This is welcome news for the residents of southern England’s coastal city Southampton. The residents’ views on fluoridation were famously totally ignored by the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA), which appears intent on adding fluoride to the area water supply irrespective of its population’s wishes. Councillors originally approved the controversial plans, but in an unexpected victory for democracy, Southampton City Council has finally heeded the feelings of the people who elected it. They’ve finally decided, by a majority of 2 to 1, to oppose the fluoridation scheme, and have pledged to use their soon-to-be acquired powers to prevent fluoridation of their city’s water.
But as we pointed out before, the SHAs aren’t due to be abolished until April 2013, which could well be too late to change things in Southampton unless some valuable time can be bought! Fortunately, if events in the North West of England are anything to go by, delays could be on the cards. The Lancashire Telegraph reportsthat the National Health Service (NHS) North West have put fluoridation plans on hold, due both to the scheme’s exhorbitant expense and an unrealistic proposed timeframe for consultation and completion of the fluoridation programme. At a cost of “around £200 million over a period of five or six years – with annual operating costs of £6 million”, this is not something to rush into!
Let’s also hope that, when councils take over responsibility for fluoridation schemes, Southampton City Council will be able to honour its pledge to its citizens. But we need to watch this closely, given our concerns that its mandate may be overridden by the sweeping new powers proposed for the Secretary of State in the updated legislation.
Call to action
If you live in the UK, write to Andrew Lansley MP, Secretary of State for Health: express your concern that the UK government is ignoring recent developments in fluoridation science and regulation (for more information see ANH Clean Drinking Water campaign).
Also express your concern about the Southampton scheme in view of the fact that the NHS North West has put fluoridation plans on hold, due both to the scheme’s exorbitant expense and an unrealistic proposed timeframe for completion of the fluoridation programme
Send your letter hard copy to:
Department of Health
Alternatively, you can email the Department of Health via its contact form
Avoid fluoride: if you live in an area that is or will soon be fluoridated, think about installing a comprehensive filter system – such as a reverse osmosis filter – to remove the majority of fluoride and other contaminants from your drinking water
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