Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Anti-Fluoride Campaigners Bamboozle With Pseudoscience

Anti-Fluoride Campaigners Bamboozle With Pseudoscience

ROTORUA. 26 September 2012. Local bodies will continue to be bombarded with pseudoscience by anti-fluoride campaigners, Dr Stephen Palmer, Medical Officer of Health from the National Fluoride Information Service told the Water New Zealand conference in Rotorua today.

“In the absence of clear facts, pseudoscience works well - as toxicology and epidemiology are so specialised. Yet, these are the very tools that show that fluoridated water supplies are effective in preventing tooth decay, especially for the most disadvantaged sections of the population, and the lower doses used these days are safe,” Dr Palmer told the conference.

His presentation, entitled The Tale of Two Cities, showed how New Plymouth and Lower Hutt responded to sustained and very active campaigns to stop fluoridating their local water supplies.

He said the campaign in New Plymouth overwhelmed local councillors who considered the issue during their 2011 Annual Planning process. “Councillors were subjected to intense pressure from the anti-fluoride lobby using a range of tactics. These included sophisticated videos which were heavy on emotion and conspiracy. Selective use of studies and research findings, downplaying or ignoring evidence, emotion, and misrepresentation of the truth all bamboozled councillors.

“The case put forward by the Taranaki DHB was overwhelmed by the sheer number of submissions and emotion that resulted in a decision to abandon the fluoridation of New Plymouth’s water supply.



“On the other hand, when a similar campaign emerged in the Hutt Valley a rational approach, expert evidence and strong support from the local DHB meant the voice of reason was able to prevail. In the Valley those residents wanting fluoride-free water can still access the Buick Street water pump, but the reticulated water supply remains fluoridated”.

Dr Palmer produced statistics that showed the benefits of fluoridation of water supplies, and warned the largely local body representatives at the conference that the anti-fluoride campaign will continue, populated with its beguiling - but erroneous claims.

“Science is a rigorous process which endeavours to ensure that results are correct and safe. Anti-fluoride campaigners’ messages are not founded on science or fact. They are an excellent example of pseudoscience which might sound clever, but in reality is based on fear, innuendo, convenient half-truths and emotion,” Dr Palmer told the conference.

--

More information:

National Fluoride Information Service (NFIS) http://www.nfis.org.nz [Part of Hutt Valley DHB]

www.fwc.co.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Survey: NZ's Appetite For Eating Insects

When it comes to eating insects, New Zealanders like them crunchy and if given a choice would opt to eat a black field cricket before other creepy-crawlies, according to a new AgResearch report that explores the nation’s appetite for insects. More>>

ALSO:

Sweden Crash: CAA Grounds 21 Aircraft Over Safety Concerns

The Director of Civil Aviation Graeme Harris, has today, Saturday 20 July, 2019 suspended the airworthiness certificates of all 21 Gippsland GA8 Airvan aircraft currently operating in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Emission Statement: No New Coal Boilers For Fonterra

Fonterra is shaving eleven years off its coal target, as it announces a new commitment to reduce its reliance on coal. More>>

ALSO:

Long Time Coming: Soil Turned On Waimea Dam

After almost 20 years of planning and a 'gruelling' process to keep the project on track, the Waimea Community Dam, one of the Tasman District's largest-ever projects, is now under way. More>>