While the Junior Minister for Health Alex White was formulating the answers to the 27 Questions posed to him by Hot Press 37-06 (questions were published 28th March 2013, answers will be published in next Hot Press 37-09, to be published 9th May 2013), other official bodies are beginning to move against fluoride...
In a major boost to the burgeoning campaign to get fluoride out of Irish public water supplies, on April 7, all nine members of Skibbereen Town Council in West Cork voted for an immediate cessation to water fluoridation.
While the town council has no statutory function in relation to fluoridation, their stance is a hugely significant one. Taking a determined lead on the issue, they have initiated what they hope will blossom into a collective call from Ireland’s town, city and county councils for an end to the mandatory fifty-year practice of dosing the public water supply with a known neurotoxin, ostensibly to prevent dental decay.
The motion was brought by Fine Gael town councillor, Brendan McCarthy, who is also the principal in Union Hall National School.
“I’d been hearing about the problems with water fluoridation from the West Cork scientist, Declan Waugh,” he says. “Then I attended a water quality conference last February in Letterkenny in Donegal, where I heard a talk by Walter Graham on fluoride. Graham explained the scientific concerns in layman’s terms. He also described how it had been done in two communities in northern Ireland, with the pressure to bring it in everywhere else – but through a campaign highlighting the dangers and risks, they prevented it from being introduced, and stopped it in the two communities that were being fluoridated.
“The health differences between north and south,” says McCarthy, “and the maps I’ve seen of the cancer incidences north and south – it’s scary stuff. At the conference they demonstrated the corrosive effects of hydrofluorosilicic acid – if it can do that kind of damage to steel and concrete, what’s it doing to our bodies? And we saw pictures of dental fluorosis – the discolouration of the teeth from fluoride overexposure in a child’s early years – and again, if it’s doing that to the only part of the skeleton we can see, what’s it doing to the rest?
“The main points that I wanted to get across to the other councillors in Skibbereen,” explains McCarthy, “are that we are the only 2% in Europe still doing this, and that if there are any doubts about safety with any practice you have a responsibility to stop it, until you are 100% sure that there are no risks.
“Even if it turns out that it is not fluoride that is behind disease incidence differences north and south, and between Europe and us, it makes sense to stop it now and see whether there’s an improvement in health over time. Continuing it is mad.”
The motion that was put to the town council, and passed, included the following passage:
“The ‘benefits’ given for continuing the process carry no weight when considered against the wide variety of major health concerns validated by countless volumes of research, studies and data to the contrary. The risks involved to public health by this mass medication of the population are proven and are too great to continue to ignore. We need immediate action!”
Hot Press understands that, in response to speaking out against fluoridation, Skibbereen Town Council was contacted by the Irish Expert Body on Fluoridation and Health – the pro-fluoridationist group set up by the Irish government to ‘advise’ it regarding fluoride.
“We got a two-page reply from the Expert Body, with no signature at the bottom of the letter,” says McCarthy. “They picked holes in Declan Waugh’s report, claiming it was unscientific. But Waugh is not the only scientist opposed to fluoridation. At the conference in Letterkenny, Walter Graham had a stack of books and papers on the scientific concerns over the adverse health effects of fluoride. None of those authors have been challenged in courts of law or sued for putting out false information. Why would these scientists be opposing water fluoridation, if they don’t consider there to be ill-effects and risks involved?”
The letter from the Irish Expert Body to Skibbereen Town Council states:
“Fundamentally the Expert Body maintains that there continues to be overwhelming evidence that water fluoridation significantly benefits dental health and through this, benefits overall health. The Expert Body is satisfied having studied current peer-reviewed scientific evidence worldwide that water fluoridation causes no ill effects to the health of adults or children.”
Echoing the sentiments of Hot Press readers who’ve been following the fluoride story over the last few months, Brendan McCarthy is flabbergasted by the attitude of the Irish Expert Body, none of whom are toxicologists.
“I don’t understand how the Expert Body can dismiss the research of so many reputable scientists internationally, and simply state that at the current time, fluoridation is seen as best practice in the interests of dental health,” says McCarthy. “Meanwhile, every family in Ireland is being affected by cancer. In India and China they’re taking naturally occurring fluoride out of the water because it’s dangerous. Let’s get the fluoride out and see if it makes a difference to the nation’s health.”
“We were shocked by Cllr Brendan McCarthy’s information on fluoridation,” Skibbereen Town Mayor, Fine Gael’s Karen Coakley adds. “As a result we decided to circulate the motion calling for an end to water fluoridation to every council in Ireland – including 80 town councils – and also to the Ministers of Health, Environment, Heritage & Local Government, and to An Taoiseach.
“The facts about the risks of water fluoridation themselves are staggering,” adds Coakley. “And when you consider that most of our rules and procedures are coming from Europe, yet we’re the only country in Europe that has mandatory water fluoridation, you have to question why.
“The town council will be meeting again in early May, when we’ll get the feedback from other councils to our motion. It would be absolutely fantastic if the 80 town councils in Ireland were to support it. If all councils would agree on it, then I’m sure our government and our TDs will take action. We have to push this all the way. Every opportunity I have, I will be spreading the word. Once people hear the facts in layman’s terms, they don’t want it.”
“I’d like to see a meeting organised for the middle of the country,” says Brendan McCarthy, “inviting councillors from all over the country to attend. The town councils are going to be abolished in 12 months, which means we don’t have much time. We need to make this a big national campaign. Connections are being made across the country, but we need to get the message about fluoridation across, and to get the government to open their eyes.”
For our part, Hot Press will continue to pursue answers from Minister Alex White and the Department of Health on the 27 questions posed regarding mandatory fluoridation, which are of serious national concern. Watch this space.
* See also the Richie Ryan interview, page 58. For more information on fluoride, go to fluoridealert.org, thegirlagainstfluoride.com and irelandagainstfluoridation.org
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