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OP: Fluoridation – it does reduce tooth decay

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, June 21st, 2013 - 306 comments
Categories: health, making shit up, public services, science, water - Tags: ,

Ken Perrott at Open Parachute has been debunking some of the nonsense surrounding the debate on fluoridated water by investigating claims made against fluoridated water. His background is in scientific research, so he tends to actually read the papers cited by others. Unsurprisingly there are some of the weird nonsense interpretations around of papers because many people appear to avoid actually reading the details. This post was published on his site yesterday and has been reposted with permission.

In the current fluoridation debate anti-fluoridation activists will often claim fluoridation of public water supplies actually doesn’t reduce tooth decay. This conflicts directly with the advice of our health authorities – so what is the truth?

The claim

Again I will directly consider the claim of the Fluoridation Action Network of NZ (FAANZ). It’s summarised in the first objection to fluoridation (1. New science proves there is no benefit from swallowing fluoride ):

There are numerous modern studies to show that there is no difference in dental decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. The most recent, large-scale one was conducted in Australia (Armfield & Spencer, 2004 Community Dental Oral Epidemiology. 32:283-96).

When you observe the statistics of the world they clearly show tooth decay has declined in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas alike. This is a trend that is demonstrated when viewing the statistics across the States in America and in the smaller counties. See the charts and findings by Dr. Bill Osmunson in the above video by Professional Perspectives.

In New Zealand there have been two recent studies that showed there was no difference in dental decay for permanent teeth. One was the Southland Study in 2005 and the other was the Auckland study in 2008. These, among many other studies, have proven water fluoridation to be ineffective.

(This objection goes on to discuss topical vs ayatemic itnake of F which I won’t discuss here)

But, health authorities in New Zealand disagree – and they have the data to support their case. So how credible is the FANNZ claim?

The citation.

Again, another citation, unlinked, so I had to go to the trouble of hunting it down to read what it actually does say – which turns out to be the exact opposite of FANNZ claim! Same problems I met when I looked at their claim about toxic elements in fluoridating agents (see ).

The Australian study investigated concerns about the high use of bottled and rainwater. Several social, economic and dietary factors were considered but the major significant effect was that of fluoride. Children consuming tank and bottled water had much higher carries than those consuming water from fluoridated public water supplies. This was found for deciduous teeth, but not for permanent teeth and the authors speculated on the dietary and other reasons for this.

The authors considered lack of fluoride is an important problem for tank water use saying:

“Efforts could be directed at either reducing the use of tank water for domestic drinking water consumption or further encouraging the appropriate use of fluoride to compensate for the lack of fluoride in the drinking water.”

About bottled water they say:

“consumers currently have little choice in Australia and the imminent introduction of fluoride-containing bottled water does not look likely.”

So:

“It is also time that bottled water manufacturers in Australia began marketing fluoridated water. In the US more than 20 companies produce water with optimum fluoride concentrations.”

They finish their paper with this:

“Bottled water is promoted as a healthy, chemical-free alternative. There is a need for bottled water manufacturers to take a stand on the issue of the benefits of appropriately fluoridated water and provide consumers with choice.”

So another example of FANNZ using a citation inappropriately – to support a claim the exact opposite to the study’s results.

The New Zealand data.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) keeps records on the oral health of New Zealand children – and anyone can download that data from their website. There is data for age 5 and year 8 children over the time period 1990 to 2011. I’ll have a detailed look at the data for 2002 – 2011 (earlier data doesn’t include the ethnic breakdown which is very relevant). But first a few comments about the way many of the anti-fluoridation activists are cherry picking this and similar data to support their arguments.

Recently I received two specific claims made about this data:

  1. The oral health of Christchurch people is better than for New Zeland as a whole. The don’t have access to fluoridated water therefore this proves fluoridation doesn’t work.
  2. In 2011 the mean number of decayed, missing and filled teeth in 5 year old Waikato children was greater for children drinking fluoridated water than for those drinking unfluoridated water. This proves fluoridation doesn’t work.

In both claims data was carefully selected to “prove” fluoridation doesn’t work. One can’t directly compare Christchurch data with that for the whole of New Zealand as that ignores the influence of ethnic, social and other factors. And selection of one small piece (Waikato in 2011) of the total picture cannot give you any idea of that total picture. The data includes all sorts of variation over time and region and these cherry-pickers are make cynical use of this.

I have summarised the MOH data in this table as the changes for the percentage of carries free teeth, and mdmf – the mean number decayed, missing and filled teeth per child per year. The data are for 2 age groups and are averages, over the period 2002 to 2011, of annual data . The totals and the separate data for Maori give some idea of differences which are probably largely a result of the well established social and economic disadvantage of Maori.

Effect of fluoridation of % carries free and mdmf

Year 8

Total Maori
Carries free (%) 8.86 10.42
MDMF* -0.48 -0.81

5 years

Total Maori
Carries free (%) 8.05 12.46
MDMF* -0.63 -1.38

*MDMF = Mean decayed, missing and filled teeth

I think that shows fluoridation is associated with a clear increase in numbers of carries free teeth, and a clear decrease in the mean decayed, missing and filled teeth.

So much for FANN’s claim “that there is no difference in dental decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.”

The figures below show the g=data graphically to enable readers to get a better understanding.

First a comparison of average annual % carries free teeth and mdmf in the period 2002 -2011 for the two age groups.

% carries free

Fluor-1

Mean decayed, missing and filled teeth

Fluor-2

Plots of the data below give and idea of variability and trends. They also show the influence of social and economic deprivation is long-term.

% carries free

Fluor-3

MEAN DECAYED, MISSING AND FILLED TEETH

Fluor-4

A comment in trends

Some anti-fluoridationists are making an issue of the apparent improvement in oral health for people consuming unfluoridated as well as fluoridated water. For example, the claim above asserts:

“When you observe the statistics of the world they clearly show tooth decay has declined in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas alike.”

Perhaps they think that this somehow covers up the fact that despite the trends oral health it is still better for the fluoridated groups.

Mind you, another reason is that many of the statistics they refer to are presented only graphically. For example this figure from Fluoride Alert (an anti-fluoridation group) actually does not correspond to the data it refers to.

who_data01

It seems the figure was constructed using only 2 data points of each line – 1 very old and 1 recent. This means that all sorts of factors, (such as changes in criteria and attitude of dentists towards saving teeth) could be involved – quite apart from fluoridation.

The data I have plotted above the New Zealand in the period 2002 – 2011 does not show the declines that the anit-fluoridationists claim.

Another example of cherry-picking to mislead.

See also:

Getting a grip on the science behind claims about fluoridation

Is fluoride an essential dietary mineral?

Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies?

Tactics and common arguments of the anti-fluoridationists

Hamilton City Council reverses referendum fluoridation decision

Scientists, political activism and the scientific ethos

 

306 comments on “OP: Fluoridation – it does reduce tooth decay”

  1. Winston Smith 1

    I really don’t understand why we need to be having this…add the fluride to the water and if the whackos don’t like they can buy a water filter

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      Your new-found respect for evidence is very welcome.

      • gsays 1.1.1

        this whacko was talking to the dental nurse about this subject during my 11 yr old sons dental appointment.
        her concern was the food acid in energy drinks and processed food.
        she has recently seen children leave primary school cavity free and one year later return with serious decay issues.

        the problem with this issue is that nothing can be taken in isolation as causal.
        education (of parents), diet, disposable income etc.

        btw, the child in the chair was complimented on the health of his teeth, he lives on tank water, brushes twice a day and very rarely has fizzy and never food with artificial sweetener.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Hmmmm yeah those energy drinks more acidic than Coke, and Coke can derust a part in 24 hours

    • lprent 1.2

      I’m unsure how effective that water filters would be. I’d have to look at the size of molecule that a water filter could strain and/or chemically bind.

      Not to mention that most water filters aren’t that effective because they are seldom if ever cleaned and the filters replaced.

      It always amuses me asking people about their usage of water filters and then pointing out that they are in fact increasing their risks through poor maintenance.

      They’d be better off buying bottled water from a known source and taking the risk of that supplier instead.

      • NickS 1.2.1

        Standard carbon filter should do the trick, mostly due to the chemical properties of SiF6 which make it very, very attracted to slightly positive atoms in a molecule. Like juicy hydrogen groups or in the case of carbon filters, the deliciously not strongly bound electrons of the carbons, especially in aromatic rings.

        Would have to be replaced according to manufacturer guidelines though, otherwise as you said, they filter wont do crap.

      • Roy 1.2.2

        Or they could collect water off their roof the way rural dwellers do.

        • Ugly Truth 1.2.2.1

          So long as you’ve got something to to disinfect it, otherwise you run the risk of cholera.

          • McFlock 1.2.2.1.1

            like the chlorine they add to municipal water. An actual poison (used in chemical warfare) added at four times the rate of fluoride. Double standards, much?

            • Ugly Truth 1.2.2.1.1.1

              No double standards, I wasn’t advocating chlorine use.

              False accusation much?

              • McFlock

                Ah, one of those non-poisonous disinfectants.
                Silver?

                  • McFlock

                    Fair enough. So people opposed to fluoridation can collect roof water, an easy opt-out solution.

                    • Not as easy as getting your water from the council supply, but probably the most practical idea if you don’t want council water.

                    • McFlock

                      a viable alternative, though.

                    • weka

                      Only if you can afford it. Double standard much?

                    • McFlock

                      bucket.

                    • weka

                      hypocrite.

                    • McFlock

                      Why? The gripe is that fluoridation is mass medication that can’t be avoided. If people are that concerned about it, then an alternative falls out of the sky. Or the local brewery’s free aquifer tap. Or a filter (though opinion is divided here). Or a still. Or supplied by tanker. Heck, if water in a pet bottle can provide clean water with a developing nation budget, it’s NZ-affordable.

                      The point being that if someone is so naive to believe that they have control over everything they injest down to a single part per million, there are options across the financial spectrum. So nah, even if one really wanted to call it “mass medication”, it’s still a massive call to use forced-medication ethical arguments.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course it is forced mass medication. If you had your way, you’d override the wishes of local government and make implementation of fluoridation compulsory by central legislative or regulatory mandate.

                    • McFlock

                      1: Hamilton council overrode its best knowledge of the wishes of the populace to remove fluoridation, so you’re on thin ice there;
                      2: If alternatives are accessible so you don’t need to injest it, it’s not “forced” by definition. Alternatives are available, therefore it’s obviously not “forced mass medication” and you are again using words you do not understand.

                      extra cluebat: it’s not “forced mass medication” if people aren’t medicated when they choose not to be.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Meh good as forced then.

                    • McFlock

                      no, because people don’t have to drink that water if they don’t want to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Until you make them, or make their food with it

                    • McFlock

                      so now the local councils are making people drink municipal water? Or force-feeding them bread made with fluoridated water? No? Okay then.

                    • weka

                      McFlock, the reason you are being hypocritical is that on the one hand I am pretty sure you have argued that poor people are more at risk of tooth decay and so should be afforded a public health response. But what about poor people that want to avoid fluoridated water? Or are you suggesting that it’s only well off people that might want to do this? Not everyone can afford to install a rainwater tank, or has a car to get to the speights tap, or has an ability to use a fucking bucket.

                    • weka

                      “…
                      24 June 2013 at 11:51 pm
                      so now the local councils are making people drink municipal water? Or force-feeding them bread made with fluoridated water? No? Okay then.”

                      No-one is forcing anyone to eat a teeth damaging diet, or not clean their teeth properly either.

                      Isn’t this getting a bit ridiculous?

                    • McFlock

                      @ weka

                      Basically, I do think that fluoridated water supplies are more concerning for the rich than the poor, like vaccination. And for those poor people who are concerned about fluoride, there are many alternatives. But let’s say that there are 5 poor people who cannot find an alternative water source and are still concerned about fluoride. Do I care? No, because they are being delivered a potable water supply. I don’t believe that municipal authorities have an obligation to provide distilled, lab-quality, 99.99999999% pure water to households. Clean and drinkable yes. Stuff that has the dead rats taken out, if you will. But having an argument about something that has no demonstrable harm but a demonstrated association with positive health while not affecting any humanly-detectable quality of the water, I reckon that’s mostly the realm of people with few real worries.

                      No-one is forcing anyone to eat a teeth damaging diet, or not clean their teeth properly either.

                      My point was in response to CV calling fluoridation “forced mass medication”, which is indeed ridiculous. But bad caries-free/DMFT levels are not just the result of diet and lack of brushing, or even access to dental care. Even if everyone brushed thrice daily and ate like our neolithic ancestors, some of us would still get caries. Fluoride is complementary to other interventions, not a substitute, and vice versa.

                • Colonial Viper

                  cholera wipes out whole populations. Dental caries not so much. What was that fancy idea called again? Risk/benefits, right?

                  • McFlock

                    Well, you obviously think that the risk/benefit ration is worthwhile. How many milligrams/kg do you put your intake ate again?

          • Roy 1.2.2.1.2

            Not unless you’ve got someone who carries Vibrio cholerae shitting on your roof.

            I’ve lived in rural houses where the rainwater was collected off the roof, and visited a number of similar houses, and never yet seen anyone bother to disinfect their rainwater. I guess rascally people who climb on other peoples’ roofs to take a crap, and also happen to carry Vibrio cholerae, can’t be all that common.

            • KJT 1.2.2.1.2.1

              When we had tank water many of our visitors used to get upset stomachs. We, and our kids, seemed to be immune.

              The odd dead rat or possum did improve the flavour!

              • weka

                Have to agree with Roy – people have been using tank water for a very long time. But I’ve heard similar as KJT as well – that some people not used to it get stomach upsets. Even people who have their own tank water at home, when they go somewhere else. What does that tell us?

                • Colonial Viper

                  immune systems get trained up for the challenges that they are exposed to

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Citation needed.

                    • weka

                      Ach, the illogic and bias in the first few paragraphs, can’t stand it. Fortunately I have a meeting to go to…

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      😆 Quite likely. I’m pre-disposed to believe that I can “boost my immune system”, but many credible sources pour cold water on the notion.

                      Perhaps not the best citation ever though.

                    • weka

                      I’ll probably read the article because it does look like it’s got some interesting things in it. It’s just that science should be about exploring how immunity works, not pouring cold water on how it works 😉

                      There is no doubt that there are things we can do to improve our personal immunity, even science knows that. It’s also pretty clear that science doesn’t know all there is to know about immunity yet.

                      And to go back to what CV said, I don’t think there is any doubt either that the immune system gets ‘trained’ by what it is exposed to.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      weka – the best way to look at the immune system is as your body’s standing military force. An extraordinarily powerful one, with an arsenal quite able to kill a human being in fifteen minutes or less.

                      But it is also requires a high level of discipline, of in-the-field training, and ongoing logistics supply, in order to function optimally.

                      EDIT – OAK’s citation is just irrelevant, and in the wrong universe.

                • McFlock

                  That while their immune systems might be used to it, they still should take the dead rats out of the tank?

                  • weka

                    I was going to say that we’re all individuals with individual responses to what we get exposed to in our environment 😉

            • Ugly Truth 1.2.2.1.2.2

              I was thinking more of avian cholera

    • Mike S 1.3

      Or don’t add the fluoride to the water supply and the if the whackos don’t like it they can brush their teeth?

      • travellerev 1.3.1

        Mike S,

        Was gonna say that but you got it in first.

        I am from Amsterdam Holland and when I was first approached by the anti Fluoride “whacko’s” on the Hamilton farmer markets I responded when asked to sign their petition that I wouldn’t because I believed in fluoridation. It wasn’t until many years later I changed my mind and decided that we are not entitled to add any chemicals to the finite source of water no matter what the chemicals and that clean and healthy chemical water was a birth right of all species.

        As it happens we chuck in loads of them already in unhealthy and uncontrollable amounts and I don’t see why we should add fluoride to it.

        Decay is the result of adding unhealthy chemical products such as refined sugar and highely refined and processed carbohydrates to our diet and why not take them out first before we add chemicals to prevent tooth decay to the water.

        Sugar I might add doesn’t just rot your teeth but it makes you fat, causes many health issues such as diabetes and makes a few already stinking rich families even richer.

        So ditch the sugar and chemical laden soda pops and other crap out of your diet and voila no fluoridation needed in the first place.

        See you don’t have to go the nutcase or the wacko route. Common sense dictates that if we want people to be healthier we should make sure we eat healthier and take the detrimental chemicals they already eat out of their food and you don’t have to argue the for or against reasons of fluoride.

        And lets remember chemicals added to food to make it last longer, make it taste better no matter what that “food” is hugely profitable for already stinking rich people much like the sale of fluoride is.

        • travellerev 1.3.1.1

          Mike S,

          Was gonna say that but you got it in first.

          I am from Amsterdam Holland and when I was first approached by the anti Fluoride “whacko’s” on the Hamilton farmer markets I responded when asked to sign their petition that I wouldn’t because I believed in fluoridation. It wasn’t until many years later I changed my mind and decided that we are not entitled to add any chemicals to the finite source of water no matter what the chemicals and that clean and healthy chemical water was a birth right of all species.

          As it happens we chuck in loads of them already in unhealthy and uncontrollable amounts and I don’t see why we should add fluoride to it.

          Decay is the result of adding unhealthy chemical products such as refined sugar and highely refined and processed carbohydrates to our diet and why not take them out first before we add chemicals to prevent tooth decay to the water.

          Sugar I might add doesn’t just rot your teeth but it makes you fat, causes many health issues such as diabetes and makes a few already stinking rich families even richer.

          So ditch the sugar and chemical laden soda pops and other crap out of your diet and voila no fluoridation needed in the first place.

          See you don’t have to go the nutcase or the wacko route. Common sense dictates that if we want people to be healthier we should make sure we eat healthier and take the detrimental chemicals they already eat out of their food and you don’t have to argue the for or against reasons of fluoride.

          And lets remember chemicals added to food to make it last longer, make it taste better no matter what that “food” is hugely profitable for already stinking rich people much like the sale of fluoride is.

          • travellerev 1.3.1.1.1

            Purgatory!!!

            By the way, When I did some research to respond to Ken Perrot who left a comment on my blog I thought to check up on the Amsterdam fluoridation situation and guess what?

            It turns out that while Amsterdam was one of the first cities to add fluoride to the otherwise chlorine and chemical free water supply (To this day I might add) in 1969 if I recall correctly, making us all very proud that we were so well taken care of in such a modern way it was also the first city to get rid of it again in 1973! (without any fanfare by the way. A possible sign they did not want to have to pay damages to the people affected by the temporary poisoning of their drinking water.)

            Why? Because they kept and eye on the possible side effects and it turned out that in cities which had part Amsterdam water and part filtered dune water in separate water supply systems the neighborhoods with Amsterdam water started to report all kinds of health issues which disappeared when fluoridated water was discontinued.

            Seems simple to me and while I used to be proud I was drinking fluoridated water to keep my teeth I am now even more proud of my city of Amsterdam making that decision all those years ago.

            So why do I still have all my teeth at 57 if it wasn’t for ingesting this miracle chemical we should all drink? Perhaps it was because we had free dental care for everybody with six monthly checkups. Perhaps it was because I never did drink any coca cola and other crappy sugar laden soda pops and brush my teeth regularly. Or perhaps it was because like everybody else until recently I did brush my teeth with fluoridated tooth paste. Who knows? One thing is for sure drinking it wasn’t the reason

            • travellerev 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Oops, Here is the link to the summary of papers published on the Amsterdam, Netherlands fluoridation experiment.

              Oops** ” clean and healthy chemical water” should of course have been ” clean and healthy chemical FREE water”.

              • A chemical-free chemical?

                • Tamati

                  Methinks that the water supply may have been laced with the deadly dihydrogen monoxide.

                • weka

                  Chemical

                  noun

                  a compound or substance that has been purified or prepared, esp. artificially : never mix disinfectant with other chemicals | controversy arose over treatment of apples with this chemical.

                  From my computer’s dictionary. I think it’s a bit of a limited definition, but it serves to illustrate my point. To most humans on the planet, water is something that flows in rivers, you drink it or eventually die, and you can wash things with it. Sometimes it falls from the sky.

                  Honestly, most people don’t think of water as a chemical, and most people aren’t scientists. You can argue all you like about technical definitions, but it doesn’t help the debate in any way at all.

                  People who can write the chemistry name for water think they’re clever and/or funny, but we all have google and that pejorative meme is old and tired now.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Once everyone figures out what dihydrogen monoxide is, we can worry about hydrogen hydroxide and hydroxylic acid as well. On a serious note, I take your point about communicating with non-specialists. We can’t stick to the technical meanings of words, but have to use them in ways that are understood. As long as this is done without conveying misinformation, I don’t object at all.

                    As far as fluoride goes, I doubt if it’s harmful in the quantities used and I can’t really be bothered learning more about it. The issue as far as I’m concerned is one of compulsory medication. If someone doesn’t want fluoride in their system, any caries is only going to be in their own teeth. Unless they want to bite me or kiss me, it’s none of my business.

                    I think a good argument can be made for many vaccination programs, but not for mass fluoridation. I’m bloody glad that I benefitted from programs against polio, smallpox, rubella, and tetanus, for example. I saw too many people only slightly older than myself who didn’t.

                    • The did a funny test in California where they asked people in the street should (a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihydrogen_monoxide_hoax”>dihydrogen monoxide also known as H2O be banned and 9 out of 10 people said yes and signed the petition.

                    • The real joke here is that dihydrogen monoxide actually is toxic to aquatic life. A fish in water is a living fish, but a fish in dihydrogen monoxide is a fish dying from oxygen deprivation.

    • Polish Pride 1.4

      Or alternately control freaks could add fluoride to their own water if they choose to. :)

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        Apparently its all very safe so yeah sounds like a do it at home job for the Fluoridistas.

      • weka 1.4.2

        “Or alternately control freaks could add fluoride to their own water if they choose to”

        Except this is a public health issue, so that doesn’t really work in terms of addressing the need.

        • Polish Pride 1.4.2.1

          If peoples teeth were literally falling out then yeah for sure but it is nowhere near that in fact the advantages are not that significant imho. I just don’t like the idea of chemicals of any kind being added to such a key resource. If you want it in your water add it yourself. Don’t force me or anyone that doesn’t want to have it to have no choice in the matter. Making fizzy drinks cost more than bottled water would be far more beneficial when it comes to combating tooth decay than adding fluoride to water… again imho.

        • Ugly Truth 1.4.2.2

          As soon as you talk about public policy in terms of need, you’re effectively only communicating with the brain-dead. Need and reason are more or less mutually exclusive.

          The original reason for fluoride was do dumb the population down.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.4.2.2.1

            :roll:

            We need better drivel.

            • Ugly Truth 1.4.2.2.1.1

              No need to be so hard on yourself. Just read up on how to construct a coherent argument and you’ll have a chance for improvement.

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Could you be more vacuous? You comment here, day after day, demonstrating little but your own conceit, credulity and ignorance.

                The problem, twit, is that you persist in attempting to derive results from conclusions, and in doing so you make a laughing stock, which is why so many of us are laughing at you.

  2. Kia Ora

    It is all very well to look at the science of fluoridation and I commend the research for being done, but seriously, what is so hard about teaching children from an early age to do their teeth?

    What is also so hard about using some common sense and not having bottles of coke at the bedsides of children over night. If they really need a drink, get a glass of water.

    Through that my parents managed to save themselves a small fortune in terms of taking my brother and I to the dentist. The only time it got expensive was when I came off my bike in an accident and needed a crown, and when I had to have all four wisdom teeth taken out under anaesthetic.

    Common sense, really.

    • McFlock 2.1

      It’s not a replacement for personal oral hygiene, it’s a supplement. Not everyone has teeth like yours (although if you drank a lot of water as a kid and the supply had fluoride in it, who’s to say whether that might not be why?).

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        A compulsory supplement? Where at least 299/300 kids being medicated get no benefit in terms of just one less decayed, filled or missing tooth?

        I don’t think so.

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          Well, given that the charts above show a mean association of around one less decayed, filled or missing tooth per child across the entire population, by your figure that one child who benefits retains in the region of 300 perfect teeth.

          Shark Boy, perhaps?

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah whoops. When you feed 25 children fluoridated water, just 1 more of them ends up caries free.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes.
              And unless that kid would otherwise have had 40-odd DMFT, then it looks like at least some of their peers would have better teeth than without fluoride.

              But even so, that’s something like 4,000 kids with perfect teeth every year.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        In fact, if your children are non-Maori, mass medication fluoridation will only help say 1/500 or 1/600 kids, in terms of one less tooth affected by decay, filling or missing.

        499 out of the 500 children will get no benefit.

        Fucking hopeless mass medication. 0.2% of the non-Maori kids who swallow it might benefit, and even fewer adults if you can imagine that. Might be time to ditch it, like all of Germany has done for over 2 decades.

      • Mike S 2.1.3

        It’s not a supplement, it is classed as a medicine as it is not an essential nutrient.

    • What is also so hard about using some common sense and not having bottles of coke at the bedsides of children over night.

      ?!?!

      Sorry Robert, I’m having trouble understanding how you know that ever child’s bedside has a bottle of coke beside it. In all my years I’ve never seen such a thing. I’m not saying it’s impossible – but I’ve never seen it.

      This sounds suspiciously like like one of those unsubstantiated prejudices that certain right wingers like to bandy about, so blame can be apportioned, and the rest of us are no longer needing to be concerned.

      Like, every bene has a SkyTV dish…

      Every every wastes their money on pokies…

      Every bene blah blah blah.

      Just ask Rankin, McCoskie, and Tamaki. They’ll provide the rest.

      Ken Perrott has put his case. Let’s debate that rather than raise bogeymen that are easy to splash about, but can’t be substantiated.

  3. Saccharomyces 3

    Great article. I can’t believe that the anti-fluoride crowd get air time. Frankly I can’t believe that the Hamilton council were suckered in to giving in.

    • McFlock 3.1

      elections coming up and they hit on the “kick it to central government” dodge.

      Nothing scares politicians like the possibility of nutbars at public meetings screaming that you poisoned the water supply. Squeakiest wheel gets the grease.

      • Ugly Truth 3.1.1

        Facts are facts. Fluoride is a poison, and the dose argument doesn’t work because fluoride accumulates in the body.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1

          Oh you’re a chemist and a biologist and a bush lawyer and an orgone technologist? When do you sleep?

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            He doesn’t. That’s when they take away your liberties and put spiders in your brain.

        • Roy 3.1.1.2

          Everything you can absorb is a poison in excess. Here’s some other poisons: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, sodium, chloride, iodide, oxygen, water. You can kill yourself by overdosing with the above and any other substance you can absorb. On the other hand all the above-listed substances are essential for survival, too.

          The most toxic substance known to man is Botulinum A. Know what the active ingredient in Botox is? Botulinum A. That’s right, at a low enough dose, the most toxic substance known to man can be safely injected as a cosmetic agent to smooth out wrinkles.

          The first and last rule of toxicology is that coined by Paracelsus: The dose makes the poison.

          Fluoride is readily absorbed but is also excreted over time. It is not considered to be a bioaccumulative poison like, say DDE.

          • Ugly Truth 3.1.1.2.1

            Actually it is bioaccumulative like DDT.

            http://withonebreath.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/fluoride-is-a-bioaccumulative-poison-1800-professionals-call-for-end-of-water-fluoridation/

            Fluoride is a Bioaccumulative Poison; 1,800 Professionals Call for End of Water Fluoridation

            Studies also show that only about 50% of the fluoride that is ingested (through drinking fluoridated water or swallowing toothpaste) is excreted by the body, which suggests that fluoride, like many toxic chemicals, is bioaccumulative. Scientists have found that fluoride accumulates in the brain, kidneys and bones, which can lead to lower IQ, behavioral/hormonal problems, tooth decay and bone cancer.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.2.1.1

              lol

              also from your source page:

              We discussed quite thoroughly the fluoridation of water supplies and how we were using it in Russia as a tranquilizer in the prison camps. The leaders of our school felt that if it could be induced into the American water supply, it would bring about a spirit of lethargy in the nation; where it would keep the general public docile during a steady encroachment of Communism. We also discussed the fact that keeping a store of deadly fluoride near the water reservoir would be advantageous during the time of the revolution, as it would give us opportunity to dump this poison into the water supply and either kill off the populace or threaten them with liquidation, so that they would surrender to obtain fresh water.

              We discussed in these schools, the complete art of revolution: the seizure of the main utilities, such as light, power, gas and water, but it was felt by the leadership that if a program of fluoridating the water could be carried out in the nation, it would go a long way toward the advancement of the revolution. ~ Oliver Kenneth Goff, 1957

              Fluoridation is a communist plot to keep people docile while the revolution happens, y’all.
              No wait, it’s capitalists buying a worldwide conspiracy of public health professionals to falsify data just so they can sell waste to local authorities.
              No wait, it’s the powers that be wanting to make the population more docile so that they don’t revolt.

              Maybe it’s just a plan to fiendishly help people keep their own teeth healthy, for longer.

              • weka

                So is it bioaccumulative or not McFlock? Couldn’t quite tell from your response to UT’s assertion that it is.

                • McFlock

                  Well, yes – in the teeth. A good thing. And at high exposures, bad in the teeth and bad in the skeleton.

                  As to the rest of the body, I have no idea, even with UT’s assertion. The lack of any demonstrated harm associated with fluoridation at NZ levels suggests to me that if it does occur, it does not occur to a level levels that causes detectable harm.

                  But UT (who has previously struck me as being a complete nutbar) linking to a site that claims fluoridation is a communist conspiracy suggests to me that the idea is akin to “cabbages growing on Mars”: there might be cabbages growing on Mars, but I’d need much more than that level of evidence before I countenance it as a reasonable possibility. Just another piece of idiotic crap on the internet, as far as I’m concerned.

                  • weka

                    “a site that claims fluoridation is a communist conspiracy”

                    I have a filter, which means I don’t read that part of the argument :-)

                    • McFlock

                      I’ve generally found that discovering such claims (e.g. “naz1s did it” or “commies did it” or “illuminati did it”) from a source behoves one to carefully check every other claim that source makes before mentioning the alleged fact in public.

                      Indeed, given the nature of the vague (if any) referencing, and the circular referencing that goes around lobbying sites, it’s actually less effort to look at the claim from scratch, a lot of the time. The folk with accurate claims usually don’t have a problem citing original sources.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.2.1.2

              :roll:

              UT, do you ever look for information that will contradict your notions?

              It’s embarrassingly easy to find.

              We seem to be back on baloney detection 101.

          • weka 3.1.1.2.2

            “The first and last rule of toxicology is that coined by Paracelsus: The dose makes the poison.”

            That’s true Roy. But the first rule of medicine is first do no harm. And the first rule of holistic health is don’t do things in isolation (or more likely, don’t pretend you can do things in isolation). The MoH can make a judgement call about the relative risk of harm for the population, but they can’t for individuals.

            I tend to think the relative risk of fluoride is lowish. But the problem is when you combine that with all the other chemical exposures we have not adapted to yet and set that alongside the health of the individual, including their genetic predispositions and environment. What does toxicology say about that?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.2.2.1

              …chemical exposures we have not adapted to yet…

              If they are so damaging how come life expectancy has increased so much?

              • weka

                Are you asking because you don’t know (I suspect you don’t), or because you think you know and are being a smart arse?

                The reason life expectancy has increased is largely due to improvements in diet, potable water, and shelter (warmth, dryness and lack of overcrowding). Those three things alone will give people better immunity (not getting sick in the first place) and better recovery from illness that would otherwise kill them, as well as some direct protection from disease (clean, potable water).

                But alongside that increased life expectancy we have increased chronic illness. We can have an argument now about whether that increase is because we’re living longer or getting more sick without dying, or both (I’d guess both).

                If I get time later I’ll try and dig up some analysis of the cocktail effect and how many chemicals we are exposed to that our great grandparent’s either weren’t or were but in much lower or less frequent doses. And bear in mind, it’s the cocktail that is as much as issue as the individual chemicals.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  There’s no need to be so defensive, it was a genuine enquiry. Given historic levels of exposure to for example, lead, you are going to be hard pressed to show that we are more exposed to hazard these days, but I guess it’s possible.

                  • weka

                    I guess I see a plethora of comments where people are being smart arses, it’s hard to pick the genuine ones now sometimes.

                    Lead… I think you missed the point. I don’t have the figures to hand, but it’s something like this: we’re now exposed to x thousand new chemicals that we weren’t before, either entirely new, or levels or frequency. This is such an obvious truth I’m surprised I have to explain it (other than coming up with an actual figure). Think about all the agricultural chemicals developed since ww2 for instance, compared to what rural people were exposed to before that for thousands of years. Or drugs, or food additives, or plastics, or anti-fungal/anti-microbials/disinfectants, antibiotics, petroleum products, synthetic dyes, paints, resins/glues, cleaning products, I could make a pretty long list…

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    You’re choosing to medicate 4.4M people with a substance which is known to change both bone and central nervous system cell function, in order that we get just one less filled, decayed or missing tooth per 300 or so kids?

    And when you break down the data, it’ll be obvious that most of those bad teeth belong to a very definite subsection of the population who could be very tightly targetted?

    No thanks.

    • McFlock 4.1

      lucky that’s not the case then.

    • NickS 4.2

      /facepalm

      ffs, I linked to papers refuting those claims, that clearly stated low concentrations of fluoride have no statistically link to negative health outcomes, other than very minor dental fluorosis when over 1.0mg/L. Over 1.5mg/L then there are minor drops in IQ, with other more serious issues occurring as concentration towards and over 3.0mg/L as indicated in studies of populations drinking from naturally fluoridated or polluted water supplies.

      To help remind you, info starts here:
      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19062013/#comment-651015

      And if you don’t accept the conclusions of the papers linked to, I suggest firmly you actually bother to tell us what’s wrong with the methodology, instead of going “lol-science-has-been-wrong!!!111!” like you’ve done in that thread.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      Yeah I screwed the magnitude. When you feed fluoridated water to 25 kids, just one more of them will end up caries free.

      Does fluoridated water do anything for adult teeth? Why is all the data for kids who are largely going to get new teeth anyway?

      • McFlock 4.3.1

        five years old and year 8 (I believe that’s around 13 if my math is correct, i.e. baby teeth gone). Gets both tooth sets.

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1

          Ever see any data on older people? Say 18 year olds?

          • McFlock 4.3.1.1.1

            read the MoH link provided.
            2009 Oral health survey. Chapter 6: “Protective factors”.

            The answer to the question is “yes”.

  5. Lloyd 5

    The really scarey thing isn’t how many fillings the kids get. It is how much more parents have to pay for major dental surgery. This hits low income families hard.

    I understand it has been proven that dental costs for a population go up eight times more than the money saved by a council when it stops fluoridating. (reference anyone?) It would appear that legislation should be quickly passed requiring any council that stops fluoridating water should immediately set up a system for subsidising dental bills for its ratepayers that must spend eight times per annum on what was spent of the fluoride salt added to the water supply. Surely the Gnats would do this as they love making Councils jump through hoops.

    Anyone who argues that adding the fluoride to water is medication doesn’t understand that fluoride is natural and our ancestors evolved using much higher fluoride levels in their water than the water running off our highly leached soils in NZ. (Except for fresh North Island volcanic ash – that has enough fluoride in it to kill sheep which eat ash with grass).

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      I understand it has been proven that dental costs for a population go up eight times more than the money saved by a council when it stops fluoridating. (reference anyone?) It would appear that legislation should be quickly passed requiring any council that stops fluoridating water should immediately set up a system for subsidising dental bills for its ratepayers that must spend eight times per annum on what was spent of the fluoride salt added to the water supply.

      Let’s do a reality check first shall we? Does unfluoridated Christchurch have 8x the dentists per capita as fluoridated Wellington?

      Do unfluoridated Christchurch dentists make 8x the money that fluoridated Wellington dentists make?

      Anyone who argues that adding the fluoride to water is medication doesn’t understand that fluoride is natural and our ancestors evolved using much higher fluoride levels in their water than the water running off our highly leached soils in NZ.

      Please give me some examples of which ancestral water ways or bodies of water in which ancestral countries you are talking about.

      doesn’t understand that fluoride is natural

      Asbestos and arsenic are “natural” too.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Let’s do a reality check first shall we? Does unfluoridated Christchurch have 8x the dentists per capita as fluoridated Wellington?

        Doesn’t follow – basically Lloyd’s assertion was that increase in treatment cost is 8x the cost of the sacks of fluoride put into the water supply, not that the treatment costs will increase eightfold.

        That having been said, I agree that pretty much all his assertions need citations.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          Doesn’t follow – basically Lloyd’s assertion was that increase in treatment cost is 8x the cost of the sacks of fluoride put into the water supply

          Ahhh ok.

    • Bramble 5.2

      Wrong. Dental care is free in NZ up to the age of 18. Any child that needs treatment that cannot be carried out by the dental therapist from the school dental service ( e.g. root canal fillings etc.) is referred to a dentist and all dental work is completed by the dentist at no cost to the parent. Fact.

  6. JoeB 6

    Those graphs all show that children in unfloridated areas teeth are improving at a faster rate than those in floridated areas. How does the blogger explain that?

    • lprent 6.1

      Perhaps you should look at *when* fluoridation started in those areas and how widespread it is, what the improvement in dentistry was, what changed diets there are, and how many countries were dropped from this pissant cherry picking graph. Basically it is crap. Pure unadulterated lying crap.

      Basically whoever did the graph you are referring to obviously had a lobotomy a long time ago because all it screams to me is someone doing a Nick Smith – and lying with numbers.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Maybe fluoridation simply isn’t as influential a factor in dental health as compared to the 1950’s when it was first introduced, when countries were far poorer, dental education quite primitive and fluoride toothpastes far less used. (Fluoride toothpastes only started achieving major acceptance in the 1960’s and 1970’s is my understanding)

        My view is that people are carrying on with a decades old assumption that fluoridation is a “big gun” in reducing caries, but actually it is an assumption which is increasingly less and less true.

        If you want a better more robust chart lprent look at p35 of this OECD report.

        http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/download/8109111ec012.pdf?expires=1371811853&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=52AA70341415CEE12AEE07ABAB4F6008

        The top 10 countries for child dental health are typically European and fluoridation free (and even the UK only has a small minority of its water supply fluoridated). Those top 10 countries have also typically had larger improvements in dental health amongst children even though they were already doing well, when compared to fluoridated countries like Australia, NZ and USA.

        The US and Australia, who introduced widespread fluoridation early on in the 1950’s, not only have so-so child dental health results by OECD data, but they also have mediocre (US) to lacklustre (Australia) improvements in child dental health.

        The anti-fluoridation poster child is of course Germany, which has been totally fluoridation free for decades. (West Germany since at least the 1950’s and East Germany since at least re-unification).

        Germany not only has the best dental health for children of all OECD countries, but has clearly also had the best dental health improvement out of all OECD countries. 100% fluoridation free.

        PS in certain high caries, low socioeconomic communities where use of fluoridated toothpastes is poor, I think that water fluoridation could be quite helpful. But pumping it out to 4.4M people because of those specific communities it not something I would do.

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          associated with 8% more kids being caries free and mean DMFT being cut by about a third is a pretty “big gun”, public health-wise.

          But what public oral health initiatives do we need to copy from Gremany to replicate their resuts? Other than “no fluoridation”, of course.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            associated with 8% more kids being caries free and mean DMFT being cut by about a third is a pretty “big gun”, public health-wise.

            Nah the recent advantage is more like 4% to 5% to fluoridation, not 8%. And like I said, if you are dealing with a population with mediocre dental health, that’s where we are in the middle of the OECD road, then fluoridation will seem more useful.

            But what public oral health initiatives do we need to copy from Gremany to replicate their resuts? Other than “no fluoridation”, of course.

            OK well we start with no fluoridation, like most of the other high dental performing OECD countries.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              just going by the data in the post.

              But your approach to the public health question is a bit odd – a plan to achieve world class oral health across the population starts by eliminating the thing that is associated with (by your estimate) 4-5% more kids being caries free?

              • Colonial Viper

                fluoridation is associated with middling performance in the OECD dental health stats mate

                countries in the top 10 by absolute results and by dental health improvement over the decades tend to have zero or low usage of water fluoridation

                the first country to introduce widespread fluoridation and which still uses it very widely (USA) has experienced mediocre dental health improvement compared to non users of fluoridation.

                edit that OECD link times out

                google “OECD dental health among children 2009″ to find the report pdf

                • McFlock

                  Okay, so the only reason Germans have superlative pearlers is because they don’t fluoridate. Then why do non-fluoridated areas in NZ have shittier teeth than fluoridated areas?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    well, actually all areas of NZ have way shittier teeth than unfluoridated Germany, 90% unfluoridated UK etc.

                    It’s best practice in child dental health we need to be looking at and NZ doesn’t do it.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, sticking with Germany for a moment, I notice two things:
                      fluoridated areas in NZ are closer to Germany than the non-fluoridated areas; and
                      the OECD report had Germany with 77 dentists per 100k population, while NZ had 47 dentists per 100k pop.

                      And your first public health initiative is to remove fluoridation rather than, say, upping the number of dentists.

                    • lprent

                      There are lower levels of all sorts of trace elements in NZ waters and soils compared to a continental environment. We are after all a set of islands that have spent the last 45 million of years of separation from Antarctica twisting on the edge of some sea plates and bobbing up and down under the waves.

                      We don’t get the types of basaltic intrusions and vast ancient alluvial plains that are so common in other land masses. Instead we have the wastage of the plains derived from metamorphosed sea beds and subducting seafloor rock regurgitated from volcanoes. NZ is pretty poor in quite a few minerals that humans and other animals from richer mineral environments evolved in.

                      Selenium for instance through much of the mid-north island, and throughout much of the country. There are serious iron deficiencies in some parts of the country. There are parts of the country with some quite low calcium levels. Other parts where there are deficiencies in potassium.

                      Fluoride and other fluorines are one of the known things with low levels in NZ compared to a continental landmass of Germany and the ancient basaltic mountains throughout the english and scottish island.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And your first public health initiative is to remove fluoridation rather than, say, upping the number of dentists.

                      Are you putting that option on the table, McFlock?

                      lprent – cheers.

                    • McFlock

                      Every option is on the table.

                      But my point is that making the first step the removal of an interventon associated with clear benefits is just obtuse. And if you weren’t so obsessed about the supposed corruption of your precious bodily fluids, then you are the one who would have looked at factors beyond fluoridation.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Every option is on the table McFlock? As long as you approve of it?

                      I never asked for fluoridation to be removed from any city’s water supply McFlock.

                      And unlike you, I’m not here to tell people what to swallow.

                    • McFlock

                      I never asked for fluoridation to be removed from any city’s water supply McFlock.

                      compare with:

                      But what public oral health initiatives do we need to copy from Gremany to replicate their resuts? Other than “no fluoridation”, of course.

                      OK well we start with no fluoridation, like most of the other high dental performing OECD countries. .

                      And you reckon you’re not trying to make me swallow something unpalatable.

                      By the way, how do you measure the toothpaste onto your brush? At 1ppm, you might accidentally double your daily intake if you just did it by hand.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What do you care about how much toothpaste I use McFlock? F apparently has no risks associated with it.

                    • McFlock

                      I care that a scientific illiterate who can’t handle basic math wants to cancel an effective public health intervention because of, well, “oooo water shouldn’t have chemicals in it” or somesuch bollocks, just as long as they think they’re okay personally.

                      Epitomised in your comment here:

                      Fluoridate all 4.4M of us to get to those specific populations? No thanks. I get well more than enough fluoride daily from 3x use of Colgate Total.

                      And you have the gall to call someone else a “stuck up little shit” when they call you on your idiocy. Or maybe you’re just the sort of dickhead who thinks that “google” makes them an “autodidact” and substitutes for an “education”.
                      Either way it’s late, I’m tired, and the Dunning-Kruger waves emanating from your keyboard are giving me a headache.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You seem to have mistaken yourself as my thesis supervisor or as my boss. You are neither. Fuck off.

                      wants to cancel an effective public health intervention because of, well, “oooo water shouldn’t have chemicals in it”

                      That water shouldn’t have added chemicals in it is the starting point for discussion, I agree.

                      I care that a scientific illiterate who can’t handle basic math

                      LOL mate. Shame that 50% of the NZ population don’t get fluoridated water and almost all of the EU, including several european states who have removed fluoride from their water since the 1970’s.

                      Apparently they think your judgement is shit, but I suppose you believe that they are “scientifically illiterate” as well, making you what, the superior intellect?

                      I’ll repeat it again. Fluoridation is the hallmark of mediocre to averaging performance in OECD dental statistics. Suck it up and accept it, slowcoach.

                    • McFlock

                      You seem to have mistaken yourself as my thesis supervisor or as my boss. You are neither.</blockquote
                      Thank fuck for that. The paperwork I'd have to fill in to report your incompetence would be quite prohibitive.

                      Apparently they think your judgement is shit, but I suppose you believe that they are “scientifically illiterate” as well, making you what, the superior intellect?

                      No, you moron. They are doing something different to New Zealand, and that difference is not just whether they fluoridate municipal water. They did actual research. They have a variety of other programmes, from more dentists to different delivery and cost structures, to differences in antibiotic use, to supplements in other vectors, to differences in food consumption, and so on. They didn’t just magically cancel fluoridation and everything improved. Your fixation on fluoride is like the original cargo cults, making “radios” out of bamboo so more supplies would arrive by ‘plane.

                      I’ll repeat it again. Fluoridation is the hallmark of mediocre to averaging performance in OECD dental statistics. Suck it up and accept it, slowcoach.

                      And I’ll say it again: when asked how you would improve an “average” level of caries in NZ kids, your only suggestion was to eliminate one of the things keeping levels “average” and above “approaching crap”. But apparently to point out the stupidity of this is a “psychological belief in the entrenched orthodoxy” (as opposed to your decidedly non-psychological belief, I suppose).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well thank fuck you’ve finally accepted that the way NZ is doing things is half pie, and that water fluoridation is not only completely unnecessary if you do things properly, you can often get significantly better results as shown in Europe. You’re not thick after all.

                    • McFlock

                      So you don’t understand quotation marks, either. :roll:

                    • Paul Campbell

                      I thought they used fluoridated salt in France and Germany much like we iodise salt – not everyone gets their fluoride from the water – some places (including the sea) have a natural fluoride level higher in their water than we have in NZ – some places actually need to reduce it

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Indeed Paul. Check out comment 7 below. Also in some countries you can get fluoridated milk.

        • ak 6.1.1.2

          So helping specific communities at minimum cost and zero risk to anyone else is not something you would do. Fair enough. Misjudged you. nigh nigh

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.1

            Don’t be a stuck up little shit.

            Fluoridate their water if you like, after all they are the populations for which it would do the most good and that is what I said above. Fluoridate all 4.4M of us to get to those specific populations? No thanks. I get well more than enough fluoride daily from 3x use of Colgate Total.

            And in Europe they prefer to make fluoridated salt available for people to buy.

            and zero risk to anyone

            You do know that F increases the movement behaviour of brain cancer cells, as well as altering the metabolic behaviour of bone cells in ways which aren’t fully understood right? What else don’t you know about how F affects body cells?

            • ak 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Yep fair enough. Sorry, didn’t realise your expertise was right up there with the established medico-scientific world. Can’t chat sorry, early start tomorrow – incidentally Colonel, not trying to be impertinent or anything, but how many signatures have you have personally got for the asset sales petition? (no worries, I can imagine how demanding a constant Shearer-bashing campaign can be, they also serve who only bitch and moan etc….)

              • Colonial Viper

                but how many signatures have you have personally got for the asset sales petition? (no worries, I can imagine how demanding a constant Shearer-bashing campaign can be, they also serve who only bitch and moan etc….)

                LOL, pissing contests are for 12 year olds buddy.

                btw, if Labour had had any leadership guts, it could’ve stopped these asset sales 12 months ago.

        • rosy 6.1.1.3

          My view is that people are carrying on with a decades old assumption that fluoridation is a “big gun” in reducing caries, but actually it is an assumption which is increasingly less and less true.

          Yep, agree. Relying on fluoridation may have made health authorities lazy and cheap about ensuring good dental hygiene in the population via equitable and affordable access to dental services, dental hygiene education, etc, etc…

          But, which do we do first? end fluoridation or improve access to dental care needs? or do both together?

          Typically NZ isn’t it? – ending an effective public health measure before other measures to improve dental health are well established.

          • ak 6.1.1.3.1

            right on Rose – but it’s not all Nz, just a handful of lazy gutless councillors and assorted dorks.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.3.1.1

              It’s so sad for your world view that after 50 years, only 50% of the country is fluoridated. Good luck for the next 50 years.

              PS good to see you respect local democracy, but I’m sure you know better than the people from up on high.

            • rosy 6.1.1.3.1.2

              Councillors are the wrong people to decide if fluoridation should cease. Increases in the cost of fixing the teeth of children comes out of the health budget, not theirs. The whole decision-making process and how to meet the needs of the population requires assessment, imo of course. Hospitals have a hard enough time as it is with emergency dental health problems – adults and children.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes because we want the country run by unaccountable appointed technocrats and not by elected officials? Think of the precedent there for a minute. To override the decision of the Christchurch City Council, which has very recently turned down fluoridation again, and say have a govt hand picked panel make the decision on local water instead. I’m not sure we want to go there (again).

                Germany and the UK have the best dental performance of the entire OECD. Germany has not fluoridated for over two decades (and even then it was East Germany), UK has a fluoridation rate of only 11%.

                Oh look here you go, the UK Government is going to take the decision away from elected representatives by legislation, so you have your wish

                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-180373/Anger-fluoride-plans.html

                • rosy

                  The way i heard it the coucil has not listened to the community on this issue. I don’t think for a moment that the community should have technocrats run their lives and btw i support the view that there are measures other than fluoridation that may improve dental health in developed countries. This is why the whole issue needs revisiting.

                  The reason i think local councils shouldn’t make the fluoride decision is because they don’t wear the costs of bad teeth. Maybe local health boards should decide… They can get the latest best practice info and do have a vested interest in the outcomes and are elected officials.

  7. Mike S 7

    “Although the prevalence of caries varies between countries, levels everywhere have fallen greatly in the past three decades, and national rates of caries are now universally low. This trend has occurred regardless of the concentration of fluoride in water or the use of fluoridated salt, and it probably reflects use of fluoridated toothpastes and other factors, including perhaps aspects of nutrition.”
    SOURCE: Cheng KK, et al. (2007). Adding fluoride to water supplies. British Medical Journal 335(7622):699-702

    DMFT (Decayed, Missing & Filled teeth) Status for 12 year olds by Country
    – World Health Organization Data (2012) –

    Country DMFTs Year Status*
    Denmark 0.7 2008 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Germany 0.7 2005 No water fluoridation.67% salt fluoridation.
    England 0.7 2009 11% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Netherlands* 0.8 2002 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Switzerland** 0.82 2009 No water fluoridation.88% salt fluoridation.
    Belgium 0.9 2009-10 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Sweden 0.9 2008 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Australia 1.0 2003-2004 80% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Austria 1.0 2002 No water fluoridation.6% salt fluoridation.
    Ireland 1.1 2002 100% water fluoridation in study.No salt fluoridation.
    Italy 1.1 2004 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    United States 1.19 1999-2004 64% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Finland 1.2 2006 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    France 1.2 2006 No water fluoridation.65% salt fluoridation.
    Spain 1.3 2004 11% water fluoridation.10% salt fluoridation.
    Greece 1.35 2005-06 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Iceland 1.4 2005 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    New Zealand 1.4 2009 61% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Japan 1.7 2005 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Norway 1.7 2004 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    * The Hague | ** Zurich
    Tooth Decay data from:

    World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Education, Training, and Research in Oral Health, Malmö University, Sweden. http://www.mah.se/CAPP/

    Salt fluoridation data from:

    Gotzfried F. (2006). Legal aspects of fluoride in salt, particularly within the EU. Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed 116:371-75.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      You can’t argue with people’s psychological belief in their own entrenched orthodoxy…even as that entrenched orthodoxy is shown to be more and more fragile, they will fight it harder and harder. This is the very definition of the term “die hard”. It is literally an argument against fundamentalists who cannot recognise that is what they are.

      btw nice find.

    • bad12 7.2

      What this particular graph shows is that there is obviously NO effect evident from having water fluoridated,

      As CV points out you can shove ‘the facts’ in front of peoples faces and they are still totally blind, how do the proponents for adding fluoride to water address the fact that Iceland with the same amount of dental caries as a % of population as New Zealand does not add fluoride to it’s water,

      The fact is MOST of the countries in this study have better dental outcomes than little old New Zealand wether or not they add fluoride or not,

      So, obviously those who are fixated upon ”the Health Department says it’s good for us” therefor it is argument are not going to be swayed by ‘actual facts’ and as exhibited in the comment below some of them will actually demand that EVERYONE is compulsorily dosed with the stuff, (fluoride), despite what this study clearly shows, which to anyone with half a functional, (brain that is), putting fluoride in the water makes not one iota of difference to dental outcomes the world over,

      Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia,”The greatest cause of tooth decay and cavities is by the production of acid by bacterial fermentation of the food debris accumulated on the tooth surface”, unquote,

      Anyone want to start an argument about the above??? this is what we do know about tooth decay,

      (1)The disease Amelogenesis Imperfecta (imperfect tooth enamel) occurs in the population at a rate of 1 in 718 to 1 in 14000, this is a disease which does not allow the enamel on teeth to fully form,

      Overlay the statistics for caries/tooth decay on the FACTS above and what have you got, essentially you have a corresponding number of people with imperfectly formed enamel on their teeth through a disease that adding fluoride to the water supply does not address as you do the number of people with caries/tooth decay,

      Consider this, tooth enamel begins to breakdown when exposed to an acidic enviroment, the correct scientific term for this is demineralization, this occurs at a PH level of 5.5,

      Wellington’s Te Marua water storage lakes and treatment deliver a water supply to household taps with a PH level of ???? 7.0-8.5,

      On the one hand Wellington’s water supply is delivering water with a PH level that science says will strip teeth of enamel thus allowing cavities/tooth decay to occur and then adding fluoride in the hope that this will re-mineralize the tooth enamel, as the study above clearly shows it apparently achieves nothing,

      What is the best method of preventing tooth decay, CV above has pointed this out also, brush em 3 times a day or better still brush em 20 minutes after eating anything,

      My opinion, along with food in schools we need tooth-paste and brush’s along with the continual education of the kids to brush after eating…

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        So, obviously those who are fixated upon ”the Health Department says it’s good for us” therefor it is argument are not going to be swayed by ‘actual facts’ and as exhibited in the comment below some of them will actually demand that EVERYONE is compulsorily dosed with the stuff, (fluoride)

        If they kneel at the altar and take the holy sacrament, you shall too

      • Saccharomyces 7.2.2

        “Consider this, tooth enamel begins to breakdown when exposed to an acidic enviroment, the correct scientific term for this is demineralization, this occurs at a PH level of 5.5,

        Wellington’s Te Marua water storage lakes and treatment deliver a water supply to household taps with a PH level of ???? 7.0-8.5,”

        Ummmm, are you saying that 7-8.5 are really acidic?

        • bad12 7.2.2.1

          No not at all, i am simply pointing out 2 facts vis a vis tooth decay and the level of PH at which tooth enamel will begin to break down,

          i have not looked yet to see what level the PH of rainwater is as it falls from the sky, or what the optimum PH level is for human consumption,

          i do have a general idea that a PH of 7-9 leads to a elongated life-span for iron pipes but have yet to ascertain if such elongation applies to the human life span….

          • Saccharomyces 7.2.2.1.1

            Okay, you do realise that 7-8.5 isn’t acidic at all don’t you?

            Stupid question, plainly you don’t……

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.2.1.2

            Less than 7 on the scale is acidic, 7 is neutral on the scale, above 7 is alkaline.

            It’s a log scale, so the numbers close to 7 are fairly neutral eg 6 is only very mildly acidic, and 8 is only very mildly alkaline.

            But once you start getting down to 2, 1, 0.5, you’re talking stomach acid level then very quickly serious battery acid burns.

  8. Tamati 8

    Great to see Kevin Hague and Annette King both strongly in favour of fluoridation. Hopefully they will have the courage to do something about it!

    Personally, I thinking passing the authority to the DHB’s is probably the best idea. It would very swiftly lead to almost complete fluoridation across the country.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Do DHBs have the water processing engineers and budget to install and operate fluoridation equiment?

      No?

      Well, this will be interesting then, won’t it.

      For all you other fluoride types. I’m quietly betting that the FDA never required full medicines safety testing on the fluorosilicate additive, because fluoridation first started in the 1950s and they didn’t do double blind placebo trials then.

      Let’s see the trial data if it exists.

      • millsy 8.1.1

        “Do DHBs have the water processing engineers and budget to install and operate fluoridation equiment?

        No?”

        They would delegate all that to the water “providers”.

      • Tamati 8.1.2

        One of the benifits of fluoridation is that is very very cheap. So yes I’m sure the DHBs could fund fluoridation.

        On your second point, it is logistically impossible to do a randomised controlled trial of water fluoridation because you can’t randomise where people live!

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1

          don’t need that detail of evidence just go ahead and do it in other words.

          One of the benifits of fluoridation is that is very very cheap. So yes I’m sure the DHBs could fund fluoridation.

          It’s not cheap if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.

          • Tamati 8.1.2.1.1

            On that basis, we couldn’t definatively say that smoking causes lung cancer, as no randomised controlled trials were ever done!

            • bad12 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Yawn, yeah 10% of those who die of lung cancer are smokers, what caused lung cancer in the other 90%,

              Not smoking perhaps…

              • Tamati

                Are denying that smoking causes lung cancer?

              • Huginn

                Smoking tobacco causes 80–90% of lung cancers. Nonsmokers account for 10–15% of lung cancer cases, and these cases are often attributed to a combination of genetic factors, radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution including second-hand smoke.

                You can find the references here:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lung_cancer

                • bad12

                  Yes my bad i got that slightly wrong, the question is that if smoking caused lung cancer why do only 10% of smokers get it,

                  Wouldn’t be anything to do with a genetic predisposition would it???

                  http://www..science20.com>medicine>cancerresearch>newsarticles

                  • Huginn

                    ‘ . . . only 10% of smokers’???????!!!!!!!!
                    You’re kidding, right?

                    • McFlock

                      probably not. Heart disease is the big killer, but lung cancer is the biggest condition that would be pretty much unheard of without smoking.

                    • Huginn

                      10% of smokers seems unbearably high

                    • bad12

                      Kidding, no not at all, if simply smoking causes lung cancer then everyone who smokes would get lung cancer,

                      If as the fanatics keep trying to brainwash you with ‘tobacco is a poison which kills half its users’, why does it only kill half the users,

                      The Health Department simply add numbers they wouldn’t have a fucking clue, if a smoker dies of heart disease, smoking killed them is it as far as Health departments are concerned,

                      that’s just simplistic bullshit used to brainwash the already simple….

                  • Arfamo

                    That was my GP’s contention some years back when she told me emphysema was in my future, rather than lung cancer. Can’t remember what percentage, but she said studies showed genetic predisposition was the major factor in smoking-related lung cancer.

    • muzza 8.2

      Tamati bro, what is your agenda, or is it simply that you’re not able to understand your position is flawed?

      I recall you said you were well read/informed on this topic, seems you have been drinking too much loaded water, eh!

      Whats your response on Mike S (7), above ?

      Do you have a preference of how dental health might be approached in NZ, free checks for kids, the less well off etc, or is it simply that mass medication, ticks all the boxes, for you?

      • Tamati 8.2.1

        1. What’s my agenda?

        A desire to improve the health of the nations children, a desire to reduce health inequalities and a desire that good quality science is used in public policy. And um … world peace.

        2. I was bought up in Christchurch, studied in Otago and have be medicated against my will in Auckland for the past 3 years.

        3. In reponse to Mike. There are multiple variables which contribute to dental caries, you can’t assess the effects of one without accounting for these other variables.

        4. If I was in charge of dental health in children what would I do?

        -Increase funding to dental nurses throughout the country, so they can be involved with their school communities and can upskill their abillities.

        -Implement a tax on soft drinks and ban food advertising during childrens programming.

        -Reinstate food standards for school canteens.

        -Mandatory fluoridation for all water supplies.

        And a few others.

        BTW Dental checks are already free for under 18s

        • bad12 8.2.1.1

          You were brought up in Christchurch, have you got really bad teeth…

          • Tamati 8.2.1.1.1

            No, I don’t.

            I have good teeth despite not drinking fluoridated water as a child.

            • bad12 8.2.1.1.1.1

              So if Christchurch 5 year olds have slightly better teeth as far as caries go than the rest of New Zealand without having fluoride added to the water supply why on earth would you want to add the stuff…

              • Colonial Viper

                Beholden to prior tradition and beliefs. (Simply observe the righteous indignation and self superiority from some pro-fluoridation persons).

                • bad12

                  Lolz, i am going to take a break and converse with the bricks in my chimney, they seem to respond better to ‘facts’….

              • Tamati

                As I said before there are multiple variables which cause caries, you can’t analyse one in isolation without accounting for the others. Hence why simply comparing nations or DHB regions tells you nothing.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It tells you that fluoridation may not be that influential a factor, especially if the top three countries in the OECD for dental health have fluoridation rates of 11% and less.

                  • Tamati

                    You can’t tell anything definatively without accounting for the other variables.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Is that true? Apparently some here are definitive enough of their beliefs to advocate for medicating everyone en mass, compulsarily.

                    • McFlock

                      as opposed to the patently incompetent who won’t let that stop them entrenching their opinion.

        • Huginn 8.2.1.2

          + 1

  9. bad12 9

    OK, lets bring this a little closer to home seeing that some are unconvinced by the international comparisons of tooth decay events in fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries,

    Christchurch, the countries second largest city, (am sure most of us have heard of the place, small town somewhere in the South), has NEVER fluoridated it’s water supply, yes NEVER fluoridated it’s water supply,

    So, Christchurch having never fluoridated it’s water supply must have the worst frigging teeth in the country right???,

    WRONG, and i quote, ”Oral health status data is collected by the CDHB,(Canterbury), community dental service and reported to the Ministry of Health for children in year 1 and 8, (5 years and 12-13 years),

    Figure 1 shows Canterbury DHB having a slightly greater % of children caries free, (tooth decay), at age 5 compared to New Zealand children over-all,

    Shit kids sorry to burst the bubble, maybe the Canterbury DHB is skewing their figures so as to receive LESS health ministry funding for oral health,

    The CDHB report goes on to say that children 12-13 years have also shown a higher % of caries free until 2010 where for some reason,(earthquake related???), that % reversed by 8%,

    http://www.healthchristchurch.org.nz/media/…childadolescentoralhealth.PDF

    So, my opinion is that the Canterbury DHB figures clearly point to the ‘fact’ that adding fluoride to water supply’s is simply f**king bulls**t as far as dental outcomes are concerned,

    But don’t let the ‘facts’ get in the way, give them all a dose of something, anything today…

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Must bow to the time honoured ritual of fluoridating water, the power of holy water thus made cannot be resisted by ordinary skepticism. If you’re not with us, you must be against us.

    • Populuxe1 9.2

      Christchurch also has one of the highest incidences of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in the world, what’s causing that then? It’s simplistic and scientifically illiterate to use Christchurch as a single example. For all I know it could be that Christchurch’s DHB is really good at dental hygine, or that Christchurch’s anomolous demographics favour oral hygine fetishism, or the Tooth Fairy really likes the place. Dude, do you even science?

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Since you just made a whole lot of hypothetical shit up and brought in the irrelevancy which is IBS, do you?

        Pay attention to the evidence Pop, even when it doesn’t suit your belief systems.

        • McFlock 9.2.1.1

          Pay attention to the evidence Pop, even when it doesn’t suit your belief systems.

          plank out of your own eye, and all that.

      • bad12 9.2.2

        LOLZ, this has to be a comic comment right???, if fluoridated water gives better dental outcomes as it’s proponents claim then the non-fluoridation of Christchurch water in terms of the claimed benefit of adding fluoride to water would have to lead to Christchurch children having worse dental out-comes than areas that do fluoridate,

        You don’t need a PHD to understand the simple facts as stated by the Canterbury DHB,

        Your spray of Christchurch may do this that or the other to achieve its slightly better dental out-comes for year 5 kids is really really ‘scientific’ isn’t it…

  10. bad12 10

    OK, the obvious next port of call in this debate would have to be the question, ”what are the perceived health ‘risks’/ ‘bad outcomes’ of adding fluoride to the water,

    IF specific health outcomes are suggested from having prolonged exposure to fluoride in the water supply then we need compare those specific health outcomes with the data from say Wellington or Auckland with the data from Christchurch to gain some understanding of any differences in the specific % difference in any particular instance of bad health out-comes suggested as resulting from the dosing of water supplies with fluoride,

    It may take a bit of digging to ascertain the true nature of any specific negative health out-comes from such use of chemical fluoride, right now i have an open mind as to whether or not there are such negative health outcomes to be found in the data…

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      One part is around the medical ethics, civil rights and risks of ignoring the need for consent to treatment in any such programme of compulsory mass medication.

      It may take a bit of digging to ascertain the true nature of any specific negative health out-comes from such use of chemical fluoride, right now i have an open mind as to whether or not there are such negative health outcomes to be found in the data…

      Visible dental fluorosis occurs in 10% to 50% of people in areas with fluoridated water.

      In the USA approx 41% of adolescents demonstrate excess body fluoride content via visible dental fluorosis. Currently this is seen as a largely cosmetic issue, but in my view it represents metabolic fluoride overload.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        but in my view it represents metabolic fluoride overload.

        Oh, in your view?

        Lol
        the MoH survey (p172) has lower rates of fluoridosis for every severity level (except “questionable”) in people living in areas with fluorodated water than non-fluorodated.

        Yep, by CV’s logic we should fluoridate all the water in NZ to lower the rates of dental fluorosis and “metabolic fluoride overload”.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Oh McFlock, drink up.

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1

            Had it in my porridge this morning.

            Care to address the fact? You seemed to imply that fluoridation caused increased fluorosis in the US, but the NZ data seems to suggest that at MoH-recommended levels, (to use a technical term) you’re full of shit. Definitely something to do with alternative sources – maybe people really worried about fluoridation tend to drink more cups of tea.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah enough mate. Previous to the last day or two of posts I was mildly though mostly unconsciously pro-fluoride in my positioning.

              After being forced to review a whole lot of material and arguments, what I recognise now is that internationally, a heavily fluoridated country like NZ fares no better in dental health than its peers. I’ve learnt that many advanced countries after introducing it have long pulled fluoridation from their populations. I’ve also learnt that in the OECD the top few performing countries either do not, or barely, fluoridate, their water supplies. In the case of the UK 11% or so of water is fluoridated despite most UK water naturally having F levels of less than 1ppm. And in NZ, fluoridation means roughly one more caries free kid out of 25. Not bad, but just so so.

              As always, participating on the Std has been a lovely learning experience.

              • McFlock

                Some countries stopped.
                some coutries don’t.
                Most of the Uk doesn’t.
                And a few thousand kids would have more caries-ridden teeth if you got your way.

                That’s the entirety of what you’ve learned?
                Pearls before swine…

                • Colonial Viper

                  lol dude

                  Most of UK doesn’t fluoridate

                  And they top OECD performance for child dental health, way ahead of NZ which fluoridates lots.

                  • McFlock

                    therefore, if we remove fluoridation we will have the best teeth in the world? :roll:

  11. Huginn 11

    Great article. Thanks
    Fluorodization is an involuntary dosing of the masses with a medical treatment that disproportionately benefits a minority that is hidden from most of us and whose care is the responsibility of others.

    Objectors have a point. It’s the same point that Margaret Thatcher was making when she said that ‘there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families’.

    • weka 11.1

      Not quite. You seem to be confusing medical consent rights with libertarianism. Medical ethics are a social justice issue in the same way that the community taking responsibility for the more vulnerable is.

      Myself, and many of the others I see objecting to fluoridation of water supplies, believe that public funds should be used to target children at risk of dental problems. We just think it should be done a different way. Myself, I’d like to see something similar to the public health stop smoking approach, whereby there is a focus on what creates good oral health (diet, hygiene practices), and over time different strategies are used: legislation, education, health promotion etc. The reason I prefer this is that it has positive flow on effects for general health, not just preventing cavities.

      • Huginn 11.1.1

        Fluoridation costs an estimated $0.99 per person-year on the average in the US.

        It is one of the few public health strategies that saves more money than it costs.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          So? That might be relevant if the ‘saved’ funds were being spent on health promotion, but they’re not. (and what are the NZ savings not the US ones?).

          You were equating people objecting to fluoridation with Thatcher. I pointed out the flaw in that argument. Care to respond to the points I raised?

          • Huginn 11.1.1.1.1

            Ken Perrott has shown that fluorodization of the water supply works.
            It’s effective, it’s certain and it’s cost effective.
            That’s the point of the article.

            His figures support the public economic argument for mass fluorodization.

            That leaves the philosophical argument that mass fluorodization is an unethical intrusion by the state upon the rights of the individual to choose and that this right to choose goes hand in hand with the responsibility to choose wisely.

            That’s a powerful argument, one that you’re buying into by advocating for education programs that will give individuals better information with which to make these important decisions.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah. A commentator above said that Christchurch’s dental performance was similar or better than the national average. And Christchurch has never fluoridated before.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.1.2

              I didn’t read all of Perrott’s article because it is hard for me to trust a scientist who cannot write a report without getting into the ‘our opponents are idiots” argument. Pretty much every report of this kind I have read, where a scientist is trying to debunk ‘nutters’, contains false logic and misses relevant points. I can’t be bothered with it, and to pretend that it is unbiased information, and without an agenda, is dishonest. I take Perrotts article as a good attempt to present his side of the argument as he sees it (and I’m sure much of the science is sounds, but that doesn’t mean the logic or how the science is used is), but fails in a number of aspects.

              (likewise, I can’t be bothered reading much of the anti-flouridation lobby’s material for similar reasons).

              I don’t accept that fluoridation works as effectively as claimed, and that it is without risk. I do think that it’s probably quite useful in some instances, and that the risk is relatively low compared to many other things we are exposed to. I don’t believe that city and district councils have any business medicating all their ratepayers via the water supply.

              So your philosophical argument doesn’t follow. And your assertion that people against fluoridation are akin to Thatcher doesn’t stand.

              Which brings me to another point. It’s possible that were fluoridation not available in NZ, then the MoH would have to take more health promotion action re oral health. Which is what they should be doing. The reliance on fluoride possible means that we are worse off overall healthwise.

              • McFlock

                If there were no fluoridation then the MoH would still have exactly the same level of funding. Every year funders&planners get together to prioritise programmes with clinicians, and they deny far more initiatives than clinicians want, from traditional programmes to promising pilot studies, purely on cost:likely benefit analysis. There would be no “more health promotion action re oral health”.

                My perspective on the water supply is that if the municipality is providing a 99.99% pure water supply, and the only impurities are undetectable to consumers, provide a demonstrable association with health improvements for a significant portion of the population, have no detectable harm to consumers at those trace concentrations, and actually save in healthcare costs down the line… well, who could seriously object?

                • weka

                  I wasn’t talking about MoH funding though.

                  And the reason that the MoH doesn’t take a proactive health promotion approach is because of the paradigm they work within, not because of funding.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Sheeezus weka you are on fire today.

                  • McFlock

                    Funnily enough I was at a conference recently that consisted almost entirely of health promotion programmes from around the country, so I respectfully disagree.

                    • weka

                      Can you give some examples of what you mean by health promotion?

                    • McFlock

                      “Say Ahh” in Hawke’s Bay.
                      Wahakura and Pepi-pods
                      Mana Kidz (South Auckland)
                      Smokefree.
                      Every single leaflet in your local GP’s office.

                    • weka

                      I don’t know what the first three lines are.

                      Sorry if I offended you, I could be more tactful. My point, such as it was, is that mainstream health promotion is quite limited.

                    • McFlock

                      No worries. Sorry I was a bit terse – more just rattling the immediate ones off, more than anything else.

                      Say Ahh and manakidz are based aroung rheumatic fever swabbing and education.
                      Wahakure and pepipods are safe-sleep containers for babies, as well as some SUDI education stuff.

                      From my perspective it seems that there are lots of programmes, but most of them are highly targeted simply because the money isn’t there to roll them out country-wide with high profiles. A good exampe is the GP office – basically if someone has an issue, the doctor can deliver the additional information right there to only those who have that issue.

                      What would you regard as a “health promotion” project?

              • Macro

                Very sound reasoning weka. It’s not the task of councils to medicate their ratepayers. And it’s not the same as other water treatments – eg chlorination, and flocculation. “Fluoridation” is done for “medical” reasons alone.

                And I quite agree regarding the health promotion. Fluoridation is seen by the MoH as the number one arm of fighting tooth decay in this country – despite the fact that there are as many studies showing it to have little effect as there are to the contrary. Were that to be removed perhaps we might have a much more effective Oral Health programme directed at those who need it most.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2

          The US is one of the most fluoridated nations on the planet, has a middling score in terms of OECD dental health, and one of the worst records in the OECD for dental health improvement. Like most areas, not an area to follow them in.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.2.1

            I’d be looking at their access to dental care, first

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.2.1.1

              Absolutely. Their socialised free dental care for under 18s leaves us behind somewhat. It also covers teeth whitening and straightening (if you live in LA). 😉

  12. Tamati 12

    So what do all you Green Party evangelists make of Kevin Hague “strongly supporting” fluoridation?

    Perhaps time to pass a policy at conference, putting him in his place?

    Or have the party hierachy siezed power from the membership?

  13. chris73 13

    This is one of those issues that isn’t left v right but people who spend a little too much time on the net v those that accept the overwhelming scientific evidence thats been going for decades

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      That “overwhelming scientific evidence” you speak of must be why West Germany got rid of fluoridation in the 1950’s, and when they unified with East Germany more than 20 years ago, they told the East Germans to get rid of it too. And to this day, fluoridation of water is banned in Germany.

      • chris73 13.1.1

        And I’m sure other countries add fluride to the water so whats your point?

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          That there is no “overwhelming scientific evidence” as evidenced by the very scientifically and technically capable Germans having chosen against water fluoridation for half a century, and you just made that shit up to sound good.

  14. infused 14

    Water Filters don’t remove fluoride. So there really is no choice. Bottled water does not have it removed either.

    Distillers are the only way to remove it, but then bring other issues (still trying to find answers to it).

    Enough fluoride is delivered by brushing your teeth twice a day.

    Personally, I’d rather have it removed, however, I can accept that in poorer places, it makes sense to add it to the water.

    Quite surprised to see CV against this.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Where on earth have you stated your proposal before that I have come out against it? Come on man, get with the story.

      I’m certainly not against targetted fluoridation of the water of specific communities which need it, especially on a limited timeframe (10 years or less) while other dental health improvement measures are undertaken.

      However for a child who already brushes 2-3x per day with fluoride toothpaste, having fluoridated water as well is way too much and you can see it in fluorosis of the teeth (and probably bones, although you can’t see those…)

      • infused 14.1.1

        I only quickly skim read this thread as I’m a day late.

        Correct, something I got as a kid. Spots on my teeth and nails from taking fluoride tablets on a farm (they tasted good :()

        I did a whole lot of reading about a week ago on this as I just bought a distiller. From reading, it seems fuck all is even delivered by water to teeth anyway. Toothpaste has a much better effect.

        It also only really has an effect on kids… so why bother?

        Distillers are quite cool I must say. I’d be keen to find the exact facts on them though since there seems to be a lot of misinformation on the net.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Pretty much.

          It also only really has an effect on kids… so why bother?

          Yeah it’s weird. You medicate 4.4M people to try and make a (sometimes very) small difference to a bit over 1/10 of them.

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1

            I guess road safety ads targeted at youths shouldn’t be on national TV then, because most people who see them won’t be in the target audience.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.1

              At least you have the choice to turn the fucking ads off if you want to.

              • McFlock

                It’s called a “roof tank”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Meh or just move to one of a couple of dozen NZ towns and cities which have got rid of fluoridation, or never introduced it to start with.

                • weka

                  “It’s called a “roof tank”.”

                  Nice to see the collective responsibility argument fail.

                  • McFlock

                    How so? We’re talking about the people who are so outraged public money is spent on health advertising not marketed at them that they’ll turn the TV off rather than watch the ad.

                    • weka

                      No idea who you mean re TV ads.

                      I thought you were making the argument that people who don’t want fluoridated water could use rain water. Not everyone can afford to install a rain water tank (or run a water filter assuming that it works).

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, CV did a dodge again – he started by saying that fluoridation was bad because it exposes everybody but theoretically only heps a few. Same with ads.

                      Then he switches to whether you can “opt out” (turn the TV off) being the bad thing about it.

                      As for your argument re: the cost of rainwater: worrying about <1ppm fluoride is essentially a "first world problem" which I suggest is not the daily talk of the needy in NZ (more "how do we put stuff in the water in the pot to feed the kids"). I am sure that for those poor people for whom an undetectable-without-scientific-equipment, no-detectable-harm-but-definite-positive-association trace-element addition to their 99.9% pure water supply is at the forefront of their minds, alternative sources will present themselves. E.g., a bucket.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah, CV did a dodge again – he started by saying that fluoridation was bad because it exposes everybody but theoretically only heps a few. Same with ads.

                      Please be clear. I never likened it to TV ads, but you did. And it’s not truly analogous because you don’t literally swallow the ad into your body.

                    • McFlock

                      but they’re putting thoughts into your braaaaaaiiiiiinnn!!!
                      Damned government – how do they know that the “ghost chips” ad won’t make people hungry and cause obesity in millions?

                    • RJLC

                      McFlock – a word in your ear, you’ll find it difficult to convince anti-vaccers, climate change deniers, anti-fluoridation activists etc.
                      All such groups know better than the world’s medical, public health and scientific communities. How so? the power of google, activist and denier websites.

                    • McFlock

                      true, but occasionally CV comes up with something useful. And it was definitely a wide-ranging discussion – got to look up a few articles in a field that’s only slightly overlaps my own. :)

            • Saccharomyces 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Likewise the depression ones, the drink driving ones, the pay your fines ones.

            • infused 14.1.1.1.1.3

              Yeah because that’s the same as mass medication.

  15. infused 15

    Also to note, I think the CDC (US) has just recommended lowering the dosage to 0.7 ppm as it has found we now get fluoride from many different sources.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Yep.

      Also the “dosage” doesn’t take into account someone’s physical condition and size. You can imagine a 55kg adult drinking a glass of water gets double the “dosage” of someone who is 110kg drinking a glass of water.

      And as you inferred previously, when you are just a small kid knee high to a grasshopper…

      • Macro 15.1.1

        Actually if you are a bottle fed infant – you exceed the maximum allowed dosage for H2F6Si daily.

        Funnily enough – nobody seems to want to discuss this.

        Best to not think about it I guess.

        • McFlock 15.1.1.1

          actually, bottle-fed babies in fluoridated areas turned into vampires.

          • Macro 15.1.1.1.1

            If you buy a bottle of fluoride tables – it says on the bottle – “do not give to those under 3″ or words to that effect. Now I wonder why that is?

            • McFlock 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Because it’s a set dose (e.g. 25mg), not a relative dose (e.g. 0.7ppm).

              • Macro

                Correct. So you are happy then for an infant to get a relative dosage that will take them above the recommended maximum dosage of 0.02 mg/kg per day?

                • McFlock

                  3½ kilo average newborn birthweight, 900ml fluid intake, 0.7mg/L, the average baby might be nudging the area. I’m cool with that, given the lack of reports of babies dropping dead because they broke your 0.02mg/kg line in the sand.

                  • Macro

                    Not my line in the sand mate..

                    and it’s NOT 0.7mg/L in NZ by the way but 1.0mg/L the EPA in the states have have recently reviewed their policy and have recommended the lower level.

                    you can look it up if you like, but i haven’t the time – nor the patience – to argy bargy

                    • McFlock

                      Quibbling of rounding errors aside, the point still stands that if babies were overdosing on fluoridated water in NZ, we’d know about it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      no one is looking for it or tests for it, and you can’t check for fluorosis of teeth when there ain’t any

                    • McFlock

                      it would be present in the teeth that are forming. Given they start forming in the embryo, yeah. You might want to try looking stuff up again.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      nah can’t be assed

                    • McFlock

                      won’t stop you forming an opinion, though

                    • Macro

                      Nor does it stop you McF!!
                      Just because you aren’t aware of any children with detrimental effects from excessive fluoridation doesn’t mean there are none. Furthermore the side-effects of this medication are only now becoming apparent. So I guess its only understandable that some health professionals (as in all professions) are behind the eight ball as it were. There are many instances in medical history where a medication is introduced, only to find some way down the track, that its not all beer and skittles.
                      Here are some of the known side effects:
                      Fluorosis
                      reduced intellectual capacity
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3409983/
                      increased bone and pancreatic cancers in fluoridated areas
                      http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20060406/does-fluoridation-up-bone-cancer-risk
                      fluoride is known to accumulate in the thyroid and pineal gland

                      The Australian Kidney foundation and its USA equivalent no longer support the fluoridation of public water. People with chronic kidney disorders are unable to effectively eliminate it.

                      It was because of the effects coming to notice that the EPA recommended the lowering of fluoridation rates from 1.0 to 0.7 mg/L

                      Now I’m sure you will want to have the last word – so go right ahead! I’ve said what I want to say on the matter and will leave it at that.

                    • McFlock

                      Why thankyou.

                      Our exploratory analysis found an association between fluoride exposure in drinking water during childhood and the incidence of osteosarcoma among males but not consistently among females. Further research is required to confirm or refute this observation.

                      Further research here:

                      Our ecological analysis suggests that the water fluoridation status in the continental U.S. has no influence on osteosarcoma incidence rates during childhood and adolescence.

                      You will also have read the commentary by the phd supervisor mentioned in the article, titled “Caution Needed in Fluoride and Osteosarcoma Study”. They go so far as to state:

                      This issue of Cancer Causes and Controls includes a paper with results from an analysis of a subset of participants in our ongoing study of fluoride and osteosarcoma. The paper, “Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma”, presents a partial view of this ongoing study. We would like to advise the readers to be especially cautious when interpreting the findings of this paper for several reasons. The authors themselves have already raised a flag of caution in their final paragraph with the note that they are aware of additional findings from other incident cases that appear not to replicate the findings from the cases presented in their paper.

                      Basically, for the hazards even partially hinted at (by the articles touted by the lying anti-fluoridation lobby), the weight of the research evidence indicates that they do not apply at the levels of fluoridation in NZ.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Quibbling of rounding errors aside, the point still stands that if babies were overdosing on fluoridated water in NZ, we’d know about it.

                      0.7mg/L and 1.0mg/L is a large difference in concentration mate. A 43% increase in fact.

                      For you to call it a “rounding error” suggests a lack of intellectual care and finesse on your part.

                    • McFlock

                      While you’re quibbling over fractions of parts per million, my point still stands that if babies were overdosing on fluoridated water in NZ, we’d know about it. For example, fluorosis rates would be higher than in non-fluoridated areas.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Like I said, you don’t actually give a shit about the science.

                    • McFlock

                      Science is about real-world demonstrations that disprove a hypothesis.

                      I not only give a shit about it, it’s why the point still stands that if babies were overdosing on fluoridated water in NZ, we’d know about it, mister “metabolic fluoride overload”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      43% more fluoride, 43% less, no problem to you I see. Tell you what, let’s split the difference and go for 43% less than 0.7 ppm = 0.4 ppm as a good balance.

                      After all, we’re talking about irrelevant homeopathic levels of fluoride here, so I’m not sure why your knickers are in a twist.

                    • McFlock

                      How about we go the other way, make it 2%. The point still stands that if babies were overdosing on fluoridated water in NZ, we’d know about it.

                      I suspect at 2% concentration, it’s be very obvious indeed. Then you’d be able to point to the demonstrable harm for babies (and many other people) overdosing on fluoridated water. In fact I suspect that the hospitals would be full, if not the morgues.

                      But at <1ppm in New Zealand? The point still stands that if babies were overdosing on fluoridated water in NZ, we’d know about it. Show me the harm. Disprove my null hypothesis. Please. That’s how science works.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Show me the harm!” lol Jerry McFlock

                    • McFlock

                      You’re the “lol”.

                      You’ve gone from pretending to have rudimentary scientific skills (like looking shit up) and using big-boy words (like “metabolic”), to ignoring an entire comment (except for the four words that give you the opportunity to paraphrase a pop-culture meme so vacuous that Key’s used it).

                      You’d be fucking hilarious, apart from the fact that the merest possibility of idiots like you turning up on the hustings led Hamilton councillors to overrule the wishes of its citizens and make a stupid decision.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey McFlock, I hear the biggest water fluoridators of the OECD i.e. Australia, NZ and USA are well down the dental health league tables for children, and that the best performing countries eg Germany, UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands don’t fluoridate at all (UK does for just 11% of its population though).

                      Shame eh.

                    • McFlock

                      now you’re a broken record. See my response here when you last spouted that line.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Fact remains. Countries with high levels of water fluoridation seem to fail to improve their dental health past a certain point.

                    • McFlock

                      Their heart disease rates are probably lower, too. Does that mean that if we remove fluoridation then our heart disease rates will go down, too?

                      Maybe one day you’ll hit page five of “Baby’s First Epidemiological Study” and start looking at confounding factors and correlations. Does Spot run because of the ball’s movement, or is the majority of Spot’s movement independant of the ball’s motion?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Shame that the best performing countries in the OECD hardly fluoridate water. And the ones which do are well down the list. Yes, I’m sure that must be “confounding” for you.

                      It’s very amusing you break out the “heart attack” diversion. We’re talking about fluoridation and dental health, not your red herrings.

                    • McFlock

                      Shame that the best performing countries in the OECD hardly fluoridate water.

                      Therefore, if we remove fluoridation we will have the best teeth in the world? :roll:

                      SPOILER ALERT: when you get to page five, you’ll get the point. And understand that “confounding” also has a specific technical meaning. idiot.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      lol McFlock, keep kowtowing to your orthodoxy mate, however it seems like half of the country’s water supply does not.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Therefore, if we remove fluoridation we will have the best teeth in the world? :roll:

                      Oh no, nothing that drastic. Just suggesting that the effect of water fluoridation is relatively small and that there should be a permanent moratorium on any additional water fluoridation schemes.

                    • McFlock

                      keep kowtowing to your orthodoxy mate

                      lol
                      That’s the CV equivalent of:

                      *****
                      *****
                      *****
                      SYNTAX ERROR
                      *****
                      RUNTIME FAIL
                      *****
                      REDO FROM START
                      *****
                      *****
                      *****

                    • McFlock

                      Just suggesting that the effect of water fluoridation is relatively small and that there should be a permanent moratorium on any additional water fluoridation schemes.

                      Ah, we’re moving again after the restart.

                      I’m figuring that the “there should be a permanent moratorium” clause is just a rehash of “the germans don’t do it, so we shouldn’t”. Fairly stupid argument.

                      As for the “effect of water fluoridation is relatively small”, we can eliminate or reduce many confounding factors by comparing like with like.

                      Fluoridated vs non-fluoridated areas show a significant increase in tooth quality in fluoridated areas. Certainly not conclusive in itself, but much stronger than “the germans stopped fluoridating and have better teeth than us”. The access to dentists is equivalent, for a start (as opposed to a difference of somethng like 47/100kpop versus 77/100kpop).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      lol

                      one additional cavity free kid out of every 25 children; no real positive impact on adults. That’s what I call slight. The effect is greater in poorer deprived areas of course, and far less in wealthier areas.

                      Plus, children get more than enough fluoride from just brushing, which is most of them.

                    • McFlock

                      one additional cavity free kid out of every 25 children; no real positive impact on adults. That’s what I call slight.

                      900,000 kids 0-14 in NZ according to NZStat.
                      36,000 more kids moving into adulthood with all their teeth.

                      But even if think of those 36,000 as “slight”, what about the others who have significantly, detectably improved (but not quite perfect) teeth? Why do you ignore those kids? Do you not care about them, either?

                      Plus, children get more than enough fluoride from just brushing, which is most of them.

                      the fact that there are differences between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas suggests otherwise.

                      But then you can measure your daily milligram dose of fluoride simply by how heavy your brush feels. /sarc

                    • Colonial Viper

                      900,000 kids 0-14 in NZ according to NZStat.
                      36,000 more kids moving into adulthood with all their teeth.

                      You really are an insidiously and deliberately misleading prick. The measure includes not just missing but also decayed and cavitied teeth.

                      the fact that there are differences between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas suggests otherwise.

                      Nah, you’re being confounded again. Those differences in effect shrink even further when you excise out at risk groups eg. Maori children. BTW as I have said before, I have no issue with water fluoridation in areas where socioeconomic status is worst and cavity counts are high.

                      But then you can measure your daily milligram dose of fluoride simply by how heavy your brush feels. /sarc

                      Of course I can, can’t you? /sarc

                    • McFlock

                      lol CORRECTION

                      Your “one in twenty-five” ratio, where did you get that from? Because the MoH data in the post is 8%, not 4%.

                      So that’s 72,000 kids with caries-free teeth, not 36,000. Still “slight” to you, no doubt. And tens of thousands with better (but not perfect, teeth), of course.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      lol wrong as usual McFlock. Shame you can’t read graphs.

                    • McFlock

                      You really are an insidiously and deliberately misleading prick.

                      lol. A gentle disagreement with some phrasing, perchance? Still, it is a significant difference. Better heavy-metal fillings in a five-year old’s mouth (do they still use mercury?) than a little bit of fluoride in the water.

                      So we’ll make it “72,000 kids with all their teeth in perfect condition“. Better?

                      Those differences in effect shrink even further when you excise out at risk groups eg. Maori children.

                      Yes indeed. We get a much clearer picture of the effects on New Zealand children when we choose to ignore 20% of New Zealand children. /sarc

                      Those differences in effect shrink even further when you excise out at risk groups eg. Maori children. BTW as I have said before, I have no issue with water fluoridation in areas where socioeconomic status is worst and cavity counts are high.

                      I agree that you’ve mentioned several times that you’re happy to impose “forced mass medication” on Maori communities. Just not the, er, “more affluent” communities.

                      lol wrong as usual McFlock. Shame you can’t read graphs.

                      Not graphs. The table in the post. “Effect of fluoridation of % carries free and mdmf”. Here, I’ll repeat it for you:

                      Effect of fluoridation of % carries free and mdmf
                      Year 8

                      ……………………Total Maori
                      Carries free (%)
                      8.86 10.42
                      MDMF*……..…… -0.48 -0.81

                      5 years

                      ……………………Total Maori
                      Carries free (%)
                      8.05 12.46
                      MDMF*……..…… -0.63 -1.38

                      Seriously, were you trying to estimate “4%” off a graph? That’s bold of you. But I’ll compromise and take that as the lower bound of the estimate, and the 2002-11 aggregate data would be the upper end (if the 2007 step-change is accurate rather than a systemic data quality change).

                      So that’s 36,000 to 72,000 kids with all their teeth in perfect condition.

                      By the way, how do you know that your daily dosage of fluoride is in the sweet spot between “enough” and “metabolic fluoride overload”, Doctor Viper?

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.2

          That sounds about right, Macro. Water fluoridation is a big and very blunt tool. Many countries have determined ways to use fluoride to improve dental health in a more intelligently targeted and selective way.

    • Macro 15.2

      That is actually the rate for treating the water supply.

      The main source of Hydro FluoroSilicic acid, in NZ is from fertiliser works.

      http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/engineering/wfadditives.htm
      ‘Most fluoride additives used in the United States are produced from phosphorite rock. Phosphorite is used primarily in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizer. Phosphorite contains calcium phosphate mixed with limestone (calcium carbonates) minerals and apatite—a mineral with high phosphate and fluoride content. It is refluxed (heated) with sulfuric acid to produce a phosphoric acid-gypsum (calcium sulfate-CaSO4) slurry.

      The heating process releases hydrogen fluoride (HF) and silicon tetrafluoride (SiF4) gases which are captured by vacuum evaporators. These gases are then condensed to a water-based solution of 23% FSA with the remainder as water.

      Approximately 95% of FSA used for water fluoridation comes from this process. The remaining 5% of FSA is generated during the manufacture of hydrogen fluoride or from the use of hydrogen fluoride in the manufacturing of solar panels and electronics.”

      Thames (where I live) gets its FSA from a fertiliser company in Tauranga.

      Because it is highly toxic you aren’t allowed to dump it in rivers, land fill, or the ocean. But you can get councils to pay for it and add it to the public drinking water.

      • McFlock 15.2.1

        Because it is highly toxic you aren’t allowed to dump it in rivers, land fill, or the ocean. But you can get councils to pay for it and add it to the public drinking water.

        When was the last time anyone “dumped” anything at <1ppm?

        • Macro 15.2.1.1

          ????????? did i say that?

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1.1

            McFlock is an expert dissembler. Watch him.

            Fluoridating water is a good way for corporates to earn a few bucks selling what would otherwise be a manufacturing waste by-product.

            • McFlock 15.2.1.1.1.1

              “expert dissembler”
              Yeah, pointing out that you don’t understand the big words you try to use is such a dirty trick.

              • Colonial Viper

                McFlock my good man, you’re intellectually clever yet quite arrogant at the same time. Keep drinking the (fluoridated) Kool Aid. Thankfully, about 50% of NZers and 95% of the EU are not.

          • McFlock 15.2.1.1.2

            Oh, so you were saying that if something is illegal to be dumped into waterways at 23% concentration, it’s relevance to <0.0001% concentration in the water supply is …?

            • Colonial Viper 15.2.1.1.2.1

              More dissembling.

              Starting point 23% but 1km down the stream <0.1%

              Still not allowed to do it

              • McFlock

                now who’s “dissembling”?
                It’s the effect of dumping they give a shit about. Not the inconsequential concentrations a km down the line.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh don’t get snotty just because I’m using the same tricks as you

                  • McFlock

                    I know you can’t tell the difference, but no, you’re not.
                    I actually try to demonstrate a point, in this case the fact that dumping 23% fluoride is not the same as “dumping” 99.99%pure water. With one they’re concerned about killing the fish and flora, in the other they just give a shit about flow rates.

  16. Macro 16

    I am well aware of what i did say and i never said that! Previously the stuff was vented into the atmosphere causing people animals and plants living around the works to die or get very sick. So they had to strip it from their exhausts (using the process I linked to above) and leaving the works with a load of highly toxic material.

  17. Tangled up in blue 17

    Great post, thank you.
    \
    Imo it’s important to illustrate that the anti-fluoride crowd aren’t typical of the left-wing but rather an irrational few out on the peripheral.

  18. RonL 18

    “Mr Johnson said last week that the government believed that adding fluoride to drinking water was “an effective and relatively easy way to help address health inequalities—giving children from poorer backgrounds a dental health boost that can last a lifetime.”

    But some of the scientists who led the research that the government commissioned into fluoridation argue that the move is premature, and they accuse the Department of Health of selecting data to fit its agenda.

    In 1999 the department commissioned the University of York’s NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination to review the available evidence. Although that review found no conclusive evidence of harm, the researchers attributed this result to weak studies and to the difficulty of detecting small, delayed health effects. The researchers found some evidence of reduction in dental caries but were unable to conclude that fluoridation reduces social inequalities in dental health.

    Iain Chalmers, editor of the James Lind Library in Oxford, who sat on the York study’s review panel, said, “I’m very disappointed that the Department of Health apparently thinks no further research is necessary before taking such a step. If there’s one message that emerged from the York review, it’s that better quality evidence is needed.”

    Iain Chalmers and Trevor Sheldon of York University, who led the York review, laid out the uncertainties surrounding fluoridation in a BMJ article last October (2007;335:699-702 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39318.562951.BE). Professor Sheldon also questioned the government’s use of data from another study in a letter to the BMJ (2007;335:840-1 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39374.404502.BE).”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2244726/

  19. RonL 19

    Ken Perrott claims that the graph showing downward trends in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries is not evidence-based,

    The British Medical Journal presnted an even more compelling one… it’s authors include the father of evidence-based medicine.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2001050/pdf/bmj-335-7622-ac-00699.pdf

    [lprent: Actually Ken did not say that. What he said was that the graph was useless cherry-picking because they only showed two points per country and only looked at a single factor ignoring all other changes in dental practice and hygiene in those countries. And yes I have read your comments over at OP with a certain amount of disbelief that Ken was so nice to you…

    ..father of evidence-based..

    You don’t help your credibility nor encourage people to read your links when you use this kind of florid dumbarse bullshit. It just makes you look like you have a limited grip on reality.

    Whoever was the “father of evidence-based medicine” has been dead for centuries and probably never wrote a single article for a medical journal. Those are a comparatively recent institution. I’d suggest that you look back at either the greeks or the late 18th century as the most likely periods that such a mythical personage lived in.

    And I’d suggest that you read our policy. Putting words into the mouth of an author is likely to get you booted by a moderator so hard that the ring of freshness you taste in your mouth will be anal in origin… (and not from the usual male bovine origin).

    BTW: welcome to the blog 😈 You may find it a bit less “polite” than you are used to… ]

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    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    16 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    19 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    20 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    8 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    9 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    9 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    12 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    12 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    15 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    3 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago