Fluoride Action Network

UK government decision yet another blow to Irish fluoridation policy

Source: Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment (VOICE) | September 5th, 2002
Location: Ireland

Today’s decision of the UK’s Medical Research Council(‘MRC’) to investigate total fluoride exposure of individuals in the UK is another blow to Irish fluoridation.

The UK has conceded that action is now needed despite the fact that only 10 % of UK people are exposed to fluoridated water versus 73% here in Ireland .

Here, not only does the Department of Health insist fluoridation be compulsory, but it has not published any research into its long-term general health effects despite a statutory obligation to do so under Section 6 of the 1960 Fluoridation Act.

Health Minister Martin is due to release his own investigation into fluoridation policy in Ireland next week — a full year late. With 89% of those who sent submissions to the Minister’s Forum telling him they do not want fluoridation, the failings of his department will no doubt get the usual cover-up and denial, unlike the UK where the problem is now acknowledged.

Explaining the need for action after years of refusal, the MRC has conceded that there are now so many sources of fluoride — toothpaste, dental care products, pesticide residues in food — that total fluoride exposure must now be investigated and particularly in those regions which fluoridate their drinking water ( http://www.mrc.ac.uk).

” Only last month Belgium banned other forms of swallowed fluoride in clear recognition of its health risks, now the MRC has admitted there is a problem, yet our Health Minister blandly tells us that swallowing fluoride daily is safe and effective.” Said VOICE spokesman Robert Pocock.

The MRC statement has another serious implication for Irish consumers of fluoridated water : the need to investigate differences in the body’s uptake of naturally occurring fluoride versus artificially added forms, a vital difference which has long been highlighted by fluoride opponents. Several studies have shown that much greater amounts of artificially added fluoride are retained in the body than of the naturally occurring type.

This represents a major blow to credibility of the Irish Department of Health which has consistently stated that there is no difference
between them.

The negligence of our Health Department in checking fluoride safety is particularly serious since October 2000, when the UK’s in-depth systematic scientific review found insufficient evidence to support water fluoridation in the first place.

” Now the UK government has gone further by admitting there is a dearth of international research on fluoride safety — the very same research our Health Department officials say they have been relying on. How much longer are the Irish people from Dingle to Donegal going to be exposed to the untested industrial waste masquerading as a tooth preservative just because our health officials have clearly failed us ?” demanded VOICE spokesman Robert Pocock.