ANTI-FLUORIDATION campaigners have reacted with disappointment to suggestions that the Minister for Health’s review committee will recommend that public water supplies continue to be dosed with fluoride. The Fluoridation Forum’s report, due for publication next Tuesday, is expected to recommend that the fluoride dose be reduced rather than discontinued and that further research be carried out into the effects of fluoridation.
The leak to the irishhealth.com medical news website came on the same day that the Medical Research Council in Britain warned that the use of fluoride in toothpaste was so widespread that it was impossible to know how much fluoride people were exposed to in total or to measure the impact of water fluoridation.
The council’s report is likely to place a question mark over the British government’s plans to increase fluoridation of public water supplies there.
The Fluoridation Forum began work two years ago following growing pressure for a review of fluoridation policy in light of opinion by some medical experts internationally that excess fluoride originally introduced to prevent tooth decay can cause fluorosis (discolouration of teeth), cancer, thyroid and reproductive problems, gastrointestinal illnesses, neurological defects, irritable bowel syndrome and brittle bones from osteoporosis.
County Kildare GP Dr Andrew Rynne is taking the State to court to try to stop compulsory fluoridation on the grounds that its toxicity has been inadequately researched.
The case is expected to begin in the High Court early next year. Dr Rynne said yesterday nothing in the leaked recommendations gave him reason to reconsider his action.
“Unless they say fluoridation should stop immediately, I won’t be withdrawing from this. Even if they do recommend there be further research.
“Well, firstly, that (research) was blindingly obvious it didn’t take a forum to know that but I would say they should discontinue adding fluoride until the result of the research is known.”
The 18 member committee comprises representatives from dental, medical, legal, environmental and consumer interests but within these wider sectors there are marked differences of opinion.
Professor Denis O’Mullane of the Oral Health Services Research Centre at University College Cork has pointed to past comparative studies which showed 45% less cavities in communities with fluoridated water supplies.
But Irish Dentists Opposing Fluoridation (IDOF) claims mass fluoridation amounts to prescribing medicine for a patient the prescriber has not met and whose medical history is unknown.