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Dentist warned for misleading public over water fluoridation

Dentist warned for misleading public over water fluoridation


NZ Dental Association water fluoridation spokesman and Nelson District Health Board Chief Dental Officer Rob Beaglehole has been cautioned again for giving misleading information.

Last week, the New Zealand Dental Council made public its formal “firm caution” to Dr Beaglehole, directing that he take greater care in ensuring adherence to his professional responsibilities, particularly when expressing his views in public, or he will risk facing a professional misconduct committee.

The comments that got Beaglehole in trouble were made in April this year on TV3’s Paul Henry Show. Dr Beaglehole said “All health authorities around the world urgently recommend water fluoridation …there’s not one reputable health organisation anywhere on the globe that will say water fluoridation causes problems that some of the anti-fluoridationists are highlighting”.

Mary Byrne, spokesperson for Fluoride Free New Zealand, responded to the comments, offering a different view, “There is virtually no water fluoridation in the whole of Europe, and only 4% of the world’s population has fluoridated water. Obviously, the health authorities in most of the world are not ‘urgently’ recommending fluoridation. It is difficult to believe that a fluoridation spokesperson for the NZ Dental Association did not know this. He is either grossly misinformed about fluoridation or he thinks he can say whatever he likes, regardless of whether it is true or not.”

Official statements from health authorities in Europe are readily available with a simple internet search. They have rejected fluoridation for reasons such as the “problematic nature of compulsory medication…” (see more statements below).

This is not the first time Dr Beaglehole has been warned for his behaviour. Last year, the NZ Dental Council upheld a complaint made against Dr Beaglehole for presenting a case of early childhood caries to the Nelson District Council, claiming that fluoridation would reduce the incidence of this severe decay. Ms Byrne says this is dangerously misleading.

“Early childhood caries is just as prevalent in fluoridated areas as non-fluoridated areas. In fact, there is no difference in the numbers of children with tooth decay, or the severity of that decay between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas of New Zealand. Dr Beaglehole’s presentation of severely rotted teeth to the Nelson District Council last year is nothing more than scaremongering,” claims Ms Byrne.

Fluoride Free New Zealand considers the response by the New Zealand Dental Council to be woefully inadequate and suspects that any dentist opposing fluoridation would not be treated with the same kid gloves.

Mary Byrne
National Coordinator and Spokesperson
0273615951
Fluoride Free New Zealand

Statements from European countries:

Generally, in Germany fluoridation of drinking water is forbidden. The relevant German law allows exceptions to the fluoridation ban on application. The argumentation of the Federal Ministry of Health against a general permission of fluoridation of drinking water is the problematic nature of compuls[ory] medication.”
SOURCE: Gerda Hankel-Khan, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, September 16, 1999.

“In Norway we had a rather intense discussion on this subject some 20 years ago, and the conclusion was that drinking water should not be fluoridated.
SOURCE: Truls Krogh & Toril Hofshagen, Folkehelsa Statens institutt for folkeheise (National Institute of Public Health) Oslo, Norway, March 1, 2000.

More statements here: http://fluoridealert.org/content/europe-statements/


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