction to officers on that”.


13 August 2014 – the Dominion Post exposed the Secret Fluoridation review. Read the article here: Secret panel claim in fluoride dispute

It is important to note that the panel had the explicit approval of Prime Minister John Key. Gluckman said “the panel, which had Prime Minister John Key’s approval, was convened after councils approached the Royal Society seeking guidance about the science on fluoridation.”

Note, In 2012, the Royal Society declined to conduct an inquiry, saying there would be “no value” in expending resources when the evidence was clearly in fluoride’s favour. At that time Prof Skegg was supplied with ample evidence to show potential harm from fluoridation and that the two most prestigious international reviews in history (The York Review 2000 and the National Research Council 2006) said that there was a dire need for better scientific information. See a comparison of the three reviews here.


20 August 2014 – The Review was released with the usual endorsements from the NZDA, NZMA, MOH and other pro fluoridation organisations. Fluoride Free NZ responded to the fluoridation review with the following press release: Fluoridation review ‘Dirty Science’

Read the Comparison with International Reviews.


22 August 2014 – Dr Blakeley praises the ‘scientific‘ input of the report from Gluckman and the Royal Society for future considerations of fluoridation. He appears to renege on providing Fluoride Free NZ an opportunity to present to Auckland Council regarding the direction of a review on fluoridation.

“The Auckland Council has no policy on a review of fluoridation.

The recent decision at the Local Government NZ conference, if agreed to by government, would mean that in future the responsibility for decisions on fluoridation would rest with central government, through the Director General of Health, rather than with local government authorities.

The report on fluoridation by Sir Peter Gluckman and the Royal Society of New Zealand will provide valuable input from a scientific perspective to any future consideration of fluoridation in New Zealand.

Auckland Council is still responsible for the fluoridation policy as it stands.


26 August 2014 – Dr Blakeley confirmed that the review had indeed been secret.

“The Review was commissioned in February 2014. It was expected to be completed in August 2014. It was publicly released on Friday 22 August.” He went on to add “The normal practice is for research to be gathered and released when completed to inform the interested parties in the policy process as happened in this case”.


So Dr Blakeley knew on 6 May when Fluoride Free NZ asked for input to the review that a ‘secret review’ of fluoridation was underway at the time. He goes onto praise the report for being able to provide a ‘scientific basis’ for future considerations and then appears to renege on providing Fluoride Free NZ an opportunity to contribute.

It is also not true that reviewers normally do not tell the public/stakeholders about these reviews. The Australian NHMRC review is open for public input and the 1994 Public Health Commission report on fluoridation (last time there was a review) invited public input too. See . They had 82 submissions.


27 August 2014 – Dr Paul Connett provided an initial critique of white wash fluoridation reviews and in particular the NZ review.


28-29 August 2014 – the first ever meeting of international science advisors was held in Auckland. It was hosted by Sir Peter Gluckman and supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment.

Prof. Mark Ferguson, Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland was one of the external reviewers of the Gluckman and Skegg review. It just so happens that the release of the review was conveniently timed prior to an international science conference in Auckland later this week chaired by Sir Gluckman and of which Prof Fergusson was a guest speaker. The topic in a nutshell is how science evidence can be used more effectively in government policy.

 Read Prof Gluckman’s opening speech to the conference.

“The peer review system is close to collapsing internationally under pressure from the expansion of tertiary education-associated science. Peer review has been the mainstay of quality assurance in science but it is a large but hidden cost on the science system. It is inherently flawed but, like democracy, no better system has been developed. However, the way peer review is conducted must change and the focus must be on finding and using systems that are transparent and ensure quality and integrity.” Prof Gluckman P8


“The greater transparency in science is exposing incidents of a lack of professionalism in science, and in particular issues of research integrity. A particular issue has been the poor reproducibility of much science driven by the rush to publish, the academic impact agenda and the personal stakes now associated with ‘breakthrough science’.” Prof Gluckman P8



18 September 2014 – Auckland Council CEO responds to Fluoride Free NZ reiterating Dr Blakeley’s comments that Auckland Council has reneged on their position to hold discussions on fluoridation. “The Council voted in favour of the recent remit to Local Government NZ that seeks to transfer the responsibility for deciding on whether to fluoridate water supplies to the Director General of Health and awaits the outcome of this remit before determining any next steps.” 


 9 October 2014 –  Fluoride added to domestic water supplies is not subject to the Medicines Act, the High Court has found.


10 October 2014 –  Auckland Council, Hutt City Council & Local Government New Zealand receive the NZ Review Advance Briefing Letter from Fluoride Free NZ. It outlines that a critique by the Worldwide Alliance to End Fluoridation of the NZ Review will be made available soon.


16 October 2014FIND (Fluoride Information Network for Dentists) have asked new health minister, Dr. Jonathan Coleman, that water fluoridation be stopped immediately pending further research into the health risks associated with the practice. This comes in light of a soon to be released internationally peer reviewed critique condemning the recent government funded review on fluoridation as being misleading, and pointing to health concerns.

Dr Stan Litras, of FIND, says the NZ review did not follow modern protocols to avoid bias, and the new report, which includes contributions from top international experts, will help to ” fill in the blanks”.


20 October 2014OIA response from the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor to questions regarding the NZ Review.


28 October 2014 – Ministry of Health does not renew the National Fluoridation Information Service agreement supposedly due to ‘the science relevant to community water fluoridation has been stable and conclusive for many years, as verified by numerous international reports.

The non-renewal letter also mentions that the NZ Review “found compelling evidence for the safety and effectiveness of CWF within the range of concentrations currently recommended by the Ministry of Health”.


20 November 2014 – The real reason that the amendment to the medicines act was proposed can be found here:

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman (Minister of Health) Fluoride in drinking water: Urgent amendment to Medicines Regulations 1984 proposed.


25 November 2014 – Consultation on proposed Amendment to Regulations under the Medicines Act 1981 (MOH)


25 November 2014Preliminary Impact and Risk Assessment (MOH)


25 November 2014 – MOH emailed The New Zealand Medical Association advising on consultation process to exempt fluoridation chemicals from the Medicines Act 1981.


28 November 2014 – Email from Treasury confirming a Regulatory Impact Assessment is not required.


1 December 2014 – The Fluoride Free NZ coordinated Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report is released. The analysis is an International Critique of the Royal Society of New Zealand/Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor’s Fluoridation Report: Health effects of water fluoridation: A review of the scientific evidence.

Read Fluoride Free New Zealand’s press release.


5 December 2014 – MOH emailed Water NZ and Public Health Units advising of consultation process  to exempt fluoridation chemicals from the Medicines Act 1981.



9 December 2014 – Stephen Town, CEO for Auckland Council acknowledge that Auckland Council has received the International Critique.

“I confirm the Mayor’s office, Councillor email addresses and senior staff, including me, have received the on-line link to the International Peer Review Critique”. 


19 December 2014 – Health effects of water fluoridation—how “effectively settled” is the science? by David B Menkes, Kathleen Thiessen, Jonathan Williams


6 January 2015 – Stephen Town, CEO for Auckland Council acknowledge that Auckland Council has received the following economic evaluation of Community Water Fluoridation. A critique of recent economic evaluations of community water fluoridation.


9 January 2015 – Submissions close to the exemption of fluoride chemicals from the Medicines Act.


15 January 2015 – Ministry of Health dispatch correspondence to Dr Jonathan Coleman (Minister of Health) & Peter Dunne (Associate Minister of Health).


This report provides you with a Cabinet paper recommending that Cabinet authorise the submission to the Executive Council of an amendment to the Medicines Regulations 1984 to specify that fluoride substances used to treat community water supplies are not medicines. 


15 January 2015 – A correction to the original NZ Review was made by the Royal Society “Erratum: the previous version of the executive summary of this paper stated that the claimed shift of IQ from fluoride exposure was less than one IQ point; it should have stated less than one standard deviation”. The Erratum failed to mention that 1 standard deviation is 7 IQ points. Hardly irrelevant. Read Fluoride Free NZ’s press release on the obvious mistake.



20 January 2015 – Dr Blakeley confirms that the Auckland Council will not attend a presentation by Dr Paul Connett and Dr William Hirzy nor will they be allowed to present to Council. It appears that Auckland Council have done everything possible to make the fluoridation issue evaporate.


26 January 2015 – Fluoride Free NZ calls for an open transparent public discussion of fluoridation where both sides of the argument can be heard. To date Sir Peter Gluckman and Sir David Skegg, authors of last year’s NZ Report on Fluoridation, have declined an invitation to debate or discuss the errors found in the Report with international fluoridation experts Professor Paul Connett and Dr William Hirzy when they are in New Zealand in February.

The following contributors have also failed to accept an invitation to front up: Dr Charles Eason, Dr Mark Elwood, Dr Murray Thomson, and Dr Nick Wilson. NZ Reviewer, Dr Wayne Temple, also declined to defend his position on fluoridation as did Researcher/Writer, Dr Anne Bardsley.


27 January 2015 – Fluoridating Chemicals made exempt under new Medicines Amendment Regulations.


23 February 2015 – Peer review study released that identifies an increased prevalence in Hypothyroidism from fluoridated areas. The findings are published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. See paper and media coverage. 


23 February 2015 – Dr Paul Connett and Dr William Hirzy begin the 2015 Speaking Tour.


24 February 2015 – Dr Paul Connett and Dr William Hirzy present in Thames, the reasons why fluoridation should be ceased immediately. They exposed the errors in the Gluckman/Skegg NZ Review. See the facebook event page for details.


25 February 2015 – Dr Paul Connett and Dr William Hirzy present in Taupo. They exposed the errors in the Gluckman/Skegg NZ Review. See the facebook event page for details.


27 February 2015 – New Health New Zealand releases press statement on the Review: Gluckman Review downplays risk to IQ from fluoridation. 


27 February 2015 – Open Letter sent from New Health New Zealand co-commissioners of the report, Sir Peter Gluckman and Sir David Skegg.


2 March 2015 –  Official Information Act released revealing the reason that Fluoride Chemicals were urgently made exempt from the Medicines Act.

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman (Minister of Health) Fluoride in drinking water: Urgent amendment to Medicines Regulations 1984 proposed. (20 Nov 2014)


6 March 2015 –  FFNZ emails all fluoridating Councils, calling for a moratorium on fluoridation.  New evidence requires Moratorium on Fluoridation.


6 March 2015 –  Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne responds to questions on fluoride’s safety and the Medicines Act exemption.


7 March 2015 –  Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne made the extraordinary statement that sugar is not the main problem associated with tooth decay in response to calls from dentists to have a tax on sugar.


8 March 2015 –  New Health NZ made public the Official Information Act response request regarding the process. Information was complied by medsafe.

All documents prepared for the purposes of or supporting the consultation process, including the RIS (Regulatory Impact Statement), any briefing paper, correspondence, etc.

Answer: See Official Information Act response for briefing papers. No RIS was completed.


17 March 2015 –  NZDA congratulates MoH & Medsafe for exempting from the Medicines Act, the addition of a known toxin to the shared water supply.


22 March 2015 –  WHO releases new guidelines on recommended reduction in consumption of sugar. Read Dentist Dr Stan Litras’s press release WHO: Sugar causes tooth decay, fluoridation no use 


31 March 2015 –  Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne responds to an OIA that while the Peckham et al study on hypothyroidism and fluoridated water would be included in the next review of fluoridation it has not “shifted the balance of health benefit versus health risk”.


3 April 2015 –  Associate Minister Peter Dunne, says that the new peer reviewed research from the UK, which showed that fluoridation increased the rate of hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) by 60% “not to have shifted the balance of health benefit versus health risk”. Read Fluoride Free NZ’s press release.


29 April 2015NZ fluoridation levels exceed new US maximum. “The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has today issued an announcement that ALL water supplies that are fluoridated should reduce the amount of fluoride chemicals being added to their water to a concentration of 0.7ppm regardless of where it was previously set. The previous target was a range of 0.7ppm – 1.2ppm. The Ministry of Health recommendation for New Zealand is 0.7ppm to 1ppm.”


29 April 2015 – Associate Minister Peter Dunne concedes that the Ministry of Health has not undertaken its own original research on the association between water fluoridation and thyroid function“. 


16 May 2015 – NZDA fluoridation spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole pushes fluoridation in the Nelson region by using the Gluckman review as supporting evidence.


26 May 2015“All the evidence that I have seen, scientific or otherwise, is that fluoridation is vastly beneficial to oral health and that’s the consideration we’ve got to make,”  Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.


3 June 2015“I have no plans to direct the Ministry of Health to reduce its current drinking-water fluoridation recommended range of 0.7ppm – 1ppm to 0.7ppm. The Ministry advises that it has considered the recommendation and concluded that the recommendation has not shifted the balance of health benefit versus health risk of fluoridating community drinking-water supplies in the current range of 0.7 – 1ppm.”  Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.


12 June 2015 – Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne again quotes the highly criticised Gluckman Review at the NZMA General Practitioners Conference. Read the New Zealand Government’s press release.


19 June 2015Gold Standard Fluoride Review Contradicts NZ Advice. Dr Stan Litras covers the Cochrane review of fluoridation and how it contradicts the NZ Review.


19 June 2015 – Auckland Regional Public Health Service’s Julia Peters’ confirms that Auckland Council should support the current range of fluoridation at 0.7 – 1ppm despite the lowering of the single target in the US by the US HHS and the US and New Zealand having similar dental fluorosis rates. Dental fluorosis was a key reason why the fluoridation target was lowered by the US HHS.


“The rationale for reducing the maximum recommended concentration of fluoride in water relates to the access that Americans have to other sources of fluoride and the rise in the prevalence of dental fluorosis between oral health surveys.

In New Zealand the Ministry of Health recommends the adjustment of fluoride to between 0.7-1.0 ppm in drinking water as the most effective and efficient way of preventing dental caries in communities receiving a reticulated water supply and strongly recommends the continuation and extension of water fluoridation programmes where technically feasible.

We note the US recommendation of 0.7ppm adjust the previous 0.7 to 1.2 ppm recommended in the US, based on evidence relating to effectiveness, safety, and other sources of dietary fluoride. In the US report particular attention was given to evidence relating increases in rates of dental fluorosis between studies. Relevant NZ research has not found minor or mild dental fluorosis levels to be different in NZ populations with or without CWF.

Further the NZ national oral health survey (MOH 2009) found that only 43% of children and 63% of adults brushed their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. These rates were significantly lower in Maori, Pacific and most deprived communities who benefit most from CWF a safe, effective, efficient and equitable intervention to improve and protect oral health throughout the life course.

Our advice to Auckland Council is therefore that the current NZ recommendation of CWF at 0.7 to 1.0 ppm remains appropriate.  Julia also notes in her reply that the Ministry of Health has also advised that there will be no change in the national policy CWF targets.” Julia Peters ARPHS


20 July 2015 – The Ministry of Health advises that it plans to review the Cochrane Review: Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries.


23 September 2015 – The Ministry of Health respond to an OIA regarding the toxicological data on Hydrofluorosilicic Acid. “Government agencies in New Zealand have not conducted a standard test or RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL (RCT) demonstrating the effectiveness of swallowing HFA. There are large populations throughout the world consuming fluoridated drinking-water and there is clear evidence of the health benefits and safety of community water fluoridation. There is no need for an RCT of water fluoridation to be conducted in New Zealand.”  Read the OIA response from the Ministry of Health.


5 November 2015 – Auckland Councillors overwhelmingly voted to reject a proposal to add hazardous fluoride chemicals to the drinking water of Onehunga residents, voting 18 to 3 against the motion. An information paper has been requested from the Watercare CEO to provide Councillors with a full explanation of the fluoridation process. See a clip of the Auckland Council meeting. Fluoride Free NZ’s representative begins speaking at 26min.

See the powerpoint presentations that were delivered at the meeting.


5 December 2015 – The National Toxicology Program Committee, received a proposal to undergo a systematic review of the literature on fluoride’s toxicity in respect of neurological impairment ie IQ reduction and also complete their own study on neurological behaviour. (Watch the video here).

A very telling comment (1hr7m) regarding fluoride exposure and IQ was made at the end of that committee meeting by Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D. Director, NIEHS & NTP.

“I just want to make the comment that both John and I served on the HHS effort that revised what the recommendation was and brought it down. From a high as possibly 1.2 down to .7. And part of that had to do with the fact that when you looked at all of the literature there was evidence for effects occurring certainly as low as about 2.5, maybe lower than that and going from 1.2 to 2.5 is only a margin of exposure of about 2 fold. And we know nothing, as I said before about differential susceptibility and vulnerability that occurs within the population. And that was part of the justification for taking it down to .7 which actually was kind of the low end of what had been recommended in 1962 as the low end of the range for public health protection.”


26 January 2016 – Watercare release their Fluoridation Information Report to Auckland Council. In the report Watercare have reduced their targeted levels from 0.7 – 1.0mg/L. Watercare often fluoridated at above 1.0ppm according to their own records. See a summary of the Watercare records on fluoride from 2013/2014. See a summary of the Watercare records on fluoride from November 2015 – February 2016.

Direct quote from the Information report: “Watercare operates its dosing systems to achieve a treated water concentration of 0.7 mg/L”.



25 February 2016 – Fluoride Free NZ release their statement on Auckland Council reducing the targeted fluoride levels to 0.7ppm.


28 February 2016 – NZ Herald reports Fluoride in Auckland’s water reduced

Watercare and the NZDA have a different story as to how the lowering of the fluoride levels came about.

A Watercare spokeswoman said the 0.15ppm drop was part of a continuing effort by the organisation to follow best practice standards.

New Zealand Dental Association spokesman Dr Rob Beaglehole agreed, saying Watercare was simply updating best practice and it was not necessary to alert the public to the drop.”

The new recommendation came about following November Regional Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 5 November. The new DHHS recommendation came out in April 2015. If Watercare was following best practice why did it take Watercare 8 months to adjust? Read the stuff article from 6 November that shows the questioning of the misalignment between the MOH 0.85ppm recommendation and the US DHHS recommendation of 0.7ppm.

Titchener also says Auckland Council should ask Watercare to reduce the amount of fluoride in the water as it not in alignment with optimal practice.

“The US Public Health service’s new recommendation is for a single level of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water. “The Ministry of Health’s concentration target for Auckland is 0.7 to 1.0 parts per million.”

Titchener says a single level of 0.7ppm would be a good step towards having fluoride removed from drinking water altogether.

Watch the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 5 November.


Quotes to think about while considering the Royal Society report:

On January 15, 2009, the NY Review of Books published Dr. Angell‘s devastating assessment of medical literature:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

(Marcia Angell, MD, “Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)

Marcia Angell, MD


“Six years ago, John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, found that nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contained findings that were false.”

(John Ioannidis, NY Review of Books May 12, 2001, Helen Epstein, “Flu Warning: Beware of Drug Companies”)

Prof John Ioannidis

“The peer review system is close to collapsing internationally under pressure from the expansion of tertiary education-associated science. Peer review has been the mainstay of quality assurance in science but it is a large but hidden cost on the science system. It is inherently flawed but, like democracy, no better system has been developed. However, the way peer review is conducted must change and the focus must be on finding and using systems that are transparent and ensure quality and integrity.”  P8. Opening speech to the First Global Conference on Science Advice to Governments. 28 August 2014

Prof Peter Gluckman


 “The greater transparency in science is exposing incidents of a lack of professionalism in science, and in particular issues of research integrity. A particular issue has been the poor reproducibility of much science driven by the rush to publish, the academic impact agenda and the personal stakes now associated with ‘breakthrough science’.” P8.Opening speech to the First Global Conference on Science Advice to Governments. 28 August 2014

Prof Peter Gluckman


“There are always scientists that tend to exaggerate what they know and forget about stating what they don’t know. That’s human nature. Always scientists who advocate, and should advocate, for what they believe in but sometimes when advocacy perhaps goes beyond what the science does and they need to be honest about their involvement. We need to also remember that some scientists are working for companies and other things. We just need to bear in mind the responsibilities that different types of scientists have”. From 2m54s Radio NZ 2 October 2014

Prof Peter Gluckman


Is the jury is still out regarding the safety of Fluoride? “I think it is”, agreed Dr Michael Beasley, Deputy Director of the National Poisons Centre on Radio New Zealand this week, adding “Certainly the question really is the safety of fluoride at what level?” “The dose determines a lot of what happens”, he confirms. See press release of this stark admission from the Deputy Director here: Jury still out on fluoride safety

Dr Michael Beasley, Deputy Director National Poisons Centre.