A BOLTON MP has hit out at a shock postcard campaign by dentists who want to add fluoride to water.
The British Dental Association postcard shows the rotting teeth of a five-year-old child who, it says, has been denied the benefits of fluoridation.
The BDA is calling on the public to send the postcard to MPs ahead of a crucial vote on fluoridation in the House of Commons.
The postcard compares the teeth of a five-year-old from Manchester — with some rotting and missing — with the healthy mouth of a Birmingham child where fluoride is added to water.
The images angered Bolton North-east MP David Crausby, an opponent of fluoridation, who branded them “moral blackmail”.
The Commons vote is expected in November on changes to the law which will make it easier to add fluoride to water.
The BDA hopes the postcards will persuade MPs to vote for clause 61 of the Water Bill. which would allow strategic health authorities to force water companies to add fluoride to supplies in areas where its idea was supported.
Mr Crausby said: “Of course I’m in favour of better children’s dental health but it’s nonsense to use this kind of moral blackmail.
“The pictures are not reflected by the teeth of the children that I meet. The pro-fluoride lobby are trying to bully people into voting in favour of fluoride. It is the parents’ responsibility to look after children’s teeth, not the government’s. The real issue is not fluoride but too many fizzy drinks and sweets.”
But Sheila Jones of the British Fluoridation Society, who lives in Lostock, speaking before a fringe meeting at the Labour party conference to launch the campaign, accused Mr Crausby of ignoring the benefits.
She said: “If David Crausby would like to accompany me to Manchester Dental Hospital I could show him the physical evidence. If he think it’s moral blackmail he ought to see what we are doing to our children.”
Bolton, which does not add fluoride to its water, is among the worst towns in the country for tooth problems, with five-year-olds each having an average of three decayed teeth.