Campaign for Safe Drinking Water
Founded in England, 1960
From National Pure Water Association, 12 Dennington Lane,
Wakefield WF4 3ET.
PRESS RELEASE - 01 July, 2003
CIVIL AND CRIMINAL INDEMNITY FOR WATER COMPANIES?
Andy Burnham, MP for Leigh, wrote in the Parliamentary Health Magazine, May 30, 2003, issue No.6, Vol.1: "I have said I will table amendments to it [the Water Bill] to clear up the legislative mess where water companies can turn down democratic requests for fluoridation."
But the Water Companies want civil and criminal indemnity if Parliament passes an Amendment to compel them to fluoridate their customers' water supplies.
Jane Jones, Campaign Director of the National Pure Water Association, is scathing about Andy Burnham's assertion that fluoridation is a democratic matter. "It is not," she insists. "Fluoridation is indiscriminate mass medication. People have an absolute right to determine for themselves what they will and will not put into their bodies. This right is denied when medicine is added to the public drinking water supply."
She highlights the reasons why Water Companies require indemnities.
"They know that the Report by the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination found that dental fluorosis affects 48% of fluoridated populations - this is damage which nearly half of fluoridated populations cannot avoid.(1) "They know that the Medical Research Council recommended further research and that this work has not even been done. They know that fluoridation is an extremely contentious issue and very unpopular with their customers. According to Private Eye, [13-26 June 2003, No.1082, p27] 'they also want protection from the actions of customers who are opposed to fluoridation, including the costs of debt recovery from those who refuse to pay their bills.' "
Ms Jones continued: "The Water Companies know that fluoridation violates the EU Human Rights Convention, to which the UK has signed up. And they also know that the chemicals are scheduled Part II poisons under the Poisons Act 1972, because we showed it to them." (2).
According to Andy Burnham, MP, the Government will give MPs a free vote on the issue. But campaigners point to what happened when the Tory Water (Fluoridation) Bill was passed on a free vote in 1985. 165 MPs voted in favour of the Bill, 82 MPs voted against and 399 MPs abstained, thus allowing the Bill to pass.
"That was a disgraceful day in Parliament, when MPs were in dereliction of their duty to protect the rights of their constituents," says Ms Jones. "Two thirds of the British electorate were effectively disenfranchised by 399 lily-livered abstainers, including known anti-fluoridation MPs. Eddie McGrady, MP, got it right, accusing anti-fluoridation MPs of voting 'against their consciences in order to keep their beloved offices, cars and salaries.' " [Hansard, 5 March 1985, Column 936.].
If the Government gives civil and criminal indemnity to Water Companies, it will set a very dangerous precedent. How many more companies will line up at 'New' Labour's door to ask for criminal indemnity?
Forensic ecologist, Doug Cross, said: "The current offer of indemnity to water suppliers, in the new Water Bill, constitutes an offer of contract from the Government to the suppliers to indemnify the suppliers against claims from the public. Since fluoridation is illegal, the offer of contract is also illegal, and certainly unenforceable. A fine way to treat your public."
Contact: Jane Jones, 01924 254433.
Cllr Liz Vaughan, Chairman, NPWA, 01229 885420.
Doug Cross, Forensic ecologist, 01398 371305.
NOTE TO EDITOR - Please check the following:
1. Smile, please, but don't say "Cheese!"
2. Doug Cross' Review of the HR legislation:
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