This whole business has become high farce. At this stage it would appear nobody in their right mind could take it seriously or, for that matter, care less about it. It is, of course, yet another committee, paid for, as always, by you and I, the long-suffering taxpayers. That consummate lover of the home-grown committee Mr Micheál Martin established this particular committee way back in April, 2004. This is no committee of ordinary mortal souls like you or I. Oh no. This is a committee of “experts”, I’ll have you know. Let’s have a bit of respect around here now if you please.

Well in any case, that’s what they call themselves, the Expert Body on Fluorides and Health. They are essentially a committee established almost two years ago to oversee the recommendations of the Forum on Fluoridation. The report from this Forum eventually saw light of day way back in September, 2002. The membership of the Forum and that of the Expert Body is for the most part one and the same people. One wonders if the few new names that appear on the Expert Body come from the same academic stables of fluoridation protagonists? It all looks very cosy.

So, what has this body of geniuses managed to achieve in its 20 months of existence? Nothing, is the quick answer to that one. They were established almost two years ago to oversee the implementation of the Forum’s recommendations and, to date, they have achieved absolutely nothing. One of the prime recommendations of the Forum was to reduce the amount of fluoride being added to the nation’s drinking water supply. The reason behind this, as the Forum’s report makes clear, is because the levels being added at present (one part per million) is not safe for human consumption.

Sorry, let’s be absolutely honest here now, they did actually do something last year. Oh yes indeed, and what was that, I hear you ask breathlessly. They drew up an action plan. Isn’t that wonderful. An action plan, if you please.

Almost four million people in Ireland, men, women, children, and little babies are being force-fed an overdose of fluoride, a known poison, and this poison is being added into their drinking water by the State, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Even the State’s own Forum, after a few years deliberation, had to admit that the amount of fluoride being added is too high and must be reduced.

Wouldn’t you think, therefore, that given the gravity of the situation, the very first thing that any group of scientists appointed to oversee the recommendations of the Forum would do is stop fluoridation altogether until they got matters sorted out? They have had almost two years to switch the fluoridation taps off at the 600 waterworks across Ireland where this dubious practice still goes on and they haven’t managed to switch one of them off. They have, however, drawn up an action plan.

Introducing this plan, which was drawn up last April, the group’s Chairman Dr Seamus O’Hickey, made the following announcement: “The Expert Body’s highest priority is to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Forum on Fluoridation. The Expert Body has identified the lowering of fluoride in drinking water to a range of 0.6-to-0.8 with a target of 0.7 as its first priority.”

The Expert Body has, in fact, identified no such thing. The lowering of fluoridation levels was identified by the Forum way back in 2002. But then, of course, since the Forum and the experts are bits of tweedledee and tweedledum I suppose that confusion is inevitable. More seriously though, if this was a so-called highest priority almost a year ago, how come not one single action has been taken in the meantime. Tell me, is this still pantomime season?