FIRST it was the bid to legalise brothels – now it’s the battle to stop fluoride being added to our water.
Members of the Hampshire Women’s Institute are the latest to add their weight to a growing campaign fighting plans to fluoridate the county’s water.
A resolution, put forward by the organisation’s Ashurst branch, says the proposal must be abandoned because of the potential for negative health effects.
The 7,000 members of the county federation will now be asked to vote on the issue at this month’s annual meeting.
If backed, the influential group will lobby MPs, councillors and the county’s health chiefs to scrap their controversial plans.
Hampshire WI vice-chairman Lynne Andrews said fluoridation was an important issue that must be debated.
“My personal view is that if people want fluoride they can get it in plenty of other ways, be it from tablets or toothpaste. I don’t like chemicals being added to anything,” she said.
“There are alwasys things to fear when you take medication. Is it right to risk the health possibly of several hundred thousand people for the sake of just a few?”
Southampton Primary Care Trust wants to introduce fluoride in a bid to improve the chronic dental health in poorer areas of Southampton after other measures have failed.
The authority, which wants to add fluoride to the water of 200,000 Hampshire residents, says it is carrying out a balanced and open consultation before a decision goes to its board in February.
Mrs Andrews said previous resolutions, such as last year’s call to legalise brothels, had gained national attention and often led to action.
“Resolutions are something that the Women’s Institute have done for about 90 years and some have been very pertinent to their time,” she said.
“We have 250,000 members nationwide and if we are overwhelming in favour or against something the Government do tend to listen to us.”