Fluoride Action Network

Drinking ourselves to death

Source: Irish Medical News | October 3rd, 2001 | by Dr. Andrew Rynne
Location: Ireland

Ten county councils and seven urban district councils in Ireland are now officially opposed to the fluoridation of drinking water, but remain statutorily duty-bound to continue with the practice whether they like it or not. The legislation that continues to force their hands in this respect is called the Health (fluoridation of water) Supplies Act 1960. Indeed, the county councillors have reason in plenty to be worried, not just for the health concerns of their electorate, but for their own personal health as well.

In my own county of Kildare, all county councillors voluntarily submitted urine samples to determine their fluoride levels and 75 per cent of them were found to have levels in excess of the so-called ‘safe level’ of three to four mgs. In one case, it was as high as eight mgs of fluoride, and this in a man who only drank two or three cups of tea a day.

Less than two per cent of all of Europe’s population is now exposed to this daily enforced dose of medicine. In that small group of unfortunate people, you can count in 95 per cent of the population of this country. So here we go yet again, Ireland remains way out of step. Are you trying to tell me that 98 per cent of the people in Europe have got it all wrong and that we Irish, the two per cent, are right?

I mean to say, is such a proposition logical, scientific or credible? Or is there something so different about the Irish that says that we must be fluoridated while everyone else need not be?

With the introduction of fluoridation back in the dark ages of 1960, the substance that was being used for this purpose was sodium fluoride as stipulated in the Act.

Now they are no longer using sodium fluoride and this has been replaced by hydrofluoric acid – a totally distinct chemical entity than that called for in the Act. Yet, unbelievably, when moving from one to the other, no studies whatsoever were undertaken into the safety or efficacy of this new chemical entity.

Moreover, the Act specifically stipulates that “general health studies” be carried out from time-to-time into the efficacy and safety of fluoridation. Unbelievably, after 41 years of this controversial practice, not one single study has been carried out into the safety of fluoridating our water supplies with this waste product from the fertiliser industry.

Asked about this on the Prime Time programme of Feb 22, 2000, the Minister for Health Micheál Martin famously replied that “Ireland was too small a country to study”.

If it is in fact too small a country to study, then one would wonder if it may then not be too small a country to mass-poison as well.

It is not that there is any shortage of people willing to help the Minister. For example, the Irish Doctors Environmental Association sought a small grant from the Department for the purpose of conducting a simple survey on the blood levels of fluoride amongst the Irish population. I am no statistician, but I would have thought that a one-thousand cross-community randomly-selected sample would have given very useful information, if only on a pilot study basis.

Or in other words, such a survey would be inexpensive, cost-efficient and a very good starting point into any kind of understanding of the effects of fluoridation on the Irish population. And yet unbelievably, these doctors’ very useful suggestions and offer of help was rejected by the Minister. (Dáil Written Answers 291 – 3/7/01).

It simply beggars belief as to why a Minister of Health would not be interested, even as a starting point, in ascertaining what the fluoride levels are in a representative sample of the Irish population.The cost of such a pilot study would hardly exceed £10,000. But no, the Minister turned the offer down and instead opted to set up a Forum on Fluoridation comprising, in the main, a group of hand-picked individuals.

This talking shop has, I believe, no intention of studying anything, will cost a great deal more than £10,000, and will tell us nothing of the real hazards of fluoridation.

A new book has just come to hand on this whole question of fluoride and it is a cracker. Published by Newleaf and written by the author of Eat Fat, Get Thin, Barry Groves, the book is titled Drinking Ourselves to Death.

This book is simply a must for anyone interested in this most important of subjects. It is packed from cover to cover with quotable quotes and with referenced facts all cleverly laid out in digestible form.

This book, I believe, will quickly become a standard reference for anyone in Ireland anxious to rid the country of the outmoded and odious practice of compulsory fluoridating of our drinking water supplies.

Let me just give you a flavour. “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right,” Thomas Paine, Introduction to Common Sense 1776. Who would have thought that an eighteenth century philosopher would have such brilliant insight into a twenty-first century problem? For as it stands today, the only justification for fluoridation may be that we have now for a long time thought of it as not wrong.

Or how about this quotation on the same page: “No scientist is infallible, and every scientist is entitled to his errors. But when he omits crucial facts in order to influence laymen, he does not become a dishonest scientist; he ceases to be a scientist.” Prof Peter Beckman.

On the Forum on Fluoridation, I believe that crucial facts, like our not knowing even the average blood levels of fluoride in the Irish population, are being omitted. Such a major omission casts a definite question mark over the effectiveness of the Forum.