HC Deb 10 May 1977 vol 931 cc445-6W
57. Sir John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he accepts the recommendation of the Expenditure Committee in its recent report on preventive medicine that there should be more research on the long-term effects of fluoride.

Mr. Ennals

No. I am considering the Committee's recommendations, but my present view is that further research is not needed. Fluoridation consists of adjusting, where necessary, the fluoride content of drinking water to reproduce the beneficial effects of the most satisfactory proportion found naturally in water supplies—namely, in temperate climates, one part of fluoride per million parts of water. There have already been extensive studies here and abroad, and these have not shown any harmful effect associated with this proportion of fluoride during periods of over 30 years in North America and over 20 years in the United Kingdom for which fluoridation has been practised or during the longer periods for which similar proportions of fluoride have been present naturally in the water supplies of some communities. The Royal College of Physicians comprehensively reviewed this research.