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


Sorting Facts from Fiction on Fluoridation – a Panel Discuss

Sorting Facts from Fiction on Fluoridation – a Panel Discussion Forum

The last year has seen heated debate over fluoridation, with both sides acknowledging there is a lot of misinformation in the public arena. A new independent professional group, the Fluoridation Information Network for Dentists (FIND), has organized a panel discussion forum on the15th of February in Wellington at Massey University to help clarify some of the key issues. The panel will include presentations from professionals with opposing views on water fluoridation, followed by Q & A, offering the public answers to difficult questions.

“The science on fluoridation has changed dramatically since the 1950s, but few professionals are aware of it. The public certainly isn’t, apart from active lobby groups. Only open, transparent, public discussion will resolve this long-standing controversy. The NZ Medical Association called for this last year. So have those opposing fluoridation. It is appalling that even dentists are not getting an objective exposure to the current science. This is why we have organized this event,” says panel organizer and Wellington dentist, Stan Litras.

A 2013 Waikato University survey about water fluoridation in NZ found that the public scored an average of only 1 ½ points out of a possible 13 correct answers. It also found that the more people knew about the controversial issue, the more they were likely to oppose it.

The decision is currently made by local councils. The most thorough and recommended practice for reviewing fluoridation policy is the tribunal process, used in New Plymouth in 2011 and Hamilton in 2013. The Ministry of Health supplied their top fluoridation advocates. In both tribunals, councillors found the scientific evidence and ethical arguments against fluoridation convincing, and voted to end the practice.

Kapiti Coast District Council will be holding a similar consultation as part of this year’s Annual Plan process. The process is recommended by the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister.

Three fluoridation referenda in 2013 were heavily influenced by expensive campaigns by District Health Boards. The Waikato DHB issued a public statement claiming that one of their key campaign aims was to “bombard” the public with their simple slogans.

World fluoridation expert and opponent, Professor Paul Connett, has accepted an invitation to the FIND panel. Professor Connett is the director of the Fluoridation Action Network (USA) and is a retired lecturer in chemistry and toxicology, with degrees from Cambridge and Dartmouth. The New Zealand Fluoridation Information Service, The Ministry of Health, Otago Dental School and the NZ Dental Association were all invited to join the forum panel, but all have declined the invitation. It seems some NZ authorities may havesuddenly lost confidence in their pro-fluoridation position when invited to join an open discussion about scientific research with Professor Connett and other professionals at an academic forum.

The Fluoridation Discussion Panel Forum will be held in Wellington on Saturday the 15thof February, at the Massey University Museum Building,1:30pm to 5:30pm. For more information visit:

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Trade: NZ Trade Deficit Widens To A Record In September

Oct. 27 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's monthly trade deficit widened to a record in September as meat exports dropped to their lowest level in more than three years. More>>


Animal Welfare: Cruel Practices Condemned By DairyNZ Chief

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says cruel and illegal practices are not in any way condoned or accepted by the industry as part of dairy farming.

Tim says the video released today by Farmwatch shows some footage of transport companies and their workers, as well as some unacceptable behaviour by farmers of dragging calves. More>>


Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


International Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news