By: Victoria White

Questioning and opposing the addition of fluoride to Hawke’s Bay’s water supply was urged of the audience at a fluoride-free meeting last night.

About 100 people packed into the Napier Conference Centre where prominent critic Dr Paul Connett spoke about water fluoridation, and the harm he argued it posed to health and the environment.

The retired professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology at St Lawrence University is on a New Zealand speaking tour as the guest of Fluoride Free NZ.

This comes as a bill is before parliament which would gives District Health Boards (DHBs) the power to make decisions about water fluoridation – rather than local authorities.

His presentation touched on a number of arguments, including that fluoridation was a reckless medical practice, that it violated the individuals right to informed consent to medical treatment, and that “the evidence that fluoride is neurotoxic and lowers IQ in children is very strong”.

He said the widespread addition of the chemical was “unethical” as the normal distribution response people had to any substance meant only some would be helped, while others could face harm.

He urged it was time to move beyond fluoridation to better alternatives, saying this was the start of a “slippery slope” to mass medication of a population.

A spokeswoman for the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board said it “strongly supports community water fluoridation, as a strongly evidence based and cost effective way to prevent tooth decay in our communities”.

Last night Waipukurau dentist John Jukes also spoke, telling the audience how he began to question the merits of fluoridation as an undergrad.

The local took issue with the ethics of fluoridation, that there was no control over the dosage of the chemical, and that it was treating the symptom, not the problem.

He said fluoridation failed to prevent tooth decay – arguing Hastings residents’ oral health was worse than Napier residents’, despite Hastings water being fluoridated.

Currently Hastings is the only district in the Hawke’s Bay area with a fluoridated water supply. Central Hawke’s Bay had one fluoridated water supply until 2012.

Last March Mr Jukes appeared before the Health Select Committee speaking to his submission on the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill.

Source: NZ Herald


  1. So there was no links to the Peer reviewed papers, that state Fluoride as used in Community Water Fluoridation at .7PPm is a neurotoxin or that It affects I.Q. Or to the papers that say Fluoride at .7PPM causes harm.
    The “Mass Medication” argument is a fallacy. it is not a medicine and noone is forcing it down your throat.If you dont want it ,make your own arrangements, You have the same choices as a person in the supermarket does, buy it or buy something else
    Its real easy to voice your personal opinions without any scientific evidence to back them up Anti fluoride activists do it all the time.
    Maybe because none exist and it is another scaremongering tactic to sway the general public.
    Maybe Mr Jukes could supply the pharmaceutical company that produces this “Chemical ” and how long they have been in business.
    Because I understand it is a natural mineral found in all things, and has no chemical in its makeup. It is even listed on the periodic table so it has been around for a long time.

    As far as the fallacy that “You cant control the dose”. The Institute of Medicine has established that the daily upper limit for fluoride intake from all sources, for adults, before adverse effects will occur, short or long term, is 10 mg. Thus, even the excessive 6 liter per day consumer of water will still only take in a daily “dose” of fluoride that is slightly more than half the upper limit before adverse effects.

  2. Chris, the NZ MOH can’t even get the lastest fluoride concentration correct. The US HHS released their recommendation of 0.7ppm in April 2015 yet the NZ MOH still maintains a target range of 0.7 – 1ppm.

    Auckland Council reduced the fluoride concentration to 0.7ppm in January 2016. The NZ MOH has lost all credibility right there.


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