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NZ Fluoridation Legislation: Take Action Now!

 

Legislation on Fluoridation 2017  

Legislation was introduced to Parliament on the 17th November 2016. This Legislation will shift responsibility from the local councils and give it to the District Health Boards. It is designed to make it virtually impossible to stop fluoridation in currently fluoridated areas, or to keep it out of places that do not have it – even if they have said “no” to it in the past. Local Councils will be required to do as the DHB dictates or face a fine of $200,000 and a further $10,000 per day of non-compliance.

Download Health Fluoridation of Drinking Water Amendment Bill

This Legislation does not allow for DHBs to consult with the community and it only allows a very narrow range for the DHBs to evaluate the subject as they will only be allowed to consider dental health in the community against the cost of fluoridation. They are being steered to only consider the 2009 Oral Health Survey rather than much more comprehensive data. They are not given any leeway to consider overall health effects.

Submissions close 2nd of February

As you will see from the transcript and related documents and the video footage of the MPs that spoke at the first Reading (5th of December 2016) – National, Labour and the Greens support the Bill. The Labour Party even want to strengthen the legislation by making it mandated by Central Government just in case a DHB tries to wriggle out of it. In a press release in December 2016, Labour also condemned the Maori Party for running a poll to find out what people think.

Progress on the Bill can be found here

You will also see that none of the speakers know very much about the subject. Health Select Committee Chair Simon O’Connor mistakenly credits his good teeth on taking fluoride tablets as a child. Unbeknownst to him, the Ministry of Health no longer recommends fluoride tablets because we now know fluoride doesn’t work by swallowing and fluoride tablets cause dental fluorosis!

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, who introduced the Bill, has called us “tin-foil hat wearing, UFO-abducted pseudo-scientists.” He mustn’t realise that he is insulting around half of the NZ population. Results from all referenda held in NZ show that people tend to vote status quo. As only half of the country is fluoridated (23 councils out of 67, not “27 councils have rejected fluoridation” as Peter Dunne incorrectly stated) which means that roughly half the population is opposed to fluoridation (or maybe more than half) and if a nationwide referendum was held tomorrow, we would have a good chance of winning.

The NZ First Party thinks the issue should be decided by local referendum. The Greens supported the Bill “at first Reading stage” as they, too, have concerns about local decision-making – but the Greens as a party do think fluoridation is safe and effective. It shows that most of them must only have read the Ministry of Health propaganda.

How to stop the Legislation

The Government is now giving until the 2nd of February for us to send in written feedback on the issue. The law allows everyone who gives feedback to have 10 minutes speaking time for individuals, and 15 minutes for organisations. At the Hamilton Tribunal in 2013, 1557 people put in a submission, 1385 opposed fluoridation and 130 people spoke at the hearing to support their submission. That required the councillors to sit through 3.5 days of oral submissions and the result was a 7 to 1 vote to stop fluoridation. Unfortunately, some Hamilton councillors who had excused themselves from the Tribunal Hearing because of a conflict of interest, and did not bother to attend the Hearing as part of the audience, subsequently worked to overthrow that decision. (See Hamilton page if you would like more information on that).

Therefore, we urge everyone to give written feedback, and do their utmost to speak to that submission in person. We have been advised that It is best to keep feedback to a page or two with around half a dozen really salient points. The Hearing will be in Wellington, which is likely to be in February or perhaps March next year..

Ways to give Feedback:

Use this Online Form If you don’t know what to say, a personal testimony is good, or attach an article already written (suggestions here) or list a few points as suggested above. Send hard copy to Health Select Committee, Parliament Buildings, Wellington. It is really good if you can also say you will speak to your submission. This can be done by Skype if you cannot make it to Wellington.

Fluoride Free New Zealand will be providing a comprehensive written submission where we will explain the ineffectiveness and dangers of fluoridation and details of public dental health programmes operating overseas that actually do reduce dental decay.

Please encourage your friends and family to help us now by sending feedback to the Committee and by informing everyone they know on the facts about fluoridation. The number of people that do this makes a difference! You can also help by posting respectful and informative comments on Facebook, liking posts and comments and joining the discussions, particularly on the Facebook pages of the Health Select Committee Members. See the list below.

Remember, this is election year. We need to let politicians know we will not vote for them if they introduce this draconian legislation.

Health Select Committee Members
Simon O’Connor, Chairperson, National Party, Tāmaki
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SimonOConnorMP/

Barbara Kuriger, Deputy-Chairperson, National Party, Taranaki-King Country
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraKurigerMP/

Jacqui Dean, Member, National Party, Waitaki
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JacquiDeanMP/

Julie Anne Genter, Member, Green Party, List
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulieAnneGenterMP/

Annette King, Member, Labour Party, Rongotai
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annette.king.127
https://www.facebook.com/annette.king.of.rongotai/

Shane Reti, Member, National Party, Whangarei
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drshanereti/

Scott Simpson, Member, National Party, Coromandel
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scottsimpsonmp/

Barbara Stewart, Member, NZ First, List
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbarastewartmp/

Poto Williams, Member, Labour Party, Christchurch East
email: 
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poto.williams.7/

 

More Information

Local Government New Zealand’s response to amendments to the Act

Ministry of Health’s position statement on current proposed Legislation

Legislative Disclosure Statement from the Ministry of Health.

6 comments on “NZ Fluoridation Legislation: Take Action Now!

  1. Martin Harris says:

    I just made a brief submission on this complete with a link to a PDF document on the effects of pineal calcification and dental fluorosis.

    Wording as follows:

    No medication should be enforced. Everyone should have the freedom to choose to use fluoride, or not. Toothpaste contains plenty of fluoride through daily brushing, and too much fluoride, especially on the developing teeth of young children, results in dental fluorosis, which causes cavities and pitting of the enamel.
    The greater volume of tap water in the average household is used for showering, washing clothes and dishes, watering the plants and washing the car, none of which require the addition of fluoride. Indeed, the sodium fluoride introduced into the wastewater is toxic to marine life.
    The Christchurch City Council upholds the wishes of the people of Christchurch to keep our water pure and fluoride free. The Government intends to deny this free choice and enforce medication.
    The reader may wish to take the following study into consideration.
    https://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/895/1/fulltext.pdf

  2. Noel Hilliam says:

    I truly support this submission
    –no compulsory contaminating our water supplies with chemicals –Noel Hilliam

  3. dean james drummond says:

    Remember when the buzz was to put “fluoride” in our water for good dental health? The media jumped on it… billboards were advertising it… we would be so much better off with this “fluoride”… till somebody must have told the vast majority of pro-poison freaks that “fluoride” actually means a compound of fluorine with a salt. Now its “fluoridation”… nobody wanted to tell everyone that the fluorine salt was sodium… a toxic bio-hazardous industrial waste. An S6 poison and we want to do what with it? Rather than spin endless debate with some absurd health dept: cronnie – have a look at this:

    https://msds.orica.com/pdf/shess-en-cds-010-000031020001.pdf

    Regardless of your stand on putting toxin in our “clean” water (A U.N rights recommendation) or what you hear, the facts on this substance speak for themselves.

  4. Doesn’t it make you wonder how any governmental body can give itself the right to impose mass medication (in this case, Mass slow poisoning of the people) and still calls itself, Democratic.

    The right to Freedom of Choice forms the cornerstone of true democracy but politicians give themselves the right to play God with the bodies of the people they are elected to govern.

    What a sorry day for Democracy indeed.

    • Martin Harris says:

      Thanks to Baza at the CONtrail for this follow up:
      Important advice from Fluoide Free NZ “If anyone is thinking of sending a written submission to the NZ Government, we would urge you concentrate on arguing against the changes in the decision-making responsibilities RATHER than just arguing against fluoridation.

      The reason for this is that the Select Committee will be deciding on this ALONE. So we need to convince them NOT to give the responsibility to the DHBs – and they need to hear why that is not a good idea. This is not a time to be educating them about fluoridation. If your submission only covers your concerns about fluoridation you will be wasting your time as it is not the issue here at the moment.

      Some background: the proposed legislation does not allow for DHBs to consult with the community and it only allows a very narrow scope for the DHBs to evaluate the subject – as they will only be ALLOWED to compare the dental health in the community against the cost of fluoridation.

      They are being advised to only consider the 2009 Oral Health Survey rather than to study much more comprehensive data. They are not given ANY leeway to consider the overall health effects.

      So basically they are only allowed to look at COST and not at HEALTH.

      The DHBs will be hamstrung. This is what most people don’t realise. Under the law the DHBs will not be able to advise against fluoridation – even if 90% or more of the population does not want it – or even if they did evaluate other health effects (neurotoxicity for example) – and deemed the risks not worth the benefits.

      They will only be able to add up the dental decay in the area, calculate how much saving would be created by a 40% reduction (a totally incorrect but much quoted statistic) and compare that against the cost of fluoridation equipment and on-going cost of the chemicals.

      The information given to the Select Committee to backup their claim of a 40% reduction comes from the Sapere Report which rests on the 2009 Oral Health Survey. This survey is the most unreliable piece of data they could use to ascertain the effectiveness of fluoridation – but it suits their agenda.

      The two studies prior to that survey which looked at life-time exposure and compared children of the same age in the same area, found no difference in decay rates – but they did find a doubling of dental fluorosis.

      Or they could use the NZ study published last year which showed no difference in decay rates for all non-Maori children. Even if fluoridation did reduce dental decay by a small amount for Maori children – that would still not be cost effective against the cost of fluoridation.

      Or they could use the NZ School Dental Statistics which also shows no difference. Non-fluoridated areas often have better dental health than fluoridated ones because, really, the biggest predictor of dental health is socio economic.

      So – we need to argue that the proposed legislation removes community input, does not allow for consideration of other adverse health effects, and does not steer the Select Committee or the DHBs towards looking at all the available data.”

      • Martin Harris says:

        Just so you all know what we’re up against, Excerpt from the Ministry Of Justice Legal Advice notice on the fluoridation matter:

        8. In 2014 the High Court concluded that water fluoridation does not constitute medical treatment, on the basis that:2
        a. medical treatment involves direct interference with an individual’s body or state of mind, and
        b. medical treatment does not extend to public health interventions imposed on a particular locality or the population at large.
        9. The High Court found that there was no material distinction between fluoridation and other established public health measures to disinfect water.3
        10. The High Court also held that, even if water fluoridation were to be considered medical treatment, the benefits of fluoridation are sufficiently important to justify curtailment of the right to refuse medical treatment. Additionally, the Court stated that water fluoridation is a proportionate response to the objective of preventing tooth decay and improving oral health.4
        11. Similarly, we do not consider fluoridation to be medical treatment. However, even if it was, we consider that any limitation of the right to refuse medical treatment in s 11 of the Bill of Rights Act is justified under s 5 of the Bill of Rights Act because:
        a. the objective of preventing or reducing tooth decay and improving oral health across the community is sufficiently important
        b. there is a rational connection (supported by significant New Zealand and international research) between fluoridation of drinking water and the objective of preventing or reducing tooth decay and improving oral health
        c. significant evidence demonstrates that water fluoridation at appropriate levels is within the range of reasonable alternatives to address the problem of tooth decay, and
        d. there is a sufficient evidential basis to support the conclusion that the significant advantages of water fluoridation clearly outweigh the increased risk of fluorosis associated with it.
        12. The Bill also provides adequate safeguards to mitigate any intrusion into the right to refuse medical treatment and to ensure that DHBs do not exercise the new power unreasonably. New s 69ZJA requires DHBs to consider scientific evidence on the effectiveness of fluoride for reducing dental decay, the number of people who will be
        2 New Health New Zealand Inc v South Taranaki District Council [2014] NZHC 395 at [118]. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid at [101] – [111].

        affected by the decision to fluoridate or not fluoridate the drinking water, and whether the benefits of adding fluoride to the drinking water outweigh the financial costs.
        13. For these reasons, we conclude that any limits to the right to refuse to undergo medical treatment imposed by the Bill are justified.