Fluoride Action Network

Southampton/Hampshire: Campaigners taking 14,000-name petition to Downing Street

Source: Daily Echo | June 8th, 2009 | By Jon Reeve
Location: United Kingdom, England

ANTI-fluoride campaigners will tomorrow deliver a petition to the Government, calling for plans to add the chemical to Hampshire’s water be scrapped.

Around 30 activists will travel to Downing Street to hand over the signatures they have collected in opposition to the controversial scheme.

The petition calls on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to reverse South Central Strategic Health Authority’s decision to approve plans to fluoridate tap water to nearly 200,000 Hampshire homes.

Hampshire Against Fluoridation (HAF) has gathered more than 14,000 names on the document, which will be delivered to Number Ten tomorrow morning.

“We’re calling on Gordon Brown to step in and reverse the decision. We don’t want fluoride in the water full stop, and want democracy to be reinstated,” said HAF’s Caroline Place.

“When he came to Southampton, he said that it was a decision for the people, and effectively now the people have decided. It’s overwhelming amongst people we’ve asked that they don’t want it.”

Romsey and Southampton North MP Sandra Gidley joined members of Hampshire Against Fluoridation in the city centre on Saturday for their final push to attract more signatures. Along with New Forest East MP Julian Lewis and Eastleigh representative Chris Huhne, she will also be with the activists tomorrow when they visit London.

After handing over the petition, HAF members will then deliver a letter to the Department of Health, before meeting members of the All Parlia-mentary Group Against Fluoridation.

With MPs, they will discuss the situation regarding fluoridation in other parts of the country and the next steps in their campaign to stop it being introduced in Hampshire.

The scheme, unanimously approved by the SHA board in February, will affect two thirds of Southampton homes, as well as parts of Eastleigh, Totton, Netley and Rownhams.

Fluoridation was proposed by city health chiefs as the best way to improve high levels of tooth decay among children.

Around 5.5m UK residents already receive fluoridated water, and the practice is widely used in countries including the USA, Ireland and Australia.

Opponents maintain there are worrying side effects, including mottled teeth, bone cancers and even lowered IQ in babies. They believe the process is unethical mass medication.