HC Deb 21 May 1998 vol 312 cc510-1W
Mr. Butterfill

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish and place in the Library the detailed statistical basis for the statement by the Minister for Public Health on 6 May 1998,Official Report, column 700, that more than two-thirds of the public support the fluoridation of water; and if he will publish the particulars of all the areas where consultation has taken place, the identity of the sponsors of the consultation, details of the questions asked, including information as to whether there was any public education of those interviewed, details of the representations received and precise information as to sample sizes. [41982]

Ms Jowell

[holding answer 18 May 1998]: Since 1980, 5 nationwide opinion polls have been undertaken which included the question "Do you think fluoride should be added to water if it can reduce tooth decay?"

The results are shown in the table.

Year Research organisation Yes No Don't know
1980 NOP 66 16 18
1985 Gallup 71 17 11
1987 Gallup 76 15 9
1992 NOP 79 15 6
1997 NOP 69 18 13

As is the usual practice, the respondents to the surveys were selected according to a systematic probability sample designed to be representative of all adults in Great Britain.