11 Oct 2014

Group to appeal fluoridation ruling

7:12 am on 11 October 2014

An anti-fluoridation lobby group which lost its bid in the High Court to block fluoridation of water supplies says it will appeal against the decision.

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A judge says fluoride is not a medicine at present levels used in New Zealand. Photo: RNZ

New Health New Zealand asked the court to rule that fluoride is a medicine. But Justice Collins threw out the case, ruling that fluoride is not considered a medicine at the levels practised in New Zealand.

New Health chair Dave Sloan said the group will be appeal next week. He defended the group's intentions, saying he thought the judgement was "bizarre".

"We're not anti-fluoride, we're anti-industrial waste going in to our water supply."

In his affidavit, Mr Sloan said fluoride in the water is obtained from the phosphate fertiliser industry and could contain arsenic.

New Zealand fluoride levels are at 1.5 milligrams per litre of water, which is equal to World Health Organisation recommendations.

Justice Collins quoted sources, saying this brought the concentration up to the level found naturally in some parts of the world. He ruled that fluoride would be medicine if was set at levels of 10 milligrams or more.

The lawyer for New Health, Lisa Hansen, said the appeal would be filed in the next few weeks. "New Health's position is that the judge was wrong to find that the fluoride added to domestic water supplies was not a medicine and an appeal will be filed as soon as possible."

In March this year, New Health failed in another High Court case to stop the South Taranaki District Council adding fluoride to the water supply in Patea and Waverley.

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