THE timing of the release of a new study by the British Dental Association showing East Lancashire at the top of a ‘list of shame’ in child tooth decay is of course no accident.
It is meant to add strength to the case for the fluoridation of water supplies ahead of Monday’s crucial debate by MPs on the Water Bill which could let strategic health authorities make water suppliers put the chemical in tap water.
And backing the pro-fluoride BDA health bosses in East Lancashire today said fluoridation is the only way to dramatically improve the region’s appalling dental health record.
Maybe it is. But that is not the whole issue. For plenty of people believe that the move would not be right or safe.
The key point surely is whether they and everyone else should be given a choice. And would not that prerogative be overridden if the issue was decided without the consent of the majority of people?
There is no doubt that the pro-fluoride lobby is acting with the best intentions. Even so that should not allow them to force their beliefs and mass medication on any community if the community does not want it.
Let the public be asked and let the public decide in an independent referendum. That is the only way to decide this important issue and resolve the huge controversy that flares every time the pro-fluoride lobby goes on the march.