The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health was “extremely disappointed” with the lack of “engagement” and “succession plan” from the Department of Health over its future, this newspaper has learned.

The body, which was established in 2004, monitors new and emerging issues on fluoride and its effects on health and related matters and provides advice to the Minister for Health on all aspects of fluoride.

At its 14 December meeting, it was stated that the body’s terms of office were due to expire on 31 December and it had not been informed of any succession plan. “It was noted that this is the last meeting of the body and another will not be arranged due to work schedules/Christmas holidays of the members.”

The minutes further added that it “is extremely disappointed with the lack of engagement by the Department of Health regarding succession planning”.

The Medical Independent asked the Department about plans for the body in 2023, but no reply had been received before press time.

The minutes of the body’s previous meeting in October, “noted and agreed that the expert body has grave concerns that it has not been informed of future plans for an expert body post-December 2022.”

“It was further noted that the expert body is deeply concerned about the lack of succession/handover plans. It was agreed that continuous monitoring by an expert multidisciplinary team is required regarding community water fluoridation in Ireland for the public and for the environment.”

Members agreed at the October meeting that they would write to the Department again to outline their concerns.

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