Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation report clarification sought

Source: The Irish Times | July 10th, 2003 | by Alison Healy
Location: Ireland

A group of dentists will today call on an Oireachtas committee to investigate why a recommendation made to the Forum on Fluoridation was changed before the forum published its report last year. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) recommended that infant formula should not be made up with fluoridated tap water because babies under four months were exposed to fluoride doses over the recognised safety limit. It later withdrew this report and issued a new report which did not contain this recommendation. Instead, it recommended the monitoring of children’s fluoride intake, as well as compliance with statutory fluoride limits.

Dr Don MacAuley, chairman of Irish Dentists Opposing Fluoridation, said yesterday the first recommendation would have signalled an end to water fluoridation in Ireland.

But the FSAI has defended the changes in its recommendations and said the report was amended because some members of its scientific committee had not been at the meeting which agreed the first draft.

They disagreed with the risk assessment and a more detailed assessment was carried out, said Dr Wayne Anderson, the FSAI’s chief specialist in food science.

“There was no conspiracy. More science was brought to the table and it produced a better document, a more detailed risk assessment.”

Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis – a form of discoloration of the tooth enamel. Opponents of mass fluoridation also claim that fluoridation is linked with conditions such as hip fractures, osteoporosis and thyroid dysfunction.

Dr MacAuley and his colleagues will address the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children this morning.