Water fluoridation forced on UK residents despite considerable concerns about the safety and effectiveness of this practice

Last week one of my blogs focused on mammography. My objection here, in a nutshell, is that it seems this practice has been presented to women as a no-brainer, when in reality it has a number of important downsides that put quite a dent in the arguments for mammography that many of us will be all too familiar with. The real problem here is that the problems associated with mammography are not generally communicated to women, who therefore not in a position to make an informed choice about whether to attend for screening or not.

Women do generally seem to be put under considerable political pressure to have mammography, but on the plus side, they can’t actually be forced to attend (at this time, anyway). So, should a women feel strongly enough that she doesn’t want to have a mammogram, then she doesn’t have to have it.

I was thinking about this concept of informed consent while reading this morning about a story that concerns the fluoridation of water. While, again, some individuals present water fluoridation as a no-brainer, there is indeed plenty of reasons to be wary of it. For a start, the most comprehensive analysis of the effects of water fluoridation revealed that it helped prevent dental decay in approximately one in six individuals, while it causes dental damage (dental fluorosis) in about one in two.

On top of this, we have the fact that fluoride is a potentially toxic substance, and has been linked with diverse adverse effects on health. For more on this, see here.

As with mammography, proponents often seem less than keen to provide a balanced view on fluoridation by informing individuals of the potential problems associated with the practice.

The story I was reading this morning concerns Southampton, a city on the south coast of England, UK. The Strategic Health Authority in the area (South Central Strategic Health Authority – SCSHA) has essentially compelled the water company in the area to add fluoride to the water supply. Before this, though, the SCSHA put the proposal out for consultation. Of the 10,000-odd people who expressed an opinion, almost three-quarters opposed the introduction of fluoridation. But the SCSHA is now compelling to the relevant water company to do it anyway.

There’s an obvious problem here, isn’t there? What’s the point of putting something out to for public consultation if, then, you’re going to simply ignore the wishes of the majority of those individuals? This is hardly democracy in action.

So, now, whether they like it or not, 200,000-odd people have no choice but to have fluoridated water piped into their homes. Claims that fluoride can prevent tooth decay mean that it essentially being used here as a medicament. So, what we have here is a situation where individuals are being mass-medicated (without their consent, remember). The administration of this medication will not, obviously, taken into account need or past medical history. And also the dosage will not be specific by a doctor or dentist: it will be dictated by individuals themselves, and depend on how thirsty they are.

Taking all of this into account, then it’s difficult, I think to make a case for water fluoridation on public health grounds. With this in mind, then it seems reasonable to consider whether there is any evidence that the practice of water fluoridation has been pushed at us (and even forced on us) as a result of commercial and political influence and agenda. For more on this, see this video featuring Christopher Bryson, a former BBC producer and author of the book The Fluoride Deception.

17 Responses to Water fluoridation forced on UK residents despite considerable concerns about the safety and effectiveness of this practice

  1. John Duggan 27 February 2009 at 3:26 pm #

    I am not sure if I buy this. My generation (growing up in Ireland in 1950′s and 60′s) had universally dire teeth, despite assiduous brushing and flossing. Similarly, when I arrived in Portugal in 1990, most people seemed to have a head full of rotten teeth (or completely empty of teeth at all). More recent generations, in both countries, have magnificent teeth, although both are addicted to seriously junky food. It does not seem to me that dental hygiene practices or awareness have changed significantly. Step forward, fluoride?

  2. Liz Smith 27 February 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    I make a point of buying toothpaste without fluoride because of the problem how it affects my thyroid. Anyone who has thyroid problems is warned to stay away from it. Fluoride does not save teeth, eating the right foods and cleaning the teeth save teeth. It infringes my civil rights also, when I state I do not want other peoples medication in my water system. How soon before blood pressure medication goes in, oh and then the next thing will be statins, they are trying very hard to get everyone on them.Do you think this is a guise to take attention away from the fact that we don’t have enough dentists in the country??? They cant bury fluoride at sea and isnt it more deadly than mercury?

  3. John Ivens 27 February 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    The answer to fluoride is simple. It is rejected by 98% of Europeans, in that it has been forbidden in their water supplies.
    More and more countries are removing fluoride from thir water supplies.
    Let me add that the so called “science” attributed to fluoridation, both 50 years ago in the US and here, has been proven to have been fraudulent, and invented for commercial reasons.
    The 2000 York Study,still spewed out by the Department of Health, has been exposed as having deliberately distorted the evidence presented to them.
    It has been described by a contributor as “a total fraud”, on air in Canada. I don’t hear of any slander writs being issued by York or the DoH?
    As I understand it, it is illegal under EU Directives, which forbid the medication of water supplies.
    Ireland is the only country left, after the UK, still fluoridating.
    It is interesting to note that the Irish Government has never approved fluoride as a safe medication, yet makes it mandatory for all Authorities to add this poison to their supplies.
    Strikes me they could not find any Body to support it as a safe form of medication, If it was, they would be promoting the findings of such a Body.
    Make no mistake, fluoride is one of the deadliest toxins known to man. It also contains mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Are these people insane?
    Ireland buys all its Fluoride compounds via an importer who buys them from a Company largely owned by the Finnish Government.
    So Finland Fluoridates their water? Wrong! They aren’t stupid, but they are happy to supply Governments which are demented.

  4. Chris 27 February 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    Scary.

  5. Carl Munson 27 February 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    So fluoride toothpastes and other dental products are similarly harmful?

    I’m so suspicious and wary of dentists, most seem to ruthlessly promote (or at least not undermine) fluoride, mercury and root canal treatments – all of which are controversial.

    Where do I find a safe dentist? Do they exist?!

  6. TheQuickBrownFox 27 February 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    These links say it all really:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLgKeHOgneQ
    This is from the Senior Vice President of the EPA Headquarters Union. It represents the opinion of the scientists who work for the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency with no bias from political pressure. Excuse the annoying editing and sound effects.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_water_fluoridation
    Sums up the cons and possible cons nicely.

  7. John Ivens 28 February 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    The amount of fluoride in a pea sized blob of toothpaste, is the same as that in a glass of water.You should drink at least 8 glasses of water daily.
    If you ingest just one pea-sized blob of fluoridated toothpaste, you are told on the tube to seek immediate medical help.What is the equivalent of 8 blobs doing to you every day?
    See Youtube of flouridated woman crawling on all fours. 3 minutes of agony to watch. No Authority could win a case for fluoridation if shown this in Court.
    Maybe she drank too much tea? Tea can have up to 11 ppm of fluoride in it.
    Concerned people in fluoridated areas should get together and sue the local Water Authority. If it gets heard in a Jury Court they must win. In the general population up to 90% are opposed.
    Ask yourself how was it that a Committee of 11 lay persons decided unanimously that parts of Southampton should be fluoridated?
    Clearly they either hadn’t studied all the evidence, or maybe they had been got at? The cost of disposing of hugely toxic hexafluorosilicic acid is massive. It is so dangerous it will eat into any glass container.
    There are huge sums of money at stake. If you had a load of it to dispose of, wouldn’t you want to “influence” the Body which has the power to decide on fluoridation?
    Is that how the decision was “arrived at” to fluoridate 6 million people in England?
    Pass this summary by the Green Party on to everyone you know, particularly those in fluoridated areas. Get them to show it to any Lawyer.
    ————————————————————————-

    “Water fluoridation contravenes UK law, EU directives and the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.”

    A Green Party press office briefing
    8 July 2003
    Contact Hugo Charlton or Spencer Fitz-Gibbon
    Green Party press office: 020 7561 0282
    press@greenparty.org.uk
    With thanks to Douglas Cross
    Contents:
    1. Introduction

    2. Fluoridation illegal under Poisons Act

    3. Illegal under Codified Pharmaceuticals Directive

    4. Violates code of medical ethics

    5. Illegal medical research in Britain

    6. Violates European Convention on Human Rights

    7. Violates European Charter on Fundamental Rights

    8. Illegal offer of indemnity under the Water Bill

    9. In breach of consumer legislation

    10. Voting on local fluoridation violation
    1. Introduction
    The Water Bill due before parliament tomorrow (9 July 2003) proposes to extend the power of the health sector to enforce fluoridation of the public water supplies. It also proposes to extend indemnity for consequential liability from suit to water suppliers. These proposals are incompatible with existing English legislation on the administration of poisonous substances, and violate English and European Union provisions governing the use of medicinal substances. They are also incompatible with international standards relating to medical ethics, and the protection of the rights of the individual under human rights legislation. The declaration by Lord Whitty on compatibility of the Water Bill with the European Convention on Human Rights fails to address these incompatibilities and is invalid.

    2. The use of the specified chemicals for water fluoridation is illegal under the Poisons Act

    Fluorosilicates are Part 2 Poisons under the Poisons Act 1972, and have no medicinal use, as the Medicines Control Agency has repeatedly stated. Their addition to the public water supply therefore constitutes a criminal action, existing legislation on fluoridation notwithstanding. Reference to a poison in the Poisons Act includes substances containing that poison. It is
    consequently in violation of ss 23 and 24 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which forbids the administration of any poisonous or noxious substance.

    3. The use of unregistered substances for medicinal purposes is illegal under the Codified Pharmaceuticals Directive 2001/83/EEC

    The intent to medicate renders any substance presented as having any beneficial effect on a medical condition a medicinal substance under Article 1 of this Directive, irrespective of its efficacy. All medicinal substances must be registered as such, and subjected to full clinical testing for safety. Fluorosilicates have not been so registered nor tested for safety. Manufacturing these chemicals under BS EN 12174/5 does not authorise their use as medicinal substances.

    4. The use of fluoridation chemicals to medicate the public
    indiscriminately violates the code of medical ethics set out in the Council of Europe’s Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine

    This Convention establishes a valid Code of Medical Ethics and is widely accepted throughout Europe – the failure of the British Government to endorse it does not render its provisions invalid, as all such national codes should comply with the principles set out therein. States may not medicate any individual except under exceptional conditions of recognised public health emergencies. All medical interventions must be carried out under proper medical supervision, and in accordance with the patient’s needs and fully informed wishes.

    5. Water fluoridation as practised in Britain is illegal medical research

    In a Briefing Paper issued by the Medical Research Council, (June 2003) the Government “asked the Medical Research Council to explore how any further research could most productively be focused in order to strengthen the knowledge base concerning water fluoridation and its effects on health.” This statement establishes that fluoridation is a medication, and that its safety has not been adequately established and needs to be subject to ‘further research. The proposal to expose the whole population of the country to these unregistered medical substances is therefore a proposal to carry out medical research on an expanded experimental population, but has not been submitted to scrutiny by an independent Medical Ethics Committee. It therefore violates the guidelines set out in the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, and constitutes medical malpractice by the State.

    6. Water fluoridation violates the European Convention on Human Rights

    Paragraphs 56, 57 and 59 of the Home Office Guidance Notes on the application of the Human Rights Act establish that fluoridation violates Articles 3 and 8 of the Human Rights Act, and also Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention. Since fluoridation is the illegal administration of a registered poison with no medicinal authorisation, it constitutes a State sanctioned
    criminal act against the public, and is incompatible with the Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. Where children are involved – indeed, specifically targeted – such an act also raises issues under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    7. Fluoridation violates Article 35 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights

    Under Article 35 of the Charter, the right to health care includes the right to refuse health care, for whatever reason. It establishes the individual’s right to receive particular drugs or treatments – or to prevent them from having such treatment administered against their wishes.

    8. The offer of indemnity in respect to water fluoridation under the Water Bill is illegal.

    The offer in the Water Bill to extend indemnity against liability to water suppliers constitutes an offer of contract between the Government and water providers. The addition of registered poisons to the public water supply is a criminal act that violates the provisions of the Poisons Act, notwithstanding enabling legislation relating to these chemicals. Contracts that relate to illegal actions are themselves illegal. Indemnifying defendants in criminal or civil claims from the public taxation purse is a travesty of the responsibility of Parliament to defend the rights of the people.

    9. Water fluoridation is in breach of consumer legislation, and implies product liability.

    Water is a product. The Water Quality Regulations governing the maximum amount of a substance that may be present in drinking water are not a licence to add that substance to the product up to that maximum. Any consumable product that is subjected to illegal contamination by unregistered medicinal substances, or by registered poisons, cannot be considered to be wholesome. Consumer product liability does not require proof of medical damage or actual bodily harm.

    10. Voting on local fluoridation would violate Article 17 of the Convention on Human Rights (Prohibition on the abuse of rights).

    Permitting a public vote to establish a ‘majority preference’ violates the principle of the absolute right of any individual to refuse that medication. It constitutes an attempt to induce the public to endorse an act that violates the rights of a (presumed) minority, and is illegal under Article 17 of the Convention on Human Rights.

    The Green Party gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Doug Cross, environmental analyst and forensic ecologist.
    Website http://www.fieldforensics.co.uk

  8. Tony 28 February 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    As with mammography, proponents often seem less than keen to provide a balanced view on fluoridation by informing individuals of the potential problems associated with the practice.

    I don’t think your comments on mammography were particularly balanced. There’s a much better analysis here, perhaps you should read it.

    http://nhsblogdoc.blogspot.com/2009/02/jade-goody-professor-michael-baum.html#links

    For a start, the most comprehensive analysis of the effects of water fluoridation revealed that it helped prevent dental decay in approximately one in six individuals, while it causes dental damage (dental fluorosis) in about one in two.

    Where are these figures from?

  9. simona 1 March 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    I’ve moved to Ireland ten years ago from Eastern Europe and I am sure the fluorisilic acid in the water supply here is bad for my health, although the blood test of free T4 and TSH doesn’t show it. (see also Dr. Briffa’s articles on subclinical hypothyroidism and the new TSH values adopted in the US – over 1,5 might mean an under active thyroid) The dentist even said not to rinse at night after washing my teeth with a fluoride tooth paste. Obviously it depends on how much water you drink but also, more importantly, on how often you have a bath or a shower as it is absorbed through the skin. Totally wrong.
    Thanks for all the links John Ivens.

  10. Dr John Briffa 1 March 2009 at 11:54 pm #

    Tony

    “I don’t think your comments on mammography were particularly balanced.”

    The blog piece was designed to counterbalance the usually overwhelmingly positive information women get regarding mammography. Proponents of mammography have done a very good job of highlighting the benefits of this practice, it’s the downsides that are less well known and need highlighting now, I think.

    Even the post you direct us to states regarding the BMJ article on which my piece was based:
    “Above all, it is an article pushing for further, better and different information to be given to women who wish to take part in the breast screening programme. Hard to argue with that.”

    “Where are these figures from?”

    BMJ 2000;321:855-859

  11. Martin Fox 2 March 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Readers might find the summary on fluoride and other topics useful at http://www.healthywater.com.

    Besides noting the cons of fluoridation, an often overlooked factor is the relationship of hard water (water high in minerals, namely calcium and magnesium) to protect us from harmful agents commonly found in drinking water.

    Various animal studies conducted and noted at the website are pretty clear and support a host of epidemiological research.

    In brief, animals given harmful substances in hard water and in soft water resulted in less of the harmful substances found in tissues than those given soft water laced with different harmful agents.

    Martin Fox
    (Author of Healthy Water — BTW: I do not sell water treatment products)

  12. Lillian winter 3 March 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    I understand that mothers in the US have been advised not to mix baby milk formula with fluoridated water.

  13. Tony 4 March 2009 at 12:28 am #

    “Where are these figures from?”

    BMJ 2000;321:855-859

    Ah, I see. So when you said “the effects of water fluoridation revealed that it helped prevent dental decay in approximately one in six individuals, while it causes dental damage (dental fluorosis) in about one in two” you ignored the caveats in the study:

    The outcome of fluorosis was the most studied of all the adverse effects considered. Observer bias may be of particular importance in studies that assess fluorosis. Because assessment is subjective, unless the observer is blinded to the exposure status of the person being evaluated, bias can be introduced. Efforts to reduce potential observer bias were rarely undertaken in the included studies. The prevalence of fluorosis is overestimated by the indices used in the included studies because enamel opacities not caused by fluoride may be included. The degree to which the estimated 48% prevalence of fluorosis at a water fluoride concentration of 1 ppm overestimates the true prevalence is unknown. Figures 3 and 4 do not originate at 0% fluorosis because all areas included in the studies had at least a small amount of fluoride in the water. In addition, the effects of fluoride from other sources may also be playing a part.

  14. Cathy 18 May 2009 at 2:52 am #

    The fluoride added to our drinking water is fertiliser waste imported from Holland. The importers are Albatros Fertilizers Ltd., New Ross, County Wexford. This is not a manufactured product, it is contaminated with considerable amounts of Arsenic, Lead and Antimony. These are all toxic heavy metals. Arsenic and lead are both proven carcinogens i.e. cancer causing. The document below was accessed under the Freedom of Information Act 1997 from the Eastern Health Board. The Dept. of Health is not only adding fluoride to our water but arsenic and lead also. These are all accumulative toxins i.e. they build up in our tissues and organs. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fluoride is more toxic than lead and slightly less toxic than arsenic but we are drinking unmeasured, uncontrolled levels of all three chemicals everyday! This toxic cocktail is forced upon us for the good of our teeth. We have no choice.
    The health damage linked to fluoride includes dental fluorosis, hip fractures, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, neurological damage, thyroid dysfunction, decreased fertility and allergic response
    WATER IS GOOD FLUORIDE IS NOT!

  15. Anne 14 February 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    MINISTER MISLEADS DAIL:
    On 21/3/2000, the Minister of Health was asked, by J. Gormley (Green Party), if, “chromium is present in hydrofluoslicic acid, the fluoridating agent imported from Holland used to facilitate fluoridation of drinking water?” Minister Martin replied that the acid fluoride “does not contain chromium”.
    FFW obtained a sample of this acid fluoride and had it chemically analysed at an independent laboratory in Dublin. This analysis confirmed our greatest fears, chromium is present and at similar levels as the arsenic also present. Minister Martin misled the Dail and the Irish people. This is misinformation at best or even fraudulent if Minister Martin is aware of the contaminants of this hazardous waste product of the fertiliser industry.
    CAL Limited,
    95 Merrion Square,
    Dublin 2, Ireland.
    Tel: 353 1 661 3033
    Fax: 353 1 661 3399
    CHEMICAL ANALYSIS CONFIDENTIAL REPORT No. W8158
    Lab No. 23034
    Sample Description: Hydrofluosilicic Acid
    Date Reported: 14/08/2000
    TEST RESULT
    Calcium 51ppm
    Magnesium 23.9ppm
    Sodium 33.6ppm
    Potassium 6.2ppm
    Aluminium 2.1ppm
    Boron 14ppb
    Manganese 571ppb
    Copper 90ppb
    Zinc 523ppb
    Phosphorus 26187ppm
    Barium 168ppb
    Iron 11.85ppm
    Sulphur 134.9ppm
    Arsenic 4826ppb
    Cadmium 4ppb
    Chromium 3763ppb
    Mercury 5ppb
    Nickel 1742ppb
    Lead 15ppb
    Selenium 2401ppb
    Thallium <2ppb
    Antimony 14ppb
    Tin 4ppb
    Cobalt 56ppb
    Strontium 88ppb
    Molybdenum 490ppb
    Beryllium <2ppb
    Vanadium 87ppb
    According to the Irish Medicines Board, this hydrofluosilicic acid has never been proven safe or effective and not surprisingly is unregistered, unlicensed and not considered a medicine. So, what is it and why is it untested? Why are we drinking unmeasured, uncontrolled levels of this toxic cocktail without the freedom to make an informed choice?

  16. Joanna 27 May 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    This is so big-brotherish! We have to fight to retain our individual freedoms and as in this case- allow our bodies to heal themselves, which most of the time they do, helping them along with better diet and lifestyle, rather than toxic waste and other pills and drugs. They can never replace what nature has already provided!

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  1. Briffa On Fluoridation « jdc325’s Weblog - 5 March 2009

    [...] John Briffa has a blog. His latest post is about fluoridation. I think I agree with Dr Briffa on some points: for one thing, it seems to me [...]

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