Campaigners against fluoride came out on the streets to show water companies the yellow card.
The National Pure Water Association (NPWA) joined forces with the West Yorkshire Campaign Against Fluoridation (WYCAF) to step up the campaign against fluoride being added to the water supply as a form of dental medication.
Campaigers handed out yellow postcards for people to send to the chairmen of water companies.
The postcrd bears the message: “Dear Chairman, Please let me have your assurance, in writing, that you will not add fluoride to my drinking water.
“Please do not refer me to the health authority. I refuse to consult with them on my fundamental rights.”
The postcard goes on to demand that if water companies go ahead with fluoridating the water supply, then they pay for a machine to take fluoride out of water supplies.
Action to make it easier to put fluoride in drinking water won Commons approval this [last] month, despite a revolt by Yorkshire MPs.
The Commons voted by 284-181 to defeat a move to ban the addition of fluoride to water supplies.
The ban would have applied in areas where fluoride is now added.
Local communities can now decide whether fluoride should be added to their tap water.
Water companies have had the power to fluoridate supplies since 1985, but most have not done so for fear of legal action from consumers opposed to it.
Under the Bill, health authorities will be given the power to force water companies to fluoridate supplies after local consultation.
Campaigners say that the chemical has never been safety tested or been subjected to any clinical safety trials.
“This is not a medicinal product, it is toxic waste and the taxpayer will be paying for the privilege of importing it and contaminating their own water supply,” said Peter Crampton, organiser of WYCAF.
“This is the most outrageous abuse of power and of our human rights.
“It is the first duty of MPs and Parliament, to protect the rights of the people that elected them.
“By voting this through Parliament, MPs have betrayed the public’s trust instead of protecting them. This is nothing short of a state sanctioned criminal act against the public – anyone promoting it is inciting criminal activity and should be dismissed from their positions.”
The campaigners gathered in Dortmund Square in Leeds city centre to urge people to sign the postcards and a total of 30 campaigners were around the streets of the city.
Mr Crampton added: “The battle to protect the nation’s water supply starts in Leeds.”
Leeds Green Party councillor, Ann Blackburn, who joined the campaigners at Saturday’s event, said: “We do not want this.
“Adding fluoride to water is affecting people’s rights. Everyone needs water, and adding fluoride to an essential supply is a breach of human rights.”
Mr Crampton can be contacted on 01422 884451.
Alternatively, you can visit the National Pure Water Association
Website. Their address is www.npwa.freeserve.co.uk .
[Box: What you said]
Mark Morton, 30, a web designer from Yeadon, said: “I think it is an abuse of the Government’s rights to do something like this to our water supplies. We are told that it is for the good of people’s health, but I believe it is our right to choose what we want to our water supplies.”
Richard Silverwood, 22, performance analyst of Knaresborough, said: “There have been studies that show it is not necessarily a good thing to have fluoride in the water supply there seems to be some proof that it can have adverse side effects.”
Nia Williams, 23, an unemployed woman from Knaresborough, said: “We are supposed to live in a liberal democracy and have a right to choose. It may be being done because it is supposed to be for the good of people’s health, but people should be able to make a choice about what they want to do. I don’t think anyone has the right to tell me how to live my life.”
Christopher James-Smith, 34, a bricklayer from Leeds, said: “I think it’s all wrong. It’s a bigger part of the problem of water pollution that needs to be dealth with. It’s not right for companies to go dumping stuff in the rivers and waterways – let alone the drinking water supply.”