However, their warning was subsequently retracted in circumstances which were highly unusual to say the least – opening the FSAI to potential litigation.
n a fresh, and startling, twist to the fluoride saga, Hot Press has discovered that as far back as 2001, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) made a decision to recommed that infant formula milk should not be made up with fluoridated tap water.
The recommendation was made during the Irish government’s last review of Ireland’s mandatory water fluoridation policy. However, in highly controversial circumstances, that decision was subsequently changed – potentially leaving the FSAI and the Department of Health open to litigation from the parents of children affected by fluoride poisoning.
Any warning against the use of fluoridated water in bottle-feeds is particularly crucial in a country like Ireland, where breastfeeding rates are very low. In Ireland, 97% of infants are drinking formula milk by the age of six months.
As already reported in Hot Press, it has been scientifically established that young children, and in particular infants fed with formula milk made with fluoridated tap water, are at a very high risk of daily fluoride overexposure. At current fluoride levels in Irish drinking water, all bottle-fed babies will exceed the maximum upper recommended fluoride level – not for children but for adults – when fluoridated tap water is used to constitute the formula.
Because of the risk of fluoride overexposure among bottle-fed infants, various organisations, including the American Dental Association and the US Centre for Disease Control, as well as numerous eminent paediatricians, have warned that fluoridated tap water must not be used to make formula milk. Yet it is happening in Ireland all the time and no one in authority is bothering to shout “Stop!”.
Overexposure to fluoride puts infants at a very high risk of dental fluorosis – an adverse health effect comprising structural damage to both primary and permanent teeth, which manifests itself as white or brown mottling on the tooth enamel. A huge and growing number of Irish children currently suffer from dental fluorosis.
While fluorosis is a highly visible effect – and therefore impossible to deny – fluoride toxicity has also been linked in the scientific literature with lowered IQ, asthma, ADHD, autism, Down’s syndrome and bone cancer in children, as well as a host of adverse health effects in adults, from thyroid dysfunction and neurological problems to arthritic conditions and an increase in many cancers.
While the toxic effects of fluoride on adults are disputed by the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, there is irrefutable, and widespread, international agreement on the risks involved in making infant formula with fluoridated water. Why the Irish authorities have ignored this – and in doing so have failed to alert Irish citizens to a desperately serious health risk to their children – remains a mystery.
The FSAI’s 2001 recommendation against the use of fluoridated tap water in formula milk came, Hot Press has learned, after the agency had conducted a risk assessment on fluoride. The FSAI’s Scientific Committee voted unanimously (with a quorum of 9 out of 15 committee members present) to adopt the recommendation at its meeting on October 3, 2001. At the time the FSAI stated: “The scientific committee agrees that the precautionary priciple should apply and recommends that infant formula should not be reconstituted with fluoridated tap water.”
On 18 October 2001, the FSAI’s Dr Wayne Anderson presented the FSAI’s conclusions about flouridated water and bottle-feeds to the Fluoridation Forum, set up by the Minister for Health to review Ireland’s mandatory water fluoridation policy. In an extraordinary – and some would say highly dubious – turn of events, during the following week, several of the six FSAI Scientific Committee members, who were not present for the October 3 vote, began to call for a re-examination and retraction of the report’s conclusions.
As a result, the FSAI changed its report warning against the use of fluoridated water to make up formula milk, stating that there were “some errors and that it didn’t necessarily take account of all of the science that was there.” The background to this remarkable about-face has never been properly explained.
Opponents of water fluoridation are convinced that the FSAI’s retraction of its warning against using fluoridated tap water in formula milk resulted from political pressure rather than scientific re-evaluation.
Evidence to support this view emerged at a July 10, 2003 parliamentary hearing on fluoridation in Dublin. It was revealed at this hearing that one of Ireland’s leading fluoridation promoters, the dentist Dr Joe Mullen (still a strong fluoridation supporter, and spokesperson for the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health) believed that the FSAI’s initial conclusion would likely have meant an end to water fluoridation in Ireland.
“I think it would probably have meant a serious re-evaluation,” Dr. Mullen said in 2003. “It probably would have meant the end of water fluoridation and at the very least a serious re-appraisal of it.”
Mullen’s view was later repeated by Dr Wayne Anderson of the FSAI, under questioning from the parliamentary committee members. The exchange that took place is a fascinating insight into the mindset of pro-fluoridationists in Ireland.
John Gormley (panel member): “Do you not accept that if that report, the original report, had been accepted that that was the end of water fluoridation in Ireland?”
Wayne Anderson (FSAI): “I don’t actually know the full details of how that would have effected it. I think we would be speculating. But I would have suggested, rather like Joe (Mullen), that it would have had a serious effect on it. There is no doubt about that. And that’s why it was very important we got the report correct scientifically.”
John Gormley: “It is very convenient.”
Chair of Committee: “Quite a turn-around.”
In an article in The Irish Times discussing this hearing, panel member John Gormley (at the time the Chair of Ireland’s Green Party and former Mayor of Dublin) was quoted as saying: “This is clearly a pivotal matter, as even those who came before the committee admitted that had the initial report been approved, it would have meant the end of water fluoridation in Ireland.”
It is understandable how an official warning against the use of fluoridated tap water in baby bottle-feeds would quickly lead to an effective demand for the end of mandatory water fluoridation. It would, after all, be utterly unreasonable to expect hundreds of thousands of parents across the country to go to the expense of buying bottled water, or installing a fluoride-removing filter on their taps at home, in order to feed their infants safely.
In place of the original warning – which since then has been increasingly supported by a huge volume of scientific literatue – the FSAI bizarrely recommended that new mothers should breast-feed their babies. It is a measure of the effectiveness of the FSAI that this injunction was subsequently so widely ignored by Irish women.
Despite a large and growing body of international scientific research linking fluoride to serious adverse health effects, dental fluorosis is the only health effect that the Irish government and its agencies admit is caused by water fluoridation. What is astonishing is that proponents of fluoridation try to convince themselves, and the world, that dental fluorosis happens entirely in isolation.
So, what is it about fluoride that enables it to select the teeth as the only part of the human body on which is has an effect? The truth is that there is absolutely no scientific basis for believing that this happens.
Logically, therefore, it is impossible to sustain a position that the fluoride we ingest via our water confines its damaging effects to our teeth alone, somehow magically slipping harmlessly through the rest of our bodies, with zero impact on the blood, cells, bones and organs with which it comes in contact.
Meanwhile, promoters of fluoridation, such as the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, and other Irish government agencies, blithely insist that water fluoridation is completely safe, and regularly cite the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an endorser of the safety of water fluoridation.
But does WHO really give a straightforward endorsement of water fluoridation? And does any process of endorsement which the organisation might have given stand up to objective scrutiny? As part of our ongoing investigation, Hot Press has submitted ten questions to the WHO (see panel). We hope to provide you with their answers next issue.
We have also officially presented the 27 Questions for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, published in our last issue, to the FSAI. We are currenly awaiting their response...
Sinéad takes control on gloriously matriarchal new LP.Read More
The damage caused to teeth by fluoride has been dismissed as 'cosmetic' by the Irish Expert Body on Health and Fluoride. But that is an outrageous minimisation of what is an increasing problem on both sides of the Atlantic. It is an issue, the courts may have to deal with...Read More
Ireland is now being recognised as a top player in the global stop-fluoridation movementRead More
Clonakilty is aiming to become Ireland’s first fluoride-free town.Read More
Campaigner Aisling FitzGibbon has written an open letter to Irish Water - the new semi-State body that is taking charge of the management of the national water supply. Adrienne Murphy investigates.Read More
There are times when the official attitude to fluoride seems like a textbook case of psychopathology in action. So says author Thomas Sheridan, who has made a study of institutional psychopaths.Read More
Though organisations such as Irish Dentists Opposing Flouridation continue to highlight major concerns about the Irish water system, there are fears that a new government review will fail to tackle the real issues.Read More
Irish people are being poisoned, against their will, by the compulsory addition of fluoride to the national water supply. But a bill on the issue, put before the Dáil last week, was voted down by Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil. It looks like the only answer is through the courts...Read More
FUNK MEETS THE BARDIC TRADITION OF GAELIC MEISTERWORKRead More
A huge amount of important public health information was revealed at the International Society for Fluoride Research’s 31st Annual Conference in Tehran. Since the Irish Expert Body on Fluoride and Health were not there to listen, and to inform the Irish public, Hot Press will have to do their job for them...Read More
Though dismissed as some sort of crank by the vested interests advising our Governmant, Declan Waugh’s findings are being taken very seriously elsewhere...Read More
The Naked Calendar is being published by Aisling FitzGibbon, aka The Girl Against Fluoride, to support the High Court action she’s taking against mandatory fluoridation of the water...Read More
Delicious taste of Chanson traditionRead More
The role of fluoride in the poisoning of humans and animals in Askeaton is beginning to emerge.Read More
It is one of the most shocking examples of pollution in Irish history. And it impacted in the most appalling way on the lives of local farmers, with animals dying and a litany of human health problems erupting. As a result, Nuala and Pat Geoghegan have been engaged in a running battle with the Irish state. But no one in authority seems to give a damn...Read More
The chief whip of the Labour Party, Emmet Stagg, has come out strongly against the Government’s policy of mandatory fluoridation of the water supplyRead More
New evidence has emerged that a report carried out by the EPA into sickness among animals – and humans – in Askeaton in Co. Limerick was seriously flawed.Read More
As evidence of the toxic effects of fluoridation of the water supply in Ireland mounts, Hot Press has uncovered a report written in 2007 by the former Minister for the Environment John Gormley – which was effectively suppressed. Here, for the first time, he reveals what happened – and why. Meanwhile, the report is published for the first time today on hotpress.comRead More
Figures in a new UK scientific survey confirm the likelihood that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have made a huge error in their estimation of the amount of fluoride in tea.Read More
Aware of huge discrepancies between international figures on fluoride levels in certain food and beverages and those provided in the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s Total Diet Survey (2011), Hot Press has been seeking explanations. At every turn, however, our enquiries have been frustrated. Here, we publish 27 Questions which we believe go to the heart of the matter – and which urgently require clear answers from the FSAI if we are to prevent Irish people from being poisonedRead More
That is just one of the very strange anomalies that have begun to emerge in this latest chapter in the Hot Press Investigation. Adrienne Murphy reports.Read More
In a major development in our investigation into the policy of fluoridation, figures presented by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have been described as “wildly inaccurate”.Read More
Fluoride figures in Food Safety Authority survey were up to nine years out of date. That is just one of the very strange anomalies that have begun to emerge in this latest chapter in the Hot Press Investigation.Read More
In a major development in our investigation into the policy of fluoridation, figures presented by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland have been described as “wildly inaccurate”...Read More
In a dramatic new twist in the fluoride story, fluoride contamination is putting the international sales of Irish food products at risk. Plus: Paolo Tullio opposes fluoridation...Read More
It was long before the Belfast Agreement. But the campaign against fluoridation in Northern Ireland united these political foes in a campaign that defeated British government plans to fluoridate the North. So why was this extraordinary rapport ignored in the South? asks campaign leader Walter GrahamRead More
It was long before the Belfast Agreement. But the campaign against fluoridation in Northern Ireland united these political foes in a campaign that defeated British government plans to fluoridate the North. So why was this extraordinary rapport ignored in the South? asks campaign leader Walter Graham...Read More
On May 9 last, Sinn Féin (SF) spokesperson on Environment, Community and Local Government, Brian Stanley TD, published the Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Repeal Bill 2013.Read More
While the mainstream media continues to under-report the growing concern in Ireland over the policy of mandatory water fluoridation, political opposition is steadily mounting to the ongoing mass-medication of the population.Read More
While the mainstream media continues to under-report the growing concern in Ireland over the policy of mandatory water fluoridation, political opposition is steadily mounting to the ongoing mass-medication of the population.Read More
Six weeks ago, Hot Press presented a detailed set of 27 Questions on the mandatory fluoridation of the water supply in Ireland to the Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for the policy, Alex White TD. Since then, there has been a further upsurge in the campaign against fluoridation, with a growing wave of international opposition being mirrored here. In the past month alone, Israel has decided to end its policy of mandatory fluoridation, while in Ireland, Skibbereen Town Council has voted to oppose the policy – and will be lobbying for a similar vote among town councils all over the country. The responses from the Minister to our 27 Questions arrived at Hot Press Central this week. They amount to the clearest statement yet of the basis for the policy in Ireland – giving those opposed to fluoridation the opportunity to put the official explanations under fresh scrutiny. It will be fascinating to see just how both opponents of fluoridation, and indeed the general public, react to what the Minister has to say. For now, however, this is – definitively – the official position on fluoridation in Ireland, from the pen of the Minister himself.Read More
Unlike Bertie Ahern, Richie Ryan would have made no claim to being a socialist. But the former Fine Gael Minister for Finance was enough of an idealist to take on the State in an extraordinary constitutional action aimed at preventing the mandatory fluoridation of the water supply...Read More
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...Read More
For the first time, former Minister for Finance, Richie Ryan, has spoken about his role in the 1963 constitutional case, taken against the mandatory fluoridation of water in Ireland. Startling new evidence suggests that the judgement may have been unsound…Read More
Following the publication of 27 Questions to the Minister in charge of fluoridation policy Alex White, in the last issue, Hot Press delivered the questions in person last week...Read More
When Aisling FitzGibbon was alerted to the toxic nature of fluoride, she removed it from her drinking water – with remarkable results in terms of improved health. Now she is taking a case against Ireland’s mandatory fluoridation...Read More
The drinking water consumed by the Irish population is systematically laced with the known neurotoxin fluoride, a policy numerous eminent specialists believe poses a grave danger to the health of men, women and children. Here, we pose a series of questions to the Minister in charge of fluoridation policy, Alex White. We believe the Irish people are entitled to the answers...Read More
Irish whistle-blowing scientist, Declan Waugh has just published his second report on the health risks associated with the Republic of Ireland’s mandatory water fluoridation policy. In our second part of a fluoride investiagion, Hot Press takes an exclusive look at a document that eviscerates the official position on an increasingly controversial public policy.Read More
Ireland has the sickest population in Europe. This country is also the only one in the EU which engages in mandatory flouridation of the water. Here, we present the astonishing evidence which conclusively links these two facts. So why, asks scientist Declan Waugh, have the authorities refused to address an issue that is crucial to the health of the nation?Read More
“Laws protecing foetuses endanger women’s lives...”Read More
In the wake of Savita Halappanavar’s death, emergency legislation is required to reduce the current risk to pregnant women’s lives and health in Ireland. But until we put the decision into the hands of those individuals who need abortions, Ireland will remain a dangerous country for women. So say pro-choice advocates Dr. Sinéad Kennedy and Dr. Peadar O’Grady.Read More
The Shell to Sea saga is told from the perspective of Mayo protesters in the new production from ‘polemical’ playwright Donal O’Kelly. words Adrienne MurphyRead More
Pro-choice and pro-life campaigners have been ramping up their campaigns lately. But there’s no use in Ireland burying its collective head in the sand any longer. With women continuing to travel abroad for terminations, the time has come for the status quo to be challenged.Read More
We spoke to the gold medal winner two years ago...Read More
Gallons of ink have been shed about the recession. But few writers have managed to capture what life is like for people who have borne the brunt of the downturn. With his life-affirming debut novel Brian Finnegan has delivered a funny, profound portrait of the daily grind in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland.Read More
Return to form for controversial chanteuse.Read More
In an evening of delicious treats, it is especially lovely to be introduced to Roisin, Sinéad’s beautiful daughter, who sings angelic backing vocals.Read More
A newly married Sinead O'Connor celebrates in style on the Olympia stage.Read More
Having broken up – romantically if not creatively – with Swell Season partner Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova is now forging a path as a solo artist. She talks about going it alone and discusses for the first time her astonishingly intense relationship with Hansard.Read More
Yeats gets the waterboys treatment.Read More
...It’s broke – and current policies are not going to fix it. So let’s start looking properly at the alternatives, writes Adrienne Murphy.Read More
We have been told that there is no way out of the debt burden that has been imposed on Irish citizens as a result of the collapse of the banks. But that, after all, may be no more than propaganda.Read More
Irish debutante delivers alt country classicRead More
Fela Kuti's son forges afrobeat classicRead More
A national campaign called “Enough!” has been launched, demanding a referendum on the EU-IMF deal that is forcing unprecedented debt and ‘austerity’ onto Irish society. In the first of a two-part series,Read More
He may have topped the album chart in Ireland and received a Mercury Music Prize nod, but Conor J. O’Brien has never really talked about the intense personal experiences that shaped his brilliant Becoming A Jackal debut – until now that is. Before a sell-out gig in Paris, the 28-year-old tells Hot Press about the emotional struggles he went through as a teenager, his continued social anxiety and why he’s most comfortable expressing himself through song.Read More
The Irish Seal Sanctuary offer a vital service. Adrienne Murphy journeys to Howth to see the organisation release Daisy The Seal, and meet one of their supporters, Philomena Lynott.Read More
She may be wife of the U2 guitarist Edge, but Morleigh Steinberg is a fine artist in her own right. Her latest work premieres in Dublin in November.Read More
She made her name as the violinist with hugely succesful Dundalk band The Corrs, and as the writer of some of the group’s most iconic hits. Now a mother of two young kids, Sharon Corr has just released her debut solo album, which has been picked up by Warner Music, for worldwide release. Here, she talks eloquently about life, love, happiness, being on the road with The Corrs – and the right of artists to get paid for their workRead More
With fewer and fewer people buying CDs, Dublin songwriter Laura Sheeran is among the increasing number of artists opting to finance their music via the innovative Pledge website.Read More
Violin playing corr demonstrates experimental side on solo debutRead More
He’s the bearded high king of medieval goth music. Now sometime Dead Can Dance singer and songwriter Brendan Perry has released his second solo album. Taking time out from polishing his hurdy gurdy (steady!), he invites Adrienne Murphy for a tour of the converted church in Quivy, County Cavan, where he meticulously assembles his records.Read More
VISIONS OF DYSTOPIA INSPIRE BEAUTIFUL RECORDRead More
New singer-songwriter on the block stakes his claimRead More
Debut album becomes heart-breaking legacy for Dublin band.Read More
In one of the most extreme sporting events ever held in Ireland, amateur long-distance runners Gerry Duffy and Ken Whitelaw plan to run 32 consecutive marathons, in 32 days, in 32 counties. The goal: to raise cash and awareness for Irish Autism Action (IAA), Autism NI and Irish Cancer ResearchRead More
Dreamy instrumental outing from the O Snodaigh clan.Read More
Former 10,000 Maniacs frontwoman channels Alice In Wonderland with tingle-inducing resultsRead More
A great night of entertainment – all for a hugely worthwhile cause.Read More
Electro ensemble Electric Penguins took a considerable time setting up on The Button Factory stage. And no wonder, considering the extent of their gadgetry.Read More
Quality Beatles-esque power-popRead More
The waterboys’ mike scott talks about his ambitious new project in which he sets the work of wb yeats to music - and discusses the challenges of bringing the endeavour to the stageRead More
Activist rapper LOW KEY explains why hip-hop has become the voice of the oppressed and downtroddenRead More
Second outing from Dublin's best-kept secretRead More
ECSTATIC ENERGY DISTILLED BY NEW TRAD PIONEERSRead More
Her split with Damien Rice caused headlines around the music world. Now Lisa Hannigan is taking her first steps as a solo artist with a wonderfully ethereal debut album, Sea Sew. She talks to hot press about the end of her partnership with Rice, her hopes for the future and the influence of romantic entanglements on her powerfully feminine songwriting.Read More
There's more to the Electric Picnic than great music as Adrienne Murphy discovered when she checked out some of the festival's off-the-beaten path attractionsRead More
Hannah McDonnell beat off competition from a bevy of enchantresses to win the right to represent Dublin at this year's Rose of Tralee competition.Read More
As well as providing a remarkable spectacle, David Best's burning temple at the Burning Man festival also offers a forum for people to deal with feelings of grief and loss.Read More
Dublin singer does a first rate job of interpreting Irish Trad standards for a new generationRead More
She is a passionate advocate of social justice for women and a dreamer, who achieved extraordinary insights through use of the shamanic drug, ayahuasca. Isabel Allende talks to Hot PressRead More
Rewardingly stark second outing from Dublin strummerRead More
Spiritual writer Deepak Chopra discusses spirituality, sex, and how George Bush and Osama bin Laden have created one another.Read More
Read the exclusive extended version of the Deepak Chopra interview from this fortnight's Hot Press.Read More
"...many of the ditties on Unfamiliar Faces bring us right back to the golden age of singer-songwriters."Read More
"A million miles from thrash and punk, the twelve tracks here are an unusual mix of indie rock and country, with top class musicianship adding lots of depth and colour..."Read More
Author Daniel Pinchbeck discusses psychedelic drugs and shamanism as potential tools for the evolution of consciousness – catalysts of change in our age of violence and ecological meltdown.Read More
Áine Tubridy and Michael Corry are medical doctors, writers and healers, known for their holistic approach to mental health. Here are their thoughts on personal change in 2008.Read More
"Think The Cramps crossed with the B52s, with a fair dose of Smog and Cat Power thrown in, and you’ll be in the Sons & Daughters picture."Read More
With their Eurovision adventure as a focal point, it may have been a strange and unusual year for Dervish – but they've bounced back with a superb new album.Read More