March 2018 - news
There is a pending bill in the state Senate (S. 1226) that proposes to ban the fluoridation of drinking water in all of Massachusetts
Letter supporting the bill Followed by long string of comments with Slott and Johnson in full voice
Edgarton, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
The Edgartown board of health will be holding a forum for the public to learn about the value of community water fluoridation.
...Edgartown voters were angered in November when Edgartown board of health members Harold Zadeh and Dr. Garrett Orazem voted 2-1 in favor of adding fluoride to the water. Board of health member Kathie Case abstained.
The decision on whether to add fluoride to the town water supply will be up to the voters on the Edgartown annual town ballot on April 12....
...The debate has ... surfaced in Newport with a single, albeit passionate, fluoride opponent in resident Kyle Hence.
...“This is an industrial waste product, a poison and a known developmental neuro-toxin,” Hence wrote in a statement. He points to studies that conclude ingesting fluoride can have negative health effects and argues that governments do not have the authority to “medicate” residents without their consent.
The addition of fluoride to the trace amount that naturally occurs in water is the “most efficient way to prevent one of the most common childhood diseases — tooth decay,” counters the American Dental Association in its “Fluoridation Facts” published in 2006.
Hence has taken his argument to City Hall, where he has petitioned the City Council to have the Newport Water Division stop fluoridating its water. The office, a division of the city’s Department of Utilities, treats and delivers water to Newport, Middletown, the southwestern corner of Portsmouth and Naval Station Newport....
... Board of Supervisors Chairman Greg Benton said he’s still interested in surveying residents about fluoridated water and putting what he described as an “informational statement and/or warning” on water bills.
“I do not believe the vote … precludes either of these for discussion or for being done and I would like to do this in the very near future so we can put this to rest for good,” Benton wrote in an email Feb. 15, two days after the Board of Supervisors voted 4–3 to continue what is known as “community water fluoridation...
Springfield, Clark County, Ohio
Springfield residents won’t vote at the polls to add fluoride to its public water supply in May, but the issue could be placed on the ballot in November.
Springfield city commissioners rejected this week an emergency ordinance to allow the issue to be placed on the ballot in May. The commission needed four votes for the resolution to pass as an emergency but Commissioners Kevin O’Neill and Joyce Chilton voted against it ...
Feb 18 — City officials in central Ohio are considering fluoridating the municipal water supply to combat poor dental health.
The Springfield News-Sun Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson urges Springfield city commissioners to allow a referendum vote in November on fluoridating the water supply. ...
Both Dorval and Pointe-Claire mayors have been briefed by Montreal and told there are no plans to discontinue the fluoridation of water at the Pointe-Claire treatment plant once Montreal’s 10-year overhaul of water distribution in the Lachine and Dorval sectors is complete.
... the water treatment plants in Lachine and Dorval would be shut down and 23 km of new pipes installed to link Lachine up with plants in the Sud-Ouest and LaSalle boroughs and Dorval to the treatment plant in Pointe-Claire.
...What separates Dorval and Pointe-Claire from the Montreal pack is that the two municipalities add fluoride to the drinking water and Montreal, which includes the borough of Lachine, never has....
Should the Town of Parry Sound fluoridate the municipal water supply? When heading to the polls in October, voters casting their ballots for councillors and mayor will also be asked to answer this question: “Are you in favour of the fluoridation of the public water supply of this municipality?”
...After a lengthy debate spearheaded by a group of concerned citizens, Parry Sounders for Progressive Water Management, fluoridation of the town’s water supply ended temporarily on March 18, 2016, under the condition that the question be posted on the 2018 municipal election ballot, asking ratepayers whether they want the town to continue to fluoridate its water.
Feb 20 Sarnians will get another kick at the fluoride can when a public meeting is held on Monday, Feb. 26. The meeting is a necessary step for council to put the question on October’s municipal election ballot.
Mayor Mike Bradley, who has long argued fluoridation is a question best put to the people, raised the issue last week.... The deadline to add questions to the ballot is March 1.
If approved, residents would be asked if they are in favour of removing fluoride from municipal drinking water....
Feb 26 ..., Mayor Mike Bradley reminded council chambers the debate was about whether or not to ask voters their opinions via plebiscite, not to argue the merits or hazards of fluoride in drinking water....
We did not see the survey, either, but it seems this old trick is still doing the rounds
The survey conducted by the Bega Valley Council on fluoridating our water supply was flawed. The question asked if you want fluoride in the water to prevent tooth decay. It didn’t ask if you want poor health as a consequence. I didn't receive a phone call about the survey nor did anyone I know. The survey should have been sent out to all ratepayers. Fluoride is far more effective in toothpaste than drinking water will ever be and our health won't suffer as a consequence. And it goes without saying that fluoridation is an expense the ratepayers don't need thrust upon them.
Brad Staker, Merimbula
This town has made its oposition clear to no avail, with the infamous lsurvey’ based on a leading question, still being used.
General manager at Bega Valley Shire Council Leanne Barnes said council will be taking the next steps to have the fluoridation program extended to Tantawanglo-Kiah and Brogo-Bermagui water supplies following the council meeting on Wednesday, February 21.
“We will now go back to the Secretary of NSW Health to say council has resolved to add fluoride to the water supplies,” Ms Barnes said adding that while it may come back to council as an operational process it would no longer be a matter for debate.
The decision has been more than 10 years in the making and at the council meeting there was two hours of debate, and presentations by members of the community. The debate was marked by many loud interruptions from the gallery, with Mayor Kristy McBain rising on several occasions to ask for respect from the public members.
...Several speakers raised the issue of the survey, saying the way the question was framed was biased, with Anthony Herford calling it “one of the most obvious cases of push polling I have seen” and Fraser Buchanan saying it was contrived.
Speakers also referred to safety fears for pregnant mothers and young babies ingesting fluoridated water ...In the debate by councillors, Cathy Griff called for a delay to see the results of the circuit court and the Gunnedah matter.
...But the motion for delay did not get support and councillor Tony Allen proposed the matter be dealt with at the time and added that his mind was made up by the information he had heard.
...“It comes down to the peoples right to choose. We can do dental health education. Sugar is the issue. This is a sad day for Bega Valley Shire,” Cr Griff said.
... The vote passed in a 6-2 majority decision, with only councillors Jo Dodds and Cathy Griff voting against it. Cr Mitchell Nadin was absent.
The council will now write to the NSW Department of Health to seek the go-ahead to add fluoride to the Tantawangalo-Kiah and Brogo-Bermagui town water supplies. Fluoride has been added to the Bega-Tathra water supply system since 1963.
NSW state government paid for everything.
The decision of Council comes on the back of a detailed community information process and a recent community survey that was undertaken to determine a statistically valid community view on the subject.
Conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC), a business unit of the Australian National University, the survey asked “Do you agree with adding fluoride to the public drinking supply to try to prevent tooth decay?”
The results of the survey were made publicly available on 29 January, with the key results being:
More than half of the residents surveyed rely on the public water supply as their normal source of drinking water (57.5 per cent). The second most common source was rainwater (24.6 per cent).
In response to the survey question, 66.2 per cent responded ‘yes’, 28.4 per cent responded ‘no’, 5.2 per cent were unsure and only 0.2 per cent preferred not to respond.,,,
Yanchep, Perth, Western Australia
YANCHEP tapped into Perth’s main fluoridated water supply several weeks ago.
A Health Department spokeswoman confirmed this month that fluoridation of the suburb’s drinking water supply started in December.
Yanchep resident Melanie Waldron said she felt “bitterly let down” because Water Corporation had promised a public announcement as to when the fluoridation would take place....
New South Wales
On Tuesday (February 13), Labor introduced legislation in the NSW Parliament to create tough new fluoride laws it claims would ‘override the anti-fluoride movement’ and effectively force councils like Byron Shire to fluoridate their water....
But Mr Secord’s claims have been refuted by Fluoride Free Northern Rivers (FFNR) spokesperson Al Oshlack, who said his move risked Labor’s chances for election in the region with his ‘fanatical support for fluoride’.
‘I told Walt that what he is doing by carrying on like this – coming after people on the North Coast – puts Labor at risk of holding those state seats, Mr Oshlack told Echonetdaily.
He added that lumping fluoride opponents with anti-vaxxers was ‘insulting’
Mr Oshlack said the group had ‘four clear reasons for opposing fluoride’.
‘It doesn’t work; it’s not ethical; it’s actually illegal, as it’s not been approved as a therapeutic substance by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA); and there have been systemic breakdowns in many fluoride plants, including here in the Northern Rivers,’ he said.
From the NZ Herald, one of a number of articles about Paul Connett’s tour and meeting in the Parliament
Professor Paul Connett, executive director of the American Environmental Health Studies Project, says water and fluoride don't go together. He chats to Mark Story ahead of his visit to Napier.
What are your three primary objections to the compulsory fluoridation of public drinking water? a) It violates the individual's right to informed consent to medical or human treatment. b) The evidence that swallowing fluoride lowers tooth decay by a significant amount is very weak. c) The fluoride ion is toxic and can interfere with many biological processes in the body. You're soon to be presenting to the New Zealand Government. What does this entail? I shall present a summary of the scientific evidence that associates fluoride exposure with damage to the brain. I have followed this evidence since 1996 when I first got involved with this matter.
Our local DHB is pro-fluoride. How is it that medical professionals can interpret the science so differently? First you have to ask how much research the medical professionals have done on this issue. Many are so busy in their own practices. Second, you have to ask if they belong to a government agency or professional body that promotes fluoridation. Bureaucrats know if they question a policy – especially a long-held one – that their future in the agency may be limited. DHBs are essentially at the end of a chain of command which starts with the Ministry of Health, which has been unable to provide an adequate scientific defence of this outdated practice.
Are you against topical application of fluoride, or all fluoride as a supplement to dental health? Certainly, topical treatments are preferable to swallowing fluoride – and more rational since the benefits are believed to be predominantly topical, even by proponents of fluoridation. While there is little benefit from swallowing fluoride and plenty of evidence that swallowing causes harm, topical treatments make more sense. However, in view of the latest scientific evidence on fluoride's neurotoxic effects at low doses, I think we should now be questioning the use of fluoride in toothpaste. Tooth decay is not caused by lack of fluoride but by a poor diet (too much sugar and not enough nutrients) and poor instructions on dental hygiene. This is exacerbated by poverty. These issues have been successfully addressed by the Childsmile programme in Scotland, which is safer and more cost-effective than fluoridation. One of the huge benefits of this programme is that parents are involved and this will help to reduce the number of severe cases of baby bottle tooth decay, which frequently is the cause of extractions under anesthesia both traumatic for young children and very costly.
Former Children's Commissioner Russell Wills claimed that the debate at its heart is not about science but values. That is, we should "limit personal freedoms for a public good". That is an opinion and only as valid as the scientific evidence he can produce to demonstrate that the benefits of swallowing fluoride outweigh the risks of swallowing it, i.e. that overall, it is a "public good". For government officials to force citizens to swallow fluoride with every glass of water they drink when the science of benefit is so weak - and the evidence that fluoride causes harm is getting stronger by the year - is the height of governmental arrogance.
* Professor Connett will speak at the Napier Conference Centre on Wednesday, February 14, at 7pm.
10 -minute video of TV interview
Anti-fluoride activist Professor Paul Connett has shared his views during an interview with TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme this morning, with a counter argument given by former Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.
Both gave firm arguments this morning on Breakfast around the controversial practice of fluoridating drinking water supplies. Source: Breakfast
Comments on the interview and parliamentary meeting from FAN NZ
Prof Connett will be interviewed on TV1's The Breakfast Show at 7.15 am tomorrow morning. He will then be presenting at Parliament that evening. All MPs have been invited to the presentation. Unfortunately, this is not open to the public and cannot be filmed. We will, however, provide an update as to who attended and how it went.
At this stage we know there are Labour MPs, at least one NZ First MP and at least one National that have confirmed they are attending. None of the Green MPs have and Health Minister David Clark has stated publicly that he will not be attending.
Both David Clark and Green leader, James Shaw, have said that they have received more correspondence on fluoridation than any other issue. Despite this - and the fact that fluoridation is obviously a huge health issue since it directly affects millions of New Zealanders - and the fact that the most important health study on fluoridation ever carried out was only published in September last year - neither seem to think listening to the latest science on fluoridation is necessary.
From FF New Zealand
Prof Connett Tour
World Leading Fluoridation Expert speaking around New Zealand and at Parliament
...Internationally renowned expert Professor Paul Connett, co-author of The Case Against Fluoride and former director of the Fluoride Action Network, ...Professor Connett will be speaking in Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Whangarei, Napier, Whanganui, and Wairarapa between February 9-18.
Prof Connett's speaking tour has got off to a good start with full houses at both Cambridge and Te Awamutu. Next talk is tonight in Whangarei - Monday 12th Feb at 5.30pm at Cafler Suite, Forum North, Rust Avenue, Whangarei - see details of all Talks here
...The tour has sparked two really good articles. One in Hawke's Bay Today and the other in Whanganui's Midweek Chronicle. And the fact that Prof Connett will be speaking at Parliament at 5pm on Thursday 22nd February, has caused National's Health spokesperson, Jonathan Coleman, to give us more coverage - by telling the media that politicians should not even listen to opposing views!
...Over 100 people attended in Waipa, Whangarei, Napier and Whanganui and about 40 people in Carterton. As advised in the last newsletter we also got the best press coverage we have ever had. See Paul Connett 2018 Tour Page for links. And see below for links to the Breakfast Show.
A big effort also went into encouraging the MPs to attend Prof Connett's Talk at Parliament. Unfortunately we have to advise that only three MPs attended: Christchurch Labour MP Duncan Webb, Tauranga-based Labour MP Angie Warren-Clark and NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell. Obviously we were really disappointed. This is despite all the emails and phone calls people made to Parliament. The Power Point presentation that Prof Connett showed to the MPs can be found on our Articles and Interviews Page under Health and Science.
On a brighter note, Clayton Mitchell said we really, really should not read much into the fact that MPs were not there. He said it is extremely difficult to find time for MPs to attend to all their obligations and that the fluoridation issue was being discussed around Parliament. Best of all, he was in complete agreement with us. However, he said NZ First were still committed to a binding referendum on the issue. We explained to him that we do not have the resources to compete with the Ministry of Health and the NZ Dental Association. But let's wait and see. If NZ First starts calling for a referendum, it will get the issue discussed and debated throughout the country. And we can call for fluoridation to be stopped immediate
This New Zealand letter makes one point so obvious that it provokes a Homer Simpson ‘DOH’
...My primary concern is: Where has democracy gone? A few years ago some towns in New Zealand had to fight their councils, just as we did long ago, to prevent their water supply from being fluoridated by local-body political decree.
Central government politicians subsequently decreed that fluoride is not a medication, hence no need to ask citizens whether they wanted to be forced to drink it. Such weaselly political underhandedness was compounded by making District Health Boards the sole arbiter of whether a town was to get fluoridation. It could only be politicians who put health boards in charge of alleged non-medications. One wonders why. Stupid!
Don't force it on majorities who reject it. Count me in on the fight for democracy.
STAN HOOD Aramoho