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Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation

Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed Ministry of Health consultation


Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981

New Health NZ urges anyone who is concerned about the risks of water fluoridation to human health, to have their say on a Ministry of Health proposal that is out for public consultation over the Christmas break.

The Ministry’s proposal is to exempt the water fluoridating chemicals Hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFA) and Sodium Silico Fluoride (SSF) from being medicines under the Medicines Act 1981. Submissions are due by 9 January 2015.

“We question the timing of this as it pre-empts the outcome of an Appeal against a recent High Court decision New Health NZ Inc v Attorney General, which held that HFA and SSF are not medicines. Our view is that should the Appeal succeed, and find that they are medicines for the purposes of the Act, they should not be exempted,” says New Health NZ chairman David Sloan.

Fluoridated water delivers uncontrolled doses of HFA and SSF to entire populations without informed consent. The effect of exempting these products, which are currently being used as medicines (ostensibly to prevent dental decay) from being medicines under the Act, regularises this. HFA and SSF are toxic by-products of the superphosphate industry that may also contain arsenic, mercury and lead.

“A significant number of New Zealanders are already hugely concerned by this issue. Our decision to pursue the Appeal, and to encourage people to make their views known to the Ministry of Health about its proposal, reflects the importance of ensuring we all have the basic human right of choosing what goes into our bodies,” says Mr Sloan.

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A person living in a fluoridated community has no choice but to consume fluoridated water. Excessive ingestion of fluoride has been linked to a number of health harms including dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, bone fractures, IQ deficits, osteosarcoma, and thyroid impairment.

One litre of fluoridated water contains up to 1 mg of fluoride, which is the stated maximum medicinal dose of fluoride for an adult consuming fluoride tablets.

“Given that a person’s dose of fluoride from water fluoridation depends on how much fluoridated water they consume, many people would exceed this dosage. For example, any adult drinking more than 1 to 1.5 litres of water a day, not to mention babies/toddlers and pregnant women whose stated maximum medicinal dose of fluoride is zero,” says Mr Sloan.

While there is some scientific evidence that the topical use of fluoride (i.e. on the tooth surface) helps prevent dental decay, the weight of scientific evidence is that ingesting (swallowing) fluoride does not provide any protection against tooth decay. For those who believe there is a benefit in ingesting fluoride, there is the option of buying sodium fluoride tablets from a pharmacy.

New Health NZ Inc has asked the Ministry of Health to extend the timeframe for public submissions, given it is not considered best practice to offer a limited timeframe for public consultation over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

For more information and to make a submission, go to www.newhealth.co.nz/sayno.php. The Ministry of Health’s consultation document and any updates on its consultation timeframes are available at www.medsafe.govt.nz/consultations/medicine-regulations-fluoride-in-drinking-water.asp.

ENDS


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