Teams of clipboard carrying campaigners will converge at Bedford’s Silver Faces statue before dispersing to pedestrian traffic hotspots on a mass petition signing drive to persuade the council to stop water fluoridation in the borough once and for all.
Members of Fluoride Free Bedford, which is hosting the event, are frustrated that in 2011 the council voted unanimously to cease the practice after Mayor Dave Hodgson proposed the resolution, but no action was taken.
Now the group, which has been campaigning to end water fluoridation in Bedford since 2002, has a newly elected set of councillors to convince.
Fluoride Free Bedford’s Co-ordinator, Cynthia Bagchi, says the group hopes the petition will inspire a commitment from Bedford Borough Council to cancel the fluoridation contract between Public Health England and Anglian Water.
She said: “We want to stimulate discussion throughout Bedford and to stun councillors, to show them the huge amount of support there is from people who don’t want fluoride in their water supply.
“We’re going out with business cards and fact sheets to hand out to the public so that they can encourage their neighbours and friends to sign the online petition and take action. It’s about educating ourselves and each other. The government isn’t doing it and nor is the council; they are just covering up the truth.”
The group has the backing of members of the national alliance against water fluoridation.
Joy Warren, Co-ordinator of West Midlands Against Fluoridation (WMAF), who will be in Bedford supporting the action on Saturday, said: “Water fluoridation is medically unethical and a violation of our human rights. This violation of our human rights was admitted by Earl Howe in the House of Lords three years ago.
“The only reason fluoride is added to our water supply is for it to have a physiological effect on the enamel of the milk teeth of very young children by exerting an effect from the inside of the tooth to the outside. This means that fluoride is a medicine and fluoridated water is, according to a judgement in the European Court of Justice, classified as a ‘functional food’. A ‘functional food’ is, first and foremost a medicine, and thus medicinal law takes precedence over food law. The difference is that pills are legalised medicine whereas, fluoridated water is illegal medicine.”
The group will be on Silver Street from 11:30am on Saturday, October 17
The event is being sponsored by the National Pure Water Association (NPWA), Safe Water Information Service (SWIS) and Café Virtuoso which will be offering a free buffet and tea/coffee to members of Fluoride Free Bedford at 3pm.