Saturday, 10 December 2011
Theodore Dalrymple reminds us that the NHS has, for a long time, limited access to cosmetic surgery.
Is he aware that one of the crying needs for such treatment is actually being caused by the NHS itself contining to insist that by adding an illegal and poisonous substance; fluorosilicate waste chemical, to our water supplies, the teeth of young children will acquire an enhanced resistance to dental caries?
Contrary to the extravagant claims made by the British Dental Association, ill supported by global peer-reviewed science, even the Government's own review (The York Review) indicated a 42 per cent incidence of dental fluorosis, predicting the same for the total skeleton of which teeth are the only visible evidence.
Of that number,12 per cent of our children will have fluorosed teeth 'of aesthetic concern', in other words, visually repulsive, for which there is no cure; and no NHS funded cosmetic treatment Those children are being ridiculed both at school and in society at large with expressions like "You've got shitty teeth"
If suicide is on the agenda where despair dominates compassion, we do not owe any merit to the NHS for its stupidly uncompromising policy in this aspect of dental health.
Bernard J Seward
Member : Gloucestershire Safe Water Campaign
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Two motions on water fluoridation were put forward. The first of these was moved by Councillor Moulton and commits the Council to explore its legal powers in the light of changing legislation contained in the Health & Social Care Bill currently being debated in Parliament. This motion was passed unanimously. The second motion, moved by Councillor Gerry Drake was more hard-hitting, directly calling on the Council to reject fluoridation. In a vote passed by a 2 to 1 majority, the Council voted to oppose water fluoridation.
With this vote, the City Council is now officially opposed to water fluoridation—reversing its original sup- port in 2008 and bringing the Council into line with all other local councils who have opposed the scheme from the beginning. In what was often a heated debate, many councillors denounced the SHA‟s consultation process, arguing that fluoridation was mass medication and an affront to democracy.
However, some councillors displayed an appalling ignorance of the evidence on water fluoridation and appeared unaware of the current data on dental health in the City. Certain Labour councillors branded campaigners purveyors of bad science! Councillors Noon (representing Bargate ward) and
Furnell (representing Millbrook ward) made disparaging com- ments about campaigners, insinuating that we do not use good evidence to support our argument. Cllr Noon asserted that “97% of scientists, including geologists support water fluoridation....” This somewhat bizarre reference to geologists resulted in laughter from the public gallery! Hampshire Against Fluoridation have, of course, continued throughout the campaign to use only the highest quality research evidence. It is not clear exactly which councillors voted for and against the motions and we urge anyone interested to contact their local councillors to find out how they voted.
More about Southampton City Council debate - click read more
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
- Legislation currently passing through the UK Parliament will shift responsibility for water fluoridation to local authorities, e.g. councils
- The Health and Social Care Bill appears to grant wide new powers to the UK Secretary of State for Health
- Nothing will change for the residents of Southampton, site of recent fluoridation controversy
- The Bill will not absolutely require local opinion to be consulted before fluoridation proceeds
- The target fluoride concentration will remain at 1 mg/litre, ignoring recent developments in the USA and (in 2007) in Ireland
Shifting power to the Health Minister
Under the new Bill, which under UK law becomes an Act when passed by Parliament, ‘water fluoridation functions’ will pass from the notoriously authoritarian Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) to local authorities, such as county or district councils. Since such bodies are, in theory, much more answerable to the people who vote them in, this change should give more say to residents when the ugly subject of water fluoridation comes up.
The subject of water fluoridation and the role of SHAs became highly controversial in 2010, when Southampton SHA decided to begin adding fluoride to the water in the face of strong local opposition. Following a High Court decision supporting Southampton SHA, it had been hoped that abolition of SHAs might result in a change of policy – unfortunately, however, these hopes have now been dashed.
Why? Well, firstly because it now emerges that Primary Care Trusts, of which SHAs form a part, will not be abolished until April 2013. As such, nothing will change for the unfortunate residents of Southampton, who have fought long and hard to prevent fluoridation of their water supply.
Sweeping new powers?
Not only that, but the Health and Social Care Bill states that new regulations governing consultation of the proposals – the next crucial step, as far as the public is concerned – are to be made by the Secretary of State. They are as yet unwritten – as the Bill puts it, the Secretary of State will have the power to dictate “such requirements as may be prescribed...as to the steps to be taken for the purposes of consulting and ascertaining opinion in relation to the proposal”.. Worryingly, there appears to be no requirement for local authorities or the Secretary of State to take public opinion into account. Such a requirement originally appeared in proposed water fluoridation legislation but was then quietly dropped, triggering legal action by Southampton residents.
To summarise the proposed new powers for the UK Secretary of State for Health in relation to water fluoridation:
- Decide the form of any consultation over proposed fluoridation, with no requirement to consult the public
- Choose the members of the committees and Boards involved in making the decisions about fluoridation
- Decide what procedures the decision-making bodies follow
- However, the regulations prevent the Secretary of State from changing or ending fluoridation arrangements without a valid proposal from one or more of the local authorities involved.
The new Health and Social Care Bill does not include an amendment to change the concentration of fluoride that will be added to water supplies. Therefore, this concentration will be maintained at the general target concentration of 1 mg per litre of public drinking water. However, in January 2011, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed lowering the level of fluoride per litre of water from the current recommended range of 0.7–1.2 mg/L to 0.7 mg/L. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water. The Irish government similarly reduced levels in 2007 in response to effects of fluoride on children (notably as a result of the high incidence of dental fluorosis).
This begs the question: why hasn’t the British legislation been brought into line with the USA and Ireland?
UK government out of touch on fluoride
This June saw the publication of the opinion of the European Commission Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER). This confirmed that young UK and Irish children will easily exceed the fluoride upper limit by drinking less than half a litre of water daily. The report also states that “No obvious advantage appears in favour of water fluoridation as compared with topical application of fluoride”!
In the light of this SCHER opinion, and of the reduction in levels of fluoride being used in the US, the UK government’s Health and Social Care bill seems very out of touch with regard to water fluoridation.
Democracy or not?
Indeed, it appears that SHAs are being abolished in favour of sweeping new powers for the Secretary of State for Health. If one person can decide the conditions for membership and actual membership of the committees considering fluoridation proposals, as well as the procedure those committees will follow when coming to a decision, how democratic is the new procedure actually going to be? Will ‘answerable’ local councils bring more democracy to fluoridation decisions, or will it be the ‘Southampton Scenario’ all over again?
Call to action
If you’re in the UK, write to Andrew Lansley MP, Secretary of State for Health: express your dismay that the UK government is ignoring recent developments in fluoridation science and regulaton. The correct address is:
Department of Health
Monday, 12 September 2011
Mark Ogden told the Board that the government's new proposals to abolish the Strategic Halth Authorities included in the Health and Social Care Bill mean that the SHA would not have enough time to carry out the detailed 'public consultation' required of it before the SHA ia abolished. He also reported that the costs of any such consultation would be very large, and that the capital costs of the project would be around £200 million. This is far higher than had been expected initially, and in the present financial crisis are unaffordable.
UK Councils Against Fluoridation responded saying: "Well, we told you so! These costs come as no surprise to UKCAfF- we have been quoting this figure of £200 million for at least three years, since we were tipped off from a source inside United Utilities. And it will not be welcome in the South either, where the South Central SHA believes that it can convert a water treatment works for less than one tenth of the cost quoted by United Utilities. And if fluoridation is too expensive in the North West, it is unlikely to be affordable in the South. This is the first real crack in the Health Police's doomed attempts to force 40% of people in the UK to drink its prohibited medicine. It is yet another indication of how the Health and Social Care Bill has been cobbled together without any thought of just how its fanciful proposals might actually be put into practice. Even if the Bill is defeated and the SHAs survive, these astronomical costs must now force the government to abandon its hated plans to forcibly medicate the public in this discredited, unethical and illegal travesty of 'public health medicine'. Fluoridation is effectively dead in England, even if it is a bit slow to lie down - now let's see it abandoned in the rest of the World!"
See more at: http://www.ukcaf.org/
Saturday, 3 September 2011
Since the Director of Public Prosecutions appears to have put a spoke in the Prime Minister's wheel by insisting that all criminal acts are treated on the proverbial 'level playing field', he won't be able to avoid using his big stick on the British Dental Association. Described as a trade union for dentists, the BDA, using assumed power very much out of scale with its political status, is about to engage in ramming through a measure of compulsory medication in the forthcoming debate on the Health and Social Care Bill.
H & S C has been on the Government's books for some time and now, having achieved a documentary blockbuster of 450 pages, it is being given all of two days of debate. How things have changed since the Foxhunting Bill.
The B D A wants to dominate the debate with its 'nanny state' insistence, that fluoridation - the practice of poisoning everyone's drinking water - is a safe, proven and effective way of treating juvenile dental decay.
Global evidence accumulated over the last half century utterly refutes this proposition. Fluoridation has been widely discredited on ethical, physical and mental platforms. It is a scam devised by people in high places in health administration interested only in cashing in on its financial incentives.
However, more recently it has come under scrutiny by the European Court of Justice. The ECJ has been instrumental in the rigorous interpetation of the new definitions of water. Tap water; Medicinal water and Functional water; the latter being related with our range of soft drinks. Medicinal water can be any water product for which a medicinal benefit has been claimed, whether true or false. Medicinal value takes precedence over functional and on that basis alone, state-fluoridated water must be subject to the same pharmacological testing as applies to all medicines whether retailed or prescribed.
Since the fluoridating agent in current use is an unrefined, untested waste product of the fertiliser industry, it could not, short of outright fraud, pass such a test and in those parts of the country, notably the West Midlands, which have been fluoridated for the last forty years, a legitimacy test of that intervention is long overdue. Notwithstanding the current legislative position, the British Dental Association expects to plough on unobstructed with manipulating the H&SC Bill to its own self-centred advantage. That particular advantage lies in the vast sums to be made from treating - but never curing - the socially repulsive condition known as dental fluorosis which will affect a substantial proportion of the fluoridated population, especially the young. At £300 plus per tooth, repeatable every five years, the treatment can only be privately funded since the NHS, having promoted fluoridation, has defined fluorosis as 'merely cosmetic' and declines to include it within its agenda of low cost or free-of-charge treatments.
The slogan in the US which introduced fluoridation as a legalised chemical fly-tipping cop-out for the defence industry was 'Fluoride gives poor kids rich kids teeth.' Nothing could be further from the truth. The poorest children in the most fluoridated cities of America have the worst teeth of all. Fluorosis cosmetic dentistry is utterly beyond their means.
Worse still, the responsibility for settling our claims of compensation for this 'NHS crime against the person', is to be foisted on to district and city councils and thence to the taxpayers who already pay substantially to the maintenance of such health services as are critical or life-threatening. Tooth decay enjoys no such status.
Copy this letter to your local councillor, or write your own; and ask for a reply, but don't accept 'fudge'. Fluoridation is illegal and cannot underpin any insurance claim or sustain a municipal or parliamentary brush-off.
Bernard J Seward
Member : National Pure Water Association, Gloucestershire Safe Water Campaign, Bristolians Against Fluoridaton, Socialist Environment & Resources Association
Sunday, 29 May 2011
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Anne Milton MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary for State for Public Health
House of Commons
Dear Anne Milton,
Thank you very much for your response to Neil Carmichael to my letters of 1/6/10 and 6/3/11.
It would seem from your reply, if the quotations from your department’s “website” are true, that the Strategic Health Authorities (unelected bodies) have the power to ignore government policy!!
You restate that 72% of people consulted in the Southampton area were against fluoridation (after obvious careful consideration) and in the Ipsos MORI telephone consultation of 2000 people only 32% of people were in favour (with clearly no time to consider their response) which means 68% were opposed or undecided.
I find it difficult to believe that a government’s stated policies can still be overruled by an unelected S.H.A. even if the S.H.A. is following the “letter of the law” as regards consultation proceedures!!
A) Please would you let me know if when the PCT’s and the SHA’s are dissolved next year and the comissioning process will be in the hands of consortia of doctors, whether government policies on such areas as fluoridation will become an overruling factor one way or another?
B) My original letter of 1/6/10 asked what the coalition governments policy on fluoridation was going to be? I still haven’t received a definite response to this question.
In respect of the consultation process, your suggestion that “particular attention may need to be given to representative bodies such as business associations, trade unions,voluntary and consumer groups and other organisations representing groups especially affected”, would seem to me to be a type of “lobbying” which would completely negate the morality of a “public consultation” about peoples’ personal health and right to choose. There could also be possible financial implications or specific business interests?
C) I would be interested to know which groups were given “particular attention” in the Southampton consultation? Please could you tell me, or let me know where I can get this information?
You quote that over 200 million people in the UK and the USA drink fluoridated water and you state that “no ill effects have been identified” and you refer to the York Review of September 2000 which in fact does not state that they found “no evidence of any risk to overall health from fluoridation”. I would suggest that you read what the York Review actually says!!
I enclose a photocopy from “Public Health: Ethical issues” November 2007-Nuffield Council on Bioethics, which gives a reasonably unbiased picture of the pros and cons of fluoridation.
You admit in your letter that there is the danger of “dental fluorosis” and suggest that it is of “aesthetic concern” to “very few people”. The York Review puts it at 12.5% with a Medical Research Council figure as low as 3-4%.
This, even at the minimum figure of 3% ,would give a figure of 6,000,000 people with severe dental fluorosis in the UK and the USA and a mimimum additional figure of 6,000 people in the Southampton area!! I don’t think that I would dare to call that “very few people” ?
The pages I have sent show on the graph the steady decline in the incidence of d.m.f. (decayed, missing or filled teeth) in European coutries (1965-2003) in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries. This would seem to suggest that fluoridation is not a major factor in dental improvement?
In an earlier paragraph in your letter you suggest that “the ideal combination for good dental health is likely to involve both drinking fluoridated water and observing good dental hygiene”. I would suggest that the ideal essential for good dental health is a sensible diet and good oral hygiene. (How about a tax on sugar?)
The first sentence of the same paragraph states that “Evidence suggests that fluoridating water is the single most effective step we can take to reduce tooth decay generally both among children and adults irrespective of personal behaviour”. There is however evidence that fluoridation merely delays tooth decay for about a year and therefore other methods of prevention are still necessary. The original supposition for benefit to teeth was also taken by observing naturally fluoridated areas.
D) In relation to childrens’ teeth, I notice that in many areas of the USA and now also in Ireland (where incidentally they are reducing the concentration of fluoride from the “optimum” level of 1ppm to 0.8ppm) they are recommending that bottle fed babies do not have their feed made up from fluoridated tap water because of the health risks. Is this policy also going to be introduced in England in areas where tap water is already fluoridated?
The “Hampshire against fluoridation” group has also questioned the Southampton PCT’s claim that “fluoridation would make A MAJOR DIFFERENCE to the teeth of adults” and have complained to the “Advertising Standards Authority”. The ASA’s scientific experts ruled that there was “no good quality evidence” to support this.
E) The York Review also suggested that there was no “good quality evidence” to support or reject “fluoridation”. I also asked in my letter of 6/3/11 whether the Southampton area “ fluoridation project” was going to be used as a long term (50 years?) experimental test bed on the effects of fluoridation? Can you please respond to this question?
Finally I would like your answers to the following additional questions-
1) If someone is given a drug to control their blood pressure, are they being given medication?
2) If someone is given asperin to reduce the risk of a stroke, are they being given medication?
3) If someone is given “fluoride” to reduce the risk of tooth decay, are they being given medication?
If in 3) above, it is not considered to be medication, then a very deadly poison, hexaflurosilisic acid is being added to peoples’ water supplies. Is this legal?
I would welcome an early response to these questions.
Rob Mehta, Chairman,Safe Water Campaign for Gloucestershire
Monday, 7 March 2011
Neil Carmichael, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Dear Neil Carmichael,
I enclose a copy of my letter of 1st June 2010 for your reference.
Since then, as you will know there has been a “judicial review “ of the South Central SHA’s decision to fluoridate much of the drinking water in the Southampton area. The decision as you will also know went in favour of the SHA.
My original letter to you asked about any revised policies as regards the fluoridation of our drinking water. I also sent the same letter to Simon Burns, the secretary of state for health. The reply from his “customer service centre” suggested that I look at the department’s website to review the government’s health strategies.
I have looked at this website but have found no mention of water fluoridation.
However I have found the following quotes on the website which would seem to indicate beyond any doubt that the current government would certainly not go against 72% of the local population in the Southampton area who were against the fluoridation of their water supplies?
The quotes are as follows-
1) Under the heading “Quick Guide to Health Care reform”
………….about half of all deaths in this country are preventable, so more needs to be done to encourage people to look after their own health by eating well and exercising more……….
2)Under the heading “What does it mean for the patient”
………….”No decision about me without me” will be the principle behind the way in which patients are treated.
3)Under the heading “What does it mean for the public”
…………..The public will be able to have more influence over what kind of health services should be available locally.
I would appreciate your comments on this in relation to fluoridation in the Southampton area, especially as it would seem to be an infringement of human rights to medicate even one person against their will? (Let alone 72% of objectors)
I have also read that the government is considering using the fluoridation project in Southampton as an experiment to test the efficacy of such a treatment? Please would you tell me if this is true? This would make the government look rather unintelligent if the powers that be are still uncertain about results after 50 years of fluoridation in the Birmingham area?
Please would you pass a copy of this letter on to Simon Burns and request that he gives a prompt reply and indicates what the government policy on fluoridation now is?
Safe Water Campaign for Gloucestershire
Friday, 18 February 2011
This article is reprinted from the great website UK Councils Against Fluoridation - it exposes the latest twist in the story of the government's plans to fluoridate Southampton:
City’s children will be used as guinea pigs in new fluoridation ‘research’ by Doug Cross
In response to a Freedom of Information request on government expenditure on fluoridation research, the DoH has just revealed its ambitions for the Southampton project;
"We are also supporting a major current research project into the extent and severity of dental fluorosis for which costs are estimated at some £700,000. . . a new fluoridation scheme would provide an excellent opportunity to undertake prospective research and we are keeping closely in touch with developments on the proposed scheme for Southampton. " (my emphasis added)
The great Southampton 'clinical experiment'.
The recent High Court hearing confirmed that an unelected quango, the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SCSHA), has the power to ignore public opinion, and impose mass medication, regardless of public opinion or consent. Now we learn that the DoH will use the next fluoridation project as a gigantic clinical experiment, and will stand by and watch what happens to the children of the City.
The Department’s cynical contempt for the concept of human rights and medical ethics is breathtaking. By refusing to accept that fluoridation is actually an illegal clinical intervention, its regulatory quango, the MHRA, condones an outrageous violation of both medicinal law and the Clinical Code of Practice that govern all experimentation on human beings.
Using the children as guinea pigs for medical research.
Even before they were aware that the the DoH intended to use their children as guinea pigs for medical research into the effects of water fluoridation, the people of Southampton had withheld their consent.
This new revelation that the DoH now plans to monitor what happens to their children as a result of this disgraceful breach of medical ethics is unlikely to result in any reversal of public opinion - quite the opposite, in fact. The SCSHA appears Hell-bent on deliberately ignoring the prohibition on unethical and improper clinical interventions and experimentation, even when carried out under the ambiguous cover of public health policy.
How long will this 'experiment' last?
If the SHA does attempt to go ahead with the project, the Health Police will then need to carry out their surveillance for at least ten years. It can take that long before some of the known adverse effects appear. But even if the trial is halted as soon as these are recognised, many children will continue to develop the delayed effects of their exposure over another decade or more.
Whilst this is the case for dental fluorosis, what would happens if it a more serious condition were to be discovered? It is here that the appalling recklessness of this 'experiment' is revealed. Take the case of osteosarcoma as an example.
Ten years ago a crucial American study found that thee is an up to eight-fold increase in the occurrence of a frequently fatal form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma in young men in their late teens. This only affects boys (but not girls) of around 5 to 8 years of age who had who lived as children in fluoridated water areas.
The study was rigorously suppressed for four years, hidden in the dusty Rare Books archive of a leading American University. But for the past ten years, frantic efforts by pro-fluoridation advocates to discredit this work have proved futile, and informed current scientific opinion is that the study was sound.
If there is indeed a risk of some boys developing fluoride-induced osteosarcoma, and the Southampton scheme goes ahead this year, no information on whether or not there will be a rise in this form of cancer will be detectable until, at the earliest, around the mid-2020s.
But even then, if the 'experiment' has to be terminated immediately, it will then take another dozen or so years - say until around 2040 - before all of the younger boys who were placed at risk by this callous experiment will be out of their teens, and can be reasonably assumed to have safely survived their exposure.
Would the City's people be warned of issues such as this if they were to be asked to vote again? Would they give their consent if they were 'fully informed', as the law on clinical research demands?
Refusing to determine the 'safety' of fluoridation.
Fluoridation has been imposed on 6 million people in England for up to half a century. Yet only now is the research on its adverse effects to be carried out. Why was it not carried out forty years ago, before the cumulative effects of other, newer sources of fluoride in our environment made it increasingly difficult to assess the health risks to the public from water fluoridation itself?
Even now, the research will be carried out on an entirely new population, putting yet more people at risk. Why is the DoH so reluctant to assess the existing damage to those who have already grown up in such areas, and in whom the results have long been all too apparent?
With its uncritical endorsement of fluoridation as 'safe and effective', the answer to this is perhaps only too obvious!
Dental fluorosis is only an indicator of other hidden damage.
Fluoridation unquestionably causes widespread medical damage; up to half of all children from such areas develop dental fluorosis. But it is only a biomarker for fluoride poisoning; it is NOT the end of the process, as proponents seek to persuade the public.
Like the canary in the mine, the presence of dental fluorosis in a community shows that both children and adults are already likely to be affected by a chronic level of fluoride poisoning. The invisible development of other, less obvious chronic disorders caused by excessive fluoride intake is gradually becoming clear.
The futility of this experiment on the children
Whatever research methodology the DoH plans to adopt for its study of the effects of this proposed clinical trial on the children of Southampton, the rigorous demands of clinical research guarantee that it will be of low quality and at best, in scientific terms, ambiguous.
It is in fact impossible to carry out a valid clinical trial of this magnitude in such a complex and confused situation, even with consent.
Without consent, it is irresponsible madness.
Is Big Brother running Mr. Cameron's 'Big Society'?
Such totalitarian behaviour is imposed by only a very few pariah States. But in Britain today, the medical establishment within Mr Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ is apparently already under the firm control of an Orwellian 'Big Brother'. Subjecting our children to medical research, especially of the most ill-conceived and incompetent kind, and entirely without consent, is a direct challenge to our autonomy as human beings.
It is a fundamental requirement in all clinical research that the patient must be able to withdraw at any time after a trial has started. But, for the children of Southampton, it seems that the rules have now been rewritten.
Once they have been exposed to fluoridated water, there will be no going back for them. They must run the gauntlet, perhaps for decades, of uncertainty and fear without the option of withdrawing their participation in this unethical experiment. That is not the way that clinical research can be permitted to operate.
Our dental public health sector and the medicines regulator are out of control. All other legitimate recourses are repeatedly blocked by the State. Now, only a judicial review of the legitimacy of the fluoridation legislation itself will abolish this obscene practice, once and for all.
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
After nearly two years of uncertainty, the controversial decision by South Central Strategic Health Authority to fluoridate our water was examined in court. The Judicial Review sought by local Southampton resident Gerri Milner was heard at the High Court over two days last month. It wasn‘t just the SCSHA‘s decision that was in the spotlight—also questioned was the wording of the government guidance which enables health authorities to fluoridate water supplies.
Outside the High Court, London.
On Friday 11th February Justice Holman announced his judgement. Although expressing his sympathy with those opposed to having their water mass medicated, he could not uphold the claim that the SHA had acted illegally. This was because the legislation approved by Parliament gives power to Strategic Health Authorities to implement fluoridation schemes without public support. He added that all the SHA had to demonstrate was 'due regard' to public opinion. The SHA maintain it has done this despite 72% of consultation respondents who were opposed to the plans. The other ground of the claim was whether the SHA had considered the 'cogency' of the arguments against fluoridation. Again, they said they had and this was enough to satisfy the legal requirements.
The legislation enabling SHAs to override public opinion means that even if 100% of consultation respondents were against the scheme, the SHA could still go ahead! Clearly the assurances given by ministers in Parliament that local support was vital are meaningless. The ruling makes clear that the SHA is legally able to impose fluoridation on the people of Hampshire, come what may. Basically the NHS spent nearly a million pounds on a sham consultation and a legal case when it had already decided that water fluoridation would go ahead regardless. No wonder the judge was sympathetic to opponents!
For the full ruling see the following website:
Although disappointing, the Judicial Review has meant a two-year delay in implementing the scheme for which we should be grateful to Gerri Milner for pursuing this case. The Judicial Review has highlighted the absurdity of consultation guidelines that give absolute power to SHAs to do what they like when it comes to mass-medicating local drinking water. All they have to say is 'we heard your arguments but we know better'. This gives the unelected board more power than local MPs, Councils and the many thousands of local people who objected. Not only is this unfair it is clearly undemocratic too. There are 2 obvious reasons why MPs handed total power to the SHAs:
1) they realised fluoridation was controversial and wanted someone else to take the flak
2) they hadn't read the small print and didn't know exactly what they were voting for.
There is no other situation in legislation where total control is entrusted to a non-elected body - to the point where even the MPs who passed the law are powerless to influence their decisions. It is hard to believe that most MPs who voted in favour of the Water Bill (2003) did so in the knowledge that they were denying themselves a say on the subject in future. If you are concerned by this, please write to your local MP and councillor and COMPLAIN. It is also worth writing to the SHA—the more letters they get the better.
In a statement after the ruling, the SHA said that they 'remain satisfied that water fluoridation is a safe and effective way to improve dental health' adding that it 'will now be considering its next steps.' This is somewhat less forceful than previous statements in which they have insisted that water fluoridation would go ahead as soon as possible. Perhaps the fact that the SHA will be abolished next year now means that implementation is uncertain. With the transfer of fluoridation responsibilities to local Councils—all of whom object to the scheme— it would be absurd for the SHA to proceed. The leaders of Southampton and Hampshire Councils have vowed to fight any move by the SHA to implement the scheme.
The Judicial Review ruling does not just affect the Southampton area. Other SHAs in England may now consider it the right time to undertake their own consultations knowing that legally they too can safely ignore local opinion. As a result of the publicity surrounding the Judicial Review, HAF has received support both locally and from around the country. THE FIGHT CONTINUES.
HAF is currently considering what we can do next and already have various ideas.
SHA and PCT knew about children’s dental health improvement before Board took decision
Email correspondence between the Department of Health, SHA and PCT, referred to during the court case revealed that key SHA and Southampton PCT staff knew that the provisional results of the national survey of five year-olds dental health suggested that the decay rate had substantially improved (to 1.2dmft with 70% of children decay free) and were BETTER than the national average. The emails (obtained by Ms Milner‘s legal team) also reveal that details of the new figures were withheld from the SHA Board. This meant that their decision was based on inaccurate figures. The argument was that the survey data had to be 'cleaned' and might change.
In fact the final figures - which were also adjusted to account for non- response - were 1.13dmt with 69% of five year olds decay free. These final figures were available the following month. Given that a major argument for introducing water fluoridation was that dental health in Southampton was worse than the national average, SHA Board members and the public should have been made aware of these figures—even if they were only provisional. Right from the start of the consultation Hampshire Against Fluoridation argued that dental health was improving in Southampton - but our arguments were ignored.
Also there were concerns within the SHA about using the figure of 25% benefit as a basis for the economic analysis. Despite these concerns (and those of the analysts, HAF and HCC) the SHA consistently chose to represent the benefit as being substantial and supported by the economic analysis. But the analysts only used this figure as they were told to by the SHA. HAF was very critical of the economic analysis but our concerns were dismissed.
HAF are being given access to all the court documents obtained by the legal team and we understand that there is more interesting information yet to be revealed............
CANADA: On 8th Feb Calgary City Council voted 10-3 to end 20 years of fluoridation. The combined efforts of informed council members and citizens coupled with good reporting from the Calgary Herald produced this stunning victory in a city of over one million. This follows the removal of fluoride from two other Canadian cities – Windsor and Gatineau – last year.
USA: In a surprising move last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommended lowering "optimal" water fluoride levels to 0.7 ppm from 1ppm (the level that is pro- posed for Southampton) to decrease the epidemic of dental fluorosis afflicting over 41% of adolescents aged 12-15. However, even at 0.7 ppm, an infant using fluoridated water will still consume up to 175 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby.
Earl Howe, UK Minister of Health responding recently to a question by Earl Baldwin in the House of Lords made the following statement: "we will be carefully considering the Department of Health and Human Services' proposals for the USA and the outcome of its consultation, to decide whether any changes should be made to the target concentration used in England."
This is what they said.....
'I think in Southampton and South Hampshire the consultation was not real' (Andrew Lansley January 2010)
'I don‘t believe that fluoridation should go ahead unless there is public support for doing so.' (John Denham MP)
'Mass fluoridation of water would leave people with no choice, and we believe that it should not be imposed by Whitehall diktat.' (Nick Clegg, March 2009)
'It is vital that local people make the choice themselves.' (Gordon Brown, January 2009)
'I have always taken the view that this is something that should be decided locally and I don‘t believe in compulsory fluoridation of water'. (David Cameron, January 2010).
'It is the Government‘s policy that no new fluoridation schemes should be introduced unless it can be shown that the local population is in favour.'(Department of Health, February 2009).
BUT.......... Parliament passed the legislation that enables health authorities to bypass the opinions of MPs, councillors and residents on the issue of fluoridation. The current regulations, recently upheld in the Judicial Review, MUST be scrapped and that is why pressure on MPs is so important.
Sunday, 13 February 2011
A judge rejected claims by resident Geraldine Milner that the decision-making process was "defective". Ms Milner brought the application for a judicial review, backed by local anti-fluoride campaign groups.
Other local authorities had put their fluoridation schemes on hold, pending the outcome of the case. The judge expressed sympathy for people who disagreed with fluoridation but said there was no illegality in the decision-making process. He said: "I appreciate that that will deeply disappoint Ms Milner and the many objectors in the affected area, to whose position I am sympathetic. However it is important to stress that our democratic Parliament decided long ago that water can, in certain circumstances, be fluoridated. As I have endeavoured to show, and contrary perhaps to the belief of Ms Milner and others, it is not the law that fluoridation can only occur when a majority of the local population agree. Parliament has firmly entrusted area-specific decision making to the relevant strategic health authority (SHA). This SHA have not acted unlawfully and no court can interfere with their decision."
During the hearing, Ms Milner's counsel David Wolfe had argued that residents would have "no choice" but to drink fluoridated water.
Campaign groups including the Safe Water Campaign for Gloucestershire, have backed the mother-of-three's case, arguing that the potential side effects range from bone cancer to thyroid problems and brown spots on the teeth.
The decision to add fluoride to water came after 72% of those who responded to public consultation opposed it, with 28% in favour. Mr Wolfe said the authority's move was contrary to government policy that no new fluoridation schemes should be introduced unless it could be shown that the local population was in favour.
Responding to the judgment, Geraldine Milner stated afterwards: “I am obviously disappointed. This is a grim day for justice for the people of Southampton. I am speaking with my legal team with regard to an appeal and sincerely hope to continue the fight.”
There now needs to be a decision as to whether to appeal.
Doug Cross writing in UK Councils Against Fluoridation still challenges the legality of the view saying: "Adding fluoride to the public water supply is therefore a clinical intervention. As such it would be in gross violation of medical law and clinical Codes of Practice. So in summary, therefore, water companies can be ordered to make the product - but they cannot then supply it to the public! And it is this argument that will undoubtedly now replace the entirely valid, but sadly peripheral scientific objections to this discredited practice. Already there is public despair at a ruling that appears to allow the State to dose the people with whatever substance may be in medical fashion, in arrogant disregard of the wishes of the people."
But this judgment does NOT endorse the continuation of the practice of water fluoridation. It merely establishes that the government has given a legitimate power to SHAs to order water suppliers to make a medicinal product. In does NOT permit the product to be used in the mass medication of the public."
The balance of public opinion around the world has already started to swing against water fluoridation, as witnessed by events in the USA, Canada and elsewhere in the past month. This form of State-sponsored clinical malpractice is rapidly coming to an end - this judgment merely ensures that far more pressure will now be exerted to force its long-overdue demise."
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Sunday, 23 January 2011
Photo: map taken from BBC Hampshire and Isle of Wight here
As regular readers of this blog will know the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SCSHA) believes water fluoridation will improve dental health - they gave the go-ahead despite a public consultation showing 72% opposed the idea and the evidence that water fluoridation has many possible health risks.
The judicial review will decide if SCSHA properly considered the views but it seems no decision yet.
Friday, 14 January 2011
19th and 20th January at 10.30am Royal Courts of Justice (High Court) on the Strand, London. Public are able to attend. There will be a group demonstration at 9.45 outside the court on Wednesday 19th January