15 February 2011
Pyrrhic UK court victory exposes fatal flaws in water fluoridation
Dublin 14th February 2011,
Pyrrhic UK court victory exposes fatal flaws in water fluoridation.
The UK high court confirmed on 11th Feb, 2011 that water fluoridation can lawfully be imposed on an unwilling English community, in a decision that simply underlines how ill-informed and irrational English health policy is on this issue (1).
The call for judicial review of the Strategic Health Authority’s decision to add fluoride to Hampshire drinking water against the wishes of local people was dismissed in an extremely narrow legal ruling that is relevant only to England. In Scotland, Wales and The Isle of Man this practice is prohibited and in 1996, Gerry Adams and Dr Paisley successfully opposed it in N. Ireland. No EU state bar Eire allows it today.
“Besides isolating English oral health policymakers from the rest of Europe and international best practice, this decision is a distinctly pyrrhic victory for UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley” said anti-fluoridation campaigner Robert Pocock of VOICE. “The court’s verdict directly contradicts Prime Minister David Cameron’s pre-election statement made in Hampshire that he was against compulsory fluoridation.”
Another key problem for Mr Lansley is why did he permit 400,000 pounds to be spent on legal defence by an SHA that he is in the process of abolishing along with the Primary Care Trust that initiated the fluoridation proposal.
Perhaps the most challenging question for the health secretary is how an SHA panel of appointed experts in health policy could be so woefully out of touch with international best practice. Incredibly the SHA ignored the conclusion of the systematic review of UK’s National Health Service in 2000 that besides not really preventing cavities, water fluoridation causes tooth mottling (dental fluorosis) in 48% of people. Only three years later almost identical conclusions persuaded the last fluoridated city in Switzerland, Basel, to end fluoridation after 41 years.
European policy was given further expression last May, 2010 when the European Scientific Committee on Environmental and Health Risks described the addition of fluoride to water as “a crude and rather ineffective measure of systemic fluoride treatment ..without a detectable threshold for dental and bone damage”. If councils in England persist with this deeply unpopular, coercive and harmful policy, they will further damage the already battered credibility of both the health secretary and current English oral health policy involving as it still does, mass treatment via drinking water.