FAN’s regional contact in Israel, Betsy Ramsay , has provided the following update on the fluoridation situation there. The news is encouraging, as one of Israel’s most prominent environmental organizations, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (IUED), is actively opposing the government’s drive to mandate the fluoridation of every Israeli public water supply. According to Betsy, “in all likelihood, the IUED will take the matter to the Supreme Court of Israel in the next few months.”
Along with Betsy’s letter, we have posted a letter sent to the IUED from the former Investigative Chairman of Israel’s National Dental Association, thanking the organization for openly challenging the dogma of fluoridation.
Letter from Betsy Ramsay:
“We have been seeing a lot of significant developments in recent weeks. Shimon Tsuk, a hydrologist from the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (IUED), has been doing a great job. It has now come to light through his efforts that the whole project of fluoridating the water systems of Israel has been conducted in a very slipshod and nonchalant fashion and, in all likelihood, the IUED will take the matter to the Supreme Court of Israel in the next few months
We now know that:
1) The Israel Ministry of Health has never performed an analysis on the material (fluosilicic acid) being added to water supplies in numerous Israeli communities including Tel Aviv and Haifa, to discover what trace elements of, for instance, arsenic, lead, mercury or radioactive isotopes, the material may contain. They only check to see that the concentration is 1 ppm!
2) The responsible party at Rotem Deshanim Company (the fertilizer company in the Negev which supplies the fluosilicic acid) was not aware that this toxic waste product was being sold for adding to drinking water and he informed Mr. Tsuk that it was not food graded!
3) No studies have ever been conducted to determine what benefits or detriments to the population have resulted thus far from the fluoridation program here in Israel which, in some areas, has been in effect for 18 years!
4) After months of seeking to procure the protocol from the Knesset decision to mandate fluoridation in all of Israel, passed in Feb. 1998, Mr Tsuk finally obtained it and has discovered that the regulation was passed in about 20 minutes with, as I understand it, only one government official of significance present, the Minister of Finance. I have yet to see the text in English translation but, as I understand it, the major concern was to determine whether or not Israel could afford it!
So that’s the story for now. There are other developments, as well, such as the fact that authorities in charge of recycling waste water are now concerned (and rightfully so!) that the fluoride content may prove to be too high in the recycled water. Also organic food growers are concerned that they will not be able to sell their produce as “organic” if they are forced to water them with the FL water.
Finally, a number of the responsible parties in smaller communities are now realizing that the investment required for installing equipment, etc. would be completely out of line with possible benefits and that the same ends could be accomplished much more reasonably by providing children with fluoride drops, etc. I have to look into this last issue more myself before I can give you any details as to who and how many such parties have reacted. Will also try to secure a translation into English of the above-mentioned Knesset protocol, so that I can share it with you.”
Best greetings from Betsy
LETTER TO DIRECTOR OF THE ISRAEL UNION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE
April 1, 2001
I’ve been following with interest the articles and editorial remarks in the daily paper, HaAretz. Apparently, only open-minded people who have not been raised with the standard dental “concepts” would be able to write as your representative has written. It took an objective and unbiased observer, someone not hampered by standard fixed ideas or the fear of academic, public service officers or Health Ministry personnel, to shout out that the emperor has no clothes on.
As a veteran dentist and graduate of The Hadassah School of Dentistry as well as director of Ahuza Medical Center [in Haifa] , allow me to take off my hat to you! In the near future I will send you a number of articles demonstrating that there exists dissatisfaction even within the dental community with regard to the tedious, one-track mindedness of the claim that fluoridation is effective and greatly needed. As a certified business administrator, allow me to state that I have never been impressed by estimates of cost efficiency presented by The Ministry of Health.
From my knowledge, as one who has served as Investigative Chairman of The National Dental Association in Israel, I want to urge you not to be overly-impressed by the titles attached to letters sent to the press [in response to your statements]. Although I don’t know the individual background of each signatory, you need to know that the titles of these dental specialists have been awarded, for the most part, without special studies or examinations. They were granted solely on the basis of a peculiar interpretation and procedure determined by The Ministry of Health.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the recipients of these titles feel they have a certain obligation to The Ministry of Health to assist them in return.
If it will help you in any way, I will explain to you [more fully] sometime why the academia in the dental field are prepared to stand together as one man nowadays in support of fluoridation policy. In my humble opinion it is more a matter of politics than support of actual academic research. It’s a pity that this is the present state of affairs. I will be glad to be of service.
Dr. Gershon Horovitz,
Israel Union for Environmental Defense
317 Hayarkon Street
Tel Aviv 63504
Tel: 03-546 8099
Fax: 03-449 94
Established in 1990. The IUED is a public interest law group which provides free legal advice and representation to individuals and grass roots organizations. It addresses local pollution problems through citizens suits and nuisance actions and serves as a national resource for Israeli environmental law.
The IUED also acts as a “watchdog” over government ministries with regard to enforcement of environmental law and the implementation and development of policy.
The organization has also established Israel’s only Citizen’s Laboratory, providing low cost analysis of key environmental parameters in drinking water, air and soil.