January 13, 2012
Health freedom in the South Pacific nation of Fiji has taken an extreme turn for the worst with newly enacted government legislation that has banned the market and sale of any toothpastes that do not contain added fluoride chemicals. TheFiji Timesreports that, effective January 1, 2012, fluoridated toothpastes will be the only toothpastes allowed on the market, and that anyone caught selling fluoride-free toothpaste will be prosecuted.
Fiji’s “First Toothpaste Standard,” which is part of the country’s Trade Standards and Quality Control Decree of 1992, purports that high rates of dental cavities among Fiji’s children can be remedied through the use of fluoridated toothpaste. But rather than give residents and citizens the option to choose for themselves how to brush their own teeth, the government is using flawed and tired science to push its own totalitarian agenda.
“The First Toothpaste Standard for Fiji implies that all toothpaste sold in Fiji must have fluoride,” said Fiji Ministry of Health spokesman Peni Namotu concerning the new rules. “It includes all imported and locally-manufactured toothpaste. Toothpaste without fluoride will be removed from the shelves by health inspectors. Some companies have already removed their products but our inspectors are carrying out checks at supermarkets and shops.”
According to reports, the Fiji Pharmaceutical Society, along with the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, the Fiji Dental Association, the Consumer Council, and Fiji National University held “extensive talks” with one another to establish the new toothpaste standards, which greatly inhibit individual health freedom. But the reasoning for the ban seems more aligned with trying to “keep up” with developed nations like the US that also force fluoride on their citizens, rather than with upholding sound science.
In an interview, Ministry of Health head Dr. Neil Sharma responded to inquiries about the toothpaste rule by asking the question, “If the developed nations are doing this, why can’t we do it in Fiji?” Dr. Sharma is apparently unaware of the fact that practically the whole of developed Europe is fluoride-free, or that in all developed nations, consumers have to option to purchase fluoride-free toothpaste if they so choose (http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=152924).
Nevertheless, Mr. Namotu in another recent interview cryptically stated that, “If anyone does not comply with the legislation, then there are legal actions to be taken, but I can’t specify the penalty now.”
Sources for this article include: http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=190451