MPs are expecting furious opposition to proposals on fluoridated drinking water as public hearings kick off this week.
The first select committee hearings will be held tomorrow on the Government’s plan to transfer the responsibility for fluoridating water from councils to district health boards (DHBs).
In a rare move, Parliament’s Health Committee has agreed to hear from every individual or organisation that asked to make an oral submission.
In total, 60 organisations and 140 individuals are expected to give presentations, and the committee will be broken up into sub-committees in order to hear them all.
“The committee felt that hearing from everyone on this was important,” committee chairman and National MP Simon O’Connor said.
“It’s a passionate topic. People feel very strongly about it and we thought … the best way to manage that was to allow them to be heard.”
Most of the submissions to the committee were against the law change, O’Connor said.
At present, territorial authorities decide whether to fluoridate the local water supply.
At last count, just 27 out of 67 of them had decided to add fluoride to their water. That is despite overwhelming scientific evidence that fluoridation is a highly effective, low-cost public health initiative. Research by the Royal Society of New Zealand found there was 40 per cent less tooth decay in regions where water supplies contained fluoride.
This is very simple. People have a choice to add a supplement to their diet if they feel fluoride is in their interest. The problem is that people who do not want it will be forced to have it when added to the water supply.
Leaving aside that it works or not, and assuming it works, then people who want fluoride can purchase these as supplements right now. Problem solved.
Oh, but I can hear the “Public health” crowd screaming at me. People are apparently too stupid to make good choices, so we have to put folic acid in bread and fluoride in council water.
No. We should not.
What’s next? A government approved diet that can only be purchased from government approved shops? You have to film yourself eating it, and you will go to jail if you cheat? Your poos are randomly sampled for substances not on the government approved diet list?
Sadly, government and health authorities are full of people that want to make choices for other people. Especially the dumb ones.
– NZ Herald