Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Launch of Fluoride Analysis and Database Service

Have you ever wondered if there's fluoride in your favourite bottled water, wine, tea, beer, cider, etc? A new Fluoride Testing Service for the UK and Ireland which is hosted by West Midlands Against Fluoridation begins now. See here:

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Green Leader challenges others on water fluoridation

This news release went out today.


Caroline Lucas MEP has written to the health spokespeople of the two Opposition parties demanding to know whether or not they would scrap the plan to fluoridate Southampton’s drinking water when most of the people affected oppose it.

In her letter to Tory Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, the Green Euro-MP for Hampshire and the South East said: “During a recent visit to Hampshire, your leader, David Cameron, was reported as saying that ‘I have always taken the view that [fluoridation] is something that should be decided locally and I don't believe in compulsory fluoridation of water…In the last vote we had, I think I voted against that idea. But if there is a local process in place and a local decision can be made, I think that seems a fair way of doing it’.

“Given that 72% of the people who responded to the public consultation on the Southampton scheme opposed it, I would like to know whether or not your Party would allow this scheme to go ahead regardless of the controversy.”

Sandra Gidley, Shadow Health Minister for the Liberal Democrats, is also put on the spot about the issue.

Caroline Lucas and the Green Party have led opposition to drinking water fluoridation, warning that it amounts to mass medication without consent. Lucas says:

“The science is simply not good enough yet to feel confident about putting this chemical into drinking water supplies, leaving a whole population exposed to it – including babies and the unborn. The Strategic Health Authority (SHA) itself acknowledges that the scheme could lead to an increase in dental fluorosis in children. Further health effects are also a major concern.”

Notes to Editors

1. The water fluoridation scheme will supply approximately 195,000 residents with fluoridated water. The areas that will receive fluoridated water are: Central Southampton, Lordshill, Freemantle, Polygon, Totton, parts of Eastleigh, Weston, Shirley, Portswood, St Denys, Netley, Aldermoor, Millbrook, Bassett and Woolston. See http://www.southcentral.nhs.uk/fluoridation/

2. Hampshire MPs’ opinions on the issue: The two Labour MPs in Southampton, Alan Whitehead and John Denham, are in favour of fluoridation, when the public consent issue is resolved. Julian Lewis, Conservative MP (New Forest), is strongly against, and the two Liberal Democrat MPs, Sandra Gidley (Romsey) and Chris Huhne (Eastleigh) are also against fluoridation.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Greens dental policy rejects water fluoridation

Greens later today will launch their dental health policy for the general election - this is some of their press release stuff below - as yet no other political party has specifically rejected water fluoridation.

Fair, free and effective: Green Party proposals for the dental health service

On Monday 1 March the Green Party will launch a dental health policy which the Greens believe will enjoy widespread public support and boost the party’s hopes of a general election breakthrough.

The Greens are committed to the founding principles of the NHS – including free dental healthcare, which they say could be provided for an extra £1.8 billion a year.

A party spokesperson said today, “£1.8 billion a year is a trifling sum for a huge improvement in Britain’s dental health service. Everyone who wants one should have access to an NHS dentist, and we must end the scandal of British children in the twenty-first century suffering the pain and misery that come with poor teeth.”

The Greens dismiss water fluoridation as a “cheap, tacky, sticking plaster solution with side-effects.” They say that “mass medication of doubtful efficacy and potential side-effects is no substitute for a proper dental healthcare strategy. We need to be teaching new parents how to look after their toddlers’ teeth, and teaching young children from nursery onwards all about how to look after their own teeth properly.

“And in addition, we need everyone to have access to the right professional support, which means guaranteeing free access to an NHS dentist for everyone who wants it.”

A summary of the new briefing to be launched on Monday is below. Full copies of the briefing, and advance copies of the Green Party’s full 2010 general election briefing on health, are available from the press office: press (at) greenparty.org.uk

Summary of: Fair, free and effective: Green Party proposals for the dental health service

1. Currently, only half the UK population is provided with free dental healthcare. NHS dentistry charges are a regressive tax: they hit the poor hardest and prevent many from accessing dental care.

2. Access to dentists should not depend on where you live. But getting access to an NHS dentist is difficult and there is wide variation across the country:

• Between 55% and 60% of NHS practices are not taking new NHS patients.
• Some Primary Care Trusts have no NHS dentists taking on new patients.
· Most areas have around 55 dentists per 100,000 people. But some have as few as 25, while others have over 100.

3. Less than half of the UK adult population and only around two thirds of children are visiting NHS dentists. The percentage of children who have visited NHS dentists within the previous 24 months has fallen in recent years – a worrying sign.

4. Some areas have opted for the addition of fluoridation chemicals to tap water in a bid improve dental health. The Green Party says:

· The use of fluoridated water to improve dental health is not a viable solution – it’s more like “sticking plaster with side effects”.
· Any (slight) benefit from fluoride in drinking water has to be weighed against the increased risk of osteosarcoma and dental fluorosis.
· Mass medication may breach the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine – it’s unethical to medicate people without their consent.
· The use of fluoridation demonstrates a failure to tackle the underlying problems of dental health provision.

5. The Green Party wants:

· Free basic dental care available to all.
· Everyone to have access to an NHS dentist if they want one.
· An end to fluoridation of our tap water.
· A comprehensive dental health strategy including proper education for children and their parents.

6. Assuming that some people will wish to remain private, to provide free dental care to 75% of the population would only cost the NHS an extra £1.8 billion a year.