Rebuttal: Minister’s Science Advisory Committee (NZ)


What is in the water? – June 12, 2013
The Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee
New Zealand

Claim: “The science of fluoride in water is effectively settled. It has been one of the most thoroughly worked questions in public health science over some decades.”

Response: On the contrary. When the University of York examined the evidence on fluoridation, the authors were surprised at its poor quality. According to the research team, “Given the level of interest surrounding the issue of public water fluoridation, it is surprising to find that little high quality research has been undertaken.” Three years later, the authors reiterated, “We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide… As emphasised in the report, only high-quality studies can fill in the gaps in knowledge about these and other aspects of fluoridation.”

Claim: “There is no doubt that the presence of low amounts of fluoride in water (either naturally occurring or adjusted to between 0.7 and 1 mg/litre) reduces the incidence of dental caries and this is even in advanced economies where dental hygiene has been much improved and where fluoride toothpastes are available. In some countries, fluoride need not be added to the water supply because their geology naturally provides water with fluoride in at least these concentrations.”

Response: The gaps in knowledge and poor quality of evidence exposed by the York team in the UK were blown wide open by the US National Research Council in 2006. The NRC’s report found a whole range of unresolved health issues relating to fluoride exposure, as evidenced by the panel’s recommendations. According to one of the expert panelists for this report, “0.7 mg/L is not adequate to protect against known or anticipated adverse effects and does not allow an adequate margin of safety to protect young children, people with high water consumption, people with kidney disease (resulting in reduced excretion of fluoride), and other potentially sensitive population subgroups.” As pointed out by Cheng et al. (2007), “In the case of fluoridation, people should be aware of the limitations of evidence about its potential harms and that it would be almost impossible to detect small but important risks (especially for chronic conditions) after introducing fluoridation.” Furthermore, European nations, for example, cite both medical and ethical considerations for not fluoridating water supplies (most countries do not fluoridate water). It is also worth noting how many famous cities of the world do not have their people drinking fluoridated water, yet still maintain good oral health. With this in mind, consider the words of Dr. Arvid Carlsson (Nobel Laureate, Medicine/Physiology, 2000): “Sweden rejected fluoridation in the 1970s… Our children have not suffered greater tooth decay, as World Health Organization figures attest, and in turn our citizens have not borne the other hazards fluoride may cause. In any case, since fluoride is readily available in toothpaste, you don’t have to force it on people.”

Claim: “Notably, both the very young and the old benefit from fluoride in the water supply. They develop fewer dental caries and thus have a significant reduction in the downstream effects such as the need for invasive dental surgery associated with problematic dental status.”

Response: The evidence for this assertion is poor.

Claim: “It is absolutely clear that at doses used in New Zealand to adjust the natural level to a level consistent with beneficial health effects (0.7-1.0mg/litre), there is no health risk from fluoride in the water.”

Response: This type of statement exploits the elementary confusion between concentration and dose. As the NRC report specified, measures of exposure vary widely among the general population and there are high intake population subgroups that require special consideration. Individual dose depends on how much water one drinks, and how much fluoride exposure comes from other sources. As emphasised by Dr. Paul Connett, “officials should be concerned about the more subtle consequences of lifelong exposure to this substance once it gets into the drinking water. Moreover, concern about exposure to fluoride in the drinking water needs to be coupled with a concern about all the other sources of fluoride we are all exposed to today, including dental products, pesticide residues and other sources of fluoride in the diet.” Hence, the real issue is Margin of Safety, rather than concentration. This obvious lack of an adequate safety margin prompted former EPA risk assessment expert, Dr. Robert J. Carton, to conclude (after reviewing the NRC report) that, “The amount of fluoride necessary to cause these effects to susceptible members of the population is at or below the dose received from current levels of fluoride recommended for water fluoridation. The recommended Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for fluoride in drinking water should be zero.”

Claim: “However there is one side effect of fluoride that is found even at this low level of fluoride in the water supply; in a portion of the population, it causes minimal white mottling of the enamel of the permanent teeth.”

Response: Dental fluorosis is a biomarker of systemic toxic over-exposure to fluoride. The notion that fluoride can damage the tooth-forming cells (via a systemic mechanism), whilst not damaging any other part of the body in the process, could only be dreamed up by a tooth-obsessed dental lobby with a zealous agenda to protect fluoridation policy at all costs. Fluoride is a powerful substance that needs to be respected in terms of its biochemistry and toxicology.

Claim: “The exposures needed are chronic exposures at levels many times that in our water supply.”

Response: “What we are particularly concerned about is the impact of consuming water at 1 ppm over an extended period of time” (Connett, Beck & Micklem 2010, p. 248).

Claim: “Can food be used as a medium for delivering a public heath intervention?”

Response: As outlined by Cheng et al. (2007), “Under the principle of informed consent, anyone can refuse treatment with a drug or other intervention. The Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine 1997 (which the UK has not signed) states that health interventions can only be carried out after free and informed consent. The General Medical Council’s guidance on consent also stresses patients’ autonomy, and their right to decide whether or not to undergo medical intervention even if refusal may result in harm. This is especially important for water fluoridation, as an uncontrollable dose of fluoride would be given for up to a lifetime, regardless of the risk of caries, and many people would not benefit.” It is little wonder, therefore, why public health expert, Professor Niyi Awofeso, said in 2012 that there is “insufficient ethical justification for artificial water fluoridation.” Learn more about fluoridation and medical ethics here.

Claim: “The fluoride debate is based in no small part on numerous examples of inappropriate extrapolation from what happens at hugely higher doses of fluoridation, combined with what is frankly scaremongering.”

Response: Once again, this type of statement ignores the principle of Margin of Safety, whilst also glossing over the issue of dose. In 2012, environmental toxicology experts from Harvard University were unable to conclude that no risk is present from current fluoride exposure levels in fluoridating nations.

Claim: “Because the way one looks for side effects following population interventions requires particular epidemiological approaches, the language of evidence-based medicine can be confusing to the non-expert and easily exploited.”

Response: The scientific opponents of fluoridation are well-acquainted with the historical, political, ethical, toxicological, and epidemiological aspects of fluoridation.

Claim: “With regard to fluoride, there have been genuine concerns raised regarding risks of bone disease, thyroid disease, brain disease and cancer. While these issues have been settled, they continue to be emphasized by those who oppose fluoride.”

Response: These issues have not been settled. For instance, the York team said, on this matter, that “not enough was known because the quality of the evidence was poor.” The NRC panel, as mentioned above, also found that numerous health issues have not been resolved. For further research, we recommend this database.

Claim: “Some of this continued emphasis is based on inappropriate interpretations of studies in rats.”

Response: We recommend this book for a full discussion of all relevant animal studies.

Claim: “It is clear that there is no risk of such disorders at the doses of fluoride being used and extensive epidemiological surveys have repeatedly confirmed this to be the case.”

Response: Key health studies have not been done (50 Reasons #45).

Claim: “Bizarre form of conspiracy.”

Response: “Claim 37: Opponents are “conspiracy theorists.” This was true of one faction of the anti-fluoridation movement in the 1950s, whose members believed that fluoridation was a “communist plot,” as parodied in Stanley Kubrick’s famous movie Dr. Strangelove. However, even in those early days many reputable scientists were opposed to fluoridation on scientific grounds and many more on the very rational grounds that it is unethical to deliver medicine through the public water supply, because it removes the individual’s right to informed consent to medical treatment. Today, there are still conspiracy theorists around, as there are in almost any field, but most opponents are increasingly well informed” (Connett, Beck & Micklem 2010, p. 256).

Claim: “The Ministry of Health and its expert dental, public health and scientific advisors have been well positioned to opine on the science. Indeed their conclusions are in accord with other major scientific and public health authorities that have looked at the question repeatedly.”

Response: Endorsements do not represent scientific evidence (50 Reasons #46).

Author: AFA Mildura

Administrator, Anti-Fluoridation Association of Mildura

11 thoughts on “Rebuttal: Minister’s Science Advisory Committee (NZ)

  1. Permission to post from Professor Peckham.

    As a Professor and Health Researcher I find pro-fluoridationists’ characterisation of those opposed to fluoridation as “quacks” offensive.

    My work is supported by the UK Department of Health, I am a member of the UK Faculty of Public Health and have a number of funded research projects from the National Institutes for Health Research in the UK.
    I have consistently opposed fluoridation policy due to the poor evidence base on its effectiveness, genuine concerns about potential health problems (requiring further research) and, therefore, the fact that imposing fluoridation is unethical.

    Professor Stephen Peckham BSc. MA(Econ)., HMFPH
    Director, Centre for Health Services Studies
    Professor of Health Policy
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    Director, Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System
    University of Kent
    George Allen Wing
    CT2 7NF

    Critical Public Health
    Slaying sacred cows: is it time to pull the plug on water fluoridation? Stephen Peckham
    Department of Health Services Research and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SH, UK
    Version of record first published: 15 Nov 2011
    To cite this article: Stephen Peckham (2012): Slaying sacred cows: is it time to pull the plug on water fluoridation?, Critical Public Health, 22:2, 159-177
    To link to this article:

  2. PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY: Auckland Anti-Fluoride Meeting

    Is fluoridation safe? Listen to the evidence from the team of doctors and dentists that ended fluoridation in Hamilton.

    Now that Hamilton has voted to ban fluoride from its drinking water, the country has become aware not only of the dangers of mass medicating the entire population with a toxic by-product of the fertiliser manufacturing industry … but also how we have been lied to by the fluoride apologists in the mass media and national government.

    Even if you agree that fluoride is (somehow) a “nutrient” (it isn’t … it is toxic, even in small doses), there is no justification, either legally or morally, to force it on an entire population, young and old alike.

    PROVEN: Fluoride is CUMULATIVE, and over time can and will causes a variety of degenerative illnesses.


    Your dentists have been lying to you; the mass media have been lying to you; and “your” government has been lying to you.

    The fact that there is a debate on this issue is testimony to how ridiculous things have become, how devoid we are of honest government and honest media.

    It should never have happened in the first place.

    This entire “experiment” has got to be stopped … now.

    We at UNCENSORED MAGAZINE applaud the good people of Hamilton and urge you to come to the meeting in Auckland to learn the facts about fluoride and meet some new friends and neighbours.

    Together we will stop this barbaric practice … as so much of the world has already done.

    Is fluoridation safe? Listen to the evidence from the team of doctors and dentists that ended fluoridation in Hamilton.
    SAT 29th June @7PM
    – Freemans Bay Community Hall, in the Auditorium
    52 Hepburn Street, Freemans Bay AKL
    $5 door charge

    Rebuttal: Minister’s Science Advisory Committee (NZ)


    Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 4:59 pm
    Press Release: NZ Fluoridation Information Service
    Royal Society’s Chief Called to Resign over Fluoridation Review Debacle
    NZFIS Wellington 
11 October 2012

    Contrary to the claims that the Royal Society’s call for scientific information on fluoridation “did not elicit any new information indicating that a further review would be of value at present” the Society received almost 1000 pages of fully referenced scientific information showing fluoridation to be a significant health risk, as well as being ineffective at reducing tooth decay.

    This information included many of the IQ studies recently reviewed under the umbrella of the Harvard School of Public Health, by world-leading scientists in the field of developmental neurotoxicology. The review was published in the leading journal Environmental Health Perspectives, and its findings directly contradict the recent statement by Professor Skegg.

    Professor Skegg’s statement is simply a “complete fabrication”, according to Mark Atkin, CE of the NZ Fluoridation Information Service, who continues “It suggests the real reason the plug was pulled on the Royal Society’s review. The Society could not have maintained scientific integrity unless it recommended fluoridation be stopped, given the extensive scientific information we supplied. This would have directly conflicted with Professor Skegg’s blind support of public health’s entrenched fluoridation policy. Professor Skegg’s statement is simply propaganda – a betrayal of science and the statutory role of the Royal Society. Having put propaganda and personal beliefs above scientific integrity, he should resign immediately before he further damages the credibility of the Royal Society.”

    The claim of “extensive research over many decades indicating fluoridation is [safe and effective]” has been fully discredited by the York Review 2000 and the US National Research Council Review 2006. “Any scientist with any knowledge of the fluoridation issue would know this. There is a saying: ‘when a scientist abuses his position in society of trust and authority to mislead the public, he does not become a dishonest scientist – he simply ceases to be a scientist. This blind repetition of propaganda shows that Professor Skegg has ceased to be a scientist”, concludes Mr Atkin.

    About NZFIS
    The NZ Fluoridation Information Service was established in early 2011 to provide accurate and reliable information on fluoridation, in the face of the creation by the Ministry of Health of its lobby group the National Water Fluoridation Support and Co-ordination Service, misrepresenting itself as an objective information service, and the increasing levels of misinformation and propaganda issuing from the Ministry of Health, District Health boards, and the NZ Dental Association.

    © Scoop Media

  4. I remain astounded that we are even having to continue this debate. When one in around 10 kids have allergies, the rate of diabeties is among the highest in the world, severe chronic health issues on the rise & autism diagnosis up with apparently no know cause, to name a few, why are we even discussing this. We don’t have to be a genius to figure out that putting poison in the water supply is not a good idea. What we do have to figure out is, why our powers-that-be insist on pushing this issue & spending valuable tax payers dollars in the process that in my opinion would be better spent on saving teeth through diet & hygiene education regarding how teeth really need to be treated to avoid problems. The answer is definitely not ingesting fluoride or applying it topically.

  5. Pingback: Conspiracy Corner – Fluoride (2013 Edition) » EPISTO! – The musings of Matthew Dentith

  6. Reblogged this on Chronicles of Illusions and commented:
    One of our councils recently had the sense to take fluoride out of the water supply. Two others are considering it. Dentists went berserk begging the government to step in. It frightens me how ill informed our government is. And how ready they are to suck up to not only corporations but organizations that use scare tactics (you should have seen the pictures they used of rotten children’s teeth blasting the news), to stop the public from making informed and sensible choices. This is a great rebuttal of the government’s views regarding fluoride.

  7. Just the tip of the hazardous waste polluted iceberg – these Fluoridation Cartel Members will eventually face the wrath of the population chronically poisoned since WF first introduced in Beaconsfield, Tasmania in 1953 and from then on all through every State of Australia:-

    FLUORIDE CAUSES CANCER – Dr John Yiamouyiannis
    “Our studies show that cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, bladder, breast and ovaries are those primarily associated with fluoride intake”. John Yiamouyiannis PhD, Cancer Control Journal, Vol. 5, no’s1 + 2, p. 75.

    FLUORIDE CAUSES CANCER – “In point of fact, fluorine causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster, than any other chemical.” Dr. Dean Burk, PhD, former chief of cytochemistry at the U.S. National Cancer Institute for 30 years

    Fluoridegate – The Film = Shredding of Evidence – Fired Senior Scientist /Toxicologist to try and silence him

    Dr. William Marcus, Ph.D, Environmental Protection Agency Scientist, Food & Water Journal, Summer 1998″Fluoride is a carcinogen by any standard we use. I believe EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, & other effects.”,%201943,%20Editorial




    FLUORIDE & CANCER click on CANCER link


    Cancer –


    Extensive information (but only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ )here: Water Fluoridation Pollution Must End > Download Report from here:


    Health Effects Data Base
    Do you know the diseases caused by the “cumulative effect” of fluorine? If not, why not? Don’t you think you should know these facts before you advocate forcing more of this most powerful and indestructible poison on innocent people? Don’t you believe that anyone forcing helpless, innocent people to take in more fluorides should be held morally and legally liable for any damage to these people? Don’t you believe that the medical profession and Public Health officials have a great responsibility in protecting the people from the serious, harmful effects of fluorides?
    Extensive research has also shown that fluorides change the chemical structure of the living enamel of the tooth, making it a dead chalky substance. Fluorides also cause calcific plugs in the dentin, greatly disturbing the nutrition and circulation. Thus, fluorides are harmful to teeth and cause periodontal diseases from which people lose their teeth in mid-life. Public Health officials and Boards of Health should be protecting innocent people from this killer instead of promoting fluoride diseases.
    For the U.S. Public Health Service to use hundreds of millions of dollars of tax money to promote fluoridation of the public water supply and deceive the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association and many millions of citizens, is an organized attack on the health of the people.
    Reprinted from Cancer News Journal, Vol. 9, No. – Full document Sourced:
    By Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield MBBS LRCP MRCS
    Fluoridation of the nation’s water supply will do little for our dental health; but will have catastrophic effects on our general health. We cannot, must not, dare not, subject our nation to this appalling risk.
    Full document:
    Fluoridegate  – The Film – See cover up – Shredding of Evidence of Harm by USA EPA    

  8. Claim: “Bizarre form of conspiracy.” Unbelievable – the Chief Health Officer has the nerve to label every person who doesn’t wish to ingest forced hydrofluorosicilic acid in their drinking water, as ‘conspiracy therorists’ !! ? What credentials does he claim he has, to decide everyone needs such masse medication of a chemical waste, regardless of age, health or need? When did S6/7 neurotoxins from industrial waste become ‘conspiracy’? FACT: this Chief Health Officer is a filthy government rat, pure and simple, flogging New Zealanders with chemical wastes ( from the phosphate industry. AND, when can a person like the Chief Health Officer get away with not REFERENCING his comments ? ie. Claim: “It is clear that there is no risk of such disorders at the doses of fluoride being used and extensive epidemiological surveys have repeatedly confirmed this to be the case.” Where are his sources to the ‘extensive safety studies’? What an outright LIE – there is NO SAFETY DATA anywhere in the world ! If so, cough up the data please. Same ol’ garbage, touted by the puppet masters of fluoridation, all the media, and their fluoridating promotor lackeys. Disgraceful conduct by a ‘Health’ officer in the face of overwhelming evidence of no safety data; not effective; and simply, a barbaric and outdated mode of dealing with a dental disease caused by too much sugar, poor dental hygeine and, even less, medical ethics (as this issue flies against the Nuremburg Code).

  9. The Fluoridation Cartel must be stopped by the power of the people from chronically poisoning the population, pets and environment (also contaminating our food chain) with hazardous waste pollutants & co-contaminants known as water fluoridation. Perhaps will come the day when there is a massive class action by the people against the ADA, AMA, Councils and all those in Government and others responsible for this mass chronic poisoning.

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