Water Fluoridation

House of Lords written question – answered on 26th June 2003.

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Photo of Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the statement reported to have been made recently in a letter by Health and Environment Ministers to the Deputy Prime Minister, that opponents of fluoridation are in a minority, was made; and if so, whether they will specify the sources on which this view is based; and

Whether the view reported to have been expressed recently in a letter by Health and Environment Ministers to the Deputy Prime Minister, that opponents of fluoridation are "insisting on an indefinite research programme", was expressed; and, if so, having regard to the research recommendations contained in the reports from the systematic review of water fluoridation carried out at the University of York in 2000, and by the Medical Research Council working group in 2002, what grounds they have for believing that opponents are calling for an indefinite rather than a definite programme.

Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

Opinion surveys commissioned by the British Fluoridation Society regularly show that about 70 per cent. of the population are in favour of fluoridation. The Systematic Review of Fluoridation undertaken by the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York identified 3,246 research studies with reference to fluoridation many of which considered claims of an association between fluoridation and different illnesses or disabilities. Further claims continue to emerge. York found no evidence of risks to overall health from fluoridation, other than dental fluorosis, and were critical of the quality of some of the research. Accordingly, we asked the Medical Research Council to advise how the research base could be strengthened. We have already acted on its main recommendation by commissioning a research study into the absorption of fluoride.

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