In the Daily Telegraph 05/02/2008 there was this article below and yesterday a follow up article, also below, exposing some truth about water fluoridation - see also the previous blog entry on this site holding a comment from a Safe Water Campaign member to the Telegraph.
Alan Johnson: 'Supply fluoride to every family'By Lewis Carter
Every family should have fluoride added to their tap water supplies to stop tooth decay in children, Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, will tell health authorities on Tuesday.
Mr Johnson will urge them to increase the number of people who have the mineral pumped into their homes from six million to 53 million, to cover all of England and Wales.
Mr Johnson says the substance will provide a "dental health boost" to children who do not brush their teeth regularly.
Mr Johnson said: "Adding fluoride is an effective and relatively easy way to help address health inequalities - giving children from poorer backgrounds a dental health boost that can last a lifetime, reducing tooth decay and thereby cutting down on the amount of dental work they need in the future."
The Department of Health (DoH) says children living in areas such as Birmingham, where fluoride has been added to the water for over 40 years, have half the rate of tooth decay compared to those living in areas without, such as Manchester.
The DoH also says a review by the University of York in 2000 found water fluoridation increased the overall number of children without tooth decay by 15 per cent.
But Dr Peter Mansfield, a member of the NHS-funded review's advisory panel, warned against a nationwide implementation of fluoride in tap water.
"The problem is that there is a lot of research on this subject, but none of it is conclusive - certainly not conclusive enough evidence for fluoride to be pumped into every household," he said.
"Studies have linked it to numerous health problems."
He added it was likely families were already getting significant levels of fluoride through using toothpaste and drinking tea.
Fluoride is already added to water supplies in areas of north-east England and the West Midlands. It also occurs naturally in some areas of the country, such as East Anglia.
Three British water companies currently add fluoride to water to supplies: Severn Trent, Northumbrian and Anglian.
Arguments about adding fluoride to tap water have rumbled on for decades. Campaigners argue that the substance it too unsafe to be manually added to water supplies.
A spokesman for National Pure Water Association warned that Johnson's plans were unsafe and amounted to "medication without consent".
The DoH will ask Strategic Health Authorities to consult with local communities before pressing ahead with the plans.
It says the latest evaluation of research in Britain identified no ill effects from fluoride.
Mr Johnson's plans, which will not be enforced in Scotland, are endorsed by the British Dental Association.
• Fluorine is an element that occurs naturally in all water. Scientists say the compound fluoride helps protect teeth against decay.
• Fluoridation is the process of raising the concentration of fluoride within the water supply to the optimum level for improving dental health.
• Only one in 10 of Britain's population is covered by the so-called optimum level.
• An estimated 300 million people in 39 countries drink artificially fluoridated water.
Alan Johnson 'misleading' over fluoride benefits