Fluoride Action Network

Southampton: Open debate into adding fluoride to Southampton’s water

Source: Daily Echo | March 25th, 2008 | By Matt Smith
Location: United Kingdom, England

CITY councillors are backing a detailed, open and meaningful consultation on proposals to add fluoride to Southampton’s water supplies.

Health chiefs are eager to press ahead with the move which they say will reduce tooth decay, particularly among children in poorer neighbourhoods.

Surveys show dental health among the city’s under-fives is far worse than the national average.

Southampton City Primary Care Trust wants the South Central strategic health authority (SHA) to give the go-ahead for utility companies to add fluoride to the city’s water supplies.

City councillor Ivan White, Tory opposition spokesman for health, won backing from fellow councillors across the political divide to call on the SHA to carry out “open, widespread, meaningful and detailed consultations” with the council and Southampton residents before considering any decision.

Councillor Jeremy Moulton, Tory parliamentary candidate for Southampton Test, pictured, has also written to SHA chief executive Jim Easton on the issue.

Cllr Moulton said: “This is a very important and controversial decision and a number of worried Southampton residents have contacted me recently.

“It is vital that local people are consulted and that all sides of the argument are heard.”

Health problems South West Hampshire Green Party and pressure group Hampshire Against Fluoridation are opposing the move.

They claim fluoridated water can cause health problems, including bone cancer, mental and discoloration of teeth.

The SHA is carrying out a feasibility study and is due to report back by the summer. It will then decide whether to go head with a 12-week public consultation.