Any attempt to fluoridate Sussex’s water supply will be bitterly opposed a campaign group has warned.
A public meeting organised by Gary Kemp of Brighton Hove and Mid Sussex Friends of the Earth attracted dozens of people concerned about possible long-term plans for Britain’s drinking water.
The Government has given Strategic Health Authorities the power to add fluoride if they get the green light after public consultation.
It believes the treatment could cut the number of children who suffer tooth decay.
But opposition to fluoridation is growing.
Peter Crampton of the National Pure Water Association (NPWA) spoke at yesterday’s meeting held at the Hanover Community Centre in Brighton.
He described the fluoridation of public drinking water as “forced mass medication” and an “attack on people’s human rights”.
Thyroid specialist Dr Barry Peatfield said it would benefit about 14 per cent of children but it could also damage the immune system cause arthritis and asthma.
Dr Peatfield said: “We must continue to fight this extraordinary attack on our freedom and the outrageous risks we take if we are forced to take a known poison in order that it might help our children’s teeth.”
From today the Brighton Centre is playing host to the 2004 Annual Public Health Forum at which medical officials from around the world gather to discuss international health issues.
The NPWA plans to demonstrate outside the forum until the event finishes on Thursday.
Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority pledged not to go ahead with any plans without “thorough and comprehensive” public consultation.