Hot Press reports spark a new interest in the issue at the national broadcaster.
The fluoride debate opened up further last night, with a report on RTÉ's Prime Time.
In the Prime Time piece, two TDs who have been interviewed by Hot Press on the issue – Emmet Stagg, Labour Party Chief Whip, and Sinn Fein's Brian Stanley, who has introduced an anti-fluoridation bill into the Dáil – were strongly critical of the government's policy of continued mandatory water fluoridation.
Two dentists, including Dr Joe Mullen from the Irish Expert Body on Fluoride, argued that water fluoridation reduces dental decay. Comprehensive data from the World Health Organisation refutes this claim, but Primetime did not refer to this.
Another prominent Hot Press interviewee, Walter Graham, the anti-fluoride campaigner who was key to making the Northern Irish public aware of the health dangers of fluoridation, was also interviewed for Primetime. While the relatively short nature of the piece meant that he was not given space to go into the details of the widespread risks associated with fluoride, he did make the point clearly that, despite the reassurances of the authorities, the dose of fluoride that people are receiving through their water supply is in fact completely uncontrolled.
"I think it is important that researcher Eithne O'Brien succeeded in getting a piece on water fluoridation on air," Adrienne Murphy, who has been investigating the effects of fluoride in an extensive series of articles since the beginning of 2013, said afterwards. "She is to be commended, especially in the context of the shocking extent to which the national newspapers here have missed what is an ongoing scandal.
"While it was disappointing that scientist Declan Waugh, who is an expert in the area, and campaigner Aisling FitzGibbon (aka The Girl Against Fluoride), were not amongst the people interviewed for the programme, the piece did go a long way towards opening up the debate on fluoride to the wider Irish public," Adrienne added.
Whilst Adrienne – whose ongoing Hot Press investigation into fluoride is the most extensive of its kind ever internationally – was not interviewed by Primetime, it is clear that much of the material published in Hot Press was used for the programme.
This included important controversies specifically uncovered by Hot Press concerning the burying of a Food Safety Authority of Ireland report from 2001 recommending that fluoridated tap water should not be used to make infant formula milk; and the suppression of a 2007 Oireachtas committee report written by John Gormley on water fluoridation, recommending that the practice should be stopped in line with the precautionary principle.
In the issue of Hot Press due to hit the newsstands this week, Adrienne interviews farmers Nuala and Pat Geoghegan, from Askeaton in Co. Limerick about the horrendous effects of pollution – including fluoride intoxication – on their health and on the health of the animals on their farm. And she also focusses again on the evasions of thee EPA report into animal and human illness in the area.
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