20 Jul 2009

Echo letters

Better ways of offering us fluoride I AGREE that a referendum is a fairer way to decide if the Southampton area should be fluoridated than a vote by 12 unelected SHA members. Care would need to be taken to ask an unbiased question which does not lead or influence the person voting. It should be something like "Do you want fluoride to be added to your tap water supply?" Tick 'Yes' or 'No'. "Sometimes a biased question has been asked such as 'If fluoride could help children's teeth would you be in favour?'" However, the idea of adding a chemical to tap water to bring about changes in the human body is just not ethical. If even one person does not want to be forced to drink this chemical, no matter what anybody else wants, then it is not acceptable to force them to drink it. There are very few illnesses where a doctor can insist a patient must have treatment forced upon him. In France fluoride is added to salt, but non-fluoridated salt is available so people still have the choice. Fluoridated school milk is available but parents would be asked whether or not they give their permission. There are many ways to help children's teeth, but medicating everyone is not the answer. A WILLS, Ruislip. Poll us over fluoride with our water bills SOUTHAMPTON'S two MPs show little support for democracy in their stance on the issue of fluoridation, if all they can suggest is for the SHA to again promote the pro-fluoridation view. Most households facing the introduction of fluoride into drinking water receive an invoice at least annually from Southern Water. A tear-off slip on the invoice could ask those at the address to indicate Yes or No to fluoridation. This should not be too costly a polling device and would probably bring in a larger response than that achieved in local council elections. A safeguard would be for all replies to be sent to a neutral source for counting! Jim Horrocks, Hill Lane, Southampton.

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