“Fluoride is safe, effective, & efficient”
NZ Ministry of Health (MoH)
“Fluoride is a medication” as defined by New Zealand’s own National Ethics Advisory Committee, & the International Convention of Bioethics.
Artificial fluoridation of public water supplies is, to say the least, an extremely controversial topic.
Fluoride is the only chemical added to the water supply with the sole intent of changing your bodily function, ie. medicating you.
Fluoride is the only medication this author is aware of that is delivered to the masses without regard for: current state of individual health, ethnicity, gender, and other considerations that your doctor usually takes into account when prescribing your meds.
“So who exactly is responsible for fluoridation?” you may ask and “What’s the deal?”.
Well, this is where it gets tricky.
The MoH (Ministry of Health) defend to the death that fluoride is a “safe, effective, efficient” way of improving oral health, & therefore recommend to local council to fluoridate. However, they subsequently refuse to take personal responsibility for any ill-health effects from the practice.
Some sectors of New Zealand’s society have generally accepted the medication of our water with fluoride, yet the mention of adding other drugs with perceived benefits (e.g the contraceptive pill) to our public water supplies, is met with the general public calling such ideas “ridiculous” & “unethical”.
A number of communities around New Zealand have successfully fought hard to stop the MoH from convincing their own councils to fluoridate.
FACT – In the South Island, the only areas to fluoridate drinking water are the cities of Dunedin and Invercargill, the Burnham military camp, and the tiny Canterbury township of Methven.
Timaru ceased the practice over 20 years ago, in 1985 due to public pressure. Ashburton ceased in 2002, again following public pressure, and also voted to keep it that way in 2007. Christchurch has never medicated their drinking water with fluoride, despite numerous approaches from the MoH, but with a strong anti-fluoride group & perfect artesian water they have been laughed away every time.
The citizens of Methven recently won the right to have a local referendum, something that the MoH try to avoid due to the overwhelming public opposition to fluoride.
Seems like their way to handle the situation is ‘if we don’t ask them, they can’t say no…’
Other areas have not been so fortunate, for example in the Far North where a 10 year water fluoridation experiment has recently been implemented against the wishes of local Iwi & a majority of the general public.
The northern communities of Dunedin, around Blueskin Bay, are currently fighting the Dunedin City Council for the right to be consulted via a postal referendum, after the council tried to slip fluoride in through their back door with the installation of the northern water scheme, currently under construction.
It’s not OK to medicate me or my neighbour against our will, unless of course it’s with fluoride, because it’s good for our teeth, isn’t it?
MoH claim 1- “it’s safe”
The amount of scientific research published since 1995 on the dangers, and lack of benefit, of water fluoridation is totally overwhelming!
This has led the highly respected and independent (on the issue of fluoridation) US Environment Working Group to state “There is more evidence against fluoridation today than we had against DDT when it was banned.” Richard Wiles, the Environmental Working Group’s Senior Vice President, told the British newspaper The Observer:
“I’ve spent 20 years in public health trying to protect kids from toxic exposure. Even with DDT, you don’t have the consistently strong data that the compound can cause cancer as you now have with fluoride.”
“The safety of fluoride in America’s tap water is a pressing health concern …. the weight of the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that millions of boys in these [fluoridated] communities are at significantly increased risk of developing bone cancer as a result.”
On November 4th 2006 the American Dental Association & the US Government agency the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that infant formula not be made up with fluoridated water of 0.7 mg/litre or higher (as is current in ALL fluoridated New Zealand communities!!), as this may result in an increased risk of dental fluorosis.
The New Zealand MoH states that this doesn’t apply to NZ, as “we do not add fluoride to infant formula”. Wake up MoH !! We were actually talking about the level of fluoride in the water alone!
Nothing to do with the amount of fluoride in the formula itself, and this was confirmed by the CDC.
In the North Island, the Hutt City Council were presented with this health warning, and decided that they needed to publicly release this very important information (after all no-one likes to see babies being slowly poisoned!).
The Hutt City Council released this warning despite the MoH encouraging them to keep it to themselves.
Does anyone find it a little strange that some communities are receiving public health warnings about this medication in order to protect their vulnerable citizens, yet other councils are choosing to ignore these same warnings.
How can this be possible?
The NZ MoH chose to lobby the Hutt City Council to implement policy that they do not want to take responsibility for themselves.
They know that if they were to force medication on the whole of the adult population of New Zealand, people would be up in arms at the prospect of having their freedom of choice taken from them in one fell swoop.
When (not ‘IF’) legal litigation starts to unfold (as it currently is in the US) no-one in the MoH wants to be held accountable for the people’s lives that have been destroyed by cancer, osteoporosis, thyroid problems, and the list goes on.
The easiest and most strategically sensible way to go about medicating the masses is gradually, and by middlemen.
This is where the MoH take a publicly elected group of people known as the local councils (or community boards as in central Otago) to be their puppets.
Councils (community boards) with no medical or scientific background are asked to make the choice on whether or not to fluoridate their water.
They are presented with persuasive, yet completely unfounded, information from the MoH encouraging them to fluoridate.
This information is designed to create the illusion that councils will be protecting our most vulnerable members of our society, when really these members will be at the greatest risk of danger from toxins.
To sweeten the deal the MoH even provides financial assistance (up to 100% funding), but the local councils also do not hold themselves accountable for the health effects of implementing this practice.
So the MoH & the Council are the people responsible for fluoridation.
But neither are willing to hold themselves legally accountable for the health ill-effects.
Fluoridation has been linked to many health problems:
Fluoride was previously prescribed as a thyroid suppressant
A new study published in ‘Cancer causes & controls, May 2006’ shows strong evidence that boys exposed to fluoridated water between the ages of 6 and 10 years are 500 to 700% more likely to get bone cancer before the age of 20 than boys drinking non-fluoridated water.
-dental fluorosis (as pictured below)
Babies drinking fluoridated water will be getting up to 250 times more fluoride than breastfed babies.
The local council, back in 1956, decided to ask the people of Dunedin just how they might feel about the prospect of having their drinks spiked with this new designer drug aimed at keeping tooth decay rates down in children & infants.
Even back then, the Dunedin people were concerned about the ethical implications of mass medication.
So, to err on the side of caution, they voted, overwhelmingly “No thanks”, with a vote of 2-1 against.
However, totally against the wishes of the local citizens, in 1958 the DCC began to fluoridate their drinking water.
MoH claim 2- “efficient”
The DCC of the day continued to attend the church of industrial science, with the Reverend MoH soon convincing them that the only way to enlighten the masses was to push ahead with fluoridation.
Since then, Dunedin residents have been medicated with fluoride.
Sodium Silico-Fluoride, a ‘Toxic’ (by definition) by-product of the fertilizer and metal refining industries, is the substance that is added to the drinking water for the people of Dunedin City.
Today the DCC purchases tonnes of Sodium Silico-Fluoride from Belgium, where ironically enough it is illegal to fluoridate water or sell fluoride supplements in pharmacies as it has been declared ‘unsafe’.
We buy industrial grade sodium fluoride from a company in Belgium called Prayon, that according to their data sheet contains lead, arsenic, & possibly cadmium.
This industrial grade has never been tested for safety in regards to drinking or eating it, because quite honestly who would imagine anyone would try and eat industrial waste?
However it is extremely cheap to purchase, so we can let the ministry away with their claim that it’s efficient in terms off quantity, but it is industrial grade, not meant for human consumption.
All current evidence is that there is no benefit from drinking fluoridated water: Only from surface treatment such as with fluoride toothpaste. This was made clear by Featherstone in 1999 and later in the Journal of The American Dental Association.
This reflects the current international position, denied by the NZ MoH and DHB’s.
“Fluoride works primarily via topical [surface-acting] mechanisms… The level of fluoride incorporated into dental mineral by systemic ingestion [drinking] is insufficient to play a significant role in caries (decay) prevention”.
“Until recently (note written in 1998) the major caries-inhibitory effect of fluoride was thought to be due to its incorporation in tooth enamel during the development of the tooth prior to eruption. This supposed mechanism was behind public health efforts (such as water fluoridation). There is now overwhelming evidence that the primary caries-preventing mechanisms of the action of fluoride are post-eruptive through ‘topical’ effects for both children and adults”.
“The topical effects of fluoride are over-riding, and the systemic incorporation of fluoride in tooth mineral is unfortunately not a major benefit”.
“The concentration of fluoride in dental enamel and dentin provided by fluoridation of drinking water or by natural fluoride levels at about 1ppm is insufficient to provide protection against caries.” The beneficial effects are all via the [topical] mechanisms of inhibition of demineralisation, enhancement of remineralisation and action on bacteria.”
“Fluoride supplements should not be thought of as providing a dietary supplement that will automatically protect against caries. This is not the case.”
Featherstone also describes that the benefit from fluoride is from continued elevated levels in the saliva and plaque caused by the initial application of a high concentration of fluoride such as in toothpaste. Five pieces of published research show that fluoridated water is too low in concentration to have this effect.
The World Health Organization (WHO) figures for Western countries show the same 30 year improvement between fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries.
New Zealand Data
South Island data from the MoH demonstrates that there is actually less tooth decay in the unfluoridated areas than the fluoridated ones, and this cannot be attributed to socioeconomic status. Records for Timaru show this also, following the cessation of fluoridation in 1985. Tooth decay has declined ever since, and is now lower than any fluoridated South Island Community. Also note that the only reliable research conducted since the York Review in 2000 showed zero benefit to the permanent teeth (Armfield and Spencer, Australia, 2004).
The apparent temporary benefit to the deciduous (‘milk’) teeth was likely due to the delay in eruption caused by fluoride, which results in less exposure to decay-causing factors than in unfluoridated children of the same chronological age. Note that the Wellington-Canterbury study by Lee and Denniston has never been accepted for publication in an internationally recognised peer reviewed journal, unlike the Armfield study) and that it is rife with methodological faults.
The Dunedin City Council today
The Council needs the most up-to-date information if it is to make a decision based on knowledge and robust debate.
It will not get this information from the District Health Board (DHB).
All DHB’s have been directed by the Minister of Health, under section 33 of the Act, to implement fluoridation without relent, and to “rebut all statements made against fluoridation”. “All” includes true statements, as acknowledged by the State Services Commission, and considered inappropriate by the Commission.
The current Dunedin City Councillors have refused to look at any information that contradicts the MoH as they believe the MoH are the ‘experts’.
Regardless of whether fluoride is ‘good’ or not, the challenging issue of medicating people via the public water supply is largely an ethical one.
The council is meant to be representing the interests of Dunedin residents, not hiding behind a dictatorship to medicate us.
When did anyone decide that medicating the masses was ethical?
Get active! (and be in to WIN!)
Everyone who takes the time to write a letter outlining their views about fluoridation (Against OR For it) this month will receive a free DVD!
The new release documentary ‘The fluoride deception’, interview with award winning BBC producer & author of ‘The Fluoride Deception’. Discover the real reason why fluoride was introduced into America and the American-influenced countries, & what happens to the scientists who try to tell the public of the dangers.
Please send letter with contact details to: 16 Orokonui rd, RD 2, Waitati, Dunedin.
For more information:
Support of any kind always sought!