At the most recent meeting of Cork County Council (Monday March 10, 2014) Cllr Christopher O Sullivan (Fianna Fail) of Clonakilty proposed and tabled a motion calling for the immediate cessation of water fluoridation in Ireland that was seconded by Cllr Adrian Healy (Fine Gael – Mayor of Skibbereen) of which was subsequently unanimously passed by the rest of the Council in session.
Including the address delivered by Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan (FF), the chamber in session also received damning testimonials from Cllr Adrian Healy (FG), Cllr Patrick Murphy (FF), Cllr Noel O’ Donovan (FG), Cllr Martin Coughlan (Labour), Cllr Dermot Sheehan (FG), Cllr Michelle Hennessy (SF), Cllr Aindrias Moynihan (FF) as gaeilge go raibh maith agat Cllr Moynihan, Cllr Donal O Rourke (FF), Cllr Danny Crowley (FF), Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG), Cllr Noel Collins (Ind), Cllr John O Sullivan (FG), Cllr Frank O’ Flynn (FF), Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind), Cllr Michael Hegarty (FG), Cllr Derry Canty (FG), Cllr Jerry Sullivan (FG), Cllr Noel O’ Connor (FG) and Declan Daly (Acting Manager) and it was on foot of these testimonials that the motion proposed was unanimously passed by all of the other councillors present.
Cllr Christopher O Sullivan (FF) on being contacted said, “It is important not to underestimate the significance of this resolution. The Fluoride Free movement now has the backing of Irelands largest County Council. This will surely add to the pressure on Government to change the current legislation.”
He continued “The overriding reason that I felt compelled to table this motion was the issue of choice. In my opinion and according to European law, mass medication is wrong. Fluoridation of the public water supply is nothing more than mass medication and it removes the freedom of choice that each citizen should be entitled to.”
Cllr. O’Sullivan finished by saying: “The wishes of the people were voiced and heard today. Six West Cork Town Councils have within the last two years have called for the immediate cessation of fluoridation of the public water supply. There is an overwhelming appetite for this archaic practice to stop.”
Cllr Adrian Healy upon being reached for comment said, ‘I was very happy to second the motion today in County Hall. Cllr Brendan McCarthy brought the motion before Skibbereen Town Council some months ago and it received cross party unanimous support. I am extremely worried that some of the countries that we export our wonderful food to are now questioning our policy on fluoridation. Our food exports have contributed enormously to our economic recovery”.
Amongst many points Councillors put forward was the fact that the EU in 2005 ruled water treated with fluoride as a medicine and cannot be used in the preparation of foods. Councillors in the Chamber heard that Ireland’s food and drinks exports industry risk being banned to our economies detriment from other EU countries due to our country being the only one where every food product made in the State contains fluoride. Councillors also heard that fluoride makes people docile, that Leukemia rate in the ROI has increased three per cent per year since water fluoridation began in 1964, as opposed to the rates of Leukemia in Northern Ireland, which have remained stationary in the same time period. Councillors also heard that any benefits of fluoride in preventing dental decay are due to topical application, as opposed to systemic ingestion and this was publicly acknowledged by the US Dept of Health and therefore the Governments mandatory water fluoridation policy is pointless in preventing dental decay. And lastly, the biggest argument put forward by many was that any form of medication should be undertaken by free will or choice.
In light of obvious representations made from the government to councillors and their wish for the motion to be challenged, the council position maintained clearly demonstrated a revolt against government policy and it is now clear that the councillors representing the largest council in Ireland and some 400,000 (2011 Census) people have in view of the motion passed said the County of Cork believes public water fluoridation is an outdated and dangerous public health policy and as such should immediately cease.
Owen Boyden, coordinator for the West Cork Fluoride Free Campaign and the Fluoride Free Towns project who was present along with Cllr Anne Cullinane of Clonakilty in the chamber during the proposed motion debate said upon being reached for comment, “On behalf of the campaign and the people it represents, I would like to thank and commend Cllr Christopher O Sullivan for proposing the motion, the entire council for supporting the motion and those that gave damning presentations supporting the case against public water fluoridation. It is now clear that the government no longer has a mandate to be carrying out a forced medication against the very people they have been elected to represent and protect. I’d also like thank Cork County Mayor Noel O’Connor for presiding over the chamber during the debate of the motion”.
It also came to light during the debate that the government, due to their acute awareness of the increasing wave of public opposition to public water fluoridation that’s growing, intends on setting up a new expert review group consisting of independent international experts. The notion of this new expert group was also brought to Mr. Boyden’s attention during a brief meeting with the Minister for Agriculture Mr. Simon Coveney.
Upon further comment on this development, Mr Boyden stated, “Though a change of tack on the government’s position to the mandatory water fluoridation policy being maintained is welcome, setting up another review group to consider Ireland’s mandatory water fluoridation policy is an inadequate response to the wave of public opposition the country is currently seeing and is total a waste of tax payers money.
Mr Boyden added, “I informed the minister of two points of concern to many supporters of a fluoride free Ireland; 1) That public water fluoridation is the involuntary mass medication of an entire population without consent, which contravenes international law such as the first point of the Nuremberg Code, which states that the voluntary consent of the subject is absolutely essential and 2) I also outlined to the Minister the huge international precedent that currently exists including every other EU country that has either banned or stopped public water fluoridation on health or environmental grounds”
Mr Boyden continued “We do not need another review group or body be set up to come back and tell us that water fluoridation is an outdated and dangerous public health measure, we need the practice of water fluoridation in Ireland to immediately cease with a constitutional change enacted ensuring a practice like this does not occur again”.
Further to Cork’s anti fluoride motion yesterday, since 2001 there have been close to 40 Town Councils, four County Councils including Dublin, Sligo, Donegal, Kerry and Laois who’ve passed similar motions the latter of who only did so two weeks ago and Cork Corporation who also passed the motion back in 2001. In total this equates to democratically elected representatives for approximately 990,000 (2011 census) people across the State having called for the immediate cessation of water fluoridation in Ireland that have not been listened to from the Government. Further to this, Fine Gael in 2001 made a pre election promise to stop public water fluoridation based on health and environmental concerns but subsequently reneged on their promise.
With the fluoride issue being debated nationwide and impending elections on the horizon, people will continue to watch developments on this issue with a keen eye.