§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has commissioned into the public health effects of fluoridation of the public water supply. 
§ Ms Jowell
Relevant research has been sponsored by the Department and its predecessors and by the Medical Research Council, the main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research. The initial programmes of research were described in the Report of the United Kingdom Mission on the Fluoridation of Domestic Water Supplies in North America As a Means of Controlling Dental Caries (HMSO-1952) and Ministry of Health: Report on Public Health and Medical Subjects 105 (HMSO-1962) on health surveys carried out in Watford, Kilmarnock and part of Anglesey. Subsequent studies have considered fluoride and cancer, fluoride and mutagenicity, and the effects of fluoride on bone. The extensive scientific literature on fluoride indicates that optimal fluoridation of the water supply is harmless and results in substantial reductions in dental caries.