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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, October 23, 2009

Uk - Lymington Times

Health minister attacks fluoride 'scare stories'
75,000 residents signed petition against 'forced medication
A HEALTH minister has attacked fluoride "scare stories" as 8,000 Totton residents await the outcome of a legal battle over adding: it to their water supply.
Mike O'Brien answered a challenge by New Forest East MP Julian Lewis in the House of Commons by urging people to make judgements "based on the evidence".
Totton was included in an area of about 190,000 people around Southampton who are set to have fluoride next year under an NHS initiative. It is being fought in the courts, however, by objectors who fear its side-effects and resent "forced
Dr Lewis is on the side of the anti-fluoride campaign which collected a 15,000-name petition against the plan. He told Mr O'Brien: "The minister has nailed his colours to the mast in favour of fluoridation.
"Does he accept the principle that no community should have its water fluoridated if a majority of the members of the community do not wish its water to be fluoridated?"
The minister pointed out the dangers of medical "scare stories" and said: "We need to make judgements on fluoridation based on the evidence.
"Stories always go round that can frighten people, and we have seen in this country a whole series of scare stories about vaccinations that resulted in a significant number of people being frightened out of giving those vaccinations to their children.
"As far as vaccination was concerned, there were some stories and as a result we are paying the price."
The plan from Southampton Primary Care Trust was approved by the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) in February as a way of targeting tooth decay among young children.
A Mori poll it carried out showed
38% opposed against 32% in support. Opponents fear fluoride has effects ranging from cancer to mottling of teeth, known as fluorosis — which is the only side-effect acknowledged as proven by the SHA.
As reported in the 'A&T, Conservative shadow health minister Mike Penning said public support for fluoride under a Tory government would be "vital" before it could be implemented.
However, the scheme depends on a High Court action which has secured a judicial review of the SHA's decision. A judgement is expected next year.

SIR, — My personal view and that of many in the Labour Party in New Forest East is that the fluoride debate has gone on for long enough and a solution needs to be found that is acceptable to the majority. Firstly I want to congratulate Julian Lewis MP, Cln. David Harrison and others involved, on their efforts to seek a review of this decision.
The health authority has ploughed ahead, paying little regard to the overwhelming lack of support for fluoride to be added to the water supply, which is unnecessary mass medication, leaving many people very concerned. The health authority has clearly not won the argument and the support of the people it is supposed to care for, on this matter.
I would like to propose a solution which is cost effective and would suit all parties, including the health authority which does not require the imposition of fluoride on people in Totton, and Southampton, against the will of the majority.
Why will the health authority not work with Hampshire and Southampton councils in education and children's
services to provide education on dental care, as already happens at children's centres and Sure Starts, and rapidly expand the programme to every setting where parents and children attend?
The most obvious step is to provide dental care and monitoring in our nurseries and schools. There is no need for a nurse in every school, but a programme of regular visits where education, monitoring and distribution of dental care products can occur. A programme of dental care education visits and monitoring would be welcomed by teachers and most parents. In secondary schools there are health visitors educating pupils on contraception, smoking, drugs and other health matters, alongside mass immunisation programmes such as BCG inoculations and more recently inoculation against cervical cancer.
Why cannot the health authority spend its resources on enough dental health professionals to educate our children (and some parents) from the earliest years?
The above approach would be less expensive and a more sustainable way for the future, than pouring money down the drain, for fluoridation equipment, equipment maintenance and monitoring, fluoride supplies and of course legal advice to try to force this plan through.
There is always the danger of the overdosing of the water supply, which would be a disaster for all whereas if pupils and parents just will not learn from dental education freely provided, then all they .will individually suffer is bad teeth, instead of everybody being fluoridated from cradle to grave!
Dental health education is the responsibility of the health authority and parents. Any parent not wishing to have fluoride for their children's teeth, need only avoid giving fluoridated tap water for drinking and fluoridated tooth paste to their children.
Surely, active targeted education on dental care allows the children to make a choice about looking after their teeth, and in time their own children's teeth, even if a few parents could not care less.
Many congratulation to all who have scrutinised and questioned the health authority's unpopular proposal and I hope you can support the education alternative proposed.
We do not need expensive legal hearings, using NHS funds. What is needed is an agreed way forward for our children's dental health!
Peter Sopowski
Chair — New Forest East Labour Party


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