A Staffordshire MP has joined thousands of people in speaking out against plans to put fluoride in the county’s water. Stafford MP David Kidney has pledged to oppose the Government’s Water Bill which includes possible clauses giving protection against legal action to water companies which add fluoride to their supplies.
Anti-fluoridation campaign group Protect Our Water (POW) fears the controversial bill could pave the way for mass fluoridation schemes across the country.
Staffordshire, like the majority of Britain, is a fluoride-free zone, and POW hopes to keep it that way.
Campaigners stepped up their fight against plans to add fluoride to public water supplies during the summer, when they gathered 3,000 signatures in a petition objecting to the move.
Ray Oldacre, chairman of POW, said the group had met Mr Kidney to discuss the bill.
He said: “We are delighted with this breakthrough and after six years of hard work our MP is finally supporting our view by opposing fluoridation of our water.
“We are certain this is what most of the Stafford public want.
“We urge all citizens across the county to contact their MPs to ask them to follow Mr Kidney’s example.”
Mr Kidney, who has previously supported fluoridation, said he had not changed his mind because of the campaigners.
He said: “I have seen the claims of health gains and I appreciate them if the gains are without harm.”
However Mr Kidney added that the Government’s recent York Review into fluoridation has shown it did increase the prevalence of dental fluorosis, a discolouring of the teeth, and has recommended that more research should be carried out.
He said: “I think it is wrong to make a decision until we have got all the evidence. So I plan to vote against the House of Lords amendment.”
The vote is expected to take place later this month or early in November. The plans to allow water companies to add fluoride to tap water were backed by the House of Lords in July. Under the Water Bill amendment, local health authorities will indemnify water companies if people agree to the adding of fluoride to water supplies.
The British Dental Association (BDA) is backing the idea.
It says five-year-old children in Manchester – where the water is not fluoridated – have more than twice the number of decayed, missing or filled teeth than those in Birmingham, where water has been fluoridated for 30 years.