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Hundreds of thousands of people in the West Midlands are forced to consume fluoride every day courtesy of Severn Trent Water. Barbara Panvel finds it hard to swallow.

“Is this a hoax?” I asked Dr Mansfield, when I came across the news – dated 2005 – of an amendment to a EU directive which would affect six million people in the UK who drink, cook with and bathe in fluoridated water.

It means that, when fluoride is added to water with the intent to medicate, the water becomes a medicine and must comply with the regulations relating to the registration, licensing, sale and administration of medicines.

Professor Vyvyan Howard, Toxico-Pathologist in the Centre for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Ulster welcomed this: “I am glad that there now appears to be a legal framework to test the dubious practice of mass medication via the water supply.

“There are so many unanswered questions relating to the addition of fluorosilicic acid to the water supply, particularly to the unborn and infants, that it is my personal and professional opinion that the practice should cease until the basic toxicological research required has been performed”.

It was also reported that campaigners held a two-hour meeting with Directors of the Board for the newly formed Consumer Council for Water at their HQ in Victoria Square House, Victoria Sq. Birmingham on 1st November 2005.

One of them, Midlands councillor Susan King, - Secretary of North and Midlands Against Fluoride - said, "There is now compelling evidence from the US that fluorides are carcinogenic linking them with bone cancer affecting young males.

“Water suppliers are not pharmacists. It’s totally unacceptable to add a known cumulative protoplasmic poison to our tapwater. The fluoride dosing equipment must be switched off now."

In my conversation with Dr Mansfield, I continued: “If it is not a hoax, why is fluoride still added to the supply by a few water authorities?”

Mansfield, who was selected for the NHS-funded University of York’s advisory panel on fluoridation, replied that this report was not a hoax but that the status of fluoride in the EU is still undetermined.

He has just completed an analysis of UK official research and concludes that fluoridation of water gives most consumers too much fluoride.

By ‘most consumers’ he will be referring to those using a range of products which contain fluoride - not only those whose water supply is fluoridated.

Fluoride, a poison which accumulates in the body, is present in fluoride tablets available over the counter, toothpaste, dental floss soaked in fluoride, mouthwash, white tooth colour fillings, fissure sealants, Prozac, Seroxat, some antibiotics, Californian red wine, tea and Teflon.

This is not the only report which was kept quiet: in 1998, Dr Peter Mansfield examined people in the fluoridated West Midlands and carried out fluoride-level tests on more than 200 volunteers. He found that 60 per cent of them were ingesting more fluoride than the Government considers safe.

Some of them had four times the “safe” level in their bodies. Mansfield sent his results to the highest levels at the Department of Health, but no action was taken.

In July this year Dr Mansfield’s analysis of UK official research was presented in Brussels and he hopes to be involved, this autumn, in proceedings intended to clarify the situation.

Few of us have the scientific background to make a decision on this subject, but when considering news of any kind, I place more weight on the evidence of experts and campaigners who have no financial interest in the outcome, than on presentations by those gaining research funding from companies who will profit from a decision in their favour.



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