Fluoride Action Network

End of ‘mass medication’ fluoride in water would save €12m

Source: The Irish Times | November 30th, 2013 | By Marie O
Location: Ireland
The Government would save €12 million if it stopped adding fluoride to the water supply, Labour delegates were told in a row about alleged possible dangers of fluoridation.Labour chief whip Emmet Stagg proposed that Minister of State for Health Alex White should examine the issue.

Mr Stagg believed “the time has run out for this form of mass medication”.There’s no means of measuring the amount of water people drink, he said. It varied from person to person from the amount of tea, coffee or alcohol or beer they drank.

He claimed: “It’s a most unscientific way of taking a substance that is recognised as being dangerous if it goes beyond certain limits.”The Kildare North TD said it might be better to give people a toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride.But Paraic McLoughlin from Oxmanstown, Dublin Central said the party was “in danger of being misled by a vocal coalition of the paranoid, more fitted to the Tea Party than the Labour party, deliberately misquoting and selectively quoting science to scare monger people in an attempt to attack a public health initiative”.

He said opponents rejected science in favour of pseudo-science and snake oil sellers.

But Sinead Seery from the Coolock, Dublin North-East branch said “this isn’t about scaremongering, it’s about choice”.

Ms Seery said it was time, not to examine the issue, but to stop fluoridation.

She said that “in this time term of austerity we’d actually money because it costs about 12 million to add it to our water”.

Fluoride is a medication and there have been studies indicating that it is harmful to other parts of the body, she said.

“It’s great for our teeth…but what about my liver, for example. I don’t know how much fluoride is going to be processed by my liver and…. we don’t know the long-term effects.”

Ronan McManus from Bray said that “as a preventative measure fluoride does tick all the boxes”.

He pointed to Irish studies which showed a 40 per cent reduction in cavities in areas that are fluoridated compared to areas where water is not fluoridated.

“There are no studies that show it has been harmful over and above dental fluorosis,” he said.

Mr McManus said the campaign was “gaining a little ground for anti-science and anti-government reasons. It’s very pro small government and anti government health measures”.

The conference voted to refer the issue to the Minister.