Fluoride Action Network

Southampton: MP Sandra latest to join join anti-fluoride lobby

Source: Daily Echo | December 23rd, 2008
Location: United Kingdom, England

ROMSEY’S MP is the latest to condemn plans to add extra fluoride to tap water supplies in the Nursling and Southampton areas.

Sandra Gidley has submitted her response to South Central Strategic Health Authority that is looking at the plans submitted by Southampton City Primary Care Trust.

Mrs Gidley, who is the Liberal Democrats’ public health spokesman, says that adding fluoride to water is not proven to be safe and there is no strong evidence to show that it’s the best way to tackle tooth decay.

South Central Strategic Health Authority has been consulting the public on the controversial proposals and has even held Question Time-style de-bates hosted by TV and radio presenter, Peter White.

Mrs Gidley said: “The precautionary principle should be paramount and I believe that the local primary care trust would be neglecting its duties of care if it was to proceed with this exercise at this point of time. Whilst there is a lot of research on the subject of water fluoridation, much of it is a poor quality. Many of the studies which appear to show a reduction in tooth decay, linked to water fluoride levels, fail to take into account the increasing use of fluoride containing products over the period of the time studied.”

The strategic health authority uses evidence from a parliamentary group to back up their claims that the fluoridation of water is beneficial, she said.

“There was distinct bias in those who were asked to give evidence to the parliamentary group. The evidence was not balanced between both sides of the argument. At the end of the day, the best way we can help people to take care of their teeth is by improving access to dentists and by educating them to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. After all, it would cheaper and more effective to provide toothpaste and brushes to those who can’t afford it than to introduce a mass medication programme,” said Mrs Gidley.

Test Valley borough member for Nursling and Rownhams, Nigel Anderdon, said no-one he knew wanted fluoride added to their water.

“I am against putting fluoride in the water and I felt that the public consultation was minimal. Most people are against it because it could be harmful particularly to young babies. I am hoping people will reject it.

“Hampshire County Council has said no to adding the fluoride and so has Test Valley,” said Mr Anderdon.

Southampton City Primary Care Trust claims more fluoride is needed to help fight tooth decay in the city where children’s teeth are said to be in poor condition.