Fluoride decision ‘shameful flip-flop’

A national anti-fluoridation lobby group has slammed a recent Whakatane District Council decision to put fluoride back into the Whakatane and Ohope water supplies.

In January, councillors voted six to five in favour of scrapping the practice, despite referendum results showing strong support from residents in favour of the practice from both towns.

But during a special meeting of the policy committee last Thursday, councillors voted six to four in favour of adopting a notice of motion to revoke the January decision.

FFNZ national coordinator Mary Byrne describes last week’s revocation as a “shameful flip-flop” and that it was a “shameful day” for councillors who voted in favour of reversing the January decision.

“[We] provided the council with Ministry of Health data that show children in fluoridated Whakatane have about the same average number of fillings as children in the rest of Bay of Plenty that is non-fluoridated,” she says.

Mary has also taken aim specifically at Rangitsiki Ward councillor Gerard Van Beek who reversed his January vote.

She says Gerard understands fluoridation didn’t reduce dental decay but claims election pressure caused him to “cave in and vote against his better judgement”.

“Unfortunately for him, a person who apparently has the intelligence to understand the issue, he will more than likely deeply regret his flip-flop vote every time a new study comes out which shows fluoride’s harm to health and the environment.”

But Rangitaiki ward councillor has shot back saying there was no electioneering on his part as the residents of the Whakatane/Ohope ward could not vote him into council.

Gerard admits he’s not convinced fluoride delivers the benefits claimed by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board. However, he’s also not convinced fluoride is the poison anti-fluoride campaigners claim at the levels it is being added to water supplies.

“Like councillor Russell Orr, I have reservations regarding the addition of fluoride to the water supply and that it should be a matter of personnel choice.

“It already exists naturally in our water supplies at 0.06-0.12ppm and we wouldn’t attempt to remove it. I think it should be left at these levels but the outcome of the non-binding referendum strongly supported the addition of fluoride to the MOH standard of 0.7ppm.”

Results of the 2013 referendum showed 65.8 per cent of Whakatane residents and 70.5 per cent of Ohope residents supported fluoridation.

“In the absence of verifiable evidence that Fluoride causes harm, at the levels it is being used, and the community has voted for it, they can have it,” says Gerard.

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Posted on 17-02-2016 14:30 | By Captain Sensible

Mass medicataion is immoral. Do you really think that these kids who drink juice and coke every day also drink water? Fluoride keeps the population docile and that’s exactly how the councils and governments like their citizens.

Funny path

Posted on 17-02-2016 13:00 | By davidt5

the outcome is correct. Fluoride in our water is of great benefit to every member of the community who has their own teeth in their mouth. Very difficult to argue with well educated dentists who all support this move. Let us hope that a similar amount of sense is shown by the TCC as they also should be adding fluoride to our water.

mistake in email

Posted on 16-02-2016 18:25 | By chris price

I just sent a letter in and the email address used in the letter is wrong it should be msof.nz Thank you

Actually democracy at work

Posted on 16-02-2016 17:49 | By Annalist

What was shameful was that council initially ignored a referendum of voters. Now that has been rectified. Also I feel government should make the decision either way for all NZ

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