Ministry of Health refuses to front up to Council on fluoridation science

Monday 4 September 2023, 9:17AM

By Fluoride Free New Zealand


The Western Bay of Plenty (WBOP) District Council requested the Ministry of Health speak to them about the issues raised by the public – including the safety and ethics of water fluoridation. The Ministry of Health have refused to front-up.

The Director-General of Health has ordered the WBOP District Council to start fluoridation by July 2025. However, residents (including retired Intensive Care Specialist and former Head of St John's Ambulance in Auckland, Dr Denholm Crone) have opposed this forced fluoridation of their water supply citing evidence that fluoridation is a developmental neurotoxin like Lead, a toxic waste by-product from the phosphate fertiliser industry, and that there is no benefit. 

In relation to safety questions, the US National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) recently released Draft Review has found that there is no known safe level of fluoride in the water at which it does not cause neurotoxic harm. In a letter to the Council, MoH relied on outdated and erroneous claims by the Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister.

The MoH also falsely claimed that the Supreme Court ruling in 2018 found that fluoridation was a justified limitation on people’s right to refuse medical treatment. Four of the five judges held that fluoridation was a breach of Section 11 – the Right to Informed Consent, but only two of the judges held that Section 5 of the Bill of Rights justified that this right be limited in a democratic society.  One judge ruled there was not enough information to make a decision, hence fluoridation did not become illegal but nor was it ruled a “justified limitation on the right to refuse medical treatment”.

Fluoride Free New Zealand believes the MoH’s reluctance to face the council is because they do not have any scientific answers to the NTP’s review and cannot provide a legitimate reason why WBOP should be fluoridated or provide assurance that it is safe. 

The MoH also refused to answer concerns posed by the Rotorua District Council who wanted to know more about the Second Draft of the NTP Review made public in May 2023. 

It appears the MoH realises it is in a no-win scientific argument and is ducking for cover. In fact, the reason the fluoridation decision was moved to the Director-General was because the MoH kept losing the scientific debate against fluoridation opponents at the democratically elected council level.