Fluoride - The Battle is Joined!
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 10:37AM
Bill Barclay

The good citizens of Thames who are not already totally 'over' the interminable fluoride debate will be heartily sick of it all by the time it comes to vote in the 5 November Referendum on the subject.

For those who are wondering what on earth is going on - countless signs are already appearing around the town attempting to influence the outcome with simplistic/horrifying messages of imminent doom/decay should we not adopt the views of the antis, and ensure the the removal of fluoride from our water supply without further ado.

The Mayor has said that that the decision on 5 November will be it - yes, he has determined that will be the end of it. But don't bet on it - he has no say over the outcome, and should the antis lose, they will be back - of that you can be sure. You have not seen determination at work until you have seen Jane Beck - a unregistered medical practitioner, at it. She has become a leader in the national campaign against fluoride, and has secured substantial resources from the national body to mount the campaign here in Thames which is seen as a 'national' campaign - lose here and they will be behind the 'eight-ball,' but win, and they will trumpet it nationally as the beginning of the end for fluoride - that is importance of the Thames Referendum to the abolitionists.

Then there is the split that has taken place here between the 'old-guard' led by the redoubtable Libby Boyd of "Fluoride is Genocide" fame, and that led by Jane Beck - a younger even more committed group, largely comprised of Thames's traditional greenies, and a number of young people who appear to have been overly impressed with Jane's qualifications and fervour.This group is supported by an evangelical US academic by the name of Connett, and small group of dentists who have broken from the national Dental Association that is unequivocal in it support for fluoridation.

In fact, ranged against this group, on the other side of the argument is virtually every credible professional medical association, medical faculty and Ministry of Health, along with Te Ao Marama and even our local Te Korowai professionals. The level of exasperation amongst these professionals, academics and practitioners is palpable as they set about trying to deal with 'brush-fires' lit by the committed antis whose ranks unsurprisingly appear to include many of the anti-immunization lobby.

For the sake of clarity let me make my position clear - I am totally committed to the pro-fluoride cause based on my personal experience as Chief Executive of a health board in the Northern Territory dedicated to the improvement of Aboriginal health care. I won't repeat in detail my experience of the effects but in short, bad dietary choices along with water supplies that were almost entirely devoid of fluoride were cataclysmic for the majority of the Aboriginal population. It was there I learnt of hypocrisy surrounding the effects of inadequate parenting skills, and mindless but erroneous claims by middle class white opponents of the adequacy of regular tooth-brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and use of fluoride tablets.

We have had fluoride safely delivered to our taps in Thames for 50 years, and as any dentist in this town will confirm, the difference in the incidence of caries here compared to other towns on the Peninsula is unmistakeable.  David Fornosek, the dentist with probably the greatest experience in this area through the removal of the teeth of children under anaesthetic at Thames Hospital will confirm this fact without hesitation. 

As stated by Jess Berentson-Shaw in the 26 May edition of 'Health':

"In fact, water supplies have been fluoridated in the USA since 1945, and New Zealand since 1954, and currently over 360 million people in 30 countries receive fluoridated water. The safety of water fluoridation has been intensively researched for over 70 years, and continues to be subject to review in New Zealand and overseas. Reviews of research from Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA have consistently found benefits to dental health and no evidence of adverse general health effects from water fluoridation at optimal levels.

Claims by opponents of fluoridation that it leads to cancers, bone fractures and other serious conditions are not supported by evidence. Often ‘evidence’ quoted by opponents has been derived from studies where the levels of naturally occurring fluoride levels are so high that fluoride levels need to be reduced, such as some parts of China and the USA."

There is more at stake here than the simple adoption of the "Remove Fluoride" or "Fluoride is Genocide" slogans may suggest. It is not a matter of securing freedom from forced medication - otherwise the antis would be advocating removal of chlorine as well. It is simply a matter of seeking to provide as greater protection as possible of children's teeth as is scientifically safe, and supported by peer reviewed research - not the one-off claptrap purveyed by the motley, if well-intentioned bunch of opponents whose motives appear indeterminate to put it mildly.

Do not let this campaign get legs - stand and oppose it, or at least ensure that you and everyone you know votes to keep it in our water supply - it is the least we can do ensure the health of our off-spring, and save them from the widespread painful effects and health risks associated with dental caries in unfluorodated areas.

Fortunately, there is a group of professionals in this town with the fortitude to stand up to the 'rat-baggery' being propounded by one of their own, and who are quietly leading a pro-campaign that while it may simply contribute to 'exaustion' on the issue, is necessary in order outline the consequences of acceptance of the anti-campaign, or avoidance of the issue by simply not voting.

Finally, please note: I will not allow comments on this post due to the abuse and threats that have been directed at me in the past over this issue. You are either for it or against. I would hope to change your mind if you are opposed, but arguing the toss in comments on this post is pointless.




Update on Monday, August 31, 2015 at 8:14AM by Registered CommenterBill Barclay

Try this article from the weekend Sydney Daily Telegraph for a well written explanation of the situation that pertains in Australia. The anti-comments are identical with the claptrap that is circulated in this country. 




Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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