Fluoride Action Network

Health secretary wades in on Bedford’s long-running fluoridation debate

Source: Bedfordshire On Sunday | March 25th, 2017
Location: United Kingdom, England

ACTIVISTS celebrated last year when the mayor confirmed fluoride would not be added to Bedford reservoirs again – but the government has poured cold water on the council’s agreement.

Secretary of state for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has refused to accept Bedford Borough Council’s decision to terminate water fluoridation in the borough.

The council must now present their plans to Mr Hunt, discuss the proposal with neighbouring local authorities and launch a public consultation.

At a meeting of the full council this week, in which councillors were asked to support a re-launch of the process, portfolio holder for finance Cllr Michael Headley said: “I don’t see why anyone would see anything negative in the council holding a public consultation.”

Campaign group Fluoride Free Bedford (FFB) have battled against fluoridation since 2002, creating their own documentary ‘Toxic tap water’ and petitioning Bedford Borough Council.

FFB’s Cynthia Bagchi said: “The process is so convulated it is difficult even for lawyers to understand. At least we are going forwards while the issue is in the minds of the public and councillors.

“If we hadn’t aggravated the mayor fluoride would have gone back into the water and no one would have known.”