January 30, 2016
This was a good week for the fluoride-free movement. Two more communities have been added to the list of over 200 that have ended fluoridation since 2010.
After adding fluoride to the public drinking water for over 50 years, the council in Parry Sound, Ontario voted to end the practice on Tuesday. The vote came after more than six months of debate, which was initiated by a June vote to resume fluoridation at a cost of $5,000 annually after a necessary $250,000 was to be spent on fluoride injection upgrades at the water plant. Concerned residents overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to the practice, and organized the group Parry Sounders for Progressive Water Management to oppose the plan. The group collected petition signatures, wrote great letters-to-editors (another one), and made multiple presentations to the council, including showing the 20-minute video Our Daily Dose. Residents from the neighboring town of McDougall, which purchases its drinking water from Parry Sound, also shared their opposition. A survey that was sent to McDougall residents found that more than 90% opposed fluoridation. The combined population of both towns is approximately 9,000.
While the Parry council vote was almost unanimous, they still have to formally approve a bylaw next month, then post the change for 21 days for public comment before the fluoridation prohibition takes effect. The fluoride lobby didn’t hesitate to comment. On Wednesday, a regional medical officer sent a letter supporting fluoridation and calling for the will of the residents to be ignored.
The second major victory this week was in New Zealand, where 37,000+ residents were freed from fluoridation by a well-organized coalition of citizens and professionals. Rather than FAN telling you about the victory, we want you to hear from the campaigners themselves. Watch local health professional Jon Burness proudly announcing the great fluoride victory, and read the press release from Fluoride Free New Zealand’s Mary Byrne:
Whakatane STOPS Water Fluoridation:
Money to Be Spent on Oral Health Care Programme
After 44 years of water fluoridation, Whakatane District Council has voted to end the out-dated practice. Instead, they will consider providing funds to the District Health Board for targeted oral health programmes, like CHILDSMILE, which has been successful in Scotland for more than a decade. Because of this programme, Scottish children now have better teeth than New Zealand children, and Scotland has never been fluoridated.
37,000 people, including Whakatane and Ohope, will now have their water without added Hydrofluorosilic Acid (aka fluoride). With dental health statistics for Bay of Plenty showing no difference in decay rates between fluoridated Whakatane and the non fluoridated rest of the region. The only health effect from ending fluoridation is expected to be better health for all.
Fluoride Free New Zealand congratulates those Councillors that voted to stop. The reason most Councillors gave for choosing to stop fluoridation is that they were unsure of the health risks, and did not feel it should be their job to decide. Mayor Bonne said one of the reasons he voted to stop fluoridation was because he had been advised by previous Health Ministers that the Council was responsible, and that if it is found that fluoridation causes harm, then it will be the Council that would carry the consequences, not the Ministry of Health or Central Government.
Councillors were made aware today that the evidence showing fluoride’s harm is mounting every year. Fluoride is now classified as a neurotoxin. The US Government’s Toxicology Program is now embarking on a systematic review of all fluoride-brain studies and is conducting their own new animal studies to try to determine the dose at which harm occurs to the brain.
Since 1972, Whakatane District has had some areas fluoridated and some not. Now they will have a consistent no water fluoridation policy which is also in line with their neighbours; Tauranga, Rotorua and Opotiki. It is also in line with the vast majority of New Zealand councils and the vast majority of the world. Less than 4% of the world is still adding fluoride to public water supplies.
Whakatane District Council also agreed to undertake a report to provide advice on the logistics of earmarking the money, used on fluoridation chemicals, to the DHB as a transition measure. This would assist the DHB into implementing a targeted, comprehensive dental health programme to those children who really need help. Mayor Bonne and Cr Jarrett were keen to see a programme such as CHILDSMILE initiated so that children in need could be substantially helped. Most other councillors were also happy to assist the DHB to get this off the ground.
Fluoride Free New Zealand would like to thank everyone who has campaigned for this over many years, especially Jon Burness, Fluoride Free Whakatane campaign coordinator and one of the 291 NZ Health Professionals Opposing Fluoridation.
Whakatane Council members who voted in favour of stopping fluoridation were: Mayor Bonne, Cr Johnston, Cr Silcock, Cr Sheaff, Cr Van Beek and Cr Jarrett. Councillors who voted against stopping fluoridation were: Deputy Mayor Judy Turner, Cr Julie Jukes, Cr John Pullar, Cr Andrew Ilies, and Cr Russell Orr.
Latest Fluoride News:
-Healdsburg Water Fluoridation Moratorium Initiative (California)
-Chicago: A City Divided on Dental Care (Illinois)
For more fluoride related media, please visit FAN’s News Archive.