Fluoride will be added to tap water in Southampton after health bosses voted it through earlier today despite massive protests. Some 72% of 10,000 respondents in a public consultation opposed the plan. This is undemocratic and unjust and it will also means that Gloucestershire's water supply is another step closer to being fluoridated - already Bristol are looking at it - see Glenn Vowles blog here.
Photo: Demonstration by Green party in Stroud against the Water Act 2003 which allowed health authorities powers to instruct water companies to add fluoride
It is extraordinary that despite the opposition the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SCSHA) unanimously backed the move. It is the first time a health trust in England, rather than water companies, has been allowed to introduce fluoridation under the new law that this Government has brought in.
Southampton City Council was in favour but the larger Hampshire County Council was against the plan, which is designed to cut tooth decay and which will affect 200,000 people.
John Spottiswoode, chairman of Hampshire Against Fluoridation and a Green party spokesperson, said: "I think it is absolutely disgraceful, they have refused to listen to all the evidence we have given them. They have ignored the will of the people, 72% didn't want it and yet they still are going to do it. It is deeply unethical. We think it's illegal and are thinking what we do next, maybe taking it to the courts in Europe."
See questions and answers re fluoridation here. I have already spoken today with local Safe Water Campaign members about stepping up the campaign locally and looking at further ways we can support those in Hampshire to reject this undemocratic, unjust move - let us hope there is a mass refusal to pay water bills by the 72% of the people who rejected fluoridation.
Update - see press release here: