A LEADING international critic of water fluoridation is to give a special presentation in Hampshire next month.

Professor Paul Connett’s visit comes as campaigners claim there is gathering momentum in their fight against controversial plans to add fluoride to water supplies in and around Southampton.

As revealed by the Daily Echo this week, the Government wants to take the power to authorise fluoridation away from health chiefs like those who approved the Hampshire scheme, and give it to elected councillors instead.

All local authorities governing the affected area – which covers parts of Southampton, Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams – say they oppose the existing plans.

Professor Connett will talk about claims that fluoridation is based on faulty evidence, focussing on scientific and ethical arguments against the practice.

South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has approved plans to fluoridate water supplies delivered to nearly 200,000 people.

Despite opposition that saw 72 per cent of respondents from the affected area say they were against the plans during a public consultation, SHA board members approved fluoridation convinced it will improve dental health.

Professor Connett, a founding member of the international Fluoride Action Network, was one of the panel members when the SHA held Question Time-style debates during consultation process.

He argues the evidence used by those promoting fluoride is flawed, and claims it is a dangerous poison that causes serious side effects including mottled teeth, brittle bones, cancers and lowered IQ in babies.

During his talk, the Emeritus Professor of chemistry at St Lawrence University in New York state will discuss topics raised in a book he has co-authored.

The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That keep It There is due to be published in October. The presentation at Southampton Solent University’s conference centre in Above Bar Street will be hosted by Hampshire Against Fluoridation chairman Stephen Peckham.

He has invited Hampshire MPs and councillors to the event, as well as key members of NHS Southampton and the SHA. Dr Peckham said: “We hope that SHA board members will take this opportunity to come and listen to Professor Connett’s talk which will set out why the scientific and ethical case against water fluoridation is so strong.”