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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, January 28, 2011

UK - Lymington Times Fluoride challenge decision will take 'weeks' warns judge

Fluoride challenge decision will take 'weeks' warns judge

A DECISION on whether fluoride will be added to Southampton's water supply, which will affect around 8,000 Totton residents, might not be made for weeks following a judicial review.
The South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) gave its approval for the chemical to be added to the city's supply in 2009 after the local primary care trust said it was needed to combat child tooth decay.
The plan affects 190,000 people around Southampton, including
8,000 Totton residents because of the layout of the pipes.
A two-day legal challenge to the scheme was heard in the High Court last week and the judge will now consider whether the SHA examined all available evidence fully, as well as whether it listened properly to residents' views.
During consultation 72% of responses were against fluoridation, but a Mori poll for the SHA showed only 38% opposed, compared with 32% in support.
Deferring his judgement, Justice
Edward Holman said he had "no idea" how long it might take to reach his conclusions, but warned it would be "measured in weeks, not days".
Totton councillor David Harrison, who is against fluoridation, said after the case: "I am really angry that the SHA spent some £200,000 of public health money on a consultation that they then happily disregarded.
"This unelected, unaccountable body has a limited lifespan now that the new coalition government has decided to abolish it — how stupid and stubborn headed of these people to carry on spending our money on legal fees, trying to force things through in the face of overwhelming opposition.
"Tooth decay is best prevented by good oral hygiene [and] we should make sure that children are in the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day. The money should have been spent on extra staff employed at our children's centres, helping promote this obvious truth."
He also said he was working with New Forest East MP Julian Lewis and they have already lodged a complaint with the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman, which will be considered once the result of the legal challenge is heard.
A spokesperson for the SHA refused to comment on the judicial review and told the 'A&T1: "No statement will be made until the judge has made his decision."
At a meeting of Hampshire County Council's health overview and scrutiny committee this week, Coun. Harrison proposed that the chairman, Coun. Pat West,, write to the SHA to make a final plea to halt the plans.
He told committee members: "Whatever the result of the legal challenge, it is clear that the strategic health authority has already lost in the court of public opinion. Now we know that the SHA is to be abolished, the question of adding fluoride to tap water of not should rest with elected councillors like ourselves."


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