THE call for fluoride to be added to our region’s water is a demand that we have heard many times before.
It is a subject just as emotive these days as ever it was with irate opponents e-mailing and bombarding media outlets.
The National Pure Water Association calls it a “violation of human rights”, arguing that parents who fail to teach their children to brush their teeth can be targeted in other ways.
This is a view which the British Dental Association does not agree with, saying the benefits of having fluoride in water are clear.
Both sides of the argument are about to be scrutinised by Kirklees councillors from all parties.
It is, of course, not the council which will be making the final decision – but its report will be powerful ammunition one way or another.
They are stepping into a minefield, as they will be well aware. Few things seem to work up such passion as fluoride.
Any examination of the issue should have as its starting point the stark fact that by the age of five the average English child has 1.47 decayed, missing or filled teeth.
This is a state of affairs which is just not good enough.
Academic studies show oral health is better in areas where tap water is fluoridated and the number of children with tooth decay decreases by 15%.
Who could possibly object?
Let’s forget the notion that fluoride in water supplies should be rejected because it is involuntary medication.