Fluoride debate to feature academics
A top professor has agreed to spar with an anti-fluoride group, saying it is a debate that needs to happen.
Auckland University professor Michelle Dickinson will debate Professor Paul Connett, who is a senior adviser to the Fluoride Action Network.
The group is an international coalition which refuses to accept the current science on fluoride, and claims it is highly toxic.
The Ministry of Health says fluoride is a natural compound that exists in air, fresh water, soil and plants. Fluoride helps guard against tooth decay and its addition to tap water is recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Dickinson, also known as Nanogirl because of her work as a nanotechnologist, has been an outspoken critic of those opposed to the fluoridation of water and has studied the topic as part of her master’s degree and PhD.
She will invite the prime minister’s chief science adviser, Sir Peter Gluckman, to join her in the debate. Connett has accused Gluckman of relying on ‘‘junk sci- ence’’ to support fluoridation.
Dickinson said there was no evidence for IQ loss in fluoride studies and the science was ‘‘quite clear’’.