Fluoride talk spurs 'alien' gibe

Dave Cull
Dave Cull
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday compared anti-fluoride campaigners to people who believe they have been abducted by aliens.

Mr Cull made the comments as the council considered a staff report at yesterday's annual plan budget meeting, which outlined three options for offering non-fluoridated drinking water.

The council opted to encourage ''point-of-use'' filters - which cost between $100 and $400 - for those worried about the health effects of fluoride, rather than other options, which involved the council spending up to $150,000 on public taps.

However, the council's recommendation did not include the potentially costly option of subsidising the point-of-use filters.

When it came to subsidising the taps Mr Cull was unequivocal, saying: ''The advice we have got so far is that the amount of fluoride we put in our water is not harmful.

''I don't think that we are as a council obligated to provide a service for a very small minority of people.

''If someone came along here and said they were being abducted by aliens, would we put in protection measures so that they weren't?''

Cr Mike Lord said he supported people worried about fluoride paying for their own filters, saying anti-fluoride campaigners were a ''very organised lobby group'', which did not necessarily represent a large proportion of the population.

Cr Richard Thompson took issue with the motion, saying it essentially meant the council was doing nothing.

''I cannot see the point in voting for a motion that is effectively a motion to do nothing,'' he said.

Those in the health sector needed to to do a better job of educating the public about the benefits of fluoridating water, Cr Thompson said.

Both he and Cr Jinty MacTavish, while believing fluoridated drinking water was safe, supported staff looking into the option of installing basic taps, which filtered out fluoride.

Cr MacTavish said it would likely cost very little - possibly a one-off cost of $400, then $50 a year - to install a public tap at an already monitored location such as the council toilets in Municipal Lane.

''To me it doesn't seem like a large amount to alleviate concerns of a large number of residents.''

Cr David Benson-Pope said he disagreed the motion meant the council was doing nothing.

''This gives a clear view of what the council's position is,'' he said.

Council staff have been considering the issue since last year's annual plan meetings, when councillors voted to ask staff to investigate options for a non-fluoridated drinking water supply.

That move came after the council received 34 public submissions on fluoride - more than any other subject - most being against the chemical being added to drinking water for oral health benefits.


Teach children to be skeptical of conspiracy websites

It may be necesary to teach children at school to be skeptical of conspiracy websites. There is a large number of people who believe the moon landings are fake, and the twin tower conspiracies and fluoride conspiracies. It is ok if people have their own beliefs but when parents stop getting their kids vaccinated or children lose their teeth then these beliefs can hurt people. The mayor has made a good point.

Very Small Minority

"34 submissions " isn't many but put it in context with " more than any other subject " so it was the issue with most submissions.

The council is quick enough to say "the majority of submissions were in favour" for issues they support.

So the council considers this a representative indication when it suits but when it doesn't they trot out "I don't think that we are as a council obligated to provide a service for a very small minority of people" when it doesn't.

I personally object to paying rates to pay for medication when it is illegal (without a court order) to force medication on anyone that doesn't want it, and then being told I have to pay extra to remove it . Does a councillor have an interest in a filter company by any chance.

How about I go to the logan park and stop playing sport there as my proactive action will save the council lots in maintenance costs, of course if they don't want me to they can always build a big fence around it to keep me out. 

The council should look at it as cost saving, any costs resulting from the cessation of water  fluoridation will be passed on to the users and health system not the council .

In fact if the council insists on carrying on I respectfully ask that they bill the DHB the cost and remove it from our rates , after all they are saving the health sector $37 dollars for every dollar spent , in fact going off the example of the tip it could be a little money spinner for every dollar spent charge the dhb $11 , council gets a 1000% ROI and DHB still saves $28 for every dollar spent.

Speculation is not peer reviewed

Speculation is not peer reviewed facts it is just scaremongering from an unknown source

The two Harvard researchers who reviewed these studies have distanced themselves from the way in which anti-fluoride activists have misrepresented their article. After contacting these researchers, the Wichita Eagle newspaper reported, “While the studies the Harvard team reviewed did indicate that very high levels of fluoride could be linked to lower IQs among schoolchildren, the data is not particularly applicable here because it came from foreign sources where fluoride levels are multiple times higher than they are in American tap water.”

Scientific elite

Lots of self appointed "scientific elite" here I see. I'm yet to meet a dentist who thinks anti fluoride campaigners have a provervial leg to stand on.

Alien abducter

No one would suggest Mayor Dave Cull is an Alien, would they?

But there was a sujestion that excessive dosing with fluoride causes mental retardation, or at least a dumbing down of the population. Perhaps that is it.


What very small minority?

What very small minority is the Mayor actually talking about? A few facts, rather than his not so clever remarks, would be more helpful, I would think.

I would like to see the numbers. A proper referendum would do just that. 

There is also a brilliant Documentry  by Award Winning Journalist, and former producer at the BBC, Christopher Bryson, called "The Fluoride Deception". It is well researched and presented, I found it very informative. I suggest he watches it.

Alien conspiracy

They don't believe they have been abducted by aliens, they ARE aliens. Only mass fluoridation of the water supply will keep them from taking over the city ... wooooohhh. How about that anti-fluoro-aliens? There's a silly conspiracy theory at least as good as yours. I'm onto you.

All that talk of "freedom of 'your' choice" exposes you for what you are. Selfish creatures without the good of humanity at heart. Die under the wrath of Kull space monsters!


I am amazed that some elected representatives are still trying to remain in that exclusive club which still adds Hfa to community water supplies. In the past 24 months in the USA, Canada, Australia and NZ, 140 communities representing over 8 million people have given added fluoride the flick rather than a tick.

Only 2 percent of the global community still add fluoride and the scientific conundrum is that tooth decay across both users and non users contines to decline. Given that only 1 per cent of the water treated with added fluoride is drunk and of that only a small amount touches the teeth, where is the cost benefit of the 99 percent that is effectively wasted through being flushed down the dunny, car washing, watering flower gardens, filling swimming pools, etc etc.

Treating tooth decay by adding Hfa to drinking water is as dumb as it gets. Direct application to the tooth surface by dental professionals and twice daily brushing with fluoridated toothpaste plus a good diet and less sugary drinks has proven to be the way to go rather than what amounts to mass medication without diagnosis or informed consent/permission.

Where is the proof of benefit?

I find several comprehensive studies that show virtually no difference in tooth decay rates between flouridated and non flouridated cities. Flouride is a topical application that works well in that fashion. Luckily I can afford a RO system to remove it. I am 40yrs old with zero cavities, have not used flouridated water in over 20yrs. My child is 11 with no cavities. We ensure she does not eat crap and brushes twice a day. We should medicate everyone because of bad parenting? What next add sunblock to the water? Many parents don't put sunblock on their kids, so maybe we should all ingest it in hopes it will bring down skin cancer rates. Recently it was said we should add folate to all breads, now the new research shows excess folate is causing increases in breast cancer. Education will always trump mass medication imo. Here's a thought. Brushing routines at schools and daycare. When kids arrive at school they brush, when they leave school they brush. Problem solved! That would make too much sense.

Fluoride choice

I gather you have put in thousands of hours of scientific research and analysis to make this assessment. Nobel prize winners in medical research (12), the scientific communities of nearly all of Europe, Declan Waugh a world authority on the subject who has put in 12,000 hours of research and was contracted by the Israeli government for a case against the water company for poisoning the people... they all think they have adbucted do they. Oh and the dentists and scientists who have seen our dental boards distorting the stats that show no difference to further their billion dollar agenda. Why support big business when it will cost you in cancer, alzheimers, brittle bones, renal disease, and lowered IQ? If you are happy with this fine but informed people don't want it forced on them Free fluoride pills for all uninformed people would do it surely.

Dunedin's Mayor

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday compared anti-fluoride campaigners to people who believe they have been abducted by aliens.

So Mr Cull has just labelled the scientific elite of the world as thinking they have been abducted!! Does he have any idea of the subject at all? Most countries have removed this because of the dangers fluoride poses. Incidentally it would be impossible to educate an informed public to the "benefits" of fluoride as quite frankly there are very few.

There are two arguments here. The pro side showing benefits and the anti side showing little or none. The only way to sort this as research and stats are very easy to cook and twist, is to look at large scale population data. This in entirety cannot be cooked - and this quite frankly supports the anti side. Countries that have taken this out for decades have shown either no change in dental disease or an improvement. On the other hand they have had an improvement in health issues.

It takes only a little research in NZ to meet people who have been on the pro side and talk about our dental association and "health" boards cooking and twisting the statistics to prove a decided and profitable agenda.

And then there are the ethics of this - forcing medication in uncontrolled dosage at a level that is banned from the ocean as being too toxic . . . and this is a bio accumulative neurotoxin

I would suggest the council wait for a report that has been commissioned by the Israeli government. 12000 hours of research by a world authority who according to the Dunedin mayor believes he has been abducted by aliens.

Witty one-liner

I well remember one of the councillors commenting on the non-appearance of an anti-flouride speaker at the annual submissions.

'She's at the dentist', he quipped. Wish I could remember which quick-witted councillor it was. Classic.

It's about freedom of choice

The question here lies not in the veritability of claims that fluoride is harmful to our health - it is about the freedom of choice of whether we are medicated or not. Panadol may be shown to be 'safe' at certain levels, and there may be many members of the populace who are in a slight degree of pain or discomfort for one reason or another, but do we dose the water with panadol? No - because we leave the choice up to them of whether they want to be medicated or not.

I feel the same way about fluoride. Just becase a small portion of the population is not very good at brushing their teeth, does that mean we should all be medicated involuntarily with fluoride? You will notice that most proponents of water fluoridation focus on one thing alone - dental health. But like all drugs, fluoride can have side effects, many of these have not been researched thoroughly enough but can include implications for bone and neurological health.

Most toothpaste contains fluoride, which means that if you are brushing your teeth, you are getting enough fluoride to benefit your dental health, without having to swallow it (fluoride is only effective topically i.e. when applied directly to teeth, it has no effect when ingested, so when we drink water it's only working for those few seconds that the water is in our mouth before we swallow it and the fluoride enters our bodies where upon it can have its adverse side effects)

So, really, when did we give the Dunedin City Council the right to medicate us involuntarily, without our consent, or without being fully informed? The reason that anti-fluoridation advocates are the 'minority' is because most people do not have the time or inclination to properly inform themselves about the risks and benefits of water fluoridaton, instead relying on the government to 'look after us'... but are they really?

From the evidence I have read as a science graduate from the University of Otago, I am definitely not convinced that water fluoridation is truly beneficial to us, and may indeed have adverse consequences for our long term health (dementia, anyone?). So in this uncertain case why not take the precationary approach and leave people's decisions about medication up to them.

Nails it

I think the mayor nails it perfectly here, I've seldom heard such a non-scientific bunch of twaddle. Rather than spending ratepayers' money on filters and special access to untreated water perhaps the council could pass on the address of Speight's tap and pass out a link to this DIY instructional

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