Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Another letter to press

Dr R. Watkin, replying to an earlier letter in the DT, says, "Thank goodness you have allowed someone to draw attention to the ridiculously self-important GMC (General Medical Council). How any self-respecting doctor can stay on it is amazing."

What is also amazing in this context is the equally ridiculous quasi-political status of The British Dental Association. This body, augmented with members of the BMA, collectively The British Fluoridation Society, maintains a relentless force upon Government to poison the nation's water supplies with 'fluoride', not the same as the naturally occuring compound but a toxic and corrosive industrial waste, untested and untreated for human consumption, and in the same league as the banned weedkiller Paraquat. And this so that a relatively few children might (just might) have better teeth. Health Minister Alan Johnson thinks this spurious exercise is worth £42 million of NHS funding.

Frankly, as a seasoned opponent of fluoridation as a hazard to health, I would reconcile this comment with the heading of today's editorial leader column, "Better to tackle the extremists in our midst."

Bernard J Seward
Member National Pure Water Association
Safe Water Campaign for Avon, Glos & Wilts

Monday, 20 October 2008

Safe Water Campaign support campaigners in Southampton

This was the letter we agreed to send at our last meeting in Stroud to the health authorties in Hampshire regarding their current consultation:

Leaflet: one being used in Southampton at the moment

I am writing about the “public consultation document “ on the proposed fluoridation of the Southampton water supplies.

I am very concerned about the way the campaign is being presented.

1) I notice that the Southampton City PCT has put a full page advertisement in the Southampton Echo in favour of fluoridating the water supply to 1ppm.

2) I also notice that at the beginning of your public consultation document you state “In 2009 the South Central SHA will decide whether or not it is a good idea to put fluoride in the water supply. They will base their decisions on research evidence, surveys, expert guidance and feedback from local people. The consultation is not a “vote” so the option with the most support will not necessarily be chosen”.

I understand that a SHA has to be instructed by a PCT to consider and implement a new measure?

It would thus seem from 1) and 2) above that the PCT has already decided in favour of fluoridating the water supply and would therefore override a public vote against fluoridation. Is this the case?

The public consultation document is also very much biased towards fluoridation in the way it uses language and statistics, even though it gives some of the arguments against and therefore gives a very unbalanced picture. This is a dangerous precedent for public consultations.

The headline “Topping up the natural fluoride levels in our water will reduce tooth decay” in the Southampton Echo half suggests that the naturally occurring fluoride in the water would be “topped up” with natural fluoride. In fact it will probably be topped up with hexafluorosilisic acid, one of the most corrosive acids in existence, which in the form in which it would be transported to the water works, is strong enough to dissolve the tarmac on the roads, if spilled!

Decisions around the fluoridating of our water supplies have mostly been based on the “York Review” of 2000, which suggested an improvement to children’s teeth of 15%.It also noted a 48% incidence of dental fluorosis : 12.5% of cosmetic concern. Your consultation document doesn’t mention these figures and only shows pictures of mild and very mild cases of fluorosis. Psychologically this condition causes as much distress as does missing or bad teeth.

The advertisement in the Southampton Echo also quotes Dr. Jacky Chambers, Director of Public Health, Heart of Birmingham teaching PCT as saying “Our own monitoring of local health trends confirms the best available evidence that 1ppm of fluoride………does not cause health problems”.

The York Review was based on the ”best available evidence”. This evidence as regards the “effectiveness of fluoridation in reducing caries”, in a letter by leading members of the review panel to Hazel Blears the then minister, said “ we could discover no reliable good quality evidence in the fluoridation literature worldwide” and regarding “Effectiveness of fluoridation in reducing inequalities in dental health across social groups”, they said “This evidence is weak, contradictory and unreliable”.

The consultation document suggests that you have already spent considerable sums of money on educational programmes to try and help people in some of the poorer areas of Southampton with little success. The York Review suggests that these “inequalities” are not often solved by mass medicating whole areas.

In paragraph 1.7 of the consultation document you say “This document provides information about the proposal and sets out all the facts about fluoridation.” This statement is blatantly untrue as I could send you tens if not hundreds of references to harmful effects of fluoridation, none of which are mentioned in your consultation document.

The statements by the Southampton City PCT would therefore not only seem to be misleading but also partially untrue. Please would you let me know if you have studied the evidence of the York Review and on what other more recent scientific and “peer reviewed” evidence you may otherwise have based your judgements?

I eagerly await your personal response to my questions and will make the appropriate conclusions if I don’t receive a rapid response.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Mehta
Chairman of the “Safe Water Campaign for Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire”.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Comment from Safe Water Campaign member....

"...the mineral, Fluoride." Thus spake Andy Burnham MP in a 2004 BBC Radio 4 programme 'You and Yours'. He had been invited to take part in a discussion on the merits of public drinking water fluoridation and was feverishly grinding his own axe on a subject of which he appeared to know little. Burnham and an equally young and, then, less-well-known New Labour member, Hazel Blears, had somehow acquired the T shirts proclaiming fluoridation as an unquestionable public health benefit.

In referring to fluoride as a mineral, Burnham was wide of the mark. There is no such separate entity called fluoride because fluoride is a compound of the highly reactive toxic gas Fluorine, bound within another element. In nature, water courses from springs will contain Calcium fluoride which is caused by fluorine, locked up in the rock strata with which it has reacted, being washed out to the surface. The labels of bottled spring water should list the water-borne elements present and 'fluoride', where it exists, will be shown in most UK sources as <0.2>
This means less than 0.2 parts fluoride per millon of fresh water or, again, two tenths of one milligram per litre of water.
At this point we can make a comparison between the national natural average and the safe level of 'fluoride' claimed as such by the Department of Health and subsidiary bodies representing the dental profession. That 'safe' level is given as 1.0 part per million, or one milligramme per litre, around ten times the natural level. Burnham, unfortunately, was parroting off the received wisdom on fluoride; he could not have known about the black hole in the history of the subject which is still waiting to be filled with a convincing proof of that claim.
Not long after that radio programme, Burnham and Blears were both shunted off into the Home Office where they no doubt gave yet another team of officials the benefit of their uninformed wisdom. The proponents of the practice of fluoridation insist that its scientific basis must be irrevocably supported by robust evidence; but the claim of safety at 1.0ppm is certainly not robust. It is more a convenient figure plucked from the air.

Another misunderstanding which the 'experts' have made little or no effort to correct is the difference between the natural fluoride and the fluorinated additive. In fact, if the question
What is the chemical being used to treat us through our water supply? is answered truthfully, disodium fluorosilicate should be the answer. Its formula? H2SiF6 To chemistry students,
this will make sense as 2 atoms hydrogen, 1 atom silicon and 6 atoms fluorine. Any substance with as many as 6 atoms of fluorine will be dangerously toxic. Being told, as in a typical public consultation, that the fluoride in nature is being merely topped up to an optimum level, implies that it is being done with more of the same. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The H2SiF6 compound, apart from its fluorine content, carries measurable traces of heavy metals including radionuclides as well as being highly corrosive and bioaccumulative within human and mammalian organisms. The natural fluoride will not dissolve glass, metals and concrete, but your 'nanny state special-offer' fluoride certainly will and, administered through your water taps at what the Andy Burnhams of this world deign to call 'a tiny amount', you'll chance getting health problems to match. The most visible - and impossible to deny - will be dental fluorosis, well described in our campaign song 'Brown Spotted Teeth' and illustrated in the web pages of the National Pure Water Association on
Dental fluorosis was once acknowledged in a House of Lords debate as ' evidence of systemic toxicity' Skeletal fluorosis, invisible except to X-rays, underpins a major study conducted in the United States by Dr Robert Carton PhD. He surveyed the health records of 560 thousand white women over 65 years of age, some of whom had been exposed to fluoridated water for most of their lives. The majority of those who had been so exposed suffered from arthritis.
It is an unfortunate fact that insofar as British fluoride research is concerned, the USA may just as well not exist, along with New Zealand, Japan, China, Russia and mainland Europe, all of which have had good reasons to question the value of fluoridation, to reduce its concentration or to abandon it altogether.

Bernard J Seward

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

SHA’s Consultation Document referred to NHS Fraud Squad

Southampton campaigners are fighting a very biased consultation process. Here is a recent news release from them:

Surprised councillors at Hampshire County Council meeting heard that South Central SHA’s Public Consultation document on water fluoridation had been referred to the NHS Fraud squad because of its inaccuracies and one sided approach.

A critique of the document prepared by Lord Baldwin Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group against Fluoridation and an advisor on the York Review would be sent as evidence. Lord Baldwin said: “It is very worrying, not only that a Health Authority should have a final say on fluoridation instead of democratically elected councils, but that South Central SHA should have shown such a partial grasp of how evidence should be presented, and guilty of so many errors.”

UK Councils Against Fluoridation have also submitted a complaint to Advertising Standards regarding the one sided full page advertisement in the daily press which flouted the law in at least 7 aspects. Doug Cross, who revealed the untenable legal basis of water fluoridation on behalf of UK Councils Against Fluoridation, commented later “As a professional scientist, I was appalled at the blatant disregard for truth, balance and ethical standards of behaviour by the pro-fluoridation speakers. When senior decision-makers act with such total disregard for public safety, Councils must take charge and ensure that this discredited practice is abolished from the medical sector.”

Hampshire Against Fluoridation members present were shocked at the misinformation being given to Councillors by the pro-fluoridation faction. John Spottiswoode, Chairperson of Hampshire Against Fluoridation said: “We have been saying for ages that the SHA and Southampton PCT have been pushing biased and unscientific poppycock. Now it is clear not only that Lord Baldwin says that we were right but that the so-called Public Consultation is nothing but a very expensive persuasion exercise that is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the public and Councillors. It is an abuse of trust when public health officials push an industrial grade chemical into our water supply. The unscrupulous individuals responsible for trying to push this toxin on us need to be brought to account.”

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Mainland European and Chinese Universities united

Letter to the Daily Telegraph in response to article:

In her masterly analysis of funding/performance comparisons affecting our universities, Wendy Piatt has overlooked a salient point - something which unites the universities of mainland Europe with those in China.

China stopped fluoridating its water supplies after identifying its depressive effects on national IQ scores. Europe, with only one exception, wants nothing to do with additional fluorides; also recognising their proven risks to health; both physical and neurological.

It is a matter of concern that the city of Southampton, the home of one of our top class new universities, is currently being treated to a fluoride hard-sell by the blinkered mandarins at the helm of the NHS which seemingly cannot entertain any downside argument to this exercise in medical fascism.

Bernard J Seward