After completing an exhaustive independent environment risk assessment and due diligence on water fluoridation in Ireland (http://www.enviro.ie/risk.html), I agree entirely with the views expressed by Dr Neville Wilson in his letter of June 15, 2012.
All medicines must undergo medical trials before they can be given to patients. Legal precedence exists in Europe, establishing without any doubt that water fluoridation is defined as a medical product. In 1983, Lord Jauncey found that fluoridated water fell within the Medicines Act 1968; this legal finding has been supported in the British Medical Journal and Medical Law International.
More recently in relation to medicinal products for human use, the European Court of Justice in 2005 determined that no ‘medicinal product’ — defined in their words as “any substance presented for treating or preventing disease in human beings” — may be given to consumers without appropriate scientific risk assessments taking into account the varying degrees of sensitivity of different consumer groups.
In the case of water fluoridation, high-risk groups include infants, diabetics, individuals with nutrient deficiencies, the older population and people with thyroid disease and kidney failure.
The aim of a toxicological trial is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the product. It is also used to discover what side effects it may have and whether it may positively or negatively impact on the health of the patient. This involves toxicological and clinical medical trials, including laboratory tests using human cells grown in the laboratory, animal testing and tests for toxicity.
The data generated from this are used to determine if the results are scientifically valid and that the research is properly conducted in accordance with best practice. The data from clinical trials is then evaluated in a risk benefit assessment to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks.
The most comprehensive independent scientific examinations undertaken on water fluoridation by the US National Research Council, and most recently by the European Commissions Scientific Committee for Health and Environmental Risk (SCHER), both found that the toxicology of hexafluorosilicic acid used for water fluoridation in Ireland and its hexafluorosilicate compounds are unknown and incompletely investigated.
By continuing with its mandatory policy of water fluoridation (Ireland is one of only two countries in the world with a mandatory national legislative policy on artificially fluoridating drinking water supplies, the other being Singapore, who incidentally dose their water with approximately half the level applied here), Ireland is not only in breach of EU law, but is exposing its citizens to unnecessary risk and violating its international legal obligations, which enshrine the ‘precautionary principle’ into the governance of this State.
There is now an urgency in which the State must now act to end this harmful practice, given the published scientific findings by researchers at Harvard University in July, which found that fluoride in water causes permanent neurological damage to children, a finding that sadly supports the observations noted in my own report submitted to Government six months ago and which have been completely ignored.
Environmental Auditor and Risk Management Consultant,
Bandon, Co Cork.