Sir, – Patrick Flanagan (September 14th) castigates me for describing the Fluoridation Forum Report (which he claims I had not studied properly) as a ‘whitewash’. Surely Dr Flanagan knows the publication of the report was inexplicably delayed and anyone interested in the issue already knew its main ‘findings’. Indeed, I predicted in a press release, quite some time ago, that the forum report would find in favour of continuing water fluoridation. The preponderance of pro-fluoridationists on the forum made this the most likely outcome.
When I made my initial comments I had access only to the executive summary. Now that I have had the opportunity to read every word of the report (what a penance!), I find it is even worse than I had suspected. Page 137 contains a real gem: ‘If the precautionary principle were always followed, then nothing would ever be done.’ How can Dr Flanagan stand over such an ignorant, generalised comment? And how can he back a report which fails to explain why dental caries has not increased in countries where fluoridation has been stopped?
Space does not permit me to outline in detail the many deficiencies in this report. However, I have no doubt that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children will examine it in detail when it reconvenes. I look forward to Dr Flanagan and his colleagues coming before the committee to explain themselves. – Yours etc.,
John Gormley TD,
Green Party Chairman,
Dail Eireann, Dublin 2.