To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 20 May (WA 323—4) and 9 June (WA 143), whether the conclusion of "no clear association" between water fluoridation and cancer as distinct from "no evidence of risk" applies to (a) bone problems, and (b) infant mortality, congenital defects and IQ problems for which the York reviewers in 2000 recommended further high quality research.
The systematic review of water fluoridation conducted by the University of York found "no clear association" between water fluoridation and hip fracture, overall cancer incidence and mortality, osteosarcoma and bone/joint cancers and thyroid cancer. The report concluded:
"The outcomes related to infant mortality, congenital defects and Intelligence Quotient (IQ) indicate a need for further high quality research, using appropriate analytical methods to control for confounding factors".
The department continues to fund research into the effects of fluoridation and monitor the outcome of research studies conducted elsewhere. For example, an appraisal of selected studies reporting an association between fluoride in drinking water and IQ commissioned by South Central Strategic Health Authority concluded:
"The lack of a thorough consideration of confounding as a source of bias means that, from these studies alone, it is uncertain how far fluoride is responsible for any impairment in intellectual development seen. The amount of naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water and from other sources and the socioeconomic characteristics in the areas studied is different from the United Kingdom and so these studies do not have direct application to the local population of Southampton".
The report of the appraisal is available at www.southcentral.nhs.uk/fluoridation/page.php?area _id=9996&id=6.