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Fluoride debate alive and well

A workshop at Hamilton City Council showed the Waikato DHB is completely ignorant of the science on fluoridation. Medical Officer of Health, Felicity Dumble, claimed there had been no new evidence of harm from fluoridation despite the fact that she admitted to having not read the comprehensive Fluoride in Drinking Water by the National Research Council which was published in 2006. Nor did she give any indication of having read any of the 19 studies showing that fluoride can lower IQ that have become available since then.

"Their job is to protect the public health, not protect the fluoridation programme, and they are not doing that" says Dr Paul Connett. "They are refusing to look at the science".

Dr Connett also showed councillors today just how deceptive the MOH have been in their exaggerated claims of benefit. In the 2010 Oral Health Report, they claim that 9 -10 year olds have a 50% reduction in dental decay. However, when these studies are examined in detail they showed that there were no savings in permanent tooth surfaces in two of the studies, a saving of half a tooth surface in another study and the saving of 1 tooth surface, out of a total of 100 tooth surfaces, in the last study.

In the workshop on Thursday councillors were advised that the Centers for Disease Control admitted in 1999 that the pre-dominant benefit of fluoride is topical, rather than systemic. Dr Connett explained that this means that fluoride needs to be applied to the outside of tooth, as is done with tooth brushing, rather than swallowed.

Strangely, Dr Dumble said this was an example of how health agencies are willing to change their position. However, the CDC did not change its position but continues to promote water fluoridation having developed a new theory on how fluoride works if swallowed.

"It is disturbing that in a country where people place so much trust in their local health officials that these same health officials should continue to propagate blatantly inaccurate information, such as there has been no new evidence of harm from fluoridation, even after it has been proven in a public forum to be false" says Dr Connett. "For people who would like to know the honest truth about fluoridation, they are encouraged to go to or".

Mary Byrne,
National Co-ordinator for Fluoride Action Network NZ

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