Darren Johnson, Green Party candidate for London mayor, says he will fight the Government’s plans to add fluoride to London’s water every step of the way. Until now, water authorities have only added fluoride at the recommendation of health authorities but the Government intends to change the law to force them to do so.

Frank Dobson, when Health Minister, was quoted as saying he would “push forward” with fluoridation, if necessary “by subtle means”. Darren Johnson says, “The Green Party is opposed to mass medication. We are against the destruction of consumer choice in a matter so basic as drinking water. We believe the precautionary principle should be applied – that if you can’t prove fluoridation is harmless, then you shouldn’t fluoridate.”

Darren added: “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 Greens recently launched their Free Fruit in Schools policy, which would ensure that European surpluses of fruit are made available, free of charge, to schoolchildren.

Following Mr Dobson’s recommendations, the Government set up a Review Panel and it is shortly expected to report that fluoridation is safe and effective, paving the way to enforced fluoridation nationwide. London and Manchester are among the initial target areas. The Green Party believes that the Review Panel has ignored most of the wider health implications of fluoride and that there will not be adequate public consultation.

The Greens have produced a report, ‘Fluoride: The Scientific Fraud of the Century’ which identifies over a dozen major health risks associated with fluoride, and cites scientific papers arguing that fluoridation does not reduce tooth decay:

* There is little conclusive evidence that fluoride reduces the incidence of dental caries (tooth decay) but it is known to increase dental fluorosis (mottled and pitted teeth). Mass studies from the US, Canada and New Zealand show little difference in levels of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. However, a third of children in fluoridated West Midlands suffer from dental fluorosis.

* Hundreds of scientific papers from around the world implicate fluoride in problems ranging from osteoporosis (brittle bones), to irritable bowel syndrome, cancer and even brain damage. Some of the most compelling evidence of the risks relates to disruption of the thyroid gland, a major regulator of the body’s metabolism.

Like the Tories, Labour is out of touch in believing that the public wants fluoridation:

* Recent polls on Teletext and in the Glasgow Evening Times found 97% of people opposed to artificial water fluoridation.
* Less than 2% of Europe’s population have fluoridated water. Most European governments oppose fluoridation and Holland has changed its constitution so that it could never again be introduced. In Northern Ireland, 25 out of 26 Councils have recently rejected fluoridation.
* Only a small minority of British MPs is in favour of artificial water fluoridation. Fluoride laws have been passed as a result of large numbers of abstentions.

The Green Party will push for:

* A properly resourced strategy for reducing tooth decay, including education about dental hygiene and the effects of excessive consumption of sugar.
* A ban on the fluoridation of drinking water.
* A health warning on all sources of fluoride intended for human consumption.