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Upper Hutt Leader : June 29th 2011
11 UPPER HUTT LEADER, JUNE 29, 2011 LETTERS CRIDDLES CURTAINS 72 QUEEN STREET, UPPER HUTT PHONE 526 6511 Keep the warmth in this winter with Curtains from Criddles Free measure and quote Satisfaction guaranteed Bill Lindsay a/h 972 7912 0274 456 992 Alan Webb a/h 568 5782 0274 460 613 Lindsay Webb Valuations LIMITED 569 2095 Valuers Living Locally: Valuing Locally 3039545AW FROM Page 10 CONTINUED Page 12 Not all risks can be avoided, and not all risks are catastrophic, even if they occur. If you accept these two truths, your approach to risk will change. On the face of it, removing fluoride from the water is a case in point -- the benefits are proven, the disadvantages are contentious. Perhaps we should focus on the benefits of taking calculated risks instead of obsessing about the worst possible outcome. Bill Bryson tells the story of how Great Britain introduced stringent blackout regulations in 1939. It became illegal to show any light at night, however faint, to prevent German bombers identifying targets. Drivers drove with even their dashboard lights turned off. They had no idea where they were going or how fast they were driving. Cars drove down the middle of the road and collided with cars doing the same thing coming from the other direction. People were dying and getting hurt by a law introduced to prevent people dying or getting hurt in a different way. During the first four months of the war a total of 4133 people were killed on Britain's roads, double the deaths from a year earlier (three quarters of which were pedestrians). The Luftwaffe was killing hundreds of people a month without dropping a single bomb. Given that councillors are not stupid, they must have been presented with compelling evidence to be persuaded that the risks of fluoride may be greater than those of dental decay. However, on the face of it, it seems like we're trading certain dental problems to prevent unlikely health issues. ADRIAN SPARROW, Upper Hutt The council has been criticised a lot in these columns over the past year or so, often unfairly. Councils can do little about unemployment or the success of retail on Main St, and while some people complain about in-fill housing, others do so about any expansion of housing into new areas. However, last year existing, past and new council candidates assured us they would improve consultation before making decisions. Yet, in the process of consultation over the draft annual plan, those elected chose to respond to lobbying from anti-fluoride activists by making a decision without reference to the wider community. The merit of the decision is dubious -- the value of fluoridation as a public health measure is well established, though the level of fluoridation could be lower and still realise the desired results. But the real problem is that councillors could be so blind to the failure to apply the rhetoric of their past words to their decision-making practice -- it's all the more galling that this should occur while they were engaged in the consultative process. B S CARRUTHERS, Heretaunga There seems to be something seriously wrong with local government if health decisions based on scientific research can be arbitrarily changed in response to an ill- informed group of objectors. Council should consult scientists in relevant disciplines before making such far- reaching recommendations. I agree that the next generation of children should not be used as experimental guinea pigs to prove these people wrong. New Zealand suffers from deficiencies in a large number of elements including sulphur, magnesium, copper, cobalt, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride and others. Most trace elements, including vitamins, are toxic in excess and fluoride is no exception. In parts of India, for example, natural fluoride levels are too high and do cause health problems. New Zealand is more fortunate in having levels that are too low but with the technology to add a calculated safe dose to the water supply. Unless proper scientific investigation can show that fluoridation has caused any health problems since its introduction here, people don't have anything to fear. Incidentally, the recommended dose of fluoride was halved by council a decade or so ago following similar unfounded pressure. That was quite illogical and should be reversed. B C BARRATT, Heretaunga Fluoride debtate I just can't believe how foolish I was last year when I helped to vote onto Upper Hutt City Council those councillors who were in favour of lobbying Greater Wellington to remove fluoride from our water. www.flooringxtra.co.nz PLUS NO INTEREST NO PAYMENTS FOR 12 MONTHS!* ON PURCHASES OVER $1000 Critics Choice Popular and well priced solution dyed nylon carpet, stock won't last. Heavy duty. 10 year warranty $25 PER sq metre Tawa Tree Top of the range 70 oz ultra luxurious extra heavy duty carpet. Solution dyed nylon. 20 year warranty $79 PER sq metre *Catalogue terms & conditions apply. FLO6538 3839116
June 22nd 2011
July 6th 2011