OPINION: The practice of adding a chemical - sodiumsilicofluoride or hydrofluorosilicic acid - to everybody's drinking water is nothing short of fanatical.
What rational person takes a substance captured in a factory smoke-stack because it's too toxic to be discharged into the air, and then cannot be got rid of in the sea or a river because it's not allowed by international marine law, and decides to put into every man, woman and child's drinking water?
And that's regardless of whether the person is sick or how they react to it and even though they may have said they don't want it.
In Wellington, sodiumsilicofluoride is added to the drinking water. We import this substance from Belgium where not only do they not have water fluoridation, they have banned the tablets. In fact, no country in continental Europe has water fluoridation any longer. Some did have it but stopped many years ago. When fluoridation was being promoted in these European countries they too were told that their water was deficient in fluoride. Just like the Americans, the Australians, the Irish, we in New Zealand are being spun the same line.
Some countries, such as India and China, do have some water that naturally contains higher amounts of fluoride. But there is usually more calcium in the water that makes it not as toxic as the chemicals that are added to our water.
However, the fluoride is still toxic and India and China lead the world in removing fluoride from water supplies as people develop all sorts of illnesses from drinking water high in fluoride - the most notable being the disease skeletal fluorosis, from which sufferers become bent over and crippled.
The first stage of this disease is identical to osteoarthritis and, considering fluoride accumulates in our bones, it is likely that many people in New Zealand are being misdiagnosed with osteoarthritis when in fact they have the first stages of skeletal fluorosis.
The last two studies in New Zealand on dental health (Auckland 2009 and Southland 2005) show that there is no difference in decay rates between children in fluoridated areas and children in non- fluoridated areas. The only difference is that 30 per cent of the children in the fluoridated areas have some form of dental fluorosis whereas only 15 per cent of children in the non-fluoridated areas do.
Dental fluorosis is the first outward sign that a child has had too much fluoride (i.e. has been poisoned). In Wellington, the Health Ministry dental statistics show that there is no difference between the non-fluoridated areas of Wellington (Petone, Korokoro and Paekakariki) compared with the rest of fluoridated Wellington.
Wanting to add a toxic chemical to the drinking water of an entire population just because you happen to think it is good for teeth reflects an attitude of complete disrespect for the rights of others. Fluoridation can only be described as fanatical.
Mary Byrne is spokeswoman for Fluoride Action Network New Zealand.