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House of Lords written question – answered on 6th June 2011.

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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 Answers by Lord Warner on 24 March 2006 (WA 88) and Lord Darzi of Denham on 1 October 2007 (WA 146), (a) what high quality research into the association of water fluoridation with infant mortality, congenital defects, bone problems and IQ they have carried out as recommended in section 12.4 of the 2000 report of the York systematic review; and (b) which part of the Written Answer of 24 March 2006 is a quotation from the Department of Health report on Health and Human Subjects 41 in 1994, and which part forms a commitment to research, and whether they will reissue the Written Answer accordingly.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Following publication of the York report, the department funded the Medical Research Council to identify areas of uncertainty regarding the balance of benefits and risks of water fluoridation, and to make appropriate recommendations for research to address these uncertainties. The department has since funded the School of Dental Sciences at Newcastle University to compare the bioavailability of fluoride in naturally fluoridated water with artificially fluoridated water. Currently, the School of Dentistry at Manchester University is investigating the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis with funds from the NHS National Institute for Health Research. We are also considering an evaluation of a new fluoridation scheme to address further recommendations in the York report to strengthen the evidence base on fluoridation. The quotation from the report on Health and Human Subjects 41 ends at "....a further wide safety margin above the more usual fluoride intakes in fluoridated areas".

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