Do you advise young mothers calling to you on their first post-natal visit, with precious baby tightly held in their arms, about the hazards of using tap water to reconstitute infant formula?
No, well maybe it is a subject that should be given a little more thought. After all, the British Medical Association have very clear views on this subject. It says that the safe limit of fluoride concentration in infant formula is 0.15 ppm.
The average concentration of fluoride in the water supply of 85 per cent of the households in this country is 0.8 to 1.0 ppm or, in other words, about six times higher than the upper limit as recommended by the BMA.
This comes to the little baby courtesy of the local authority, which is duty-bound to dump 2,000 gallons of hydrofluorosilicic acid into our water supplies every day. Fluoride, if it is effective at all and there is no evidence that it is, brings about this effect via the topical route, as it is directly applied to the surface of teeth. But, unfortunately, little babies do not have any teeth. So as it swallows down its daily pint of this accumulative poison courtesy of the State, it must run all the risks without being yet equipped to enjoy any of the dubious advantages. Babies, like their toothless great-grannies, must swallow the poison, yet be denied any of the dubious the benefits. Where is the equality and fairness in all of that, Mr Martin would you please explain to us?
Of course, the wretched and most miserable Forum on Fluoridation did ‘address’ the question of using Irish tap water to reconstitute infants’ formula. But like most things that this pitiful talk-shop ‘addressed’, their efforts were half-arsed, their conclusions non-existent.
Just look at them, would you. They were supposed to have their report out last October, but October came and went and no report. Then it was to be by the end of November. Again November came and went and still silences from this gentleman’s club down in the new dental hospital.
Christmas, we were assured. We will have it for you by Christmas, their website promised.
But Santa had come and gone, the old tree taken down and the lights put away and still no report, and still the babies drink their enforced, unlicensed medication every day.
And now where are we, into the beginning of March and devil the report from the Forum. How can you trust people who keep breaking their promises like this? If Osama bin Laden phoned me and said he wanted to buy me a pint down in Larry’s I would look forwards to that drink with about as much confidence as I would to getting any class of a report from this Forum on Fluoridation.
On the question of forcing toothless babies to swallow six times the safe limit of fluoride every day, the Forum on Fluoridation did what the Forum on Fluoridation does best. They passed the buck. The buck catcher in this case has a rather long name and is referred to as the Scientific Sub-committee on Additives, Contaminants and Residues of the Food Safety Authority.
Anyway, this lot were supposed to have their report out last September. But of course, true to form, we are still waiting. Ask this fickle Forum any awkward question the answer to which might reflect badly on the practice of mass fluoridation, the practice that they are there to protect, and you will never get an answer from them. They become like a bunch of maiden aunts, all coy and silent.
But at a meeting of the Seanad held on February 13 last, which was attended by our colleague, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children Dr Moffatt, Senator Avril Doyle was having none of this. She wanted to know where was the sub-committee’s report on the safety of Irish tap water when used to reconstitute infant’s formula.
Her question, I think, was not unreasonable given that the issue had been raised before the forum some eight months previously.
Dr Moffatt’s reply to this simple question was quite breathtaking and would be funny even were the subject not so deadly serious.
He said, and I am quoting from Dail transcripts here: “I am informed by the authority that the primary reason for the delay in the publication of the report on the risk assessment of potential hazards of using fluoridated water for reconstituting infant formula is that the issues involved are complex and still under discussion by the scientific sub-committee.”
So here we have a committee of scientific experts charged with the serious task of deciding if it is all right to feed infants what is, according to the BMA, over six times the safe limit of fluoride. And what do they do? After eight months and still no report, they start whining about how complex the whole thing is.
Would you give us a break for God’s sake. Of course, the issues are complex. Is that not the very reason why the Forum and its sub-committees are made up of the brains of Ireland – egg heads and professors of this and that, Deans and heads of academic departments. Simple questions are for a table quiz down in Larry’s pub where I will be meeting Osama, complex questions are for forums held within the bosom of high academia.
Actually, come to think of it, it might just be worth running this one by a table quiz down in Larry’s pub. At least, unlike the fickle Forum, they would come up with some sort of answer and it wouldn’t take them nine months either, for there’s drinking to be done.
And who knows, maybe somebody down there would have heard of the BMA’s report. People who take their table quizzes seriously are no daws, I can tell you as I have learned to my cost. So the Forum on Fluoridation doesn’t like complex questions, or at least complex questions the answer to which might reflect badly on that practise which they hold so dear to their little hearts, namely the dumping of toxic waste into our fresh water supplies.
I have a simple question then for the Forum. According to the nursery rhyme Sing A Song of Sixpence, four and 20 what were baked in a pie? Were they:
A. Duck-billed platypus;
B. Natterjack toads;
D. Pipestril bats.
Take your time now Forum, don’t rush it, take a year or two if you like.
And can I remind you that you have three life-lines left. You can go 50-50. You can ask people to come in and make presentations or you can phone the Scientific Sub-committee.