Fluoride Action Network

An expert body, fluoridation and a ‘public health’ measure

Source: Irish Medical News | April 13th, 2004 | By Dr. Andrew Rynne
Location: Ireland

On March 3 this year, Deputy Damien English put the following question to the Minister for Health: “Has the regulation amending the optimal level of fluoride in drinking water from between 0.8 to 1.0ppm to between 0.5 and 0.8ppm as recommended by the Forum on Fluoridation yet been implemented?”

The Minister’s reply is too lengthy to quote here in full but the first few sentences will give you a feel for the general tenor of what he said: “The use of fluoride technology is known to manifest a positive oral health outcome. Local and national surveys and studies conducted since the introduction of fluoridation in this country attest to the reduced dental decay levels of children and teenagers in fluoridated areas compared to those residing in non-fluoridated areas”.

Mr Martin then goes on to describe the Forum on Fluoridation and what a stalwart group of expert men and women they were and what a wonderful job they did and, as expected and predicted from day one, how they found in favour of continued fluoridation. He chose, however, not to mention that the Forum recommended a big reduction in the amount of this unlicensed medicine that should be allowed to be added to our drinking water. Also omitted from his reply was any reference to the fact that the Forum’s new recommended level of this enforced medication has, according to themselves, “no significant benefit”.

But finally and to be fair about it, the Minister did eventually answer Deputy English’s original question. And yes, the expert body consisting of representatives from the areas of dentistry, public health medicine, toxicology, engineering, management and uncle Tom Cobley and all, is almost ready for action and is to have its inaugural meeting any day now, as soon as they can find a chairman. Again, this group of “experts” is there at Minister Martin’s invitation, and they are, just like the Forum that went before them, hand-picked for the job. It will be interesting to see how many of them will have been transplanted from the Forum.

They should each of them be deeply embarrassed. They have been asked to and have agreed to oversee a so-called “public health” measure that is, according to the Forum, “of no significant benefit”. They are about to oversee the continuance of mass enforced medication that is according to other experts, of no significant benefit. What kind of “experts” would want to sit on a committee to do something like that? It never ceases to amaze me what some people would do on foot of a Ministerial invitation.

But what are we to make of the Minister’s opening remarks; what’s this about “fluoride technology” for example? One of the things that I find particularly irritating about the incumbent Minister for Health is his assumption that he is addressing complete fools all the time.

Does the Minister believe for one second that by tacking on a word like technology to an old 1950s practice of adding industrial waste from the fertiliser industry to our drinking water that we will now begin to see this whole archaic practice in a better light? Force-feeding the population an unlicensed medicinal product via their drinking water supply has all the technological features of a shovel. You know that, I know that and the Minister knows that. So let’s just call a spade a spade here shall we, and stop all this nonsense about technology.

But as if calling the poisoning of our drinking water with fluosilicic acid, contaminated with arsenic, a technology wasn’t bad enough, having done that and assuming that by now he had rightly befuddled the whole lot of us in the process, the Minister then goes on to lose the run of himself altogether.

What, for example, is all this about local and national surveys and studies conducted since the introduction of fluoridation attesting to the reduction in dental decay. This is just verbiage. It is as if you use enough words you might start to sound credible. The reality is that there have been but two small studies conducted on fluoridation in Ireland since it was introduced in 1964.

And besides that, the Minister knows full well, or if he doesn’t he should know full well, that the global science behind fluoridation is equivocal and that the practice has been abandoned in most civilised and developed states long ago. Cherry-pick one set of studies and you come away thinking fluoride was the best thing since charcoal biscuits were invented to cleanse the bowel. Cherry-pick another set and fluoride begins to look like botulism.

So now this sorry charade trundles on to phase two; to the implementation of the Forum’s recommendations. This hand- picked expert body of men and women will oblige the Minister and deliver as promised the continuance of a so-called public health measure. The only difference now is that this slow poisoning is to be delivered at a lower level, a level that has no significant benefit. I quite simply despair but I do not intend giving up.