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Letters to the Editor



Dental crisis
The NZ Herald reported that, in NZ, pre-schoolers’ hospital admission rates for dental caries or pulp nerve decay in 2016 was 13 in 1000 children. For 5-14 year olds it was 9 in 100.

The critical factor was not whether they lived in an area with a fluoridated water supply, but whether they lived in poverty. Professor of Dental Epidemiology and Public Health, Murray Thomson, from Otago University links increasing inequality to poor dental health.

In the US, the NYSCOF reported that rates of tooth decay among low-income children are on the rise even though record numbers of these children are exposed to fluoridated water.

Ninety-seven percent of Western Europe has rejected water fluoridation. According to the World Health Organisation, tooth decay in non-fluoridated countries has reduced at a faster rate than in fluoridated countries.

Dentist David Kennedy, past-president of the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, stated: “By focusing on fluoridation instead of diet and dentist-access, organised dentistry allowed a national dental health crisis to occur on its watch and created a new one – dental fluorosis.”

Our new Government has pledged to reduce child poverty, home our homeless, and create a culture of kindness. The money the previous Government pledged to DHBs who put fluoride in our public water supplies should be channelled directly to the families of those children living in poverty. Mass medication of the population with fluoride is costly in both adverse health effects and money.

Our water supplies must be as pure as possible – without medication!

Kathleen Pattinson/Beverley Aldridge
Otamatea Grey Power


Ban breastfeeding?
There are many scoffers when medicinal properties of cannabis are mentioned, those whose thoughts immediately turn to visions of a generation of mind-dead pot-smoking teenagers, and regarding those who wish to see it re-legalised as deluded dreamers.

What these scoffers may be unaware of is that the U.S. Department of Health has taken out Patent No. 6630507 in which they list therapeutic benefits observed in the treatment of several ailments using cannabis extracts - including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia. Think what a boon it would be if this medication became readily available and affordable to the many elderly people in our society who suffer from those complaints. For that reason alone anyone should have the right to grow a medicinal herb in their own garden without Government interference.

The patent pertains only to specific cannabis oil extracts but omits mentioning that the whole plant contains curative properties in its native state. Another fact not generally known is that it is only when the cannabis plant is heated or cooked that the psychoactive properties become activated, so when it is administered in a raw state any hallucinatory effects are absent. Thus beneficial results could occur if just a couple of leaves were blended in a 'smoothie' for breakfast, and no 'highs' experienced.

It is worth a mention that the number of opiate prescriptions has dropped dramatically in those U.S. states that have now decriminalised cannabis.

Sadly, the most outspoken antagonists appear to be those who are least informed, mockingly dismissive of the potential for herbal alleviation of another's sufferings.

A surprising fact that most people are unaware of is that cannabinoids are part of their own body's makeup and is a component present in mother's breast milk. Then again, some traditional Maori medications are derived from the flax bush, unknowingly availing themselves of the cannabinoid-equivalent content that is inherent in flax.

So, to all of you who want to continue the ban on cannabis, perhaps you should also consider making breastfeeding illegal, and then go around pulling out and burning all of the flax plants scattered throughout our countryside.

Well, you can't be too careful, can you?

Mitch Morgan

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

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