35. Mrs. Butler
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the difficulties of people who for medical or other reasons may wish to remove flouride from their water supply, following its addition by water companies in support of his Department's fluoridation campaign; and if he will make arrangements to make fluoride-removing apparatus available to such people through the National Health Service.
Has the Minister seen the statement made by Professor Stieyne, of South Africa, that fluoride in the water supply is a possible cause of bone disease and goitre? Does he realise that people who may have a particular susceptibility to these troubles will not be able to avoid drinking fluoride if fluoridation becomes general in this country? If he is not prepared to make defluoridation apparatus available to these people, what steps does he propose to take to protect them?
§ Mr. Powell
Fluoride is already present in varying quantities in all water—at any rate, in this country—and in many areas it is present in much larger quantities than it would be as a result of artificial fluoridation. There is no difference whatsoever between artificially fluoridated and naturally fluoridated water.
But does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that though many people are highly susceptible, for example, to large quantities of salt—people with high blood pressure, for instance—they are able to avoid it in their diets? The same may be true of certain people in regard to fluoride in the water supply, but they cannot escape taking it.
§ Mr. Powell
This Question is not about salt but about fluoride, but the fact is that no such result has been observed over the generations during which, in this 910 country, hundreds of thousands of people have been drinking water with a relatively high fluoride content.