When Aisling FitzGibbon was alerted to the toxic nature of fluoride, she removed it from her drinking water – with remarkable results in terms of improved health. Now she is taking a case against Ireland’s mandatory fluoridation…
Aisling FitzGibbon had suffered from depression and low energy for several years. A native of Tralee in Co. Kerry, by the time she qualified as an occupational therapist aged 23, FitzGibbon’s mental and physical health were on the point of collapse.
“I was going to doctors, and I was being treated with anti-depressants, but I wasn’t getting better,” she recalls. “In fact I was getting worse, to the point where my whole life-quality had diminished. That’s why I had to seek another solution. I wouldn’t have known about fluoride toxicity unless I’d been forced into finding out about it.”
In a bid to help herself, FitzGibbon enrolled for a course at the College of Natural Nutrition in Exeter, Devon. Here she heard for the first time about the health risks associated with fluoridated drinking water. She was advised to filter the fluoride and other contaminants out of the water she used for drinking and cooking back home.
“I started filtering my water, underwent a de-tox programme and came off all medications,” says FitzGibbon. “My energy levels had collapsed, but they started coming back up, and my whole system started to regenerate. After seven months, I was completely better.”
Is there a scientific explanation for the improvement?
“Fluoride interferes with thyroid function,” explains FitzGibbon, who is currently studying nutritional therapy. “People with depression often have either under-active or over-active thyroids, which may not come up in medical tests because they could be at sub-clinical levels. There are huge numbers of people in Ireland and the US, which also fluoridates, who suffer from thyroid illness.
“I’ve met people that didn’t have any thyroid problems until they moved to Ireland and started drinking the water here,” she adds. “It seems to be an epidemic in Ireland – the amount of young people who have depression or thyroid problems, or whose energy levels are impaired. I even met a young person who had to have his thyroid glands removed because they’d become so dysfunctional.”
Spurred into taking a deeper look at the effects of fluoride, Fitzgibbon is convinced of its pernicious impact on people’s health.
“It’s not just the thyroid and mental health,” she continues. “Fluoride causes health problems across the board. It’s only in recent years that people are really beginning to understand the effects that fluoride is a cumulative toxin. It may not harm you over a short period, but it will, over time, build up in the body and cause various problems, depending on your genetics and the different deficiencies that you might have.”
It was FitzGibbon’s own experience of the dramatic health improvement that occurred on removing fluoride from her diet, bolstered by what she subsequently learned through research, which convinced the young Kerrywoman to don the mantle The Girl Against Fluoride.
“I’m determined,” she asserts, “that to help people in Ireland to improve their health, I’m going to work very hard to get fluoride out of the water here.”
BREACH OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Ireland has been fluoridating the water supplies since 1964. “Since then,” says FitzGibboon, “fluoride has never once been tested for safety to assess its impact on human health, even though under the 1960 water fluoridation health act, the government was required to test for possible adverse health effects, should reasons to suggest ill effects arise.
That failure to test represents a blatant dereliction of responsibility on the part of the authorities. Worse than that, however, is the mendacious disregard for the truth which is manifest in the State’s response when their policy is challenged.
“The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, which was set up to advise the government in 2004, keep saying that there are no ill-effects, and that there are no studies worldwide to show there’s any harm,” Aisling says. “So the Department of Health keeps coming back with the same reply – that it’s a safe and effective way to prevent dental decay, and that there’s no scientific evidence to show any ill-effects. But, in fact, the opposite is true. There’s a massive amount of reliable, international scientific evidence showing that fluoride poses a serious health risk.
“The rest of Europe has decided that it is harmful and unethical to mass-medicate a country with chemicals in the water that have never once been tested for safety,” FitzGibbon adds. “And there are huge grassroots campaigns in America, Canada, Australia and other fluoridated countries, that are fighting to get rid of fluoride, and succeeding. Pressure from grassroots movements is the way that it’s being stopped. It may be difficult for governments to turn around and say, ‘Sorry, we’ve been doing this wrong for decades’. But once there’s enough public pressure, they’ll have to stop.”
This summer, The Girl Against Fluoride is taking a case against the Irish State over its mandatory water fluoridation policy, on the grounds that involuntary exposure to fluoride is a breach of her human rights because it interferes with her bodily integrity. FitzGibbon’s legal team are working pro bono, and they are determined to take the case to Europe if necessary.
“Germany stopped fluoridation decades ago on ethical grounds, because it’s unethical to mass-medicate an entire population,” explains FitzGibbon. “No doctor would prescribe the same medication for an infant as they would for an adult, or for a person who has kidney disease or thyroid disease or any other health problems. You don’t even need to debate the science to know that mass-medication is against our human rights. There’s no way you can monitor the amount of fluoride that people are ingesting, or the impact it’s having on an individual person.”
FLUORIDE IS A CORROSIVE ACID
FitzGibbon isn’t the first Irish female to challenge the State on fluoridation. Dublin woman Gladys Ryan – who died last February 23, aged 91 – took a High Court action in the early 1960s to prevent the addition of fluoride to the national water supply, on the grounds that it was unconstitutional to interfere with public water because people had no option but to drink it. Unfortunately for ensuing generations, Ryan lost her challenge.
Gladys Ryan’s bravery has been an inspiration to Aisling FitzGibbon, who says she is taking her own case in Ryan’s honour.
“For the court case to be successful, we need people to back it, not necessarily with money, but with their presence,” urges FitzGibbon. “We need people demanding an end to water fluoridation. We’ve had a massive amount of support so far, via the website and facebook. It’s growing into a strong grassroots campaign. We’re urging more people to come on board and help spread the real information on fluoride, especially since the government is suppressing it. People think fluoride is an innocent substance, because it’s in toothpaste. But the trucks that deliver it to the water treatment plants have a ‘corrosive acid’ warning on their sides. Fluoride is so corrosive that in its raw form it can burn through concrete. The person putting it into the water has to wear a full body suit.
“What we’re saying in our argument is that fluoridation should be stopped on the precautionary principle,” FitzGibbon concludes. “Alarm bells have to ring when you realise that the rest of Europe either never started to fluoridate, or else stopped in the ’70s and ’80s. Countries that don’t have fluoride have better dental decay rates than we do. Thalidomide, tobacco, asbestos – they were all going to be safe, and were pushed on people, and it was only through casualties that society realised how dangerous they were. We owe it to ourselves and our children to put a stop to this now.”