US anti-fluoride campaigner visits

New York-based anti-fluoride campaigner Paul Connett will speak at a public meeting in Hawera next week.

The chemistry professor and Fluoride Action Network director is on a New Zealand-wide tour to fan opposition to fluoride being put into water supplies.

The South Taranaki District Council voted in December to introduce the chemical into Waverley and Patea's water supply last year. New Plymouth district councillors earlier opted to take fluoride out.

The Taranaki District Health Board heralded the South Taranaki council's decision as a vital link in the effort to stop poor oral hygiene.

Opponents call it a betrayal of science and the community.

Dr Connett said there were three reasons why fluoride should not be in a public water supply.

If medicine is added to the water it is not possible to control the dose or who gets it, and choice is removed, he said.

"It's enshrined in medical ethics that a doctor is required to tell the patient what the drug is supposed to be good for and what the side-effects are, and the patient is meant to make up their mind whether they are going to take that medicine or not.

"This right is being ripped away from thousands of citizens living in fluoridated communities."

He said fluoridating water doesn't work as intended.

"It's ineffective and if you look at tooth decay in countries around the world, and the World Health Organisation does. You don't find a difference in tooth decay between the countries which are fluoridated and the countries which aren't fluoridated," he said.

Patea-based anti-fluoride campaigner Olivia Northcott said Fluoride Action Network New Zealand had sponsored Dr Connett's trip.

She said the group was hoping people could get some factual information about what the medication did to a person's body.

"We'd really like the residents of South Taranaki to be able to come and listen to Dr Connett and come and make up their own minds," she said.

The free seminar is at the Hawera Community Theatre Lounge from 7pm on Monday.

Taranaki Daily News