New Zealand Fluoridation Information Service
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About NZFIS

The New Zealand Fluoridation Information Service has evolved from frustration that useful, factual information about fluoridation has become almost impossible for the public and even professionals to sort out.

NZFIS' main goal is to facilitate full public and scientific examination of this public policy, which has become obscured by biased or inept media treatment (or lack thereof), by political rhetoric, and because of the obfuscation surrounding important information.

One of NZFIS' main concerns is the Ministry of Health funded lobby service, masquerading publicly as the "National Fluoridation Information Service", whose role is to further obscure the facts about fluoridation, and "spin" Ministry of Health policy to the public and decision makers as if it were fact.

In light of the above, our aim is to provide clarification where there is confusion, and to cut through spin, claims, and counterclaims, to assist clearer understanding by the public and decision makers.

We are aware as of September 2013 that some fanatics are claiming we are copying or passing ourselves off as the "NFIS". Why would we try to pass ourselves off as such an unethical (non-existent) organisation? For an analysis of NFIS, click here (opens in a new window). Critiques of their disinformation can be found on our "Facts and Fiction" page.

We do not address on this site the ethical arguments about fluoridation.

Water fluoridation is one of the most controversial public health issues in history. Proponents and opponents typically make diametrically opposed claims and counterclaims about the science, claimed safety, and claimed effectiveness surrounding fluoridation. At times, both camps will claim opposing conclusions from the same study.

The NZ Fluoridation Information Service has been created by independent experts in this subject. The Service includes scientists, doctors, dentists, and lawyers. It has direct access to many international fluoride researchers.

We do not receive funding from Government, or from any orgnisation with a vested interest in either promoting or opposing fluoridation.

We believe it is vital that members of the public have access to fair analysis of research and claims by both those promoting, and those opposed to, water fluoridation.

We believe the public has a right to informed decision-making on this subject, and to information that has not been “spun” to promote a particular viewpoint.

Our purpose is to provide truthful, objective analysis of research and publications, including public relations material, in terms the average person can understand.

We also provide general information to aid understanding of terms relating to this issue.

Our Charter

Preamble

  1. Fluoridation promoters have created a dynamic where they make unequivocal claims based on equivocal, and sometimes highly dubious evidence. This has historically obliged opponents to be equally unequivocal (see "Scientific Knowledge in Controversy", a sociological study of the dynamics of this debate), although increasing availability of scientific research has seen a more measured approach..
  2. This leaves decision makers in a "we say, they say" dilemma.
  3. Both proponents and opponents have their experts, and both quote science in their cause; often the same study with opposing interpretations.
  4. Both the York Review 2000, and the US National Research Council Review 2006, concluded that there was a surpising dearth of reliable evidence available, and better scientific research was needed to inform policy.
  5. The NZ Ministry of Health acknowledged in 2003 that there was science for and against fluoridation, based on the same quality standard - publication in international peer-reviewed journals.
  6. The Ministry of Health created, in early 2011, a contracted consortium to promote water fluoridation in New Zealand, eventually renaming it the National Fluoridation Information Service (NFIS). NFIS claims to provide independent objective advice to decision makers. However, its contract for services precludes neutrality.
  7. This has left a remaining need for reliable objective advice.
  8. Decision makers, that is Territorial Authorities, need sound scientific advice they can rely on.
Principles

  1. NZFIS' role is to fulfill the need for objective scientific advice on fluoridation, assisting decision makers and the public in making sound decisions based on sound evidence.
  2. We do not and will not accept funding from any organisation involved in the fluoridation debate.
  3. As with the York Review (2000) and the US National Research Council Review (2006), experts may hold personal views for or against fluoridation. However, experts must at all times provide objective advice to NZFIS, regardless of their personal views or other affiliations.
  4. Where our experts have a conflict of interest over review of a document we will seek review by an independent third party.
  5. We will strive to provide information in a way that uses plain English, and is understandable by the average member of the public.
  6. We will provide general information that enables the general public to engage in this debate, in full exercise of their democratic rights.
  7. We will provide as fair and balanced advice as possible, based on scientific evidence.
  8. We will fairly assess and disclose the relative reliability of science we quote where appropriate or if asked.
  9. Where we quote anecdotal or other unpublished information we will identify it as such.