Blog readers will know of my opposition to fluoridating our water supplies - indeed was a founder member of the Safe Water Campaign. We still meet monthly and at the present all eyes are on Southampton (see earlier blogs by clicking on label below) - they are looking to fluoridate.
"No physician in his right senses would prescribe for a person he has never met, whose medical history he does not know, a substance which is intended to create bodily change, with the advice: 'Take as much as you like,to but you will take it for the rest of your life because some children suffer from tooth decay.' It is a preposterous notion." Dr Peter Mansfield, a physician and an advisory board member of the government review of fluoridation
Green party members there have sought to get their technical report released using Freedom of Information legislation - it has taken several attempts but the Strategic Health Authority have now released the Fluoridation Technical Report (see link below). They have blocked out some pages as a security threat. Why they could not have done this months ago is one question. Also, very interestingly, they have released their cost calculations, which show that if they assume NO side effects and NO cost from dental fluorosis (despite all the evidence to the contrary) then it still costs them more than now unless they can stop more than about 20% of cavities.
This means that the costs do not add up (as we knew before, but now we have proof). We also knew the costs did not add up because the dental costs in already fluoridated areas are no lower than elsewhere, and probably much higher due to the costs forced to be paid privately to sort out the 12.5% who get severe dental fluorosis and due to the costs of fluoridation itself not always being counted in the dental health costs.
All good news ahead of the meeting - I think this week when they are looking to make a decision....we'll see - the Southampton press have covered the story lots and I would urge interested parties to join their debate leaving a comment - and possibly vote if that is still running here. or as per my previous email.
Apparently the figures are creeping from 91% opposed on Saturday to 70% today, now 68%!! I am watching for the fixing that has been done in previous similar votes where a sudden rush of votes tips a 80% against to an 80% in favour, which is someone somewhere with the resources and expertise to do it fixing the on line result the way they want it to go. Indeed these online polls become such a nonsense especially when there is so much false info around - let us not forget what the chair of the Government's York Review said:
In my capacity of chair of the Advisory Group for the systematic review on the effects of water fluoridation recently conducted by the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination the University of York and as it founding director, I am concerned that the results of the review have been widely misrepresented. The review was exceptional in this field in that it was conducted by an independent group to the highest international scientific standards and a summary has been published in the British Medical Journal. It is particularly worrying then that statements which mislead the public about the review's findings have been made in press releases and briefings by the British Dental Association, British Medical Association, the National Alliance for Equity in Dental Health and the British Fluoridation Society. I should like to correct some of these errors. 1 Whilst there is evidence that water fluoridation is effective at reducing caries, the quality of the studies was generally moderate and the size of the estimated benefit, only of the order of 15%, is far from "massive". 2 The review found water fluoridation to be significantly associated with high levels of dental fluorosis which was not characterised as "just a cosmetic issue". 3 The review did not show water fluoridation to be safe. The quality of the research was too poor to establish with confidence whether or not there are potentially important adverse effects in addition to the high levels of fluorosis. The report recommended that more research was needed. 4 There was little evidence to show that water fluoridation has reduced social inequalities in dental health. 5 The review could come to no conclusion as to the cost-effectiveness of water fluoridation or whether there are different effects between natural or artificial fluoridation. 6 Probably because of the rigour with which this review was conducted, these findings are more cautious and less conclusive than in most previous reviews. 7 The review team was surprised that in spite of the large number of studies carried out over several decades there is a dearth of reliable evidence with which to inform policy. Until high quality studies are undertaken providing more definite evidence, there will continue to be legitimate scientific controversy over the likely effects and costs of water fluoridation. (Signed) T.A. Sheldon, Professor Trevor Sheldon, MSc, MSc, DSc, FMedSci.
The technical report just released is here. Questions answered re fluoride: