Wairarapa Campaign 2016

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1 Mar 2016 Non-fluoride tap gets go ahead Radio New Zealand.

1 Mar 2016 Non-fluoridated water on the table Wairarapa Times-Age


Masterton is the only fluoridated township in Wairarapa. According to MoH statistics in 2013, five year old children living in nonfluoridated Wairarapa have the best teeth in the country.

In response to submissions to the 2015 Draft Annual Plan, the Masterton District Council approached the District Health Board for data on children’s dental decay rates in the Wairarapa. According to this Wairarapa Times-Age article, the Dental Service tried to convey to the Council that decay rates in Masterton were better than in non-fluoridated South Wairarapa. However, if they had of included the nonfluoridated Wairarapa town of Carterton, they would have found fluoridated Masterton decay rates were worse than the nonfluoridated towns.

Letter sent to Masterton District Council 24th November 2015

Dear Mayor and Councillors,

I have read with interest, the article in today’s Wairarapa Times-Age. It says that, according to a dental services team attached to Wairarapa District Health Board, that Year 8 Masterton children have less (slightly) dental decay than children in South Wairarapa.

According to the Ministry of Health’s School Dental Service data, far more five year old children in fluoridated Wairarapa have dental decay than five year old children in non-fluoridated Wairarapa. Year 8 children in fluoridated Wairarapa have slightly less dental decay than non-fluoridated Wairarapa.

Age 5 Children

Percentage of children with no decay Avg number of decayed, missing or filled teeth
Fluoridated 58.49% 1.42
Non-fluoridated 76.47% 1.03

Year 8 Children

Percentage of children with no decay Avg number of decayed, missing or filled teeth
Fluoridated 54.81% 0.99
Non-fluoridated 52.15% 1.11

In fact, according to the Ministry of Health data, non-fluoridated Wairarapa Age Five Children have the best rate in New Zealand for children free of decay. That’s better than all of the fluoridated areas in the country.

It seems the team was being very selective in their choice of data, and decided to leave out the data from non-fluoridated Carterton. Considering the very small differences and the lack of any consideration of confounding factors, this misconstrued data from the dental services team needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Very importantly, the dental services team has also not provided any data on how many children in fluoridated Wairarapa have dental fluorosis, as a result of swallowing fluoride. The Ministry of Health are reporting 44.5% of children have some form of dental fluorosis and New Zealand studies that looked at dental health and fluoridation specifically, found twice the rate of dental fluorosis in fluoridated areas compared to non-fluoridated areas. Dental fluorosis is only caused by over-exposure to fluoride i.e. the child was poisoned by fluoride.

We would like to remind Council, that just this year, a large UK study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that fluoridation caused a 60% increase in hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) in women. Another study from the US, also published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal, found that rates of ADHD correlated with the percentage of fluoridation in a state.

The gold standard in health science, the Cochrane Collaboration, also found no modern reliable evidence that fluoridation reduced tooth decay rates.

We therefore ask that the Council take a closer look at this most important issue. We would welcome this issue be included in next year’s draft annual plan so the Council and the community could be fully informed.

Kind regards,

Mary Byrne

Fluoride Free New Zealand National Co-ordinator and Media Spokesperson