A COUNCILLOR is calling for dental health plans to add fluoride to Hull’s water supply to be scrapped.
Gill Kennett, the only Hull Red Labour councillor at the Guildhall, says the safety of water fluoridation cannot be guaranteed because of a wealth of conflicting evidence.
Cllr Kennett, a member of Hull’s Health Scrutiny Commission, said: “There is scientific evidence for it and against it. You will always look to one side of the evidence or the other to back up your argument.
“Personally, I believe it is bad for you, but I cannot argue on that because even the scientists cannot agree.
“So, I’m going on the precautionary principle and I’m saying we shouldn’t do it.
“It’s no good looking back after 50 years and wishing we hadn’t done this.”
Hull’s Health and Wellbeing Board has embarked on a feasibility study on a water fluoridation scheme as part of the draft oral health plan attempting to reduce levels of tooth decay in children.
The study will examine whether or not water fluoridation would be possible.
Even if it confirms the scheme would be possible, it could still take up to three years to introduce, is likely to require the support of East Riding Council and councillors are already suggesting it could require a referendum.
Cllr Kennett spent 20 years in social services at Hull City Council, including 12 years as a manager, before becoming a councillor, representing Holderness ward, in 2012. Last year, she was removed from the Labour Group after refusing to vote for the annual budgets because of cuts to services.
She said she supported the oral health plan, excluding the feasibility study over water fluoridation, and called for cash earmarked for any fluoridation scheme to be spent on a concerted effort to help families in more deprived areas understand the importance of oral hygiene in children.
“It is a wonderful oral health plan but water fluoridation is clouding the issue and taking attention away from the good parts,” she said.
“History is strewn with examples of how we’ve looked back and wished we hadn’t done something. Look at lead, asbestos and Thalidomide.
“We just can’t be sure so we shouldn’t be doing it.”