Fluoride Action Network NZ applauds the decision of Hamilton city councillors to stop adding hydrofluorosilicic acid to their water supply.
Councillors heard 3 days of evidence from both sides and came to a measured decision based on the facts. Any open-minded person would come to the same decision if they heard this evidence.
There were more doctors, dentists, scientists and other health professionals in favour of stopping fluoridation than those wanting to continue. In fact, only a handful of people wanted fluoridation continued. Most were dentists, some of whom were 14 years out of date with the science.
Fluoride is linked to many adverse health effects such as arthritis, thyroid dysfunction, lowered IQ and hypersensitivity.
The DHB could not produce any scientific evidence to prove fluoridation is safe, let alone effective.
Fluoridation needs to be stopped in the remaining 22 out of 67 council areas that have it. It is not acceptable fot them to continue with this outdated practice when they know that independent councillors around the country, who hear the evidence, choose to stop.
Last year a meta-analysis of IQ studies was published in the Environmental Health Perspectives. "Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain," said co-author Phillipe Grandjean. "The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious ..."
Both sides agreed that fluoride does not benefit teeth when swallowed. Fluoridated water was shown by 1999 to be too weak to benefit teeth by surface contact. This makes adding the chemical preposterous. The only reason now given to justify fluoridation is that some people do not brush their teeth, and DHBs have no other way of forcing it on to people. This is highly unethical and disrespectful.
• Mary Byrne is national co-ordinator of the Fluoride Action Network NZ.
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