Fluoride Free NZ congratulates Dr Peter Gluckman for being appointed the co-chair of the Commission to end childhood obesity. Dr Gluckman has stated “I think part of the solution is in what I call nutritional literacy which means that people need to understand the consequences of what they eat. For parents to be, for pregnant woman the way in which babies are fed after they are born, how they are weaned, have lifetime consequences”. 
Fluoride Free NZ agrees wholeheartedly with Dr Gluckman’s statement but believe he also needs to consider the fluoride consumed from the public water supply in addition to other sources of consumed fluorides.
Fluoride is well known to affect the thyroid. In fact, doctors in Germany, France and Argentina  successfully used pharmaceutical grade fluoride to treat hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid) for many years up until the 1950s, when safer medications became available. Doctors prescribed 2 – 5 mg per day of fluoride to patients to lower thyroid function, the same level that many New Zealanders are exposed to as a result of water fluoridation.
In 2006 the US National Research Council found that in humans, effects on thyroid function were associated with fluoride exposures of 0.05-0.13 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was adequate and 0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day when iodine is inadequate. This amount is being exceeded by many bottle fed babies and can be exceeded by an average adult when drinking just one litre of fluoridated water.
Unfortunately, New Zealanders are known to have very low iodine levels and are therefore hugely susceptible to the thyroid lowering effects of fluoride. Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) is one of the most common causes of weight gain and depression in New Zealand. Prescriptions for thyroid medication have sky-rocketed over the past 40 years, with Thyroxine now being the 19th most commonly prescribed medication.
Given the effect of fluoride on thyroid function it is regrettable that Dr Peter Gluckman has vigorously promoted fluoridation without considering this aspect of fluoride’s toxic effect. It is particularly frustrating given that it is now accepted by fluoridation promoters that fluoride’s only claimed benefit is from surface contact to the tooth not from swallowing.
Dr Gluckman is not alone in ignoring these basic facts on fluoride and weight control. On 17 October 2013, Dietitians NZ made a similar suggestion that fluoride chemicals should be forcibly added to all water supplies in New Zealand. Given fluoride’s effect on thyroid function and therefore weight control this was an embarrassing display of ignorance from a group purporting to know about health and how our diet affects us.
Fluoride Free NZ proposes that a moratorium on fluoridation is enacted immediately until ‘lifetime consequences’ of fluoride’s effects on the whole body can be properly tested. No safety studies have ever been conducted on synthetic fluoride chemicals added to water supplies anywhere in the world.