1492549723603 - Anti-fluoride group challenges Auckland scientist to a mainstream debate

Anti-fluoride group challenges Auckland scientist to a mainstream debate

An anti-fluoride group has challenged an Auckland scientist to a debate around the science of fluoride.

The Fluoride Action Network has suggested the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor Sir Peter Gluckman join Auckland University scientist Michelle Dickinson in a mainstream debate.

Dickinson said she was open to a debate if presented on a mainstream television channel.

If the debate were to go ahead, Dickinson would spar with Professor Paul Connett who is a senior advisor to the Fluoride Action Network.

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Dickinson said as of Monday, she had yet to hear that a time or place or channel had been set up for a debate.

Fluoride Free NZ said those details were yet to be confirmed. The group is part of an international coalition which doesn’t accept the current science on fluoride, and says 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 fluoridation of water and has studied the topic as part of her master’s degree and PhD.

Connett has accused Gluckman of relying on “junk science” to support the continuation of fluoridation in New Zealand. 

Dickinson said has there was no evidence for IQ loss in fluoride studies and the science was “quite clear”.

* CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Dickinson had already agreed to a debate.

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