Fluoride can now be added to foods manufactured and supplied in Europe. It’s been classified as a safe supplement, according to Europe’s highest authority on food standards.
The decision means that food manufacturers can include sodium monofluorophosphate, the common form of fluoride found in toothpaste and mouth washes, to their products.
The decision, by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has angered the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), the consumer pressure group, which is calling for an immediate enquiry.
The ANH’s medical director, Dr Damien Downing, says: “It’s bad enough brushing your teeth or rinsing your mouth with fluoride. But opening up its usage to food supplements, when it’s very difficult to control how much other fluoride a person is being exposed to, is utterly irresponsible.”
The group is also concerned that the EFSA is working outside of its remit. As fluoride has supposed medicinal qualities, the decision to include it in foods is one that should be taken by the European Medicines Agency, it argues.
On November 27, 2008, the EFSA released its “scientific opinion” on the safety of adding sodium monofluorophosphate to food. They noted that “The safety of fluoride itself, in term of amounts that may be consumed, is outside the remit of this Panel.”