Putting fluoride in the municipal water supply is said to prevent dental decay. However, it also causes dental problems in the form of ‘dental fluorosis’, and may well pose hazards deeper within the body too. I recently wrote a blog post about this, and included 50 reasons for opposing fluoridation from the advocacy group Fluoride Action Network.
Here in the UK water supplies are not fluoridated. However, the law in the UK permits strategic health authorities to compel water companies to add fluoride to the water supply. Recently, South Central Strategic Health Authority made a decision to fluoridate the water of about 200,000 people in the region of Southampton (on England’s south coast). A resident made a legal challenge to this, but the judge ruled in favour of the strategic health authority. You can read about this story here.
Some would argue that consumers should have some say in what is in the water piped into their homes. Well, apparently, laws in both the UK and US permit forced medication on the people. One could argue that individuals who don’t want to drink fluoridated water should just look elsewhere. However, it does seem somewhat unfair that those who likely pay for their water either indirectly (in the form of taxes) or directly (to water companies) should have to go to the trouble and expense of filtering their water filtered or sourcing an alternative supply (e.g. bottled water).
Plus, there are important political and ethical considerations here. Increasingly, it seems as though some governments are taking to remove the people from the decision-making process regarding fluoridation of water supplies. Governments are essentially saying ‘we know what is best for you and your views will be ignored.’ This is not how a true democracy works, surely?
In the video below you can watch Ralph Nader, lawyer and long-time consumer protector talk about some of the ethical and political issues that forced water fluoridation raises. Should you feel strongly about this issue, then please consider writing to your local political representative.