Fluoride Action Network

Bolton fluoride debate at a climax

Source: UK Newsquest Regional Press - This is Lancashire | November 20th, 2003
Location: United Kingdom, England

RESIDENTS across the borough would cut off their water in protest if fluoride is added to Bolton’s drinking supplies it was claimed today.

Alex Hastings of the National Pure Water Association warned that she and many others would rather live off bottled water than drink treated tap water.

Her claims came as MPs were preparing to vote today on the controversial Clause 61 of the Government’s Water Bill which if successful will clear the way for public strategic bodies such as the Greater Manchester Health Authority to add fluoride to water even if individual councils are against the move.

Bolton would be a prime candidate for the move because of the town’s poor dental health.

Supporters of fluoridation have pointed to its success in other areas where the rate of dental disease declined rapidly following its introduction.

But in 1968 68 000 people out of a turnout of 92 000 in Bolton opposed fluoridation at a referendum.

Ms Hastings a full time carer who lives with her 84-year-old mother at Craven Place Johnson Fold described adding fluoride as “unsafe and undemocratic”.

The 57-year-old added: “If people knew the whole truth there is no way this would go through.

“Fluoride is a poison and we should fight for our right to pure untreated water.

“Most dictators would not try and force something like this on their people.”

Joan Rutherford a resident of New Hall Lane is considering a challenge at the European Court of Human Rights if the bill is successful.

She believes fluoride will have an adverse effect on her underactive Thyroid Gland following reports from doctors that the substance can displace iodine necessary for a proper Thyroid function.

The issue has also split the area’s MPs with David Crausby MP for Bolton North-east vowing to vote against Clause 61 while Ruth Kelly MP for Bolton West and Brian Iddon MP for Bolton South-east are backing fluoridation.

Brian Iddon MP for Bolton South-east believes fluoridation is safe.

He said: “Around 400 million people drink fluoridated water worldwide – five million of them in the UK. “Several reports have found no link between fluoridation and disease.”