Thursday, 29 September 2011

Southampton City Council vote to oppose Fluoridation

On Wednesday 14th September, Southampton City Council officially withdrew its support for the water fluoridation scheme in Southampton. The debate was triggered by Hampshire Against Fluoridation's petition signed by 6,500 people — well over the number needed to initiate a council debate. Here is the report from the campaign group:

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

Call for action re water fluoridation

England’s ‘water fluoridation functions’ to be passed to local authorities - see below the  Alliance for Natural Health's briefing - see original with links here and also further info - well done to the Alliance for highlighting this key issue.

  1. Legislation currently passing through the UK Parliament will shift responsibility for water fluoridation to local authorities, e.g. councils
  2. The Health and Social Care Bill appears to grant wide new powers to the UK Secretary of State for Health
  3. Nothing will change for the residents of Southampton, site of recent fluoridation controversy
  4. The Bill will not absolutely require local opinion to be consulted before fluoridation proceeds
  5. The target fluoride concentration will remain at 1 mg/litre, ignoring recent developments in the USA and (in 2007) in Ireland
The thorny subject of fluoridation of the water supply has raised its head once again in the UK, with the expected and imminent passing into English law of the Health and Social Care Bill 2011. The Bill received its third reading in Parliament on 7th September, and now goes to the House of Lords. Unfortunately, the current wording of the Bill appears to give sweeping powers to the UK Secretary of State – currently Health Minister Andrew Lansley – while cutting out local opinion and ignoring current fluoride science. Get involved by writing a letter to Mr Lansley to voice your concerns over the erosion of democracy and reliance on outdated science!

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 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.
Higher levels of fluoride than the USA

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
Richmond House
79 Whitehall


Monday, 12 September 2011

Fluoridation plans abandoned as it is too expensive

UK Councils Against Fluoridation report the good news that the Health Authority have abandoned plans to fluoridate the North West.  The Chief Executive of the North West Strategic Health Authority, Mark Ogden,  recommended his Board to abandon its long-planned project to fluoridate North West England. This is good news as it makes any plans for fluoridation across Gloucestershire less likely.

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: 

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Letter to Evening Post

Here is a letter from one of our members to the Evening Post:


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