The New Zealand Dental Association is appalled at the two anti-fluoride billboards which have gone up in central Hamilton this week.
Fluoride Action Network New Zealand has erected two anti-fluoride billboards on Ulster St and Mill St this week, boldly stating that “informed” dentists vote ‘no’ to fluoride.
Hamilton dentist and New Zealand Dental Association member Dr Steven Pawley said the billboards are insulting, false and bordering on defamation.
“The fact FANNZ have had to use dentists from outside the Waikato region, is indicative of how hard it is to find dentists who do not agree with the safety and efficacy of community water fluoridation,” said Dr Pawley.
“These three dentists have an opinion and they’re entitled to it, but they are a very small minority of our professional group and certainly do not represent the NZDA’s position,” said Dr Pawley.
“Our unequivocal position is that fluoride in water is imperative to oral health, it is safe, it is cost effective and fair for the entire population – especially our children who benefit most.”
The New Zealand Dental Association has more than 2000 members.
Dr Pawley also said the billboards go against the Dental Council of New Zealand’s code of practice on advertising, which comes into effect on 1 November and states: ‘If your personal belief differs from the majority view, then there is an onus on you to inform your audience on the extent to which your view has, or does not have, the support of the majority of oral health practitioners.’”
He urged Hamilton residents to join their local dentists in voting for fluoride being added to the water in the upcoming referendum, which is being run in conjunction with local body elections in October.
For New Zealand Dental Association’s position statement of water fluoridation visit www.healthysmiles.org.nz/default,224,statements-and-recommendations.sm
For more information about fluoride, visit www.waikatodhb.health.nz/fluoride