Desperation, arrogance, or just plain anti-democratic?

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board chairman Kevin Atkinson believes the DHB, not the community, should advise local councils on the matter of public fluoridation, suggesting DHBs are some kind of experts on this subject.

“Who does this arrogant puppet think he is?,” asks Mary Byrne of health advocacy group, Fluoride Action Network NZ.

As internationally recognised economist Noreena Hertz says, after completing research on our increasing reliance on “experts”: “Now is not the time to be blindly following, blindly accepting, blindly trusting experts. Now is the time to face the world with eyes wide open being aware of their limitations.”

Similarly, the 1956 Commission of Enquiry into Fluoridation was quite clear Councils need to consult with the public on a ‘special consultation’ basis regarding fluoridation.

“DHBs have long been described as the most anti-democratic government agencies in the country. But perhaps this is also a cry of desperation over the last ten years the public has become increasingly aware of the fact that fluoridation is ineffective and unsafe, rejecting Ministry/DHB propaganda. That is why it was voted against in the Far North, Waipukurau, and many other communities in recent years,” suggests Ms Byrne.

“The Ministry was so scared after its defeat in the Far North, and virtual defeat in Kāpiti last year, it has put up $1.25 million to fund a quasi-clandestine group to work behind the scenes to lobby Councils to impose its discredited policy. I am sure this call from Mr Atkinson is part of that anti-democratic strategy. Truth does not fear open scrutiny – but the Ministry and DHBs clearly do!”

DHBs are required to promote fluoridation under Ministerial directive, regardless of the facts or their personal views, which in many cases are opposed to fluoridation.

“They have no expertise on fluoridation themselves they have to refer to the Ministry for tough questions. They are given key propaganda to parrot, and are not permitted to publicly acknowledge any of the vast amount of scientific evidence against fluoridation. Councillors may as well be listening to a ventriloquist’s dummy!” asserts Ms Byrne.