House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Thornton on 23 February (WA 282-3), (a) why South Central Strategic Health Authority in its 2008 public consultation document on water fluoridation stated that the 2006 osteosarcoma study by Elise Bassin "was part of a larger study [ 13 ]", and did not state in the text (4.6) or references section (6.0) that their reference 13 was to a letter and not to a larger study; (b) whether that statement took account of good scientific practice; and (c) why the strategic health authority stated in 4.6 that the West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit had completed detailed analyses of bladder cancer and osteosarcoma, when the referenced study [ 14 ] had not addressed osteosarcoma.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

I do not consider that the strategic health authority (SHA) has been misleading. The letter cited in the consultation document refers to a larger study in which two sets of cases have been collected over the period 1993-2000. The SHA was seeking to summarise research findings in a format accessible to the public. The reference to the bladder cancer study would have informed readers of the role of the West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit from where they could gave obtained the unit's osteosarcoma study to which I referred in my earlier reply.

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