People opposed to fluoridation will hold a demonstration outside Parliament on Wednesday 22nd March, starting at 1pm, after the oral presentations to the Health Select Committee. The Select Committee received over 1,200 written submissions, of which over 90% were opposed to the Bill and stated they were opposed to fluoridation. The Bill, which looks to shift the responsibility of fluoridation from local councils to DHBs, is intended to increase fluoridation to all councils. Currently only 23 of the 67 local councils have any fluoridation.
Opponents say the move is 'mandatory fluoridation by stealth', as it takes away any requirement for public consultation. Associate Minister Peter Dunne introduced the Bill, claiming that those opposed to fluoridation were "tin-foil hat wearing, UFO-abducted pseudo-scientists".
"Well, he had to say that," explained Mary Byrne, national co-ordinator and media spokesperson for Fluoride Free New Zealand. "He couldn't tell the truth that the Government wants to add a highly toxic chemical (scrubbed from the chimneys of the phosphate fertiliser industry) to help reduce dental decay - even though we know that if fluoride works, it works on the outside of the tooth, not from swallowing. Otherwise he would look like the tin-foil hat wearer, wouldn't he?"
"The reason this is happening is because the DHBs were losing the argument when both sides were heard at local councils. Not only were they not able to get fluoridation extended, they were losing ground," added Mary Byrne. "Fluoridation is like is adding sunscreen to the water to prevent sunburn - it's nonsense and this Select Committee should recommend the Bill be scrapped".
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