Fluoride Action Network

Scientists slam call to continue adding fluoride to water

Source: The Irish Examiner | November 7th, 2002 | by Caroline O
Location: Ireland

ELEVEN international scientists have come together to slate the Government-appointed Fluoridation Forum‚s recommendation that fluoride continue to be added to public water supplies.

They claim the recommendation is based on a narrow selection of studies and fails to take account of what they say is a growing body of evidence pointing to excess fluoride as the cause of a range of modern ailments.

The scientists five Americans, one Canadian, one New Zealander and others based in Britain, Japan and India were asked by the environmental group VOICE (Voice of Concern for the Irish Environment) to evaluate the Fluoridation Forum report published in September.

Some are long-time campaigners against fluoridation and were critical of the forum’s narrow focus. They said it centred almost exclusively on the issue of dental fluorosis (mottling of children’s teeth caused by excess fluoride).

They said out of a total of 295 pages in the report, only 17 were devoted to health issues other than fluorosis despite growing concern that excess fluoride contributes to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hip fractures, Alzheimer’s and bone cancer.

The scientists said: “In our view, by failing to assess properly all the evidence available in the international scientific literature, the Forum wasted a valuable opportunity to fully engage the scientific case opposing fluoridation as proposed by the Irish Minister of Health when he invited submissions to the Forum.

“We can only conclude that the aim of the authors of this report (the Forum’s) was not to study the evidence but to find ways to get around it. The report’s primary conclusion that there are no adverse health effects is not defensible and in our view is blatantly false.”

The Fluoridation Forum is made up of public health experts, local authority officials and environmental, dental and consumer interests. It was set up to review the policy of fluoridation which was adopted in 1963 and is used in all public water supplies in Ireland, affecting 74% of the population.

They found that tooth decay had reduced but dental fluorosis had increased. They said fluoridation should continue but at a slightly reduced dosage and that further research and monitoring should be carried out.

But critics say they failed to take account of the fact fluoride occurs naturally in some water sources and argue consuming it naturally, through fluoridated supplies and from toothpaste increases the concentration to potentially damaging levels.

VOICE says the policy amounts to “mass medication” and says the only alternative promoted by the Government drinking bottled water would cost a family of four 2,000 a year. The Department of Health is examining the Forum’s findings.

The Fluoridation Forum’s report is available at www.fluoridationforum.ie and the VOICE critique is on www.voice.buz.org or www.fluoridealert.org.