Fw: Bristolians Against Fluoridation: press/media launch

Vowlsie forwards a picture of himself and his entry for the longest press release in recorded history. Here it is in its entirety:

Press release: Bristolians Against Fluoridation (BAF)

Announcing the launch of Bristolians Against Fluoridation (BAF).

Following preliminary meetings in July and August and after gathering nearly five hundred local supporters on the social networking site Facebook, BAF is now organised and campaigning. [It will next meet at The Stag and Hounds, Old Market, 7.30pm, 25 August and again on 8 Sept].

BAF Press Officer Glenn Vowles said, “Bristolians Against Fluoridation was formed to oppose the imposed mass medication of Bristol and the surrounding areas in BANES, N Somerset, and S Glos. that would result from NHS South West instructing the water company to fluoridate our tap water. Our view is that fluoridation: is not ethical; does not work; is not safe; and is not wanted.”

“The Government are keen on fluoridation but we must not allow it to be imposed upon us here. The decision to fluoridate water in Hampshire was recently taken despite 72% of the public being opposed.”

“Bristolians will know little or nothing about this but the decision process to fluoridate water throughout the Avon area has already begun with both NHS Bristol and NHS BANES, half the number of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in the Avon area, asking NHS South West to conduct a feasibility study. A ‘consultation process’ will follow acceptance of the feasibility report. Once that process has been gone through NHS South West can use their new powers to instruct Bristol Water to fluoridate our drinking water.”

“In the first instance we will be lobbying NHS North Somerset and NHS South Glos. to reject fluoridation as these two parts of the NHS in the Avon area have yet to request a feasibility study. If successful this would hopefully make it difficult for the NHS South West as the Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to claim to be acting on behalf of us all.. If unsuccessful we will campaign for a fair, open and balanced public consultation process ending with a public vote on the issue, the result of which should be binding on the NHS.”

Copies of the emails received from the NHS are posted on the BAF website (1, below). Statement from Bristol Water on the issue (2). The key regional and local decision makers’ details are available from (3). BAFs central arguments against fluoridation are listed below (further details, more references and background are available from ref (4) and (5)).

Fluoridation is unethical and is not wanted: Bristolians who don’t want to consume fluoride, or have no need to, have a choice now. If all our drinking water was fluoridated people would be consuming something designed to create bodily changes i.e. a medication, without their consent. It is the norm in our society to consent to medical treatment. In the recent Hampshire public consultation 72% opposed fluoridation – people want to retain their freedom to choose!

Fluoridation does not work: There is no high quality research showing that putting fluoride in drinking water safely and effectively does what it is supposed to do – reduce tooth decay. Available research is often categorised as at best only moderate quality because bias and lack of control are evident and analysis is lacking. No double blind tests have ever been conducted that proves it effective; nor has it ever been proved safe.

Fluoridation is not needed: Most of Europe has seen falling rates of tooth decay for several decades – without a policy of widespread water fluoridation. Fluoride is available by choice in toothpaste. There is no substitute for regular dental check-ups where all sorts of medical issues can be covered.

Fluoridation defies good, safe scientific practice: The dose of fluoridated water received by each person depends on the amount of water consumed and their body weight. Since we all drink different amounts the dose is highly variable – and will be received over a long period of time. Further, the people receiving the dose are highly variable too and unlike being prescribed a treatment by a GP, won’t be seen beforehand and won’t have their medical history checked. Around 4% of the population are known to suffer adverse reaction to fluoride. Infants under 5 years old, the elderly, kidney patients, athletes, are all at risk because of their higher consumption or increased vulnerability.

Fluoridation is unsafe:
The maximum concentration of fluoride currently allowed in our water is 1.5 mg/l. Any water fluoridation system would have to stay below this legal limit. The substance that is most likely to be used to fluoridate Bristol’s water is most unpleasant to say the least – fluorosilicic acid, a contaminated waste product from phosphate fertiliser manufacturing is a registered Class 2 Poison under the Poisons Act 1972. No license has ever been obtained for such a substance either as a food or a medicine.

Overfeeding of fluoridation substances into drinking water has caused serious health problems, as at Hooper Bay in Alaska in the 1990s, where equipment and human failure resulted in 1 death and 295 cases of fluoride poisoning(6). Overfeed precautions and plans for de-fluoridation if limits are exceeded are of course not needed if you respect people’s freedom to choose their ‘medication’ and don’t fluoridate in the first place!

Further information/links

1. Bristolians Against Fluoridation (BAF)
[ http://bristoliansagainstfluoridation.blogspot.com/]

Contacts: Glenn Vowles (BAF, Press) [ http://vowlesthegreen.blogspot.com]
[ mailto:grv4@tutor.open.ac.uk]

Robin Whitlock (BAF Steering Group Coordinator) [
[http://beakymunch.blogspot.com/ ]
[ mailto: robinwhitlock@hotmail.co.uk ]tel: 07790 156486 (mob) (0117) 9715918

2. Bristol Water’s statement on the issue
[ http://www.bristolwater.co.uk/news/mainNews.asp?newsID=71]

3.Key local and regional decision makers:

[ http://www.southwest.nhs.uk/membersoftheboard.html]
Strategic Health Authority via [ mailto:go@southwest.nhs.uk]

[ http://www.bristolpct.nhs.uk/thetrust/board/profiles.asp]
[Dr Hugh Annett, Director of Public Health for NHS Bristol and Bristol
City Council via [ mailto:info@bristolpct.nhs.uk ]

Drinking Water Inspectorate
[ http://www.dwi.gov.uk/ ]

4. National Pure Water Association
[ http://www.npwa.org.uk/ ]

5. Safe Water Campaign (Avon, Glos and Wilts)

6. Acute Fluoride Poisoning from a Public Water System
[ http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/330/2/95]

This entry was posted in Activism, Bath, Bristol, Environment, Green Party, Health, North Somerset, Politics, West Country and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Fw: Bristolians Against Fluoridation: press/media launch

  1. inks says:

    Flouridated water dissolves tin-foil hats so THEY can beam brainwashing rays directly into your head from satellites.

  2. Friends of the Earth hosts an interactive mailing list which reaches members of the NPWA, UKCAF , Friends of the Earth local groups and members and a wide variety of individuals and groups dedicated to opposing this evil toxic muck in our water and our environment. All forms of fluoride are toxic whether natural or man made. Dont pay for polluted water and bill the water companies for bottled water and filters. Dont vote for anyone who supports this muck. To be added to our list which brings news and views from around the world and the UK and receive regular updates via the above email address. Join with Friends of the Earth and Say No to Fluoride.

    Brian Jackson

  3. Guess Again says:

    Good to see this blog straying further into conspiracy theory territory. Can we have an article on how dangerous the swine flue vaccine is, and how evil pharma companies are trying to get mandatory vaccination with their product which will kill millions? Try this one:

    “All forms of fluoride are toxic whether natural or man made”

    Um, this shows quite a major misunderstanding of how trace elements work in biological systems.

  4. The Bristol Blogger says:

    I’m simply reproducing the press release and have marked it as such. I make no claims for its veracity.

    TBH I know next-to-nothing about it.

  5. SaltySlug says:

    As a point of interest, you might not know that fluoridation works both ways. It is the process of maintaining fluoride levels at an ‘optimal’ level, which might mean adding to the water artificially, but it could just as easily mean removing fluorides from the water where there is a higher that normal level naturally occurring.

    If the water supply around Bristol contained a naturally higher amount then the artificially maintained ‘optimum’, I wonder if they would want it tinkered with then.

  6. Rosso Verde says:

    The issue is should we have to suffer mass medication? We can choose if we want flouride in our toothpaste, but not in our water supply.
    I’d rather more money was spent supporting NHS dentists, my own one says she looses money every time she treats someone and does it beacuse she belives everyone has a right to dental care regardless of ability to pay.

  7. saltedslug says:

    Well is it medication? It’s just one of many elements maintained at the water treatment plant as a matter of course – I mean do you object to the chlorine added to kill off bacteria?

  8. Sam says:





  9. anon says:

    Sam..get out there and protest! Make sure you can spell first!!

  10. saltedslug says:

    Either Anon’s ironymeter is broken, or I’m crediting Sam too much.

    Curse the internet and it’s lack of nuance.

  11. anon says:

    Saltedslug – Indeed you could be right..but as you say..not sure how important this debate is!

  12. Glenn Vowles says:

    Salted slug – of course its a medication. Its an attempt to treat/prevent tooth decay by altering the way our bodies function. Problem is that we wont have any choice if the medication is in the water we drink – try going without for a few days !!

  13. saltedslug says:

    And using my earlier example of water sources with naturally high fluoride level; if it was already there and they didn’t take it out, would that be medication too?

  14. Glenn Vowles says:

    Salted Slug – it would not be a medication in the sense that no one is prescribing it. In any case I think you are missing the point here. You are assuming that any fluoride present naturally (there’s almost none in Bristol water at present) is the same as that which is added artificially – far from it. Since when has fluorosilic acid, a contaminated waste product from phosphate fertiliser manufacture been present naturally in drinking water??

  15. saltedslug says:

    I’m not missing the point, I was just being awkward and disingenuous. And I was speaking generally about fluoridation, rather than specifically about Bristol.

    Fluorosilic acid is fluorosilic acid, and unless something else has been added (no matter what it is a by-product of) it is not ‘contaminated’ with anything. It is a cheap and safe way of fluoridating large amounts of water. And upon being added to the water it creates compounds that are similar in effect to ‘natural’ fluorides.

    The acute poisoning story from the links at the top was more a story of incompetent, badly monitored water management than some intrinsic problem with fluoridation -it could just as easily been a cleaning additive they buggered up.

    This is an individual choice issue more than a health one -and I have no problem with that- I’m just struggling to see the point of protesting so avidly to remove something with proven health benefits and no proven negatives (apart from funny coloured teeth occasionally).

    Fucking hell, this conversation (like vaccinations) has sent me all statist.

    I’m going for a shower.

  16. saltedslug says:

    Sorry, I meant after it has been neutralised fluorosilic acid produces fluoride compounds similar to the natural fluoride salts.

    Ask me one about sport.

  17. Guess Again says:

    Glenn, going down the whole “it’s artificial not natural” just lights a great big sign above your head that says .

    Once dissolved in water, a fluoride ion is a fluoride ion. It doesnt know where it came from, nor does anything else (unless you believe in homoeopathy, of course, in which case scientific argument will be at an end).

    Trying to make out that fluoridation is bad because the fluoride ions come from a contaminated waste product from phosphate fertiliser manufacturing is a laughable red-herring and just shows you dont know what you’re talking about. It’s a bit like saying that atoms are all dangerous because they were all made in giant nuclear reactors (stars).

    The harms from fluoridation are minuscule, which is obvious from the fact that if there was any serious harm there would have been a successful class-action lawsuit years ago.

    There is an argument about fluoridation: it is whether the fairly modest benefits of it are worth breaking the principle of consent to medication. The rest is just “troofer” guff from people who hate water companies because they are capitalists who make money and use “chemicals” (even though our bodies are made of chemicals!)

  18. Guess Again says:

    Gah, bloody square brackets got dropped! Should be

    Glenn, going down the whole “it’s artificial not natural” just lights a great big sign above your head that says {knows nothing about chemistry}

  19. Anon_2 says:

    People like this bore me – they just move from one campaign to the next. It means they’ve just jumped from one bandwagon to the next.

    It would be nice if people who engaged in decision making processes were doing it because they cared rather than as something of a reflex action where it has to be wrong.

  20. Glenn Vowles says:

    Salted Slug and Guess Again are far too quick to say or imply that others dont know what they are talking about. Neither seem to be aware that fluorosilic acid does in fact contain contaminants!

    ‘Safe way of fluoridating’ and ‘proven health benefits’ says Salted Slug – but the point is that there is no high quality evidence available t0 support this assertion. The Govts own review revealed this. Salted Slug is using very important terms like safe and proven in a very throwaway, sloppy fashion.

    Guess Again thinks that adding a waste product from fertiliser manufacture to water is just the same as all natural sources of fluoride. Wrong. Take Calcium fluoride, a very common naturally occurring fluoride, compared with the fluorosilic acid that would be added to fluoridate Bristol’s water – calcium fluoride is relatively harmless because of its very high insolubility. Yes, all fluorides are toxic to humans at certain levels but to have a toxic effect they have to become available to the body eg by dissolving.

    Now, contrary to what Guess Again has said I’m certainly not arguing that all natural sources of chemicals in water are safer than all artificially added ones. This is a silly notion. However, its also daft for Guess Again to assert that there are never any differences between natural vs artificial sources of chemicals – as I’ve illustrated.

  21. SaltedSlug says:

    I don’t think I said anything about you at all, but hey ho.

    Your fluorosilic acid spiel is a false analogy, we’re not adding the acid, we’re adding the salt produced by neutralising the acid with a base: Sodium Silicofluoride, which is very similar to naturally occurring salts.

    Studying fluoridation is a bit of a bugger, cause you can’t really set-up another identical community without fluoride and compare the two. You can, however, compare before/after results, and compare with similar communities with and without fluoridation. Here’s an analysis of 200 odd studies from the BMJ.

    The evidence isn’t stunning, but the benefits are modest, and as yet any downsides have to be observed by any half-decent study.

  22. Glenn Vowles says:

    Great!! Less than high quality evidence that ‘shows’ modest benefits! And for what – the loss of freedom of choice for everyone in the area!! Not a strong argument for fluoridation is it!!

    And you are not correct about fluorosilic acid, either its salt can be used – but it makes little/no difference when its added to water anyway!

  23. Overayard says:

    I can not but agree with Glenn Spart, sorry Vowles.

    I have just found out from a leak, (from my source know as The Tap) that those evil people at Wessex Water are currently pumping into our homes BOTH Hydrogen AND Oxygen a mixture know as water.

    I have researched toughly using Google and found that not only water killed Andy Warhol


    but both hydrogen


    and oxygen


    are both toxic and explosive.

    When will their evil plans ever end!

    My point is a simple one, who do I trust and listen with my children’s health: The BMJ with an article that says after the work of ten researchers and academics looking at 200 papers looking at Fluoridation, that “The evidence of a beneficial reduction in caries should be considered together with the increased prevalence of dental fluorosis. There was no clear evidence of other potential adverse effects.”

    or Glenn Spart?

  24. Trust whoever you like with your family’s dental health, Overayard. No-one would deny you the right to use fluoridated toothpaste.

    The problem comes when that decision making power is taken from you, and a ‘treatment’ ( they claim that in law it’s not a medicine even if everyone knows that it is) is imposed on all and sundry whether they like it or not.

  25. thebristolblogger says:

    The problem here is the one I alluded to in the original post.

    The ‘choice’ argument is a strong one. The others are a lot weaker and in some cases are clearly alienating people.

    Maybe before doing a press release the campaign needs to carefully select its best arguments so that it gains maximum support?

  26. overayard says:

    “they claim that in law it’s not a medicine even if everyone knows that it is” don’t be silly its a treatment.

    Fluoridation appears to have dental benefits. So what is the problem? This just appears like MMR light, with silly people making out silly unscientific claims.

    The choice arguement does not work for me as you do not have to drink the water you can buy bottled if you want to and leave the rest of us with better teeth.

  27. “don’t be silly its a treatment”

    I’m not sure what the difference is, maybe you could explain. But it seems to me that a particular chemical preparation that’s prescribed to be ingested solely in order to tackle a particular health threat could be equally described as a treatment or a medicine. I wasn’t helped by the South Central SHA’s rebuttal of the ‘medicine’ definition at http://www.southcentral.nhs.uk/document_store/12351417711_ha09-019%28i%29_background_to_water_fluoridation_consultation.pdf (it’s a pdf file – the detail’s in para 4). But they seem to think it good enough to override the wishes of most of their customers/patients in the Greater Southampton area.

    “The choice arguement does not work for me as you do not have to drink the water you can buy bottled if you want to “

    Interesting proposition in terms of personal and environmental cost. Do you think the Health Service would be prepared to pay for my bottled water? Not to mention the rest of my drinks? Would you be prepared to pay for it? After all, your perfectly valid question “who do I trust and listen with my children’s health? clearly shows that you put a premium on your own choice. If your choice is to override mine and impose costs on me, shouldn’t you compensate me?

    [cue Chris Hutt with a free market based solution….]

  28. chris hutt says:

    Isn’t fluoride toothpaste a free market solution? You choose whether to injest extra fluoride or not and accept the consequences. No particular reason to force everyone to accept the treatment if they don’t want to.

    However I can also see the parallels with chlorination of the water supply and other water treatments to eliminate potential health threats, which we all seem happy to accept.

    I’ve never thought it mattered very much one way or the other, given the seriousness of other environmental problems that confront us.

  29. Rosso Verde says:

    Seems like a poor solution to our dental health – what about funding NHS dentists properly? The benefits of flouridation are unclear and the health and environmental costs are well documented.

  30. SaltedSlug says:

    I care about this less and less each time I comment, but apparently I can’t leave it alone.

    Seems like a poor solution to our dental health – what about funding NHS dentists properly?
    The NHS hardly lacks funding, and it is better that people not need the dentist in the first place, no?

    The benefits of flouridation are unclear and the health and environmental costs are well documented.
    You see, you’ve kind of got that backwards; It has proven health benefits and has not been shown to cause any health/environmental damage that I’m aware of.

    Frankly, I’m with Chris though; Get it stopped if you want. All that’s going to happen is that -in all likelihood- Bristol will end up with statistically marginally worse teeth, but with no gain.

  31. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk… ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream.

  32. saltedslug says:

    Well, fluoridation of salt is realtively common on the continent , in leau of adding it to the tapwater (you probably wouldn’t notice the fluorine amongst all the chlorine, anyway).

    Interesting fact for the day:
    In the U.S, they add iodine to their salt.

  33. Glenn Vowles says:

    ‘The problem here is the one I alluded to in the original post.
    The ‘choice’ argument is a strong one. The others are a lot weaker and in some cases are clearly alienating people.
    Maybe before doing a press release the campaign needs to carefully select its best arguments so that it gains maximum support?’ (Bristol Blogger)

    Blogger – the arguments listed in the Bristolians Against Fluoridation press release are not ‘clearly alienating people’ and are well selected – the overwhelming majority of the public dont want their water fluoridated as many opinion polls show and eg 72% in the Hampshire public consultation earlier this year.

    A few commenters on your blog may express
    doubts – but believe it or not they are most unlikely to be a representative sample of public opinion !!

  34. Ella says:

    Jon Rogers stop smoking crack.

  35. Jon Rogers says:

    Thanks Ella

    Is that some kind of personal health warning? Or do you think one of these comments is from me?

    I don’t do anonymous.


  36. Ella says:

    It was evidently a joke.

  37. There is plenty of evidence available for the damage that fluoride does to human health, for a start off, Professor Connett’s critique of the York Review contains numerous references to well-researched studies on the subject. This document is available for scrutiny here:


    If you want further information, keep an eye on my blog, above, or:


    ….upon which I regularly post well-referenced studies on the subject.

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