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The Committee Secretariat
Health Select Committee
Parliament Buildings, WELLINGTON.
15 th June 2021
Submission on the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking

Water) Amendment Bill No 208 - 2

 

This submission is in response to the Supplementary Order Paper, under the
name of the Hon. Alesha Verrall, announced on 2 nd June.  The intention of that
Supplementary Order Paper is to further amend the Bill first proposed under
the National Government, aimed at giving the District Health Boards the
responsibility for deciding if local authorities should fluoridate.  That Bill went
to public consultation but proceeded no further. It has come to our attention
that, not only was there much public objection to the Bill, but that many DHB
members were loath to impose more costs onto ratepayers.

 

Now, desperate to see all of New Zealand’s public water supplies fluoridated, 
the current Labour Government is resorting to dictatorial methods of control
by taking away the ability of New Zealanders to have any input into the
decision on whether their locally supplied drinking water is fluoridated or not.

 

Social Credit is the only political party to have consistently opposed
fluoridation since it was first promoted back in the 1950s. We oppose it on
five counts – 1; individual rights, 2; environmental safety, 3; the protection of
democracy, 4; it is endeavouring to tackle only the symptoms, not the causes
of poor dental health and 5; New Zealand will be going against the worldwide
trend to desist from fluoridating public water supplies. 

 

1. New Zealand’s Bill of Rights (1990) and the post World War 2
Nuremberg Code are both designed to ensure no person has medical
procedures performed on him or her without explicit consent. 
Mandatory fluoridation, without personal consent, therefore entails
the state appointing to itself authority over personal sovereignty.  

 

2. Fresh water policies are supposed to be made in consultation with
tangata whenua.  As Maori regard water as a taonga imbued with
mauri, its contamination with a foreign substance such as hydro-
fluosilicic acid, whatever the concentration, must be seen as
sacrilegious.  Moreover, there is evidence that filter-feeding kai-moana
can absorb fluorides beyond the normal rate.

 

3. In a press release (13 th April 2021) Socred Leader, Chris Leitch, stated:
“The fluoridation issue is another example of decision-making being
taken out of the hands of local  communities and consolidated in the
hands of unelected bureaucrats.”   The SOP now under discussion is a
startling, even frightening, example of this and its proposed changes
must be vigorously opposed. Indeed, the question must be asked as to
whether the suppliers of the fluoride compounds are lobbying
government on this matter.  But what is shocking is the intention to
severely penalise local authorities which refuse to comply with the
Ministry of Health’s directions. 

 

4. Poor dental health is not caused by the lack of fluoride in public water
supplies. By dealing with the symptoms only, this Bill is perpetuating
the causes – high sugar content foods and particularly drinks, poor
nutrition due to poverty, lack of education on tooth brushing, sporadic
attendance at dental surgeries due to cost, etc. To not deal with these
issues will only see the problem escalate, even if fluoridation of water
supplies is made mandatory.

 

5. The trend worldwide over the last few decades is to stop the
fluoridation of public water supplies. This is so even with the increase
in sugar content of foods and the rising intake of sugar laden drinks.
New studies are throwing doubt on the professed safety of inducing
hydrofluorosilicic acid into the human body and are identifying health
risks.

 

Bodies promoting the fluoridation of public water supplies do so without any
sanction by the government, the Ministry of Health or the Advertising
Standards Authority for misleading or inaccurate statements.

 

For example, the public health unit for the Bay of Plenty and Lakes Districts
Health Boards, Toi Te Ora, states this on its web site promoting fluoridation:

 

“The vast majority of medical and dental experts recommend water
fluoridation”. Is that in New Zealand or internationally? No figures are given to
support that statement. Wikipedia states that around 5.7% of the world
population receive artificially-fluoridated water in about 24 countries and that
98% of Europe is not fluoridated. The Toi Te Ora statement is clearly untrue.

 

“There is no risk of getting too much fluoride from drinking fluoridated water”.
Dental fluorosis is just one of well documented and well recognised effects of
drinking fluoridated water. The Toi Te Ora statement is clearly untrue.

 

“Water fluoridation is natural.  When fluoride, in the form of hydrofluorosilicic
acid, is added to water it is the same as naturally occurring fluoride”. Again a
search of Wikipedia will show that naturally occurring version of fluoride is
most commonly calcium fluoride. Hydrofluorosilicic acid and calcium fluoride
are not the same. The Toi Te Ora statement is clearly untrue.

 

Personal consent is being overridden by the suggested changes to the
legislation, but even if it was not, how can people come to a judgement based
on facts when they are fed inaccurate and untrue information from many of
the sources, like Toi Te Ora that promote fluoridation?

 

At a time when the government is vigorously pursuing the Three Waters
concept which is aimed at making drinking water safer and reducing pollution
of natural water courses (streams, rivers, and lakes) this Bill seeks to add a
pollutant to water, most of which will end up in those natural water courses
for nature to have to try to deal with. To our knowledge little if any
investigation has been undertaken on the effects on the ecology of those
water courses from a significant input of hydrofluorosilicic acid, nor of the fact
that sources of drinking water (the Waikato River for example) will already
have hydrofluorosilicic acid in them prior to drinking water being drawn off,
therefore increasing the levels reaching consumers.

 

In addition the government has just announced a major re-organisation of the
health system, setting up a Maori Health Authority which will have
responsibility for Maori health. This Bill immediately seeks to override that
reform, taking responsibility for Maori dental health, and possibly general
health, away from Maori without even any consultation with Maori. That is
perpetuating the very problem that the setting up of that new Authority
professes to be addressing.

 

Kiwis have always prided themselves as living in a democracy – a country
where they could have a real influence over the decisions that affected them.
That is rapidly being eroded with the ability to have influence over decisions
that affected them being removed as government adopts centralising of more
decision making – effectively telling us that we don’t know what’s good for us
but they do.

 

Social Credit appeals to all MPs to demonstrate their dedication to the
principles of democracy and oppose this legislation. We wish to speak to the
Committee.

 

We look forward to appearing before your Committee in due course.