25 Jun 2009

Comment from New Zealand

Fluoridation issue is about human rights
Thursday, 25 June 2009, 9:07 am
Press Release: Fluoride Action Network
Fluoridation issue is now about democracy and human rights
From the UK to Australia, State attempts to force water fluoridation on the population is meeting with extreme resistance on the ground it breaches human rights. Even those who believe fluoridation helps teeth are joining in the resistance on human rights grounds.

In Australia, following a directive to forcibly fluoridate Queensland’s public water supplies against the wishes of residents, residents have sent a demand to the Australian Human Rights Consultation Secretariat of the Attorney-General’s Department that it “publicly acknowledge that forced fluoridation of the massed population is a serious breach of [] human rights”.

“Artificial Fluoridation is direct VIOLATION of Human Rights and an epic detriment to health” the Australian petitioners state.

Campaigners from Hampshire, UK, presented a 15,000 signature petition to 10 Downing Street. They were supported by a Member of Parliament, who noted after helping collect signatures “what was interesting was that some people who signed were not necessarily anti fluoridation but strongly objected to the way that the decision makers rode roughshod over the wishes of the local people.”

During consultation, the vast majority of residents, and all but one Council, were opposed to proposed fluoridation. Yet the Strategic Health Authority, equivalent to a District Health Board in NZ, used its new powers to vote unanimously to force fluoridation on the population. “This is exactly the power local DHBs would like” points out Mark Atkin, Fluoride Action Network representative on the Fluoridation-free NZ Coalition.

The NZ Human Rights Commission was asked to address fluoridation in 1980, though outside its jurisdiction. “The Commission concluded that enforced mass medication by way of water fluoridation was acceptable on the same basis that we forcibly medicate mental patients!” exclaims Mr Atkin incredulously.

“The Commission had an office junior prepare a scant 3 page report that essentially summarised the pro-fluoridation mass medication ideology. No independent ethics advice was obtained, and no legal analysis was done of any case law” says Mr Atkin, a trained lawyer, who analysed the Commission’s report and relevant case law as part of his Honours degree research. “The Commission, which can now look at such Bill of Right issues, has recently been asked to look again at the fluoridation issue, but has declined” he advises.

The coalition for a fluoridation-free New Zealand opposes the faulty fluoridation policy on a number of grounds. That it is enforced mass medication breaching civil liberties is just one of them” says Mr Atkin. The majority of the continent of Europe has rejected fluoridation on the same grounds. “It is only the United States (and countries strongly influenced by the US) that remain persistent in what most of Europe calls an unethical practice. It’s high time we in New Zealand joined the enlightened” he says.


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