News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Chief Science Advisor Appears To Deliberately Mislead On Fluoride Science

The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor has released a document purporting to show the latest science on fluoridation. However, among the many mistakes and reliance on out-of-date science, the most glaring issue is that she refers to two of the best studies ever carried out on fluoride and IQ (Mexico and Canada) as “having high prenatal exposure”. This is probably the most egregious misrepresentation in the review and hard to believe it was not done to purposely misrepresent.

Both the Mexican and Canadian studies looked at the level of fluoride in the urine of pregnant mothers. They then compared this to their children’s IQ when the children were six to twelve years and three to four years, respectively. The level of fluoride found in the mother's urine was the same as the level that has been found in the only New Zealand study to have looked at fluoride urine levels.

Mexico is not fluoridated, and Canada has about 40% fluoridation with lower levels than New Zealand. Both of these studies, and the Chinese one the chief Science Advisor also referred to, show the same results. That as fluoride levels in the pregnant mother increases, IQ in the children drops.

In New Zealand, where we were fluoridating at 1ppm for many years, (the target is now 0.85ppm) fluoridation is likely to have caused a drop of around 5 IQ points for children exposed in-utero. The Canadian study was published in the prestigious JAMA Pediatrics, the world’s top Pediatric journal.

An effect size which is on a par with lead” Dimitri Christakis, editor in chief of JAMA Pediatrics.

I would advise them [pregnant women] to drink bottled water or filtered water” Dr. Fred Rivera, editor of JAMA Network, Open Journal.

The Chief Science Advisor's Review does state, correctly, that the Draft of the US National Toxicology Review has found “that fluoride is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard, based on evidence from populations where drinking-water has fluoride concentrations of more than 1.5 mg/L. This determination is very clearly dose dependent.” The NTP Review also states that the “dose” received at 1.5 mg/L is based on average consumption and that around 5% of the population consumes twice as much as average.

Any margin of safety analysis would therefore mean the end of fluoridation in New Zealand.

To claim there is benefit from fluoridation, the Review uses results from the 2009 Oral Health Survey. This survey used data from 2008 which is now 13 years old and completely out of date. The most recent data from the NZ School Dental Statistics shows no difference in dental decay rates for children living in fluoridated or non-fluoridated areas. It also shows a gradual improvement in dental health in the non-fluoridated areas with no improvement in the fluoridated areas.

The Review describes fluoride as benefiting teeth from incorporation into the tooth enamel. This theory has been widely discredited and no longer touted in US science. The US Centers for Disease Control debunked this theory in 1999 saying the benefit from fluoride came from topical exposure i.e. from toothpaste.

The Review cites a New Zealand study that looks at the disparities between Māori and non-Māori dental health. It states “the study found that Māori children in areas with community water fluoridation had better oral health profiles than Māori children in non-fluoridated areas” but fails to advise that the study found “CWF itself did not remove disparities in caries levels between Māori and non-Māori children". The likely reason Māori children in fluoridated areas have better dental health overall is because the fluoridated areas in New Zealand are among the highest socio-economic areas and the non-fluoridated are among the lowest socio-economic areas.

The Review has many other issues that could not stand up to any level of debate. Fluoride Free New Zealand has repeatedly called for open public discussion, but people pushing fluoridation prefer to hide behind closed doors and dictate to New Zealanders, happily promoting forcing medical treatment on people without informed consent.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland