Press Release: Fluoride Free New Zealand
Water fluoridation is compulsory mass medication, in breach of human rights, the Supreme Court has ruled by a majority vote. It confirmed that fluoridation is a medical treatment as claimed by opponents for over 60 years. It is not a supplement “just topping up natural levels”, as claimed by the Ministry of Health.
The impracticality of avoiding fluoridated water makes it compulsory in practice, the majority also ruled.
Three judges held that there was conflicting scientific evidence, confirming that the science is NOT settled.
Chief Justice Sian Elias then held that fluoridation was not prescribed by law (i.e. is unlawful), applying section 6 of the Bill of Rights Act. That was the correct decision in Fluoride Free NZ’s view.
The rest of the majority held that it was prescribed by law, and it was then necessary to apply a balancing test to determine if the breach of the right – not to be subject to medical treatment without consent – was justified in the case of fluoridation.
Justice Glazebrook held that it was for a local authority to do this when making its decision, potentially taking into account specific local circumstances.
On the balance of information before the Court – the misinformation promulgated by promoters that water fluoridation measurably reduces tooth decay and presents no real health risk – two judges held that it was justifiable. This is despite the court reiterating that it is now accepted that benefit for fluoride is from topical application, not from ingestion.
The Court did not consider information published since the original High Court case, and the recent US Government multi-million-dollar study by Bashash et al, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, carried out by top scientists and researchers in top North American universities – had not yet been published. This study found that children exposed to fluoride at the same levels as New Zealanders had significantly reduced IQ, which could easily have shifted the Justices’ perception of safety.