A MEETING between health bosses in Rugby last night had to be abandoned after it was besieged by protesters fighting flouride in the town’s water supply.
A row broke out at the meeting after the campaigners believed they had been labelled “stupid and poor” by dental health chiefs.
Rugby Primary Care Trust chairman Chrysandra Gilbert suspended the group’s board meeting after tempers flared between protesters, who believe fluoride is dangerous, and dental health experts, who say it is not.
The meeting was halted after protesters refused to stop asking questions, despite being told the subject was now closed.
They believed they had been insulted by director of public health and dentistry Dr Ian McIntyre, who was giving a presentation on fluoride to the Primary Care Trust.
He said he believed the chemical was safe and fluoride had been added to large areas of America, with no effects on health reported.
But when quizzed on why he had not recommended fluoride be added to the water in Stratford, he said that because the area was affluent, it was not necessary, as it was in inner-city areas.
He said: “In inner-city Manchester, they can’t even afford a toothbrush or healthy eating.
“In the Midlands, where we have the largest areas of artificial fluoridation, we have the best teeth in Britain.”
Protester Lilian Pallikaropoulos, of Hillmorton Road, said his comments were insulting.
She said: “He is saying people in Stratford are clever and rich but people in Rugby are stupid and poor and can’t look after their children.”
Before the meeting, Tom White, of Fleet Crescent, Rugby, said he believed fluoridation had led to his son’s thyroid condition.
His son, who is now grown up, had suffered from thyroid problems despite having no family history of the disease.
He said: “Fluoride is toxic – it is taken from chemical fertiliser and not purified in any way.”