PROTESTERS are mounting a fight against adding fluoride to the water supply.

A public meeting has been called tonight in Coventry to debate the issue after a petition with nearly 300 signatures was handed to the city council.

Joy Warren, a member of Coventry Friends of the Earth, is spearheading the campaign and wants to fight the current practice of deliberately adding fluoride to the tap water supply across the West Midlands.

She has set up the website West Midlands Against Fluoridation, calling fluoridation a “compulsory mass medication”.

She said: “The public doesn’t know about this. It’s an invisible issue.

“If they tried to get fluoride into the water supply now there would be huge uproar from everybody, as is the case currently in Southampton.

“But if you were born after 1968 you probably don’t realise you’re being fluoridated.

“This is the only compulsory medicine in the whole world, apart from those given to people in mental health institutions governed by the Mental Health Act.”

She added: “Fluoride doesn’t prevent decay in teeth, it delays it by delaying the growth of teeth.

“It affects individuals differently depending on susceptibilities.”

The West Midlands Against Fluoridation campaign reckons there are health and environmental hazards, and also claims it’s putting an unnecessary burden on taxpayers.

According to the campaign’s website, the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority spent more than £4 million on fluoridation between 2009 and 2010, nearly double the £2,228,000 spent the year before.

And, aside from health and environmental issues, campaigners claim it’s a waste of cash as less than five per cent of tap water passes the lips – with most of it being used for showers and washing machines.

A statement from Severn Trent reads: “Fluoride is naturally present in all water supplies at varying levels. However, fluoride is added into the water supply by Severn Trent Water in some areas at the request of the relevant health officials to protect teeth from decay.”

The water supplier says fluoride is usually added as a powder or a diluted solution to bring the fluoride content up to one part per million and control systems make sure it doesn’t exceed the maximum concentration permitted by European standards.

Tonight’s meeting, starting at 8pm at St Oswald’s Church Hall, Jardine Crescent in Tile Hill, will hear from former city GP Dr Diane Philips, who claims she was made ill by the fluoride in the drinking water when she first moved to Coventry.