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Fluoridation in Hull and the East Riding: Why Now?


This meeting was put on by Hull Green Party in association with Hull Red Labour and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity and was one of the best attended and genuinely interesting Public Meetings I have been at in the last few years.

The evening kicked off with a brief but very insightful introduction from Martin Deane who is the Chair of Hull and East Riding Green Party.

Just as an aside Martin’s speech re enforced my personally held view that the Left should speak with one voice as often as we can. The Capitalists have no problem sinking their differences when it comes to money so why, when it comes to caring for people do we spend so much time infighting? If an anti austerity candidate is standing would it be best practice to allow them a free run if it meant not putting forward another person? That way you unify the vote against those who wish to implement austerity. A Broad Left Coalition could be positive step at election time as people like Martin would be excellent councillors. Community before Party as it were.

Toxicity: Martin showed us a graph which demonstrates what chemists think about fluoride. They tell us it is more toxic than lead, and nearly as toxic as arsenic. He then explained some of the health hazards associated with the product which is mined in Finland and shipped here from Belgium. When it is mined it is a hazardous compound but when it is shipped into the UK it has, by some miracle become a useful by product. This is Orwellian Double Speak at its best.

fluorideVsLeadArsenicToxicity (1)

Marin then gave way to Joy Warren who is a campaigner from Coventry and is part of West Midlands Against Fluoridation.

She pointed out the interesting response from Cllr Inglis who is Chair of Hull Health and Well Being Board on the issue, A dentist said to me that anybody who opposes fluoridation should hold down a screaming child while they apply general anaesthetic to remove most of their teeth.She wondered why Mr. Inglis was so very vociferous in his language and cited such a hysterical scenario. It reminded me of a scene in the Simpsons where the Mayor asks permission for CCTV in the town and poses the question, “All those in favour say, “aye”. All those against say, “I hate America””.  

My question is this; why now? When the Council is facing a Budget crisis and being forced to make swingeing cuts why would you put aside £100,000 a year for three years. That’s ten jobs that could be funded over three years.

Mr. Inglis and Hessle and Hull West MP Alan Johnson cited statistics to back up their positive view on fluoride. Unfortunately the “sample” quoted regarding bad teeth for three year olds in Hull was 66. You need at least 250 to make it valid. This is an example of Bad Science being quoted to back up something that it looks like will be a fait accompli.

However Joy did state a list of ailments associated with fluoridation including thyroid and collagen disruption, dementia, bone fractures (when challenged she denied saying “fracture” but I noted it when she said this) tumours, cancer and low IQ. No statistics were given. Indeed how can you measure low IQ when there is no base line to start with?

The main issues for me are around mass medication without consent. The benefits, if there are any seem minuscule as the rate of decay in (fluoridated) Birmingham are 12.4% compared to 15% in Hull. And this figure doesn’t take into account variables such as hard/ soft water, whether or not the water pipes are leaded, and poverty which is linked to bad diet and over use of sugar. Fluoride appears in the National Library of Medicine and is being put into water to deal with a medical issue. Therefore it is mass medication which is unethical and violates human rights because we realistically have no choice of supplier.

The UK has signed up to EU Directive 1631/2007 which states that the food supply cannot be tampered with regarding medical additives. Get Farage on it pronto!

In the Lancet there was a research paper published in 2014 by Grandjean and Landriger  which describes fluoride as a “neuro toxin. That’s the clincher for me. Why would we even consider taking such a risk?

Here is a list of places which have actively said no to fluoride. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Germany, Israel, and France to name just a few. Are these governments the, “howling protestors” that Cllr. Inglis is invoking?

Surely the key to improving dental health is education? I have the classic “British smile” of jagged broken teeth because we ate too many goodies in the 70’s and 80’s and didn’t go the dentist. My lad has perfect teeth because we started brushing early and restricted sugar intake. Dentists should have kids going on tours of their surgeries. Local Authorities should expand the excellent toothbrush programmes in schools and tackle the problem this way.

Foot note: It never ceases to amuse me that you have passionate defence of not poisoning our community via this issue or others such as fracking. You then see said protestors rush outside and light up a fag at the first opportunity as slaves to the addiction pushed by multi nationals and the capitalist system they speak against.

Thanks to Dean Kirk, Gill Kennett and Martin Deane for putting on the meeting which took place at Spring Bank Community Centre.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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