Letters to the editor: Michael Riley – the case for fluoride in New Plymouth

Dear Ed,

Bringing fluoride back to the water supply is becoming a hot topic in the New Plymouth District. I have found there to be a lack of respected studies on why fluoride shouldn’t be in our taps.
Ministry of Health has concluded that after around 70 years of using fluoride in NZ there is no verifiable evidence that fluoridation is harmful in New Zealand. Water fluoridation is an effective, safe and affordable way to prevent and reduce tooth decay for everyone.

Respected health organizations that have studied fluoride for years on end has proven Fluoride Free “facts” to be scaremongering and inaccurate. The NZ Oral Health Survey 2009 confirms that on average New Zealand children have 40% less decay in areas with fluoridation compared to areas without it.

Fluoride benefits everyone in this district for less than 50 cents a person, per year; this is compared to the average cost of a single filling being $130! Hundreds of respected health organizations from around the world, around this country and locally support fluoride. They’re the likes of the Cancer Society, Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, NZ Medical Association, The Maori Dental Association and our local Taranaki District Health Board. The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it.

Michael Riley

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5 thoughts on “Letters to the editor: Michael Riley – the case for fluoride in New Plymouth

  1. Fluoridation is faith based medicine. The vast majority of people in NZ who still support fluoridation do so because they have faith in the Ministry of Health and other such organisations. As lofty as these organisations may appear they are not lofty enough to convince the Health authorities of Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark or any of the other hundreds of countries that do not have fluoridation. New Zealand is one only 14 countries in the world that has more than 20% of the population drinking fluoridated water.

    People such as Michael Riley have swallowed the MoH propaganda hook,line and sinker. For example, Michael says the the MoH survey of 2009 showed dental decay was reduced by 40%. However, that same publication says it should not be used as a fluoridation study since it was only a snapshot in time and did not take into account where people had been living their entire lives. With only half of New Zealand fluoridated, people in fluoridated areas have often lived part of the their life in an unfluoridated area.

    Michael also blindly believes the MoH assertions that “there is no verifiable evidence that fluoridation is harmful”. Considering the MoH do not do any scientific study to determine this, their assertions are nothing more than beliefs. Even the latest report by the Chief Science Advisor and the Royal Society did not review scientific evidence of fluoride’s harmful effects as they did not have the time or the resources. See the international critique of the New Zealand report http://fluoridefree.org.nz/international-peer-review-critique/

    For a more complete argument on why fluoridation should be ended in New Zealand see http://fluoridefree.org.nz/fluoridation-ended-new-zealand/

    • “Fluoridation is faith based medicine”
      Yes someone that is the national coordinator for FFNZ would say that.

      “convince the Health authorities of Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark”
      Germany, Switzerland, France use fluoridated salt.

      Denmark and parts of Sweden has high naturally occurring fluoride in their water.

      “any of the other hundreds of countries that do not have fluoridation.”
      And many don’t have clean drinking water.

      “However, that same publication says it should not be used as a fluoridation study since it was only a snapshot in time and did not take into account where people had been living their entire lives. With only half of New Zealand fluoridated, people in fluoridated areas have often lived part of the their life in an unfluoridated area.”

      While the NZOHS said “it was not one of the objectives of the 2009 NZOHS to compare the oral health status of people by fluoridation status, and therefore the survey cannot be considered a fluoridation study as such”. Saying it is an invalid study for fluoridation is far from the truth; the statement was taken in the context that the NZOHS did not take into consideration lifetime fluoride exposure, as it was a cross-sectional study. People moving from non-fluoridated to fluoridated areas would have been likely as well as the opposite. This would tend to increase the risk of underestimating the extent of the benefits from fluoridation.

      “Considering the MoH do not do any scientific study to determine this, their assertions are nothing more than beliefs.”
      There have been fifteen major peer-reviews of fluoridation undertaken across the world by recognised academic authorities in the past twenty years:
      http://www.dentist.ie/_fileupload/fluoridation/List%20of%20general%20health%20reviews%20of%20fluoridation%20since%201994.doc

      All showing the safety of fluoridation. There is no respected health organization that is against fluoridation.

      Recently, dental leaders, representing over one million dentists in 134 countries, reaffirmed their strong support for fluoridation as essential in promoting oral health. The assembly of the annual meeting of the FDI, world dental federation, reaffirmed its strong support for fluoridation at its latest meeting.
      http://www.dentist.ie/_fileupload/fluoridation/FDI%202014%20Statement%20re%20Water%20Fluoridation.docx

      -Dan

  2. Fluoridation Opposition is Scientific, Respectable & Growing

    Over 4,600 professionals (including 366 dentists and 568 MD’s) urge that fluoridation be stopped because science shows fluoridation is ineffective and harmful. See statement: http://www.fluoridealert.org/researchers/professionals-statement/text/

    Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, says, “Fluoridation is against all
    principles of modern pharmacology. It’s really obsolete.” Thirteen other Nobel Prize winners agree

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