Fluoride debate rages on

By Sam Hurley

Fluoridation Free Hastings spokeswoman Angela Hair explaining why the fluoridation process should be stopped in Hastings. Photo / Warren Buckland
Fluoridation Free Hastings spokeswoman Angela Hair explaining why the fluoridation process should be stopped in Hastings. Photo / Warren Buckland

Round two of the fluoridation debate was held last night in Hastings as the Hawke's Bay District Health Board and Fluoride Free Hastings continued to lobby for votes ahead of next month's referendum.

Both meetings were held at St John's Hall, and were attended by 54 people for and against fluoride in the water supply.

Local orthodontist Kirsty Skidmore said she felt strongly in favour of water fluoridation as a medical practitioner and as a mother.

"I attended the meeting in Havelock as well and I was amazed and horrified by some of the statements against fluoridation," Ms Skidmore said.

"Why would we push so hard for it if it was that so-called poison. It's a shame a minority in New Zealand are wanting to stop kids from having good, healthy teeth."

Fluoride Free Hastings spokeswoman Angela Hair said: "It's not fluoride that we are opposing; fluoride toothpaste and that sort if thing.

It's fluoridation [in water]."

Hastings resident Martin Beech said fluoridation is a health issue that affects the organs of the body rather than just tooth surface.

"A number of medical institutions have said 'don't drink the stuff it is poisonous, it is toxic, it will kill you'."

Central Hawke's Bay dentist John Jukes did not agree with fluoridation but said dentists are not toxicologists and shouldn't be telling patients whether fluoride is a good or bad thing.

"If we get off the fluoride bandwagon for a minute and focused more on the diet of young kids that are causing tooth decay then we might help solve other social issues as well such as type two diabetes," he said.

In October, as part of the local body elections, voters in Havelock North, Hastings and Flaxmere will be asked to decide if fluoride will continue to be added to the Hastings water supply.

The final public meeting will be held in Flaxmere on September 24, with a DHB meeting at 5pm and the Fluoride Free Hastings meetings a 7pm at Flaxmere Age Concern.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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