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Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Fluoride 'misinformation' warning

Tony Ryall said there was no doubt science pointed to the fact that there were benefits for families from fluoridation. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Tony Ryall said there was no doubt science pointed to the fact that there were benefits for families from fluoridation. Photo / Sarah Ivey

The Health Minister is warning that an anti-fluoridation group which has its sights on ridding Auckland of fluoride in its water is running an "organised campaign of misinformation".

Last month fluoride was removed from Hamilton's water supply after a council tribunal vote, and Fluoride Action Network New Zealand held a meeting in Freemans Bay to gather support for its campaign to get rid of fluoride from Auckland's water.

National co-ordinator Mary Byrne said it was the first in a series of meetings around the region designed to change people's thinking.

On TVNZ's Q+A programme yesterday, the minister, Tony Ryall, said there was no doubt science pointed to the fact that there were benefits for families from fluoridation, and that the levels of fluoridation in water were safe for New Zealanders.

"I've asked the authorities to look at how they can better convey both the health benefits and the social benefits of fluoridation in such a way that people can appreciate those benefits and be aware of them."

In the run-up to local body elections some regions would hold a referendum on the issue, Mr Ryall said.

"I think communities need to be aware there will be highly organised campaigns of misinformation. There will be people who come from out of town and tell all sorts of shock-horror stories around fluoridation."

He said communities should look to their local district health boards, dentists and the evidence which showed fluoridation in New Zealand was safe and benefited families.

- additional reporting APNZ

- NZ Herald

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