Fluoride Action Network

No fluoride in our water

Source: Evening Times | November 18th, 2004

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

He said the Executive was instead planning to bring forward a range of other measures to improve the dental health of children.

The news will delight campaigners who have fought for years to stop the controversial move.

And it will come as a blow to Glasgow health bosses who have tried on several occasions to get the chemical into the water supply in a bid to improve the city’s dental health record.

Mr McConnell today told Holyrood: “Having listened to views expressed, we will not be changing the current legislation on fluoridation of the water supply in this parliament.

Arguments over the benefits of fluoride for dental health have raged for more than 25 years.

While some experts back the move, campaigners claim it could damage health.

In 1978, councillors on Strathclyde Region approved a move to introduce flouridation by just one vote.

But Gorbals granny Catherine McColl fought a high-profile campaign that went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

There was a second move in 1992, but a major Evening Times’ campaign alerted the public and the health board’s bid failed.

And fluoridation is at the centre of NHS Greater Glasgow’s Oral Health Strategy which was unveiled by planning director Catriona Renfrew in August.

Today, the board could not say whether it would still try to gain permission for a local scheme.

But even if a bid was made, Mr McConnell’s statement means it is almost certain permission would be refused.