For Immediate Release – 10 February 2016
Two more rulings released today find Fluoride Free New Zealand is not a reliable source of information – and MSoF president Daniel Ryan is urging Whakatane District Councillors to pay
attention to the rulings when they revisit the issue of fluoridation tomorrow.
The decisions by the Advertising Standards Authority relate to an information leaflet distributed by fluoridation opponents during November’s referendum in Thames and to their newspaper advertising at the time.
The leaflet made a number of claims such as ‘fluoride is harmful to health’ and ‘fluoridation does not reduce dental decay’, which the ASA found to be misleading and alarmist, while parts of the newspaper ads were found to unjustifiably play on consumers’ fears.
‘Fluoride Free NZ has no qualms about spreading false information,’ says Ryan. ‘This is just the latest in an ongoing series of successful complaints against FFNZ which in fact currently ranks as the 12th worst organisation in NZ for successfully upheld or settled ASA complaints; quite an achievement when taking into account the small scale of their advertising.’
Ryan says it’s disturbing that before voting narrowly in late January to remove fluoridation in the Whakatane District Council water supply, one of only four parties invited to address the council was FFNZ.
‘FFNZ is simply not a reliable source. The Advertising Standards Authority is a neutral body and it has demonstrated that you don’t need to be a scientist to see when a statement is an opinion rather than a fact.’
‘It appears some of the councillors take FFNZ’s information at face value,’ Ryan adds. ‘To be fair, opponents are slick at making their information look convincing which makes it challenging for councillors. It’s why we and so many other public health advocates keep calling on central government to give responsibility for fluoridation to the Ministry of Health.’
Meanwhile, MSoF calls on Whakatane District Councillors to be mindful of today’s ASA decisions, along with the overwhelming scientific consensus on the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation, when they meet to reconsider their decision tomorrow.
For more information please contact:
Dr Ken Perrott
Science advertiser, MSoF