November 6, 2002
Scientists slam Irish fluoridation report
By Deborah Condon
The report of the Forum on Fluoridation, which recommends the continued fluoridation of public water supplies in Ireland, has been severely criticised by a group of international scientists.
According to the scientists, the report's primary conclusion that there are no adverse health effects from fluoridation, is 'blatantly false' and the only conclusion that they can reach is that 'the aim of the authors of the report was not to study the evidence, but to find ways to get around it'.
The review says that out of a total of 295 pages, just 17 pages of the report are devoted to health issues other than dental fluorosis. Of these, a heavy reliance is placed on reviewing 'other reviews', some of which are now dated, the scientists found.
"Incredibly for a study which took over two years, only two pages are devoted to an independent analysis of specific health studies", they said.
The scientists also concluded that:
* The report fails to address a number of recently published important studies into fluoridation.
* It fails to establish a significant clinical difference in dental decay between children living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities in Ireland and throughout largely non-fluoridated Europe.
* It fails to 'deal convincingly with the issue of dental fluorosis, 'making several unsupportable assertions'.
* It fails to discuss the fact that certain individuals in a population are going to be 'more sensitive and more vulnerable to fluoride's toxic effects than others'.
* It fails to provide the necessary precautionary advice to mothers, not to use infant formula made up with fluoridated tap water.
The scientists, who were asked to review the report by VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment), include Dr Hardy Limeback, head of preventative medicine at the University of Toronto in Canada; Dr C. Vyvyan Howard of the department of human anatomy and cell biology at the University of Liverpool in Britain and Dr A K Susheela, executive director of the Fluorosis Research and Rural Development Foundation in Dehli, India.
The scientific critique of the Fluoridation Forum report can be seen at http://www.voice.buz.org
Click here to see VOICE's press release
Click here to see report