Health bosses voted in February to add fluoride to tap water in Hampshire despite the County Council and 72% of 10,000 respondents in a public consultation opposing the plan. The Safe Water Campaign, of which I am Secretary, considers this takes us a step closer to fluoridation locally.
Photo: Banner from Safe Water campaign
Already the NHS Bristol have announced last month that they are now considering the fluoridation of Bristol’s drinking water and we hear reports from other parts of the country that there are similar moves. In an effort to ensure Glos water does not face this threat we have invited two Hampshire campaigners to join us so that we can learn from their campaign - details below.
The Hampshire campaign was hugely successful in getting the message across, yet the health authority has refused to listen to the evidence. They have also ignored the will of the people - an astounding 72% didn't want it and yet they still going ahead. The Hampshire decision is the first time a health trust in England has been allowed to introduce fluoridation under the new law that this Government brought in.
Water fluoridation is a human rights issue: no one should be medicated without their consent. Furthermore the Government's own scientific review found very little evidence to show that fluoridation of our water supplies improves dental heath. Moreover, its chair, Professor Sheldon, stated that 'the review did not show water fluoridation to be safe'. Many people have real health concerns about adding fluoride to our water.
"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, but you will take it for the rest of your life because some children suffer from tooth decay. ' It is a preposterous notion."Poverty and the over-availability of addictive, sugar-rich foods are significant causes of tooth decay. But the Government is unlikely to challenge the profitable position of the major food manufacturers and retailers who benefit at the expense of our children's health - and teeth. Better dental care and education is also needed, but that too is hampered by higher dental charges for adults as the Government has overseen dentistry move into the private sector - and for many in Gloucestershire finding a dentist at all is a serious challenge.
Dr. Peter Mansfield, a physician from the UK and an advisory board member of the York review
Are you interested in learning more?
The Safe Water Campaign which has over 1,500 Gloucestershire supporters and meets each month in Stroud will meet at 5.30pm in Stroud on 22nd April. Please call Rob Mehta on 01453 763943 if you would like to attend.
Cllr Philip Booth
See more re Safe Water Campaign here: http://safewatercampaign.blogspot.com/
Download also National Pure Water Association advert: