It Doesn't Make Sense

Increasingly, people are realising that there is no rational explanation for the policy of mass medication by fluoridation of the water supply. We need to act fast before the damage to our reputation gathers momentum...

I don’t understand it. I really don’t. And I am not alone.

In a report elsewhere in this issue, the leading Irish food writer Paolo Tullio makes the same observation. You have to wonder why on earth the Irish health authorities, and ultimately the Irish Government, are so adamant in their desire to continue the policy of mandatory fluoridation of the Irish water supply.

“They are not normally completely obtuse,” Paolo Tullio says. “But in this case they seem to be.”

It makes no sense at all. When you boil it all down, the only positive rationale that the authorities can come up with, for what is a highly controversial and increasingly unpopular policy, is to claim that fluoride in the water is good for the teeth of under-privileged children – in effect, that it is a cheaper way of reducing ‘dental caries’ in this target group than potentially having to treat them via the Irish dental health system.

As it happens, this belief is hotly disputed by opponents of fluoridation. To begin with, the clear evidence is that, over the past 50 years, since the introduction of fluoride into the Irish water supply, dental health in non-fluoridated countries has improved in almost exact parallel with advances in dental health in fluoridated Ireland.

But putting that dispute aside for a minute, it still leaves a vast range of questions for which there really are no logical and convincing answers. I am not going to go into exhaustive detail here – we have already done that in Hot Press – but it is certainly worth repeating ten of the key questions, to which there is one consistent answer: it just doesn’t make sense...

– Why should the entire population have to permanently ingest fluoride so that the health authorities can achieve, at best, an uncertain effect on the teeth of a very small proportion of the population?

– Why are the Department of Health incapable of recognising that there are insurmountable ethical issues about the mandatory force-feeding of any medicinal product to an entire population?

– Fluoride in the water undeniably has an effect on teeth, as can be seen by the widespread incidence of dental fluorosis in Ireland. So where is the properly researched, concrete evidence to show that it does not also have an effect on blood, tissues, muscles, bones or other parts of the human anatomy, including the brain?

– How can the Department of Health credibly claim that they know how much fluoride any one person is exposed to, when (a) fluoride is not just in the water but in every food and drink product that is made using tap water in Ireland, as well as in most toothpaste and in other medicines; and (b) in any event, people consume vastly differing amounts of water, tea and other drinks and therefore of fluoride?

– Why is the administration here in such total denial about the mounting international scientific and medical concern about the effects of fluoridation?

– Why are they so apparently pathologically incapable of considering properly the huge and growing swathes of evidence that fluoride is directly associated with a range of adverse health conditions?

– In particular, why have they failed so completely in their duty of care to young Irish children by neglecting to act on the specific separate warnings of the US Centre for Disease Control and the American Dental Association, among many others, that fluoridated water should not be used in making formula milk for bottle-fed babies, especially when Ireland has such a high incidence of bottle-feeding?

– What is the basis for ignoring the possibility that particular individuals might have a low tolerance of, or indeed be seriously allergic to, what is by definition a toxic substance?

– Why continue a policy which is opposed by an increasing number of people when 98% of Europe has rejected the fluoridation option on both ethical and health grounds?

– And finally, for now, as highlighted by Iva Pocock in her personal testimony elsewhere in this issue, why do the Department of Health and the Minister engage in clearly disingenuous word play, claiming that fluoride is not a medicine – when undeniably it is put in the water for medicinal purposes?

As I said, I don’t understand it. I really don’t. But I am trying.

One possibility is that they are desperately manoeuvering to protect the position of the State, for as long as they can, knowing that if the shit truly hits the fan about fluoride, then a raft of legal actions against the State, arising from mass fluoridation over a period of 50 years, is the almost inevitable outcome.

We are closer than ever to establishing a causal link between ingesting fluoride and a range of cancers and other illnesses. And the Irish health authorities have been force-feeding this medicine to Irish people since 1964. The lawyers must be rubbing their hands...

Either way, the clock is ticking. It is the last thing I’d have wanted to hear right now, given the economic peril with which we are already threatened, but as Adrienne Murphy reveals in a report this issue, the international lobby group, the National Health Federation, has called for a Europe-wide ban of Irish food and drink products because they are grown, reared and/or manufactured with fluoridated water. The NHF are citing a 2005 ruling from the European Court of Justice, which they say defines fluoride as a medicine, to support their call.

It is the kind of development that should galvanise Irish farmers and food producers, as well as the indigenous drinks industry, to demand an end to what is a thoroughly discredited policy. Because if the Government does not move quickly in response, the consequences of inaction could be disastrous.

Over to you...


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