12 Mar 2012

Daily Echo - Time to drop this unwanted project

Time to drop this unwanted project
THREE years ago, in the face of widespread local opposition, the South Central Strategic Health Authority voted to impose water fluoridation upon the area. Three years on and the scheme is still not implemented and local opposition is now greater than it was in 2008/9. In fact, three years on we find:
1. Levels of dental decay are now at an historic low in Southampton.
2. Southern Water has not completed an operational feasibility study so we do not even know whether the
scheme will be possible, what areas it might cover or how much it will cost.
3. There is now universal democratic opposition to the scheme by all local councils and MPs.
4. Within fluoridated countries, more and more are
choosing to end the practice due to health concerns - some 3 million fewer people now receive fluoridated water in North America since 2009.
5. Further research confirms that in fluoridated areas infants receive excessive doses of fluoride above recommended daily limits.
6. More studies have been published questioning the efficacy and safety of fluoridation.
7. Dental fluorosis has reached epidemic proportions in fluoridated areas in the USA with over 50 per cent of adolescents having fluorosed teeth.
8. There is increasing evidence that targeted community-based schemes are effective.
9. The SHA will be abolished in 2013 and powers on fluoridation passed to Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council -both of whom oppose the scheme.
Isn't it time that the SHA stopped wasting NHS money on this scheme? Having spent well over half-a-million pounds trying to put it in place, all they have succeeded in doing is creating greater opposition. It is about time they recognised that water fluoridation is unnecessary, unwanted, ineffective and unethical. Fluoridation plans must be scrapped and resources invested instead in targeting community-based initiatives which have been proven to be effective.
STEPHEN PECKHAM, Chairman, Hampshire Against Fluoridation.

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