- 29 Nov 13
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...
If you weren’t already dubious about the link between democracy and parliamentary party politics, last week’s Dáil ‘vote’ on a bill to outlaw the dumping of hydrofluorosilicic acid into the public water supply may well have pushed you firmly into the sceptics’ camp.
Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley’s Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) (Repeal) Bill came up very quickly in the Dáil’s bill lottery scheme, compelling, on November 8 last, the first debate in the Dáil for many decades on the subject of fluoridation. It’s worth noting that Ireland is the only country in the world, aside from Singapore, still burdened with mandatory fluoridation of the public water supplies.
During the Dáil debate, Stanley highlighted the absence of reliable studies that show either the need for fluoridation for dental health, or its safety in terms of negative health side-effects. He informed the House of the growing body of solid scientific evidence linking water fluoridation to serious adverse health effects, and made the point that at least 70 per cent of the Republic’s population are being force-fed an uncontrollable dose of what is properly classified as a ‘medicine’ without their informed consent. He argued that, considering all of this, his Bill to repeal mandatory fluoridation should be endorsed.
During the debate, independent TDs Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Maureen O’Sullivan, Richard Boyd Barrett, Clare Daly, Catherine Murphy, Finian McGrath and Peter Mathews also urged that the precautionary principle should be adopted, arguing strongly for an end to the 50-year practice of mass fluoride medication, at least until the government can prove the truth of their mantra that it is a ‘safe and effective’ method of preventing dental decay.
During Luke Flanagan’s speech, the Roscommon TD pointed out that Fine Gael, before coming to power, were opposed to fluoridation. He quoted from a FG policy document, which stated: “Fine Gael believes there are sufficient grounds to point to serious health risks from cumulative amounts of fluoride in our piped water supply system.”
It’s a sad example of just how easily policies and commitments are shed by political parties once power has been achieved.
“It stated there were deep environmental concerns about the current programme of fluoridation,” said Flanagan in the Dáil. “I wonder what has changed. At the time less than 2% of Europe’s population had fluoridated water and a number of countries had rejected, discontinued or banned the practice. Fine Gael also informed us that the Dutch had introduced a constitutional amendment in order that it could never be reintroduced. Fine Gael stated there had been claims of allergic responses to fluoridated water, including skin irritations, mouth ulcers, headaches, stomach upset and irritable bowel syndrome.
“If it is such a good idea to fluoridate water, why does the vast majority of Europe reject it?” asked Flanagan. “If it is such a good idea, why are we not top of the dental health league table? We are not. Belgium, Germany and Greece are ahead of us and do not fluoridate water.”
During the debate, the Minister responsible for fluoridation, Alex White – as is to be expected from the answers that he gave to the 27 fluoride questions delivered to him by Hot Press last spring – trotted out the usual outdated, unscientific, foundationless platitudes in defence of Ireland’s ongoing mandatory fluoridation policy.
Anyone who’s spent time researching the subject will recognise White’s arguments as the same international pro-fluoridationist propaganda used in the few remaining countries in the world that still subject their populations to this archaic, reckless, unnecessary, totalitarian practice, in order to protect vested interests ahead of the health of citizens.
Stanley’s Bill to stop fluoridation was put to the vote in the Dáil on November 12 last. Despite the fact that various individual TDs in the coalition parties have stated their opposition to water fluoridation, they all voted against Stanley’s bill – ignoring the overwhelmingly powerful case for getting this shit out of our water for the sake of our health and our rights – because in our political whip system, TDs whose parties are in power get chucked out if they vote against the government.
So while the politicians all got to keep their jobs, nearly the entire population of the Irish Republic has to go on being dosed with a known endocrine disruptor and neurotoxin, and watch as the stats continue to bear out that we’re one of the sickest populations in the developed world – because fluoride is exacerbating many of the diseases and disorders that are making us ill, incapacitated, disabled – and, finally, dead.
How insanely fucked up is that?
Last September in an interview in Hot Press, and again during an RTE Primetime report in October, Labour Party TD, Emmet Stagg, voiced his strong opposition to water fluoridation, stating there is overwhelming evidence that it causes damage to the human body, and that the idea of compulsorily applying it to every citizen that uses the public water supply is archaic in the extreme. Yet when it came to the vote, Stagg voted against Brian Stanley’s bill to stop fluoridation.
“Not only did I have to vote the way I did,” says Stagg, “but I had to make sure that all the Labour Party people voted with the government as well, because I’m a government whip. If I didn’t vote against it, I’d be thrown out of my office and I’d be an independent.”
Knowing that Stanley’s Bill would be voted down, Stagg spoke to both the Sinn Féin TD and Minister Alex White, in advance of the vote, in an attempt to influence events.
“I advised Stanley that if he pushed the Bill at that stage it would be voted down. And that it was the worst possible thing to do, because it would then not only be government policy, but that it would be have been supported by the Dáil as well. I’m well versed in parliamentary tactics, and it’s the worst possible tactic to force something that you wanted further debate on at parliamentary level to a vote on the first day.
“I also spoke to Alex White,” adds Stagg. “He said that he would be favourably disposed toward the Bill being withdrawn and it being referred to a committee – and perhaps out of that would come some more development on the issue. In White’s response at the end of the debate, he referred to the fact that it would be acceptable to him if the issue was referred to a committee, but Stanley just went ahead and pressed a vote. Because there’s a coalition in government, it was voted down by both government parties, and Fianna Fáil voted against it as well, so there was a huge majority against it.”
For those who had hoped that the politicians would take a lead in getting this poison out of our water supply, the Dáil vote is deeply depressing.
“The government’s position of continuing mandatory fluoridation is now fortified by the Dáil vote,” Emmet Stagg says. “So I think we’re in a worse place than before the Bill was tabled. A huge majority voted against it. I don’t see any hope of pursuing it at parliamentary level again. Stanley can still raise it at the Health Committee, but the government will come back and say the Dáil decided on this, an overwhelming majority of elected members of the Dáil voted for fluoridation. If Stanley had withdrawn the Bill and referred the matter, with the Minister’s approval, to a committee, it would have kept the issue alive.”
On the other hand, in Stanley’s defence, it’s highly questionable whether ‘referring fluoridation to committee’ would do any good whatsoever in overcoming the forces in Ireland that are so determined to keep this damaging practice in place. After all, as we uncovered last summer in Hot Press, John Gormley had organised a thorough debate, involving top experts, at Dáil committee level in 2006/7, writing an extensive report which summarised all the arguments against fluoridation – the recommendations within which, if followed, would have turned off the fluoride tap for good.
But Gormley’s report was suppressed, and its recommendations were ignored – although they did have some influence, in that the fluoride concentration in our water was reduced slightly in acknowledgement of the chronic dental fluorosis problem that we have in this country. My own hunch is that if a Dáil committee found against fluoride now, its work would suffer the same fate as Gormley’s.
With elections looming, and awareness of the dangers of fluoride growing, and the hard-pressed public soon expected to pay for the honour of being poisoned through the water supply, Stanley may have pushed his stop-luoridation Bill to a vote in the knowledge that all the other political parties would vote against it, thereby confirming that Sinn Féin are the only party with a stop fluoridation policy.
Whatever his reasoning, there can be no doubt about Stanley’s well-informed opposition to water fluoridation. The debate and vote on his Bill has certainly stimulated some sections of the mainstream media to finally start taking the subject much more seriously. During the week of the Dáil vote, Stanley debated the fluoridation issue brilliantly on George Hook’s Newstalk radio show. Also that week, Ivan Yates on Newstalk was one of the first mainstream broadcasters to facilitate the Irish fluoride scientific expert, Declan Waugh – whose internationally recognised fluoride research is being suppressed by the Irish authorities – to communicate his alarming fluoride toxicity findings to the public in depth.
Says Stanley: “I welcome the fact that there was a Dáil debate on fluoridation, although I’m obviously disappointed that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour decided to vote en bloc against the bill. But on the plus side, it has reawakened public interest in the matter, and as result it will increase the level of awareness on this issue of the mass medication of the population.
“This is a cross-party issue. It affects everyone in the population – rich, poor, urban, rural. None of us can hide from this. It’s affecting all of our constituents. The logical next step for TDs is that they now must start a debate within their own parties.
“Towards the end of his speech during the debate,” Stanley adds, “Alex White said we’re going to carry out a review of fluoridation. The problem with a review, is: are they going to review the material they’ve been looking at for years, and keep it within those narrow confines? If that’s the case, that review is no good. The 1960s legislation requires government to carry out research on the overall health effects of fluoride on the population. That has never been done. The government must do it now.
“We do know that people in fluoridated areas are being exposed to excessive amounts amount of fluoride, and that it’s being retained in people’s bodies,” he reflects. “If we look at the difference between the health statistics of the north and the south – the north is by no means a shining example of good public health, but it’s a non-fluoridated area, and they don’t have the same burden of arthritis, diabetes, dementia, cancer and a whole range of other diseases.
“There may be other explanations for that difference, but I haven’t heard anyone offer any. The logical conclusion is that fluoride may be having a serious impact on our health. The bottom line is that the onus is on the advocates of fluoride to diagnose for us why we’re being forced to take this medication and regulate exactly how much we are taking. And they haven’t done that.
“At the moment the government are saying, ‘We know what’s best for your individual health; we have the medical science to back this up; you don’t need to understand; we know it’s good for you; and not alone are we telling you to take it, we’re making sure you’re going to take it because we’ve forced every local authority to put it in the water for the last fifty years. So you’re not going to escape this, whether you like it or not’. Barring disconnecting the water supply to your house, it’s very hard to escape fluoride. Most of our food is contaminated with it too. And that’s very unfair. It goes against natural justice and is a violation of people’s rights.
“Irish people want the choice. If it’s good for us, and if people are convinced of that, that’s fine, we can put fluoride into tablets or some other form for those people who really want to take it. But for those of us who don’t want to take it, because we have concerns, then please respect that, and allow us the opportunity to refuse to consume it. I think that’s a reasonable position.
“Fluoride is one of the biggest issues facing the people of this State. There’s a whole body of evidence showing that it’s unsafe. The Irish people – 70 per cent of us – who are being forced to take this every day need to stand up and say you don’t have a right to say to me, ‘If you’re not going to take it, well, we’re going to force you’’ That’s what’s happening, and it’s not acceptable.”
That’s to put it mildly!
“If the vast majority of people in this State heard both sides of the argument,” Stanley concludes, “if they had the medical science from the pro-fluoridation lobby and the stop-fluoridation lobby put in front of them, they would say, I want to go with the precautionary principle. And that means stopping fluoridation now.”
While it’s understandable that TDs don’t want to lose their jobs by voting against their parties in government, the fact remains that all of our elected representatives from Labour, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have just endorsed a practice which involves continuing to force-feed over three million of us with fluoride, despite hearing the very strong case against its continued use. Political systems and machinations aside, this cold truth is thoroughly shocking.
With the failed vote last week, many people concerned about fluoride can only conclude that Irish politicians are incapable of protecting us from being poisoned through our water supply – no matter how much scientific evidence showing the inefficacy of fluoride for dental health, and its links to serious adverse health effects, is put in front of them.
Which makes it more important than ever that we get behind the legal action being taken by the Girl Against Fluoride, Aisling FitzGibbon, against the Irish State to stop mandatory water fluoridation.
“I think the fluoride vote in the Dáil was enlightening, not depressing,” says FitzGibbon. “It has shattered the illusion that government will protect us. It shows that the political system is psychopathic, in that it exhibits no moral qualms whatsoever in continuing to poison us. Protecting their policy and vested interests and saving face are more important than the health of the entire population.
“Through the cumulative efforts of the Girl Against Fluoride campaign, the work of scientist Declan Waugh, and the investigation being conducted by Hot Press, people are learning the truth about fluoride. The penny is dropping that we are not being served by our elected representatives on this issue – and that is bringing into question everything the government is doing. If they can behave this insanely about fluoride, what else is going on behind the scenes?
“Since the politicians have closed ranks, our campaign is now appealing to the public,” says FitzGibbon. “We have to raise 30k to fund the court case, which is why we created the Naked Calendar 2014. The proceeds will fund administrative costs and international expert witnesses who will testify in the Irish court. It’s the public who’ll decide the fate of the fluoride issue in Ireland. Let’s get the F out!”
Visit www.thegirlagainstfluoride.com to order copies of The Naked Calendar 2014. For more info on fluoride, visit hotpress.com, enviro.ie and fluoridealert.com