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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fluoridated Water - where does it end? Antidepressants in our water supply next?

Dear Gary

Thank you for taking the time to make a submission on the Draft Annual Plan.  I, along with my colleagues will take it into consideration.  Our Annual Plan or our budget would not be the only place that would need a change if fluoridation were to be removed from the water supply.  It would require a policy change and in my view, a majority of Wellingtonians’ consent on the issue.  The other alternative is to provide a non-fluoridated supply which has been mooted before.  It might be worthwhile following up on this suggestion with Ngaire Best, the Portfolio leader for Three Waters and Waste (

I agree that we need to look at the causes of tooth decay but remain to be convinced that just telling everyone to brush their teeth will protect the whole of the population from tooth decay.  Most of us know that we should take better care of our health (or at least some aspects of it) but there is widespread evidence that we don’t.  Obviously an ongoing issue to get people to take that responsibility.

Kind regards

Iona Pannett
Wellington City Councillor

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

My older sister has been a school dental nurse since about 1972 and in this time the dental service has been cut to the bone with one nurse covering areas that were once serviced by several. Meanwhile the cost of dentistry outside of the school services, has skyrocketed making it accessible to only the well off.

I can not understand why we spend billions of tax dollars on all manner of health health care, much of which is of debatable benefit; but next to nothing on dental health, which is of unquestionable benefit. It just does not compute.

Measures such as fluoridation are a sop to the masses, distracting us from the real issues - Such as the rundown of the school dental nurse system and the widening gap between wages and the cost of good food. There is widespread relative poverty in New Zealand which denies access for many to dental services. Poverty encourages the consumption of foods such as white bread and soft drinks which rot teeth and gums.

I certainly would not like to see an alternative source of non-fluoridated water being provided for those who want to opt out of fluoridation. This is simply the wrong way to deal with the problem.

As a matter of interest: Youth suicide is a problem in NZ. Lithium deficiency is associated with depressive tendencies. If we were to apply the same logic as has been applied to fluoridation, health experts would have us adding lithium to the municipal water supply! We could be doing the same for iodine. Once we start, as we have for fluoride, where does it end? A dangerous slippery slope, if you ask me.

Let's put statins in our water, or how about Prozac? Then we will never have anything to worry about!

Wishing you good health Iona and please keep up the good work as our representative on Council.

Gary Moller

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