NZ Select Health Committee suggests nationwide mandatory fluoridation
nsnbc , - New Zealand’s Select Health Committee has proposed to implement nationwide, mandatory fluoridation of drinking water, effectively via the back door, by recommending that the authority to decide whether to fluoridate communities’ water supplies be transferred from local councils into the hands of the District Health Boards.
According to a press release from the Fluoride Action Network New Zealand (FANNZ), this would mean that the public will have no say over the decisions on fluoridation. If the proposal of the Select Health Committee will be adopted, the FANNZ stresses, “fluoridation could be rolled out to all the unfluoridated areas of New Zealand”.
According to the FANNZ, the affected districts would be Christchurch, Nelson, West Coast, Napier, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Rotorua, Tauranga, Whangarei and the Far North, all of which have either stopped fluoridation or have steadfastly rejected it.
The DHBs are legally bound to follow the dictates of the Ministry of Health without regard to the wishes of the people in their district.
The FANNZ argues, that two robust tribunals have shown that Ministry of Health cannot win the scientific or ethical argument when the people in affected communities are given a fair chance to hear both sides, referring to tribunal processes in New Plymouth and Hamilton.
The FANNZ argues, that the proposal is an attempt by the Select Committee, to remove the power of the local communities to avoid having to substantiate their position. The NGO underlines that science has changed dramatically in the past 15 years, and that members of the committee are lagging behind the times. Referring to modern research, the NGO states:
Fluoride does not work by being swallowed, fluoridated water is too weak to provide the benefits of fluoride toothpaste, and there are serious adverse health effects associated with swallowing fluoridated water.
The FANNZ warns, that the advice of the Select Health Committee, if it is implemented, constitutes both a threat to the health of New Zealanders as well as to democracy in the country, adding that Ireland and Singapore are the only countries in the world with mandatory fluoridation. The Health Minister of Israel, which until recently had mandatory fluoridation, has just banned it from 2014.
The NGO stressed that the committee needs to prove that it has listened to both sides, and that the public deserves open and transparent discussion on the fluoridation of drinking water.
Ch/L - nsnbc 22.11.2013