Is the West Midlands area tied into a mass fluoridation contract with Severn Trent which would make authorities liable for punitive damages if they withdrew?

Many will salute Bedford Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which – in April – unanimously recommended that fluoride should NOT be added to Bedford’s water.

bedford cllrs fluoridation

Mass medication brings large profits for manufacturers and those on whom they can confer benefits, but as yet most proposals have not been accepted.

fluoride UK mapThe map on the left shows the relatively low uptake of the fluoridation offer – and proposals to dose the population with substances such as statins or folic acid are yet to be accepted.

These practices – like drone warfare – rely on the pernicious principle of ‘acceptable risk’ as studies have suggested that up to one in five patients taking statins suffers some kind of ill-effect, including muscle aches, memory disturbance, cataracts and diabetes.

Would the 0-20% affected agree that this risk is acceptable?

Another proposal for adding folic acid to bread has also been studied; the noted rise in colorectal cancer is described as a ‘slight increase’ in statistical terms – again, not negligible to the people afflicted.

Mass medication through the food chain is affecting those who eat conventionally reared meat, poultry and dairy products.

Farm animals account for almost two thirds of all antibiotics used in 26 European countries.

Last year 20 senior representatives from health and medical organisations co-signed a letter published in the Times, calling on the UK Government and European Commission to put an end to routine, preventative antibiotic use in groups of healthy animals. A Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s report has revealed that the total UK veterinary sales in 2014 of antibiotics classified as “critically important in human medicine” increased by 3% to a new record high.

Bedford Councillor Anthony Forth (below) issued the following statement:

bedford cllr quoted“I would like to propose that following the review process, this committee recommends a termination of the existing water fluoridation scheme, subject to the necessary consultations that are outlined on pages 26 to 28. “I think that the evidence in favour of water fluoridation does seem extremely dated… On the other hand, a number of the pieces of evidence of dis-benefits are not as scientifically rigorous as we might like.

“I think that as a group we’re happy to accept the Precautionary Principle that there isn’t strong evidence for re-introducing fluoride, so therefore we should not go ahead.”

A video made by Fluoride Free Bedford includes footage of the council reflecting on this important decision.

One correspondent commented on a recent article about this decision that there was no need to take a precautionary approach: “as the concentration in the human body increases, so does the risk of damage But at the level used by most of the world in CFW being .7-1PPM there is little or no risk.”

Is he including the cumulative effect of the addition of fluoride, not only to the water supply, but to various foods and dental products?

Authorities in the American environmental and occupational health sector list the ‘exposure pathways’ in a study republished on the website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information:

  • ingestion of fluoridated public drinking water;
  • ingestion of soft drinks and fruit juices (beverages);
  • consumption of infant formula;
  • ingestion of cow’s milk;
  • consumption of foods; incidental ingestion of soil; ingestion of fluoride supplement tablets; and incidental ingestion of fluoride toothpaste.

Another well-qualified source, Professor K.K. Cheng (University of Birmingham) who co-authored Adding fluoride to water supplies, advises public and professional bodies to balance benefits and risks, individual rights and social values in an even-handed manner.

That study points out that those opposing fluoridation sometimes overstate the evidence on harm and also that the Department of Health’s objectivity is questionable: it funded the British Fluoridation Society and used the York review’s findings selectively to give an overoptimistic assessment of the evidence in favour of fluoridation.

In response to the Medical Research Council recommendations, Britain’s Department of Health, often said to be helping people to live better for longer, has commissioned research on the bioavailability (degree of absorption) of fluoride from naturally and artificially fluoridated drinking water.

Cheng points out that the study had only 20 participants and was too small to give reliable results – but despite this it has formed the basis of a series of claims by government for the safety of fluoridation.

Time for change – but change will come too late for those affected by the ‘acceptable’ risks.