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The government's fluoride decision

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/04/2016

THE GOVERNMENT'S CALL ON WHO SHOULD DECIDE ON FLUORIDE

* Fluoridation of water supplies began in 1954 in Hastings

* Because councils control water supplies, they've until now had responsibility for deciding whether or not to fluoridate

* The government has now decided to give that responsibility to district health boards, who are already providing expertise on fluoridation to councils

* Local Government NZ has been lobbying for a change for some time

* Around 2.3 million New Zealanders currently have access to fluoridated water

* Fluoride occurs naturally in water supplies, but NZ levels are low compared to other countries, meaning additional fluoridation is needed to generate "optimum health results"

* Adding fluoride to water is a proven way to safely and effectively reduce tooth decay

* Proposed legislation to implement the change should go before parliament this year.

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