A GROUP opposing the use of fluoride in water has given its backing to Green Party candidate Dan Boyle, who is running in Health Minister Micheál Martin’s constituency. Spokesman for Fluoride Free Water Dr Don McAuley said the group decided to endorse Cllr Boyle because he was well-versed in public health concerns surrounding mandatory fluoridation.
Dr McAuley said: “He played a key role in Cork City Council’s vote of no confidence in Mr Martin and his forum.
“He also got the council to carry a motion calling on the minister to give power to fluoridate to local authorities in their own administrative area.”
More than 1,000 submissions on the use of fluoride in drinking water have been received by a forum which is examining the controversial practice of fluoridation.
The Forum for Fluoridation, sent up in May 2000 by Minister Martin, has received submissions from environmentalists, the Food Safety Authority, dentists, politicians and members of the public.
A source close to the forum has revealed that their report, due for publication shortly, will recommend the continuation of fluoridation.
Nine county councils, two city councils and seven urban district councils have already voted to end fluoridation but have been over-ruled by the Department of Health.
Investing local authorities with the power to opt for or against fluoridation would require an amendment to the Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Act 1960.
A spokeswoman for the Health Minister said a decision on handing over this power would not been made until the findings of the report, six months behind schedule, are published.
Dr McAuley claimed the report was already fundamentally flawed because concerns expressed by the Food and Safety Authority (FSA) in relation to the use of fluoridated water in infant formula had not been included.
He said: “I got the information under the Freedom of Information Act. It is a complete scandal that this hasn’t been made public. Minutes from an October meeting of the FSA show a recommendation that infant formula should not be re-constituted with fluoridated tap water.”
A growing number of dentists believe children are damaged by fluoride everyday.
Dr McAuley said up to 50% of children in his dental practice show dental fluorosis, which leads to tooth decay. He described the practice of fluoridation as ‘mass medication’.