Fluoride Action Network

Southampton: Councillor to take debate to the top

Source: Daily Echo | March 19th, 2009 | By Lucy Clark
Location: United Kingdom, England

THE fight against controversial plans to add fluoride to Southampton’s tap water is being taken to the top by one community leader.

Health chiefs have already voted in favour of fluoridation and are working with Southern Water to implement the scheme, but the campaign against the “mass medication plans” is still going strong.

Despite a public consultation in which 72 per cent of people living in the affected area voted against fluoridation, bosses from South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) approved the plans last month. It means 195,000 residents in Southampton, Totton and parts of Eastleigh will receive fluoridated water to improve dental health among children. Fluoridation is set to be implemented by the end of 2010.

David Harrison, pictured, Hampshire County Councillor for Totton South – where about 8,000 homes will be included in the fluoridation scheme, has lodged a formal complaint with the SHA.

He sad: “The basis of my complaint is that the consultation they undertook was a total farce.

“They actively promoted the alleged benefits of adding fluoride to tap water; while pouring scorn on evidence that cast doubt about the possible side effects.

“Worse still, they ignored the polls suggesting the public were 70 per cent against, along with the majority of local authorities.”

Cllr Harrison plans to raise the issue with the Health ‘Service Ombudsman if the SHA does not go back on its decision.

He added: “I would encourage everyone who feels as strongly as I do about these mass medication plans to write to the SHA.

“It is a necessary first step before involving the Health Ombudsman.”

A spokesman for the SHA said: “The board of the SHA were satisfied that, based on existing research, water fluoridation is a safe and effective way to tackle tooth decay and that the health benefits outweighed all [unreadable]”