A win for science

The Waikato Times reports:

Waikato District Health Board used Facebook to tell Hamilton City Council it had no excuses for withholding from the city’s water supply.

“Surely now there can be no excuses,” the board’s post said in reaction to a landmark High Court decision which favoured fluoride.

The reserved decision of Judge Rodney Harrison, released yesterday, rejected all grounds on which Christchurch-based lobby group New Health New Zealand argued against South Taranaki District Council’s moves to add fluoride to water in Waverley and Patea.

Hamilton City Council had been holding off reintroducing fluoride until the outcome of the South Taranaki case.

“Put fluoride back into the water Hamilton City Council please?”, the health board post said.

Health board spokeswoman Mary Anne Gill told the Times: “The people have spoken. The legal system has spoken. For the good of our children’s oral health, just put it back in and put it back in now.”

But, in spite of the High Court decision and a public referendum firmly in favour of fluoridation in October, Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker says her council still has to vote on it first.

“We’ll be reviewing all the information to enable us to decide what the next steps for Hamilton will be.”

The next step is easy. The people have voted. The court case was decisive. Stick the fluoride back in.

The court judgement is below.

140307_New Health v Taranaki

Some extracts:

Accepting, as I must, that there is respectable scientific and medical support for the Council’s position, I am driven to the conclusion that the significant advantages of fluoridation clearly outweigh the only acknowledged drawback, the increased incidence of fluorosis. I am satisfied that the power conferred on local authorities to fluoridate is a proportionate response to the scourge of dental decay, particularly in socially disadvantaged areas

The evidence relied on by the Council shows that the advantages of fluoridation significantly outweigh the mild fluorosis which is an accepted outcome of fluoridation.

A good win for science.

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