3 Sep 2010

Lymington Times - High Court fluoride battle delayed to 2111

High Court fluoride battle delayed to 2111
THE start of the legal battle over a scheme to add fluoride to the water of 8,000 people in Totton has been pushed back to next year.
If all goes as planned, anti-fluoride campaigners will now face NHS chiefs in the High Court on Thursday January 20th to argue in a judicial review against the controversial chemical.
The plan affects 190,000 people around Southampton, including Totton because of the layout of the pipes. Fluoridation was proposed to combat child tooth decay and approved by South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) last year.
The case is being brought by city resident Geraldine Milner who accused the SHA of failing to have regard to government policy, and also not properly considering the arguments against fluoridation.
That second claim was rejected by a judge, but an appeal was scheduled in November to try to overturn that decision. It will now be bound up into a single hearing starting in January.
The SHA, which has put aside £400,000 to fight the case, objected to the move, but it was welcomed as "sensible" by Leigh Day and Co, acting on Ms Milner's behalf.
Lawyer Sean Humber said: "We remain confident that there are really good legal arguments in favour of our client and that the process was
A spokesman for the SHA said: "The decision made by South Central Strategic Health Authority in 2009 was carried out in accordance with the relevant legislation laid down by parliament.
"The judicial review of the decision, which is due to be heard in January 2011, will be determined by existing legislation."
Opponents fear dangerous side effects, resent "forced medication" and want a referendum, but the SHA say their fears are overblown.
A 15,000-name petition was submitted against the plan and during consultation 72% of 10,000 respondents were against — although a Mori telephone poll for the SHA showed only 38% opposed against 32% in support.
THE campaigners are holding a public talk by a scientist opponent.
Professor Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network, will answer questions at a free meeting organised by Hampshire Against Fluoridation which is fighting the NHS plans.
It will be on Saturday September llth from 2pm-4pm at Solent University Conference Centre, Above Bar Street, Southampton.

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