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Fluoridation

Volume 78: debated on Wednesday 1 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) why chemicals added to the public water supply for the purpose of enhancing the level of fluoride ion have not been regarded as medicinal products; what they are regarded as; and if he will make a statement;(2) if he will refer to the Committee on Safety of Medicines the question as to whether an order should be made applying the provisions of the Medicines Act to chemicals added to the public water supply for the purpose of enhancing the level of fluoride ion; and if he will make a statement.

Compounds of fluorine when added to the water supplies would be medicinal products within the meaning of the Medicines Act 1968 only if the water itself was administered to the consumer wholly or mainly for a medicinal purpose.The safety of fluoride as used in the fluoridation schemes operated in this country has been confirmed by a number of expert bodies and the schemes are monitored by water authorities in accordance with the guidelines of the standing technical advisory committee on water quality on fluoridation of water supplies. No useful purpose would therefore be served by seeking the advice of the Committee on Safety of Medicines as to whether to bring the compounds of fluorine concerned within the scope of the Medicines Act.