Dentist cautioned

The Herald reports:

A group claiming a dentist misled the public and disrespected other health professionals over fluoridation has publicly released a letter from the Dental Council saying the dentist has been “cautioned”.

Anti- lobby group Free NZ published the letter from the council’s legal adviser, which said Dr Rob Beaglehole was cautioned over comments made on TV show Paul Henry earlier this year.

On the show, which aired in April, Beaglehole – who is a spokesman for the New Zealand Dental Association and chief dental officer at the Nelson District Health Board – said all health authorities around the world urgently recommended water fluoridation.

“There’s not one reputable health organisation anywhere on the globe that will say water fluoridation causes problems that some of the anti-fluoridationists are highlighting,” Beaglehole said on the show.

Fluoride Free NZ complained to the council, and Beaglehole responded that it was imprecise to use the word “all” when referring to health authorities around the world.

The evidence is strong for the benefits of fluoridation but Beaglehole did go too far in claiming on TV every health authority in the world recommended fluoridating water.

The council recommended Beaglehole seek media training and said he was cautioned about expressing his views in public on the subject of community water fluoridation.

Views are fine so long as they do not mislead.

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