Caroline Lucas MEP has written to the health spokespeople of the two Opposition parties demanding to know whether or not they would scrap the plan to fluoridate Southampton’s drinking water when most of the people affected oppose it.
In her letter to Tory Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, the Green Euro-MP for Hampshire and the South East said:
“During a recent visit to Hampshire, your leader, David Cameron, was reported as saying that ‘I have always taken the view that [fluoridation] is something that should be decided locally and I don’t believe in compulsory fluoridation of water…In the last vote we had, I think I voted against that idea. But if there is a local process in place and a local decision can be made, I think that seems a fair way of doing it’.
“Given that 72% of the people who responded to the public consultation on the Southampton scheme opposed it, I would like to know whether or not your Party would allow this scheme to go ahead regardless of the controversy.”
Sandra Gidley, Shadow Health Minister for the Liberal Democrats, is also put on the spot about the issue.
Caroline Lucas and the Green Party have led opposition to drinking water fluoridation, warning that it amounts to mass medication without consent. Lucas says:
“The science is simply not good enough yet to feel confident about putting this chemical into drinking water supplies, leaving a whole population exposed to it – including babies and the unborn. The Strategic Health Authority (SHA) itself acknowledges that the scheme could lead to an increase in dental fluorosis in children. Further health effects are also a major concern.”
Notes to Editors
1) The water fluoridation scheme will supply approximately 195,000 residents with fluoridated water. The areas that will receive fluoridated water are: Central Southampton, Lordshill, Freemantle, Polygon, Totton, parts of Eastleigh, Weston, Shirley, Portswood, St Denys, Netley, Aldermoor, Millbrook, Bassett and Woolston. See http://www.southcentral.nhs.uk/fluoridation/
2) Hampshire MPs’ opinions on the issue: The two Labour MPs in Southampton, Alan Whitehead and John Denham, are in favour of fluoridation, when the public consent issue is resolved. Julian Lewis, Conservative MP (New Forest), is strongly against, and the two Liberal Democrat MPs, Sandra Gidley (Romsey) and Chris Huhne (Eastleigh) are also against fluoridation.