Fluoride Action Network

Southampton: Give us a vote on fluoride

Source: Daily Echo | July 4th, 2009
Location: United Kingdom, England

A HAMPSHIRE MP has backed calls for a public vote on fluoridation.

Julian Lewis says there must be clear backing from the people before any scheme to “medicate” them can be introduced.

The New Forest East MP, whose constituency includes part of the area affected by the controversial scheme, believes South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) was wrong to give the plans unanimous backing despite public opposition.

More than 10,000 people responded to last year’s public consultation, with 72 per cent of those living in the affected area who gave their views saying they were against fluoridation.

The SHA also commissioned a separate phone poll of 2,000 residents, in which 32 per cent said they supported the scheme, compared with 38 per cent opposed to it.

The Daily Echo is backing calls for the people to be given a vote on the subject, something Dr Lewis also agrees with.

“I think it’s a terrific idea,” he said.

“I know what the fluoride addicts would say, that they don’t care how big a majority you get, because we don’t think they’re voting for reasons that are scientifically sound.

“It’s one thing for these unelected doctrinaires to ignore a 72 per cent negative response to a public consultation, but it would be quite another for them to ignore a majority in a mass vote.

“They have shown they are completely impervious to public opinion.”

Dr Lewis has already lodged a complaint with the health service ombudsman about what he believes was the “hopelessly biased” nature of the consultation, and has spoken in the Commons on the subject several times.

“I’m not prepared to see it rammed through,” he said.

“It is not appropriate for an undemocratic, unelected body who don’t even live in the area to impose it just because they believe that, no matter how many people say they don’t want it, their arguments don’t hold water and can be ignored.

“I believe it is wrong for a population to be fluoridated against its will.

You have to have a significant and adequate degree of public acceptance of this before you do it.

“Whether you oppose it or agree with it in principle, you must have public consent.”