To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the finding by the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York in its 2000 report A Systematic Review of Water Fluoridation that the evidence suggested a median of 14.6 per cent reduction in children with tooth decay in areas fluoridated at 1 part per million, why the NHS Choices website under ‘Fluoride’ (1) cites a single study reporting that fluoridated children “had nearly 60 per cent less tooth decay”, and (2) makes no reference to the York report.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Authors’ reply in the British Medical Journal on 16 June 2001 about the 2000 University of York report on water fluoridation that “We have been assiduous in our paper…not to convey a message of no evidence of harm”, whether they will ensure that the NHS Choices website under “Fluoride” no longer claims that fluoridated water and toothpaste “do not cause any harmful side effects to a person’s overall health”.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the finding by the 2000 University of York report on water fluoridation that 48 per cent of populations fluoridated at 1 part per million were affected by dental fluorosis and 12.5 per cent by fluorosis of aesthetic concern, and that geographical location was not significantly associated with those figures, whether they will ensure that the NHS Choices website under “Do fluoride levels in cheap tea pose a health risk?” no longer states that “fluorosis…is rare in the UK”.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement in Department of Health Report on Health and Social Subjects 41 on dietary reference values that “No essential function for fluoride (F) has been proven in humans”, whether they will ensure that the NHS Choices website under “Do fluoride levels in cheap tea pose a health risk?” no longer states that “Fluoride is a mineral that is needed for healthy teeth”, and that “fluoride is an essential micronutrient, needed to prevent dental decay”.
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 12 February 2001 (WA 16) and by Earl Howe on 15 September 2011 (WA 87–8), whether the promotional role of the British Fluoridation Society which is recommended as a source of advice on the NHS Choices website under “Fluoride” makes it a suitable body to provide objective information on the claimed dental benefits of fluoride.
The NHS Choices website section on fluoride is due for review in January 2014 and we have asked Public Health England (PHE) to review the information and make recommendations by
Pending that review, we are advised by PHE that there is no credible scientific evidence that water fluoridation at 1 part per million, the target level for water fluoridation schemes in England, or fluoridated toothpaste, used as such, is a cause of general ill health.
Regarding dental fluorosis, we are advised by PHE of a recent research by McGrady and co-workers, published in BMC Public Health 2012, comparing levels of dental fluorosis in fluoridated Newcastle and unfluoridated Manchester which showed that 0.1% of children in Newcastle had severe fluorosis compared with 0.2% in Manchester; the prevalence of moderate fluorosis was 1% in Newcastle compared to 0% in Manchester, these being far lower levels than those suggested by the York review.