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Letters to the Editor Issue 82

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 82 - November 2002

EU Supplements Directive

To: Nigel Griffiths MP

Your letter of 31 May, to Margaret Beckett, enclosing correspondence from your constituent Ms Crawford of Edinburgh, about recent or proposed European legislation relating to food supplements and herbal remedies has been passed to the Department of Health for reply. I am sorry you have not received an earlier response.

This is a complex regulatory area and it may be helpful if I summarise the main points in relation to each of the three relevant legislative initiatives.

The Food Supplements Directive
The Food Supplements Directive establishes a framework for harmonised legislation covering the composition (limited at the moment to vitamins and minerals) and labelling of food supplements. The Directive was adopted by Member States at Council of Ministers on 30 May.

The Directive will not immediately outlaw any products already on the UK market. The Directive gives Member States the opportunity to allow continued sale of products containing vitamin and mineral sources not yet on the permitted list for up to seven years after the Directive comes into force pending safety assessment of these sources. When implementing the Directive the Government intends to take full advantage of this flexibility.

The impact of the Directive on the future continued availability of products currently on the market, and hence on the supplement industry as a whole, will depend upon future developments on maximum limits and lists of permitted nutrients. In this regard, the Food Standards Agency is now directing its energies towards arguing the case for these maximum limits to be based on thorough scientific risk assessments.

Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products
Formal negotiations have begun in Europe on the proposed Directive. The Medicines Control Agency recently conducted a consultation exercise on the proposals. This has showed that there is a significant level of support for most of the main features of the proposals, including from experienced manufacturers and herbal practitioners. For example, it is clear that many, both within and outside the herbal sector, see the proposed safety and quality standards as necessary in order to protect the consumer. Experienced operators in the herbal sector have indicated their view that, overall, the Directive would enhance the strength and reputation of the herbal sector.

However, MPs will he aware that there are also strong concerns, notably from within the health food sector, that some of the standards may be over-regulatory and the Directive could adversely affect the availability of products. Ministers take these concerns seriously and we have extended the consultation exercise until the end of July so that those with concerns can provide specific examples of standards which they believe may be over-regulatory, or products, currently legally available which they believe might fall outside the scope of the Directive as currently drafted.

In the meantime the Government has already indicated that in negotiations the UK intends to press the case on two points which we know to be widely supported across the herbal sector that the Directive should include a specific date for early review of the scope for extending the Directive to at least some categories of traditional non herbal medicines; and that there should be provision for greater flexibility in assessing evidence from non European herbal traditions.

We have also undertaken to look carefully at the regulatory position of herbal/nutrient combination products in the light of concerns raised that some of these products lack a regulatory home. This is an existing regulatory issue, not one created by the Directive; nonetheless. in view of the strength of concerns raised, it is right that we look at these issues carefully,

Hazel Blears and I will be meeting a number of herbal interest groups before the summer break so that we can more effectively assess the various views that have been expressed.

Review of EU Legislation on Licensed Medicines
The European Commission has made proposals for wide ranging changes to the legislation which forms the basis of the EU medicines regulatory regime. These changes are designed to improve the regulation of licensed medicinal products (including homoeopathic products). The Government supports the overall objectives of the European Commission's review but there are some specific proposals about which we have concerns. One of these is the proposal to amend the definition of a medicinal product in the legislation and to include new provisions that would give precedence to medicines legislation for any product which fell within the definition of a medicinal product, even if that product was already regulated under other sectoral legislation Taken together, these amendments would have unacceptable and unwarranted consequences on the different regulatory systems currently in place for a wide variety of products. The Government sees no justification for this proposal and will continue to resist it, enlisting the support of other Member States.

Philip Hunt, Department of Health
Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SWIA 2N5  Tel: 020 7210 3000
Source: Catherine Crawford: inharmony@ btinternet.com

To: Catherine Crawford


Thank you for your letter dated 29 July expressing concerns about European proposals relating to the regulation of supplements and herbal remedies,

1 am aware that there exists at present concern that three separate European regulatory initiatives under recent or current negotiation may present a threat to the availability of supplements and remedies on the UK market. The three proposals are the Food Supplement. Directive, the Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products, and the proposals for reform of the EU legislation regulating licensed medicines.

Food Supplements Directive
As you are aware, the proposed Directive on Food Supplements plans to establish a framework for harmonised legislation covering the composition (limited at the moment to vitamins and minerals) and labelling of food supplements. The proposed Directive is likely to be finally agreed by Member States this summer and once adopted all Member States will have to implement it.

The Food Standards Agency, which has been representing the UK Government on this issue, argued strongly in negotiations that the law should allow food supplements which are safe and properly labelled to be freely marketed and that any restriction to the range of products should be justified on public health, rather than trade grounds. However, the majority of EU Member States did not share this view and called for a more restrictive approach based on supposed nutritional need. The common position text represents a hard-fought compromise which secured a number of hard-won concessions and which the Government finally supported as the best achievable deal.

The compromise text will not immediately outlaw any products already on the UK market. Lists of permitted vitamin and mineral sources remain open pending safety assessments for additional substances. The Government welcomes the amendment to Article 4(6)(b) which was recently adopted by the European Parliament and which extends the time for dossier submission from 18 to 36 months after the Directive comes into force.

The Directive gives Member States the opportunity to allow continued sale of products containing vitamin and mineral sources not yet on the permitted list for up to seven years after the Directive comes into force, pending safety assessment of these sources. When implementing the Directive the Government intends to take full advantage of this flexibility.

The impact of the Directive on the future continued availability of products currently on the market, and hence to the supplement industry as a whole, will depend on future developments on maximum limits and lists of permitted nutrients. In this regard, the Food Standards Agency is now directing its energies towards arguing the case for these maximum limits to be based on thorough scientific risk assessments. To this end, the Agency is working to forge strong links between the Scientific Committee on Food which will advise the Commission and Member States on this and the UK's Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals.

Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products
UK manufacturers of traditional herbal remedies and others in the herbal sector have indicated to the UK Government that there is a need for systematic quality standards throughput the supply chain to protect the public and the reputation of the sector. Trade in herbal remedies is international and in recent years there has been a range of incidents around the world, including the UK, the USA and the Far East, where similar looking, but toxic or potent, herbal ingredients have been found to be substituted for the correct ingredients. Contaminated or adulterated remedies have been identified on other occasions. The UK Government Medicines Control Agency (MCA) continues to identify such remedies on the UK market. The MCA has taken seriously warnings from many of the most experienced people in the herbal sector that the world-wide popularity of herbal medicines and the weakness of regulation has led to an increase in low grade herbal material and products circulating on the international markets, including that of the UK.

The proposed Directive would put in place important quality and manufacturing requirements. These include: reliable identification of materials; use of good quality herbal ingredients; systematic checks to ensure there are not unacceptable pesticide residues, heavy metals or other forms of contamination; data to support the proposed shelf life of the product; adequate premises and equipment; proper record keeping a suitably qualified person to take responsibility for the release of batches onto the market.

Some interest groups are concerned that such standards, as proposed in the Directive, are somehow inappropriate or inapplicable to herbal medicines, however the proposed standards are those which are already successfully met by various UK manufacturers of traditional herbal remedies, including small and medium sized businesses.

The regulation of modern nutrient/herbal combination products is a largely separate issue. The proposed Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products would have no affect at all on the current regulatory position of these modern products.

Review of EU legislation on licensed medicines
The European Commission has made proposals for wide ranging changes to the legislation which forms the basis of the EU medicines regulatory regime. These changes are designed to improve the regulation of licensed medicinal products (including homoeopathic products). This is currently under discussion in the European Parliament and will be voted upon in the autumn.

Blanket opposition to all three Directives may not be in the interests of the UK consumer. Where European negotiations are continuing, I trust the UK government to negotiate hard and oppose proposals where necessary. I believe that there is an opportunity to put in place an effective regulatory regime for traditional herbal remedies – one which will protect public health, consumer choice and help to promote long term stability in the market.

Be assured however that I am aware of your concerns. This is an important issue that is causing worry and some anger amongst my constituents and I intend to monitor it closely. The European Parliament is at present in Summer Recess. When I have more current information on these directives I will pass it on to you.

Yours sincerely
David Martin MEP (Scotland)
Vice President European Parliament
Telephone: 0131 654 1606; Fax 0131 654 3607
Email: david@martinmep.com

Editor's Note
Readers should not slacken in their resolve to fight to keep nutritional and herbal supplements freely available and not as medicines. Please support Consumers for Health Choice. Email: enquiries@healthchoice.org.uk Web: www.healthchoice.org.uk

Make Stress our Ally

"So many Britons are suffering from illness caused by stress at work, that a four day working week has been called for". This I heard on the radio recently.

Being a Professional and Corporate Stress Management Consultant, and having been a single working parent and businesswoman for the past 25 years, I felt I had to set the record straight.

Yes, stress can be responsible for a variety of mental and physical health problems – irritability, depression, lack of self esteem, mood swings, loneliness, phobias, insomnia, addictions, fatigue, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, panic attacks, allergies, a variety of digestive disorders, abdominal pain, headaches and migraines, vasomotor disturbances, high blood pressure and heart disease, nausea and urinary disorders among many others. Stress suppresses our immune systems, increasing our vulnerability to a variety of illnesses and allergies. It results in shallow, 'tight' breathing, leading to an insufficient oxygen supply to the brain and bodily tissues, and retention of carbon dioxide, produces muscular tension, and makes our hearts work harder, increasing blood pressure and pulse rates. But stress is never a CAUSE. It is a SYMPTOM. Our brains respond to what they perceive as a potentially stressful situation by causing our bodies to manufacture adrenalin. This gives us the energy and motivation to deal with the situation. In our more primitive past, this adrenalin release was used to respond to immediately life threatening situations (fight or flight syndrome). But the world we live in now does not always allow us the opportunity to utilize this release of adrenaline into the blood stream in such an immediately physical way, thus releasing the tension. So it builds up in the body causing stress.

Stress itself is neither positive nor negative, but neutral. It is our RESPONSE or RELATIONSHIP to stress that makes it a positive or negative experience. A certain amount of stress is necessary and even beneficial in our lives, provided we learn how to use it positively, and not allow it to 'use us!' It stretches us and makes us grow, giving us the enthusiasm and energy to strive towards our goals and dreams. Stress manifests out of our inability to cope with the pressures and challenges of everyday life. The 'triggers' vary from person to person, depending on personality, history, culture, strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, what turns us on and what doesn't. Some people can take, and indeed need, more stress than others. Our bodies and minds are simply the barometers of our individual stress limits. But our MINDS are always in command. We are psycho-physiological beings. Our minds, emotions and bodies are intimately interconnected. What affects one has an impact on all. When our minds and emotions are out of harmony. this message is transmitted to our bodies. When our minds are relaxed and happy, endorphins, among other neurochemicals are released, which changes the rhythm of our bodies.

Given this, how can stress related illness possibly be eliminated in everyone, by ordering a shorter working week? You may as well say 'don't go out on rainy days, because you'll get wet!' Well, you simply 'rain-proof yourself by wearing a coat or using an umbrella… You may as well say 'don't drive a car, because you'll have an accident and be killed!' But we wear seatbelts and try to drive cautiously. In other words, take reasonable, logical precautions against having an accident. It is not a forgone conclusion that 'if you go out in the rain you WILL get wet, or if you drive a car, you WILL have an accident. Stress is exactly the same. We can all be assured that we WILL meet stressful situations every day, whether in a work or home or travel environment. It is what we choose to do with it, that is important. There are plenty of simple, sensible, easy to learn methods of controlling stress levels in our lives. Driving a car can be pretty dangerous, if you don't take driving lessons first! So it is with stress. We can learn to 'stress-proof ourselves, preferably before it manifests in a serious or life threatening illness. But it is never too late to learn new habits and methods of coping. It IS within our power to work WITH stress and make it a productive ally – or to let is use us, and become ill and unhappy. The choice, as always, is OURS!

PAM Mullins  Exeter

The Threat Of Neotame

Dr Roberts letter to FDA  March 3, 1998

Dockets Management Branch (HFA A-305)
Subject: Docket No. 98F-0052 (Food Additive Petition for Neotame)

Dear Sir: I am writing to express my extreme opposition to approving the Food Additive Petition for Neotame submitted by Monsanto Company.

It is my professional opinion that this chemical poses a potential major health and environmental hazard to the American public – particularly in the absence of extensive, detailed and long term animal and human studies (which I have been unable to obtain) that could prove its safety to my satisfaction. I am a Board-certified internist, and have been the unsalaried director of the Palm Beach Institute for Medical Research (not-for-profit) since l964.

This opinion is based on more than a decade of intense, corporate-neutral clinical and epidemiological research concerning the widespread serious medical problems directly attributable to products containing aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). My own database currently exceeds 1,150 reactors. I have documented these reactions in more than a score of published articles and letters, and three books.

The fundamental issue is that Neotame, a synthetic variation of aspartame, requires extensive evaluation before the FDA should accept a superficial opinion about its purported safety based largely on limited short-term data involving potentially flawed protocols that were almost totally funded by corporate contracts. (For perspective, I have not received a cent of industry money for my researches.) This matter is discussed at length in my publications relative to both animal and human studies.

The timing and self-serving corporate interests of this petition are suggested by the fact that the patent off aspartame expired several years ago.

The approval of any analog of aspartame for human use MUST be challenged. In my opinion, there is already sufficient evidence for aspartame products to be withdrawn from the market as an "imminent public health hazard" NOW! I have documented severe neurological, intellectual, psychiatric, metabolic, endocrine, allergic and other reactions to aspartame products in hundreds of patients. Moreover, there is considerable reason to invoke aspartame and its metabolites as a cause of significant contributory factor in the aggravation of precipitation of diabetes and its complications, multiple sclerosis, brain cancer (see enclosed peer-reviewed article), and the acceleration of Alzheimers disease (refer to my book Defense Against Alzheimer's Disease). I summarized these perceived hazards in previous correspondence to Representative Newt Gingrich requesting a new Congressional hearing on the safety of aspartame products.

As a physician and citizen, I am appalled at the thought of American consumers being again subjected to an anticipated repeat of the aspartame fiasco without adequate objective and corporate neutral evaluations that the FDA ought to DEMAND before taking such an action. It is my longstanding belief that aspartame (originally developed as a drug for treating peptic ulcer should not have been approved for human consumption in the first place… a view shared by other professionals (including former in-house FDA scientists, consultants for the General Accounting Office, and a Public Board of Inquiry).

The FDA, other regulatory officials and producers of Neotame products are urged to heed these constructive warnings coming from a credentialed doctor. Concomitantly, they are put on notice that ignoring them will not go unchallenged if proven correct.

Yours truly,
HJ Roberts, MD, FACP, FCCP
Food and Drug Administration 12420 Parklawn Drive

Subject: Docket No. 98F-0052 (Food Additive Petition for Neotame) Official Opposition Statement To Fda Re: Approval Of Monsanto's New Sweetener, Neotame
From: Aspartame Consumer Safety Network

In response to FDA and Monsanto's announcement that FDA has been petitioned for approval of their new sweetener, Neotame as a food additive, our Dallas-based international anti-aspartame organization, Aspartame Consumer Safety Network, issues the following statement:

Seventy eight percent of all FDA complaints are regarding aspartame adverse reactions. ACSN has thousands of serious reactions in our files, including incidents of grand mal seizures, brain tumors and other health-related problems too numerous to mention. Monsanto's Nick Rosa stated that Neotame is "based on the aspartame formula." Since we believe this to be true, Aspartame Consumer Safety Network vigorously opposes its approval. The aspartame formula is comprised of Phenylalanine, which caused seizures in lab animals and Aspartic Acid, which caused "holes in the brains" of lab animals – bonded by Methyl Alcohol, or Methanol which is capable of causing blindness, liver damage and death. Methanol, or wood alcohol in aspartame breaks down further in heat and in the body, into Formaldehyde (embalming fluid), Formic Acid (venom in ant stings) and the most deadly of all – Di-keto-piperazine (DKP), a brain tumor agent. Our files contain close to 10,000 responses from the public, including thousands of serious adverse reactions to Monsanto's aspartame.

As a founder of the world's burgeoning anti-aspartame movement, I was the first non-MD invited to lecture at a major Medical School on the topic of Aspartame (Jan. 1997). I recently concluded a multi-city lecture tour and find interest in this topic to be extremely high – here and all over the world. Recently, a story appeared in London's Sunday Mirror, featuring an adverse reaction of a child whose parents are members of ACSN. (Aspartame Consumer Safety Network). Aspartame has been identified and denounced as a major risk factor by consumers in over a dozen countries.

According to FDA Toxicologists who gave testimony with me in 1987 at a Senate Hearing on the subject – the tests to get aspartame approved were falsified. Deaths of lab animals were covered up and went unreported.

Based on over a decade of epidemiological research and work with consumers and health care professionals, we urgently implore the FDA to unequivocally deny any form of approval of Neotame.

Mary Nash Stoddard, Founder
Aspartame Consumer Safety Network and Worldwide Pilots Hotline (Division of ACSN)
marystod@airmail.net W: http://web2.airmail.net

Fluoride Update

The following is an update on the fluoride controversy in Belgium and a call for action to encourage the Belgian Health Minister to stand fast in her challenge against fluoride orthodoxy.

This is a joint mailing by the Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children (PFPC) and the UK National Pure Water Association (NPWA).

As you might have heard, Belgium's Public Health Minister Magda Aelvoet has come under incredible attack in Belgium for her decision to ban fluoride supplements, mainly from the dental profession. She has been compared to 'Milosevic'… Yesterday, the largest public daily printed a prominent article by a dentist with the heading "Too much Aelvoet is poison"… She and her ministry are being attacked with great intensity. The media, with the exception of the HUMO news magazine, have been anything but responsible.

Our Belgian parent-members and other contacts have asked those of us involved in evaluating fluoride toxicity to write simple letters of support to the Minister – and to do so directly. Apparently, the attacks have been so intense and response by dentists so overwhelming, that there is now some fear that she might compromise.

Magda's position is of great concern and importance to ALL of us, regardless if we're battling water fluoridation as the US, Ireland, UK, Australia, Singapore, etc.; fluoridated salt as in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Mexico, etc.; fluorosilicates or fluoroaluminates as in water and salt and vaccines; school-fluoridation or school-supplement programs as in the US and many other countries, milk fluoridation programs such as in Russia, the UK, etc,; the very extreme fluoride pollution as in India, the Ukraine, Bangla Desh, Pakistan, China etc.; pesticide contamination (1080 in New Zealand; Tolylfluanid in Europe; many more all around the world), fertilizer use (all around the world); tea (all around the world), soy formula (all around the world), oral products (all around the world), household products (all around the world), or even global warming gases and acid rain (all around the world), or DU poisoning.

Belgium is the first 'developed' country willing to challenge fluoride 'benefits' and address toxicity.

Aelvoet has been on vacation and will return on Saturday. She will be back in her office on Monday, at which point it would be wonderful for her to find letters supporting her decision.

The Minister's e-mail address is: rosette.desmedt@minsoc.fed.be

Please keep all letters as short as possible and in 'simple English', starting with: For the Attention of the Minister, etc.

If you do write, please bcc either the NPWA (NPWA_Press@npwa.freeserve.co.uk) or the PFPC pfpc@sprint.ca – or both – so that we may keep track of all submissions.

Andreas Schuld (PFPC), Canada Jane Jones (NPWA), UK
Source:
Josef Hasslberger: E: sepp@lastrega.com

Carnitine a Drug!!

I have just had two packages containing Oxygenic B and/or Oxygenic G returned to me by Canadian customs officials because they contained a drug, and the recipient was not a pharmacy. The drug was carnitine. No, I am not making this up!

Carnitine is required to enable fat to cross cell walls so that it can be used to make energy. The heart muscle depends on it, and it is used in healing congestive heart failure, myopathy, other heart conditions and much more. The body can make some carnitine, but many people cannot make enough. Other than supplements, beef is the main source of carnitine. Beef has always been a good heart food, and it is still legal.

So for all you Canadians: Eat beef. Carnitine is also made in the body from lysine. Methionine is required too. In experiments it was found that 5 grams of lysine will raise carnitine for up to 72 hours. A person low in carnitine could consider 500-1000 mg of lysine three times a day.

Richard Loyd, Ph.D.: drloyd@attbi.com
Source: mbgupta@uwo.ca
www.royalrife.com

Fight to Oppose Compulsory Fluoridation

by Robin Harper
In fluoridated Gateshead, dental health is no better than in unfluoridated Liverpool. Similar results have been found in the United States, New Zealand and Canada. Twelve European countries have banned water fluoridation, but this week Mary Mulligan MSP, the Deputy Health Minister, has put forward a consultation document on children’s oral health, which includes a proposal to put fluoride into all of Scotland’s drinking water.

This decision to dig up the old chestnut that fluoride prevents dental decay beggars belief. I abhor the idea of adding fluoride to drinking water; it is mass-medication without choice, and a frightening abuse of the monopoly on our water supply.

My party will oppose fluoridation on the grounds that it will mean unnecessary consumption of a toxic substance by the public through a monopoly supply, and will be an infringement of human rights. We will press for effective alternatives.

In October 2000, York University published a review of fluoridation – an ‘independent’ review commissioned by the Government and carried out by the NHS. Rather than supporting the case for adding fluoride to drinking water supplies as the Government hoped, the review severely weakened the case.

The study actually found ‘little evidence’ to show that fluoride reduced dental health inequalities.

Indeed pro-fluoridationists have not been able to produce one scientific or laboratory study from anywhere in the world which proves fluoride reduces dental decay, yet there are hundreds of published scientific papers which show that water fluoridation is dangerous to human, animal, plant and aquatic life, as the fluoride put into water at the treatment plant all ends up in our rivers and seas.

Scientific papers have argued that fluorides have a disruptive effect on various tissues in the body. Fluoride confuses the immune system, is implicated in genetic disorders, is implicated in thyroid disorders and is implicated in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

There is no getting away from the fact that fluoride is a cumulative poison – we only excrete about half of any fluoride we ingest and the rest stays in our bodies and builds up. The effects of low-dose exposure may not yet be realised. Warnings from the World Health Organisation as early as 1953, and repeated in 1994, that total fluoride levels in people should be determined before any more is added must not be ignored.

Even if it did work, adding fluoride to the entire drinking water supply raises a question of civil liberties. Under the Patients’ Charter, people have a right to refuse treatment or ask for alternative treatment and the EU Rights Charter says “every man has to have a guarantee …that he has free choice of therapy”.

Yet water is a monopoly supply – it’s all or nothing. It is not feasible to say you can avoid fluoride in the tap water by buying bottled. Most food manufacturers use tap water in their products. Cafés and restaurants use water in their food and drink; farm animals are watered and tatties are boiled at home. There will be no escape from it if water is fluoridated, no possibility of refusal, and no freedom of choice.

Parents can choose whether or not to vaccinate their children against diseases but water fluoridation means compulsory medication. Fluoridating milk would give some element of choice, as long as milk providers were not coerced by subsidies (the NFU only this week came out strongly against milk fluoridation) and as long as containers were clearly marked and people were not beguiled by reduced prices. But the bottom line is our children do not need more exposure to chemicals by an undemocratic system that removes freedom of choice.

Fluoridation is also a pointless exercise when there are better alternatives. Teeth cleaning schemes in Tayside and Glasgow in nursery and primary schools discovered startling results – as much as a 37 per cent reduction in tooth decay in two years – and better than fluoridation would have achieved.

Furthermore, children trained to clean their teeth and eat healthily, would not only benefit from better dental health but better general health. It would also be essential that community dental services are re-introduced.

Improvements in dental techniques have taken a lot of the fear away from treatment.

Dental decay is not caused by lack of fluoride but by poor nutrition and poor dental hygiene, and action should be taken to tackle these causes. Bad teeth are one result of poverty and poor diet. This should be about more than trying to prevent dental decay, it should be about helping children, primarily from deprived areas, to get a good start in life and enabling them to grow into healthy adults.

The Green Party has calculated that brushing schemes with free toothbrushes and paste for kids would cost about £2.5 million a year compared with £4m for running fluoridation plants, which would also cost about £30m to set up and take two years to build, whereas brushing schemes could be started right away.

Thirty million pounds would buy a lot of toothbrushes and paste.

The Executive aims to cut the number of youngsters suffering from dental decay to 40 per cent within ten years using fluoridation, but by using the tooth-brushing scheme this figure could be 15 per cent in ten years.

Adding fluoride to the entire water supply would cost £4.4m a year, yet only a fraction of that water is used for drinking and cooking. This means 96p in every £1 spent on adding fluoride to water is literally poured down the drain. All that money could go into other ways of reducing decay.

The forthcoming so-called consultation on fluoridation is unlikely to be even-sided. In 1993, during a previous fluoride debacle, health authorities in Strathclyde alone spent £108,000 (plus VAT) promoting fluoride, while those against receive no financial assistance to promote their views. I will demand to know if the Executive will allow the arguments against fluoride to be put to the public or will it be a one-way consultation.

Twice already, in 1978 and 1992, the people of Scotland were offered water fluoridation and rejected it. We have recently been afflicted with other food and water crises. It is now time to press home to the Government that we want clean air, food and water for ourselves and our children. Let’s start by rejecting fluoridation and welcoming the alternatives.

Robin Harper
Green Member, Scottish Parliament for the Lothians

Vote
Should fluoride be added to Scottish water?
Yes 4.3%
No 95.7%

Please click the following link – you’ll have to register and log in to vote – and make sure that you move the dot from the Yes vote to the No! Many thanks on behalf of all our Scottish friends at home and abroad.  Jane

Click here to Vote! http://www.news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=561
©2002 scotsman.com

Source: Jane Jones:     jane@npwa.freeserve.co.uk

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