Green MSP Robin Harper has made a second plea to the Scottish Executive to come clean on its fluoride policy on the day that Westminster rubber-stamps legislation that could mean most of the UK’s water authorities are forced to put the chemical in their supplies.
People in Scotland do not know whether they will be forced to consume fluoride because the Scottish Executive has not yet published the results of a consultation on the issue, said Mr Harper.
“People in Scotland still do not know whether their water will be fluoridated against their will,” said Green MSP Robin Harper. “In July I wrote to Jack McConnell asking him to confirm that Scotland’s water would not be fluoridated, yet still we do not know what the Executive’s position is.
“We oppose water fluoridation on health and ethical grounds. Fluoridation breaches medical ethics and human rights by forcing people to take medication against their will, and has been linked to bone cancer and premature puberty.
“The Water Bill gets its second reading in the Commons today – when will the Scottish people be told what is going to happen here? Health authorities will be able to compel their local water company to fluoridate the supply – does that mean that all of Scotland’s water will contain this toxic chemical?”
Last month, in a reply to Mr Harper’s letter, Scotland’s health minister Malcolm Chisholm said the Executive’s report on fluoridation would be published “later this summer”.
“It is now September and there is still no sign of the results of this consultation,” said Mr Harper.
More than 7,500 people complained to the Scottish Executive during a consultation on plans for fluoridation, making it the biggest such protest in Scotland since the Section 28 debate.
“This is an issue that the public and the Scottish Green Party feel passionately about,” he added. “We believe that water fluoridation is a gross infringement of individual civil liberties, namely the right of the individual to choose whether or not to use fluoride, and that public mass medication through the nation’s water taps is contrary to medical ethics since a patient should have the right to refuse or discontinue medication.”
“There are sufficient grounds for concern about the effects of fluoride on health that people should have a choice whether to consume fluoride,” he added. “The government should not be forcing people to consume fluoride by adding it to public water supplies.
“The government has made mistakes in the past, particularly with BSE. The public already have real worries about the safety of food. Government should not be experimenting with people’s health. The Green Party will oppose mass medication against people’s will.”
In England, local authorities including Bradford, Brighton and Lancaster have passed motions opposing the government’s plan, and organisations including the Green Party and the National Pure Water Association are stepping up their campaign against fluoridation.
The Green Party’s report Truth Decay: Challenging New Labour’s propaganda on water fluoridation shows that:
* Fluoridation breaches medical ethics and the European Convention on Human Rights and Medicine, by forcing consumers to take medication against their will.
* Fluoridation carries significant health risks which have been played down by pro-fluoridation spin doctors.
* Fluoridation chemical hexafluorosilicic acid is a toxic industrial waste product from the phosphate fertiliser industry. Although it has a British Standards number, it has never been safety tested for human consumption.
* Fluoridation has been linked with premature puberty in the USA.
* People in the fluoridated Republic of Ireland are 40% more likely to get bone cancer (one of the medical problems associated with fluoride) than people in non-fluoridated Northern Ireland.
* The world trend to stop fluoridating continues – including examples from Switzerland to Korea in the past three months alone.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Burgess 07887 682 574
Scottish Green Party, PO Box 14080, Edinburgh EH10 6YG
Tel: 0131 478 7896 | Fax: 0131 466 9480