Fluoride Action Network

McConnell says no to fluoride bid

Source: Evening News | November 19th, 2004

FIRST Minister Jack McConnell has ruled out adding fluoride to Scotland’s drinking water.

He told MSPs that the Executive planned to bring forward a range of other measures to improve the dental health of children.

Senior Labour ministers had been eager to press ahead with fluoridation.

But the decision to drop any such plans represents a victory for Liberal Democrats inside the coalition, who had insisted they could not accept “mass medication” of the water supply.

A public consultation on fluoridation of drinking water supplies closed more than 18 months ago, but there was no official announcement on what the Executive planned to do.

Mr McConnell told the parliament yesterday: “I wish to confirm that having listened to the views expressed, we will not be changing the current legislation on fluoridation of the water supply in this parliament.

“We will, however, bring forward a range of other measures to improve the dental health of children, especially in their early years.”

Fluoridation is backed by the World Health Organisation, but the Medical Research Council has said further research on the effects of adding fluoride to drinking water is needed.

A study published by York University in 2000 found water fluoridation did help prevent dental cavities, but warned of a link with dental fluorosis, a condition which causes discolouring of the teeth.