Editor’s introduction

Over the past couple of years, hard work by Fluoride Free NZ and local groups that oppose the fluoridation of public water supplies in New Zealand has resulted in some notable victories with some communities either discontinuing the addition of  fluoride from the water supply or deciding against adding it in cases where the water supply was already free from added fluoride.

Legally, the addition of fluoride compounds to public water supplies is a very dubious practice.  Unlike the addition of chlorine (which is added to kill pathogenic organisms) the stated  reason for adding fluoride compounds is to prevent tooth decay.  This means that the addition of fluoride is designed to be a preventative treatment.  Given that it is a basic human right to be able to choose what medications are used for preventative purposes, as well as to treat illness, the addition of fluoride to a public water supply is an obvious abuse of people’s rights.

In a latest twist on the fluoride saga in NZ, the Ministry of Health has proposed to exempt the fluoride compounds added to the public water supplies of many NZ towns and cities from being classed as a medicine. This sets an extremely dangerous precedent and appears to be designed to thwart legal action to halt fluoridation.  Please read the information below which has been supplied by Fluoride Free NZ and consider assisting Fluoride Free NZ in its campaign.

Time is short. Responses to the proposal is due to before January 9, 2015.



BREAKING NEWS The New Zealand government has announced that they are asking for public submissions on a pending application to exempt fluoride (HFA and SSF) from the New Zealand Medicine’s Act, with a closing date of 9th January 2015.


We need urgent help before the 9th of January.

We need everyone to put in an URGENT submission saying why fluoride should NOT be granted a legal exemption.

We have pre-written forms, so it’s quick and easy, if you are pressed for time. But we also want as many original, personal and professional submissions as possible, if you can manage one at this busy time of year.

They can either be emailed or posted (see details below).

A final decision on the proposed amendment is likely to be taken in late January or early February 2015 following consideration by the Minister and Cabinet. If approved, the new regulation is likely to come into force in February or March 2015.

This has come about as a result of a Judicial Review against the Ministry of Health in November 2014. (See here for the full judgement)

The most shocking thing is that in his judgement the judge advised the Ministry of Health’s legal team to apply for this exemption for fluoride in water supplies. Exempting fluoride in water supplies would be unprecedented. As yet, no exemptions have been issued for ingested substances, so if this exemption is granted, fluoride would be the first. This could close the door to planned future legal challenges on fluoridation in New Zealand.

We would appreciate your help very much, and would be grateful if you could please forward this request to any other medical, science or legal professional you know who might be able to make a submission or forward it on to their own networks.

It can also be printed out and duplicated for public distribution in any way you see fit.

Many thanks,

Mary Byrne
National Coordinator & Media Spokesperson
Fluoride Free New Zealand

Copy below and paste to an email or print out to distribute and post –


Submission to Consultation on Proposed Amendment to Regulations under the Medicines Act 1981 – Fluoride (2014)

I do / do not (delete whichever does not apply) give permission for my personal details to be released to persons under the Official Information Act 1982

“It is proposed that a new regulation be made under section 105(1)(i) that:
Fluoride containing substances, including the substances hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFA) and sodium silico fluoride (SSF) are not medicines for the purpose of the Act when they are manufactured and supplied or distributed for the purpose of fluoridating community water supplies.” Medsafe




Question 1. Do you support the proposed amendment? If not why not?

  1. I do not support the proposed amendment because:
    1. Fluoride is not a water treatment like chlorine
    2. Fluoride is added to the water as treatment for the disease of dental caries therefore it is a medicine
    3. The Medicines Act is designed to protect people from the risk of indiscriminate use of medicines, reflecting the ethical codes of health professionals to “first do no harm”
    4. The proposed amendment would effectively remove the safety precaution protecting people from harm thereby undermining the right of every New Zealander to be safe from the indiscriminate use of medicines

Question 2. Are there other fluoride-containing compounds used to treat community water supplies that should be specifically named in the regulation? If so, what are they?

  1. Fluoride and its compounds are not used to ‘treat’ community water supplies. In community water fluoridation (CWF) the purpose of fluoride and its compounds is to treat people

Post to:
Regulations under the Medicines Act 1981 Consultation
Clinical Leadership Protection & Regulation
Ministry of Health
PO Box 5013
Wellington 6145

Email to: askmedsafe@moh.govt.nz