15 Aug 2013

Fluoride issue has DHB head boiling

10:34 pm on 15 August 2013

The fluoridation row continues to boil over in Hamilton, with the head of the Waikato District Health Board taking a swipe at the city council over its decision to remove fluoride from the city's water supply

Fluoride was taken out of the city's water in June but a month later the council decided to hold a non-binding referendum in October on whether to reinstate it.

Speaking on Thursday, Waikato DHB chief executive Craig Climo says he has been bottling up his frustration with the council up until now.

He says the decision to remove fluoride is a perfect example of science losing out to ill-informed bias.

Mr Climo says there is no evidence fluoridation causes harm while there are plenty of studies showing the benefits for oral heal.

He estimates removing fluoride will ultimately cost the health system half a million dollars, while keeping it would cost less than $50,000 a year.

Earlier disagreement

On Wednesday, the DHB and the Ministry of Health said an information sheet the council sent all ratepayers about fluoride was misleading .

They say the council claims the Ministry regards toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste as more effective than fluoridation, which is incorrect, as the ministry believes toothpaste provides an additional benefit to fluoridated water.

The two organisations are also critical of council advice about the amount of fluoride toothpaste children should use.

They say the council didn't check the accuracy of the information and don't like it purporting to represent them on health matters.