The following article in the UK Independent newspaper would be amusing if it wasn't so serious. Fluoride as used in the water supply is a highly toxic, medicinal compound (actually a waste product from the fertilizer industry) that has yet to be put through a drugs approval regime. Fluoride delivered via the water supply is a mass medication programme which is difficult to escape without spending large amounts of money on sophisticated water filtration systems.

Fluoride has been associated with a wide range of health effects in humans and laboratory animals including dental fluorosis (mottling of teeth found in some children exposed to fluoridated water caused by loss of calcium),increased risk of bone fractures (osteoporosis) and even mutations and cancer.

Sodium fluoride, the form of fluoride present in many toothpastes, is also highly toxic, and most peculiarly, is listed on the positive (allowed) list of the Food Supplements Directive, while very valuable naturally occuring nutrients like natural vitamin E (mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols) and around 300 other vitamin and mineral forms currently used in products are not.

The minister failed to make mention of the need to educate children to reduce or stop sugar consumption, or to consider other aspects of the diet in relation to dental and general health.

We wonder wonder why healthcare is in disorder....?

UK residents, please express your opinions on this subject by writing to: [email protected] and also write to your MP (find your MP via They Work for You )

The Independent, 23 October 2003

"Dump your toothbrush, says health minister"

By Marie Woolf Chief Political Correspondent

Children up and down the country will be delighting at the latest public health advice from ministers: throw away your toothbrush.

Drinking a glass of fluoridated water is now the "preferred method" of preventing tooth decay, according to the public health minister, and is cheaper and easier than brushing.

Melanie Johnson wrote to MPs last week informing them that brushing requires "ongoing positive personal action by the individual". But people who drink fluoridated water can protect their teeth "without needing to take any personal action".

Ms Johnson's letter, designed to persuade MPs not to block her proposals to make it easier to add fluoride to the public water supply, says "there are important reasons to consider water fluoridation as the preferred method of preventing tooth decay on a population basis".

She goes on to compare brushing with drinking fluoridated water, and concludes that the latter brings more health benefits.

She adds: "An alternative to water fluoridation is fluoride toothpaste. But water fluoridation delivers greater reductions in decay than toothpaste and reaches the whole population rather than just those who adhere to a regular cleaning regime using fluoride toothpaste.

"It is also cheaper - water fluoridation costs around 50p per person per year; a year's supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste costs around £10."

Her comments have outraged MPs, who will vote today on the government proposals in a standing committee on the water bill.

Simon Thomas, environment spokesman for Plaid Cymru and a member of the committee, said: "She seems to be saying we should stop brushing our teeth and should drink fluoride with water. It's crazy.

"These proposals are full of contradictions. She says that it is not possible to encourage people to eat more healthily. But what about all these government obesity programmes?"

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said the government was "only going to encourage areas with poor dental health to fluoridate water".