12 Nov 2010

Lymington Times - MP warns minister of fluoride 'weasel words'

MP warns minister of fluoride 'weasel words'
A GOVERNMENT minister has been accused by a New Forest MP of "weasel words" as be challenged her to give local people the final say over adding- fluoride to their water.
The NHS scheme would affect 8,000 people in Totton and is part of a wider effort in Southampton to combat child tooth decay. But protesters are angry at what they see as "enforced medication" and fear side-effects on their health. They have launched a legal challenge for which the South Central Strategic Health Authority has set aside £400,000 to fight.
Julian Lewis, of New Forest East, exchanged letters with Conservative junior health minister Anne Milton in which she said NHS changes would mean a new method of consultation over fluoride, which could give councils a role.
But Dr Lewis wrote back: "That sounds suspiciously like the weasel words inserted in the existing regulations about public opinion having to be consulted. "Such is the arrogance of the pro-fluoridation fanatics that they are perfectly capable of trying to design new rules which would prevent democratically elected and accountable local authorities from having the final say.
"If the government believes in localism, at the very least the final say should lie with the local authorities — or, preferably in my view — with the people themselves where drinking water is concerned."
Mrs Milton said the government's policy on fluoride would be developed with the "lessons learned" from the outcome of the judicial review. That is expected to be heard in January next year.

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