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Fluoridation (2)

This is the column that I prepared for inclusion in the Penisula Press for 9 June to accompany the page 3 story on the arrival of this issue back on the table. It was inadvertantly dropped, but may appear this week, though I have another column prepared - mainly on water issues. 

Like Haley’s Comet, fluoridation of our water supply raises passions every few years Getting to the bottom of the rationale behind deeply held beliefs of the dangers of what is claimed to be a poisonous substance, has led to some quite extraordinary and inflammatory statements about potential damage to our health.

Thames has the only fluoridated water supply on the Peninsula – other communities have never asked for it. The cost of fluoridation is said to be no more than around $2,000 a year, and for this the children of Thames are protected from dental caries.  The ravages that caused considerable damage and pain, and consequent ill-health through tooth deterioration to those whose childhood pre-dates its introduction, are unknown to today’s children who live in areas where water is fluoridated.  .

The current generation of parents in particular need to have a say in any move to remove fluoride from our water supply. No councillor has any right to assume that he or she has a mandate to take such action without full public consultation, especially in view of the fact that the matter was not raised at any point during the election campaign.

It is disturbing to note that Mayor Leach informed Thames Councillors at a recent Council meeting that all they needed to do was to pass a motion at the Community Board to ask Council to remove it, and that it would be done. Crs. Hoadley and Connors gave every indication that they would pursue the matter at the earliest opportunity.

This was totally inappropriate advice in my opinion, and caused the Chief Executive to issue a warning against undertaking such action – his experience with this issue as a Government appointee on the Bay of Plenty Health Board has clearly given him an insight as to the depth of public feeling on both sides of the argument. This is clearly a Thames issue, and Thames people need to make their concerns clearly understood to their Councillors and Community Board members before precipitate action is taken.

Parents, and others should keep an open mind, and treat information purporting to be evidence of adverse health consequences with scepticism. Now that debate on this matter has been joined, I have no doubt that ratepayers will be inundated with really scary information by anti-fluoridation groups, including one operating in this town. 

For an opposing view, one or two sites are mentioned on the NZ Ministry of Health website,, that debunk the whole notion of the alleged danger surrounding fluoride. One in particular - is well worth a visit before jumping to any conclusions.

Residents should be wary of allowing a small group of no-doubt well-intentioned activists to determine a health issue that it is important to everyone living in this town.



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Reader Comments (7)

There are a lot of study's that have shown adverse affects from the fluoridation of water and I think in the light of the evidence it would be better to stay on the side of caution and remove it from the water. I would prefer that my family is not forced into drinking it . This article makes interesting reading

The establishment media will have to find a new tactic with which to ridicule those who oppose the fluoridation of water after a major new Scientific American report concluded that "Scientific attitudes toward fluoridation may be starting to shift" as new evidence emerges of the poison's link to disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland, as well as lowering IQ.

"Today almost 60 percent of the U.S. population drinks fluoridated water, including residents of 46 of the nation’s 50 largest cities," reports Scientific American's Dan Fagin.

Fagin is an award-wining environmental reporter and Director of New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.

"Outside the U.S., fluoridation has spread to Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries. Critics of the practice have generally been dismissed as gadflies or zealots by mainstream researchers and public health agencies in those countries as well as the U.S. (In other nations, however, water fluoridation is rare and controversial.)"

Indeed, the zeitgeist for scoffing at those who spoke of the dangers of mass medicating the public against their will with fluoride was the deranged and paranoid character of General Ripper in the hit 1964 Peter Selllers movie Dr. Strangelove.

But that stereotype is quickly fading as serious scientific research uncovers proof that all the horror stories about sodium fluoride told down the decades are essentially true.

The Scientific American study "Concluded that fluoride can subtly alter endocrine function, especially in the thyroid -- the gland that produces hormones regulating growth and metabolism."

The report also notes that "a series of epidemiological studies in China have associated high fluoride exposures with lower IQ."

"Epidemiological studies and tests on lab animals suggest that high fluoride exposure increases the risk of bone fracture, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and diabetics," writes Fagin.

Fagin interviewed Steven Levy, director of the Iowa Fluoride Study which tracked about 700 Iowa children for sixteen years. Nine-year-old "Iowa children who lived in communities where the water was fluoridated were 50 percent more likely to have mild fluorosis... than [nine-year-old] children living in nonfluoridated areas of the state," writes Fagin.

The study adds to a growing literature of shocking scientific studies proving fluoride's link with all manner of health defects, even as governments in the west, including recently the UK, make plans to mass medicate the population against their will with this deadly toxin.

In 2005, a study conducted at the Harvard School of Dental Health found that fluoride in tap water directly contributes to causing bone cancer in young boys.

"New American research suggests that boys exposed to fluoride between the ages of five and 10 will suffer an increased rate of osteosarcoma - bone cancer - between the ages of 10 and 19," according to a London Observer article about the study.

Based on the findings of the study, the respected Environmental Working Group lobbied to have fluoride in tap water be added to the US government's classified list of substances known or anticipated to cause cancer in humans.

Cancer rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed with one in three people now contracting the disease at some stage in their life.

The link to bone cancer has also been discovered by other scientists, but a controversy ensued after it emerged that Harvard Professor Chester Douglass, who downplayed the connection in his final report, was in fact editor-in-chief of The Colgate Oral Health Report, a quarterly newsletter funded by Colgate-Palmolive Co., which makes fluoridated toothpaste.

An August 2006 Chinese study found that fluoride in drinking water damages children's liver and kidney functions.


- Fluoride is a waste by-product of the fertilizer and aluminum industry and it's also a Part II Poison under the UK Poisons Act 1972.

- Fluoride is one of the basic ingredients in both PROZAC (FLUoxetene Hydrochloride) and Sarin nerve gas (Isopropyl-Methyl-Phosphoryl FLUoride).

- USAF Major George R. Jordan testified before Un-American Activity committees of Congress in the 1950's that in his post as U.S.-Soviet liaison officer, the Soviets openly admitted to "Using the fluoride in the water supplies in their concentration camps, to make the prisoners stupid, docile, and subservient."

- The first occurrence of fluoridated drinking water on Earth was found in Germany's Nazi prison camps. The Gestapo had little concern about fluoride's supposed effect on children's teeth; their alleged reason for mass-medicating water with sodium fluoride was to sterilize humans and force the people in their concentration camps into calm submission. (Ref. book: "The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben" by Joseph Borkin.)

- 97% of western Europe has rejected fluoridated water due to the known health risks, however 10% of Britons drink it and the UK government is trying to fast track the fluoridation of the entire country's water supply.

- In Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg fluoridation of water was rejected because it was classified as compulsive medication against the subject's will and therefore violated fundamental human rights.

- In November of 2006, the American Dental Association (ADA) advised that parents should avoid giving babies fluoridated water.

- Sources of fluoride include: fluoride dental products, fluoride pesticides, fluoridated pharmaceuticals, processed foods made with fluoridated water, and tea.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Ritchie

Thanks for the comment. I read your article, and remain unimpressed - most of that stuff has been around, and repeated ad nauseum for years. I note the absence of attribution in the majority of cases quoted, and the fact that a great deal of the information is really out of date. The US Surgeon General's recommendation by the way was for the marginal reduction in the concentration of added fluoride from .05 PPM to .04 in order to reduce the incidence of mottling which has long been an 'anti' complaint. It had nothing to do with the danger of fluoride.
Both sides of the argument have totally plausible stories to tell of course - it is just that I happen to have had personal experience in the Northern Territory with some of the worst caries in the entire world resulting from dietary factors in the main, contributed to by the lowest incidence of natural fluoride in the entire world - even lower than NZ, so my prejudices are well "out there".
Finally, have you actually taken the trouble to read the sites that I put up? - they are well worth the trouble.
My point is simply that no politician in Thames has the mandate to remove it. Let them have a referendum, or put it up as a policy plank at the next election - that is how democracy works when you have such a wide divergence of strongly held opinion.

June 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

As you say both sides of the argument have totally plausible stories and i have looked at both side to form my opinions on the subject, also the fact that most of Europe don't use it and they don't have a dental problem any worse then ours says to me we can do without it. But most of all i believe fluoridation of water as compulsive medication is a violated of human rights, I'm not being given a option if i want it or not just being told i going to have it. Why wait till next election to put it up as a policy plank when the issue is up for debate now, lets get this sorted now and not brush it under carpet for a few more years

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Ritchie

The European argument is fallacious - Europe generally has a much higher level of naturally occurring fluoride - it is already in their water. As for getting it up now - fine, let's have a referendum. I just don't want board members making a decision without a mandate of any kind about something that many of us regard as extremely important. You have your view and I have mine - we are not going to change that with this discussion. Nor do I accept that my human rights are in way violated by a measure, the results of which have been so clearly proven to benefit the entire population. If you wish, you can filter it out - simple!

June 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Yes they have naturally occurring Calcium Fluoride but we don't put Calcium Fluoride in our water in Thames do we, we put Sodium Fluoride in and where do get that from, a byproduct from the fertilizer industry. Anyway i agree let's have a referendum. That is more in your line of expertise to get sorted then mine so how about we get together and and see if we can get one. I'll help in anyway i can.

June 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Ritchie

I am a blogger - not an activist. If you wish to pursue it, be my guest!

June 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

for your info Bill -you CANNOT filter out sodium fluoride- that is why it is such a insiduous poison [it evens appears in human breast milk-so babies with no teeth are subjected to it's effects]-if you want to 'save' teeth - then do it in a targeted way - not mass medication - it is absolutely no use to me and my false teeth -[as a result of a car accident]. The effects of this vile poison will show not in our generation, but in our grandchildren and their children- it is a killer make no mistake -

June 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdental floss

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