Fluoride Action Network

York council opposes fluoride in water

Source: UK Newsquest Regional Press - This is York | November 14th, 2003 | By Richard Edwards
Location: United Kingdom, England

STRONG city council opposition to fluoride being added to York’s water supply will be sent directly to Prime Minister Tony Blair.

City of York Council chief executive David Atkinson will write to Mr Blair and Secretary of State for Health John Reid outlining the council’s concerns over fluoride in tap water.

York’s water supply is currently free of fluoride. But proposed Government amendments to the Water Act allow water companies to add fluoride – if health authorities ask them to.

Green councillor Andy D’Agorne tabled a motion at Tuesday night’s full council meeting listing concerns over fluoride.

The motion also called for greater research into the medical effects of fluoride new ways to improve children’s dental health and a public debate on the claimed advantages and disadvantages of fluoridated water.

Fluoride in water is said to improve dental health but has also been linked to fluorosis which damages teeth.

A long debate has also raged over whether there is a link between fluoridated water and cancer.

Councillors were allowed a free vote on the motion and it attracted cross-party support. It was carried.

In a rare move Lord Mayor of York Coun Charles Hall spoke and voted in support of the motion stressing its political neutrality. Coun D’Agorne said: “I had no idea which way the motion would go. I was pleased Labour and the Liberal Democrats felt it was something that members could make up their own minds on.

“Councillors had strongly held views both for and against the process. They have now ensured that at least both sides of the debate will be aired locally when the legislation gives the health authority the green light to propose fluoridation of our drinking water.”

The Green Party would strongly oppose any fluoridation of water in the York area Coun D’Agorne added.

A Yorkshire Water spokeswoman said fluoride would only be added after instructions from the health authority and then after consultation with the public.

A spokeswoman for North East and North Lincolnshire Strategic Health Authority said the authority was waiting to see exactly what changes are made to the Water Act.

No decision would be made without “effective public engagement.”