25 Jun 2010

Lymington Times - MP demands government fulfil its fluoride promise

MP demands government fulfil its fluoride promise
THE government has been urged by New Forest Conservative MP Julian Lewis to fulfil its promise to block fluoridation if a majority of the public oppose it.
As reported in the 'A&T', despite a pre-election statement that residents' approval was "vital", a senior Tory told Dr Lewis in the House of Commons this month that the coalition had "no plans" to toughen consultation rules for how the chemical can be introduced.
The proposals from Southampton City Primary care Trust are to combat child tooth decay and will affect 190,000 people, including 8,000 in Totton. They were approved by South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) last year.
Dr Lewis said: "Although I was
disappointed with the response of Sir George Young, the Leader of the House of Commons, it is Andrew Lansley who has responsibility for this matter and I will continue to press hard to ensure that fluoridation is not imposed on a community which rejects it.
"The pledge given by a health spokesman in opposition must be honoured now that the Conservatives are in government."
Fluoride opponents fear dangerous side effects, resent "forced medication" and want a referendum. During consultation 72% of 10,000 respondents were against — although a Mori poll for the SHA showed only 38% opposed against 32% in support.
Fluoridation is also being fought
by councils for Totton and Eling, New Forest and Hampshire, and a judicial re\iew secured by objectors is due next year for which the SHA has put aside £400,000.
Tory health secretary Andrew Lansley sent a letter to Dr Lewis after Sir George's comments in the Commons, but did not make any promises.
He wrote: "Although, as you know, I have expressed concerns about this consultation, I think it would be best to allow the judicial review to take place, and then to decide how to proceed in the light of the court's judgement.
"The proposed fluoridation will not be allowed to proceed in any case, until after the judicial review has been heard."

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