As ministers prepare to give the go-ahead to water fluoridation, the Green Party has signalled its intention to step up campaigning against it. The Greens argue that:
* Fluoride is linked to a range of adverse health effects.
* Mass medication is medically unethical and an infringement of individual liberty.
* Education, not fluoridation, is the way to reduce tooth decay.
The government is known to want to target certain cities, including inner London, as a priority. The fact that a Green, Darren Johnson, holds the GLA Environment portfolio is likely to make London an interesting test case.
Darren commented: “Tooth decay is about poor dental hygiene and high consumption of sugar. Enforced fluoridation will not tackle either of these. Only education and a healthy diet can do that, which is why the Green strategy for improving dental health is based on education”.
London’s Green MEP Jean Lambert added: “Most European governments have rejected fluoridation, with good reason. Fluoride is a cumulative poison linked with many health problems ranging from higher cancer rates and problems with the immune system, to irritable bowel syndrome and depressed thyroid activity.”
The Greens believe that their principled stance will prove popular. Two recent public opinion polls showed that 97% of respondents were opposed to involuntary fluoridation. The party?s Anti-Fluoridation Coordinator Felicity Mawson concluded: “Only a small minority of British MPs is in favour of fluoridation. Fluoride laws have been passed as a result of large numbers of abstentions. The government doesn’t have backing for this idea, and Tony Blair will get yet another drubbing if he goes ahead with it.”