CALDERDALE Council is to be asked to reconfirm its commitment to opposing fluoridation of water in Calderdale and undertake public consultation on the recent announcement by NHS Calderdale.
As reported on Page Ten of this week’s edition, the Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is undertaking a study into the possibility of putting fluoride into water supplies, as requested by NHS Bradford and Airedale and NHS Kirklees.
This would result in water supplies in areas of Calderdale being affected.
Coun Craig Whittaker, (Con, Rastrick) succeeded in securing cross Party support in 2003, opposing fluoridation, and will put forward a further motion to Council on October 1.
He said: “It is totally unacceptable that the Strategic Health Authority is able to force people to have fluoride in their water; it defies the most basic of human rights, that people have control over their own bodies.
“The rationale given for adding fluoride is to improve the dental health of children, but such attempts always prove controversial. Despite the fact that 72 per cent of those who responded to consultation were against fluoridation, Southampton Council recently voted to support South Central SHA, which has resulted in significant public backlash.”
Coun Whittaker said that in 2003 the decision on fluoridation moved from Water Companies to SHA, who now have the final say.
“This decision was made because Water Companies feared being sued, so not only have the Government taken the decision away from them, they have indemnified them against legal liabilities; why would they do this if they are so convinced it is safe?
“Research clearly shows that continued exposure to fluoride can have significant health implications; the process that the Government has set down for making this decision goes against the fundamental principle of freedom of choice.
“People can choose to buy fluoride toothpaste, which is no more expensive, or fluoride tablets. Mass medication is not, and never will be the answer.”
NHS Calderdale is undertaking a study of the advantages and disadvantages of water fluoridation in Calderdale, which is due to be completed in Spring 2010.
It will then consult the public on its findings.
In the meantime, Calderdale Council will be asked to make a petition available for residents to ensure they can make their views known, said Coun Whittaker.
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