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DHSS Committed to holding debate about Water Fluoridation 18 May 2007

Eddie Teare, MHKThe Department of Health and Social Security would like to make it clear that it is eager to take part in an open debate about the merits of water fluoridation.

Eddie Teare MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security said,

"A public meeting has been arranged without the knowledge of the DHSS. Upon completion of these arrangements, the Department was contacted to take part in a debate about water fluoridation.
"Unfortunately, due to the professional commitments of Dr Emerson, the Department's Public Health Advisor in Water Fluoridation, the date was unsuitable. I would like to make it abundantly clear though, the Department has not refused to take part in this debate and, at various times, has attempted to reschedule the debate to a mutually convenient time and venue. However, these attempts have yet to receive a response. I sincerely hope that a new date can be agreed to discuss this vital issue of Public Health."

Mr Teare added,

"I must stress that no decision has been made yet and a consultation will take place in the near future to gauge public opinion about water fluoridation. However, people can only make this decision if they are well informed. To this end, the Public Health Directorate is currently undertaking an objective, year-long information awareness campaign about the facts, both positive and negative, of water fluoridation. This campaign, coordinated by Dr Emerson, is aiming to eliminate misinformation and hyperbole and present the public with a range of balanced views based on facts and the first hand experiences of other Governments. Upon completion of the consultation, the Council of Ministers will receive the findings to make a well informed decision."

If anyone has any concerns about water fluoridation or would like to know more, please contact the Department on 642590.

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