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UK Against Fluoridation

Sunday, September 18, 2016

NZ Andrew Buckley - Fluoridation and democracy

It’s not about water fluoridation, it’s about democracy and following a proper process.

As a member of the Waikato District Health Board I believe it is my job to ask hard questions and hold our system to account. Board members, both elected and appointed, are there to ensure a good process is followed so that the best decisions can be made. At our DHB, and apparently at others around New Zealand, I believe that we have lost sight of the right process and therefore decisions are being made without having all of the relevant facts in hand.
During September 2016 we saw media reports of allegations of bullying and intimidation at Nelson and Marlborough DHB against a board member who raised legitimate concerns about the safety and value of water fluoridation. Another report related to a board member’s concerns at Canterbury DHB about their “gagging policy” and lack of transparency. Please refer to the links at the bottom of this article to read more about these cases..........................

Is this the real enemy?

In July last year, Nelson and Marlborough DHB Principal Dental Officer, Dr. Rob Beaglehole, delivered one of his many attacks on national consumption of sugary drinks and junk food. (see link below). He presented a number of disturbing statistics:
  • Each year 35,000 NZ children under 12 have rotten teeth extracted because of excessively sugary diets, mainly due to sugary drinks and other junk foods.
  • New Zealand is the 11th largest consumer of soft drinks.
  • New Zealanders, on average, consume about 54kg of sugar each year, equivalent to 37 teaspoons of sugar per person, per day.
  • In 2014 New Zealanders drank 518.3 million litres of soft drinks.
To quote Dr. Beaglehole, “Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) are the leading cause of dental caries. It’s not lack of fluoride, it’s SSBs”
Dental caries in children, along with type 2 diabetes and obesity, are manifestations of the underlying problem: high sugar and saturated fat consumption along with lack of sufficient physical exercise. So, with regard to the global health crisis that faces us, let’s turn our attention, energy and resources toward the “too hard basket” of lifestyle practices that are the real issue.
These are alarming facts. As DHB board members we need to ask some hard questions:
  • Why are we not identifying children with dental caries at an early stage and preventing the need for surgical intervention?
  • Why are our vending machines vending snacks and beverages that cause either dental decay or dental erosion, or both?
It’s quite likely that we don’t have a fluoride deficiency; we have an excess of sugar in our diets, so let’s deal with it.


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