Green peer Lord Beaumont of Whitley is to lead a House of Lords debate on the allegedly “misleading, biased and scientifically questionable” information being given to parents of some British primary school children regarding fluoridated school milk.
An incisive Green Party briefing entitled “Dental milk” and truth decay, to be issued this week, finds severe fault with letters and leaflets issued by the NHS in Manchester, where so far 30 primary schools have been targeted for the medication.
Lord Beaumont comments: “The Green Party insists that parents should be given balanced information and encouraged to make an informed decision.
“Currently parents are being given one-sided information of questionable accuracy, which leaves out facts likely to materially alter their decision whether or not to let their children drink fluoridated milk.”
In Manchester, one of the cities piloting the product, leading Greens have accused the city council of seeking to deliberately mislead parents about fluoride, and have called the local health authority “badly informed and sadly lacking a scientific approach.” A spokesperson commented:
“The local dental health chief assured the Green Party that parents would be provided with balanced information. Yet the city council leader promised that fluoride milk would be ‘positively marketed’ to parents. You can’t do both.
“Councillors even said they would re-think the name of the product, because if it sounded medicinal it might put people off. But that’s precisely what it is.
“Parents are being told fluoride is safe, despite a wealth of evidence of the potential health risks.
“Parents are also being told fluoride reduces tooth decay. Challenged about this, the programme managers will claim there are no studies suggesting the contrary. Yet there is compelling evidence from around the world that fluoride does NOT reduce tooth decay.”
The Greens have accused the government of pursuing a pro-fluoride ideology instead of tackling the real causes of tooth decay – poor dental hygiene and too much sugar. The Green Party advocates a major programme to educate children and adults regarding proper care of teeth.
“Tony Blair claims his three priorities are education, education, education” comments Lord Beaumont. “But on dental health he prefers fluoridation, fluoridation, fluoridation.”
Meanwhile in Ireland, Europe’s most heavily fluoridated country – where half of children and teenagers suffer dental fluorosis as a result – Green MPs are introducing a bill to end Ireland’s water fluoridation. Greens in England believe a major success across the Irish Sea would strike a powerful blow to New Labour’s fluoridation agenda.