Ireland is the last remaining country in the world with mandatory fluoridation, and perhaps the most likely to follow Israel’s example. In recent years the fluoride-free momentum has been building in Ireland, and we believe the tipping point has been reached. In 2013, legislation to end the nationwide mandate in Ireland was introduced, which would not only reverse the mandate, but would make fluoridation a criminal act. This bill got a significant boost when a major Irish magazine (Hot Press) began investigating fluoridation and found a parliamentary report calling for an end to fluoridation that was suppressed by the government for seven years, and when the Labour party’s chief whip, Emmet Stagg called for an end to the practice, saying that time had run out for “mass medication” by fluoridation.
In the Spring of 2014, the Agriculture Minister announced that the Irish government would appoint an international group of experts to review public water fluoridation in response to the growing public pressure in opposition to fluoridation. The next day, on March 10th, the Cork County Council, the largest county council in Ireland voted by a huge majority in favor of a motion calling on the federal government to ban fluoridation throughout the country. The vote had cross-party support and was expected to have a domino effect with other county councils.
A domino effect is exactly what it had, when on October 6th, Dublin’s City Council passed a motion by a vote of 22-20 calling for the immediate cessation of water fluoridation in Ireland. Dublin is the capital and largest city in Ireland, and home to more than 500,000 residents.
Also in October, fluoridation was also being debated in the House of the Oireachtas (Irish Legislature). Senator Mary Ann O’Brien made a motion to end fluoridation because of the "fundamental human right of every Irish citizen to choose whether or not they have their water medicated with fluoride given that they are now paying for it." Senator O’Brien wrote a powerful op-ed for the Irish Independent on October 1st explaining in detail why she was bringing the motion.
And on November 10th, the Kerry County Council unanimously passed the motion opposing public water fluoridation. The vote received cross party support and was passed without any disagreement amongst the councilors, making it the fifth major Council to adopt a similar resolution in 2014, representing approximately 1.5 million Irish residents.
These votes are the result of a national effort that is gaining significant momentum due to campaigners like the West Cork Fluoride Free Campaign, scientist Declan Waugh, The Girl Against Fluoride, and the hard-working fluoridation fighters Robert Pocock and Gladys Ryan who preceded them. You can learn more about the campaign in Ireland, and hear directly from many of these key players and organizers by downloading November’s International Fluoride Free Teleconference.
Fluoride LitigationIreland isn’t the only country possibly on the verge of ending fluoridation. In Canada, a resident of Peel, Ontario, Liesa Cianchino (chairperson of Concerned Residents of Peel to End Water Fluoridation)--launched a lawsuit against the Peel Region and the Province of Ontario, Canada. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of adding fluoride to municipal drinking water in Canada and points out that the practice is also a violation of the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act.
If successful, the lawsuit could end fluoridation throughout Canada, and could establish that councilors in fluoridated communities are personally liable for the damages caused by fluoridation. The action will be heard in Ontario Superior Court in Brampton.
Infant Warnings2014 saw infant fluoride warnings published in the annual water quality reports for San Francisco and East Bay, California (population 7.4 million) thanks to members of Clean Water California. These two communities now join Sunnyvale, California, Austin, Texas, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the state of New Hampshire in adding these warnings to their annual water quality reports, bringing the number of residents these warnings are sent to approximately 10 million.
There is also infant warning legislation currently being considered by the Massachusetts legislature, where the bill was recently sent to study committee and will receive an executive committee vote this winter. If passed the warning would help reduce fluorosis rates and bring awareness to an additional 6.6 million people.
Fluoride Classified As Dangerous to Developing Brains
While this isn’t good news for the health of our children, it is a victory that fluoride’s toxicity is becoming more apparent to the scientific community. An article was published in the March 2014 Journal Lancet Neurology in which medical authorities classified fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin. The prominent peer-reviewed medical journal published the article entitled “Neurobehavioral effects of developmental toxicity.” The authors point out that 27 studies of children exposed to fluoride in drinking water found an average lowering of IQ by seven points; twice that of the effects of secondhand smoke on children. This confirmed what FAN has been saying for years.
Journal Article Calls for Prohibition of Fluoridation
Also this year, The Scientific World Journal published a review article by Dr. Stephen Peckham and Dr. Niyi Awofeso entitled, “Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention.”
According to the authors,
“available evidence suggests that fluoride has a potential to cause major adverse human health problems, while having only a modest dental caries prevention effect. As part of efforts to reduce hazardous fluoride ingestion, the practice of artificial water fluoridation should be reconsidered globally, while industrial safety measures need to be tightened in order to reduce unethical discharge of fluoride compounds into the environment…coordinated global efforts to reduce adverse human health effects on fluoride need to start with ensuring that its introduction into water supplies is prohibited”Increasing Our Momentum
Overall, 2014 has been a good year for the fluoride-free movement. FAN has seen a significant increase over the past year in the number of campaigns to end fluoridation worldwide, and we fully expect the momentum from 2014 to carry over into the new year to make 2015 an unprecedented year for the fluoride-free movement.Most of these victories were the result of citizens who organized local opposition and voiced their concerns to council members, either working in coordination with FAN, or using our materials and arguments to educate their neighbors and decision-makers about the serious health risks associated it the practice. Our hats are off to these citizen campaigners and their professional allies. Without dedicated campaigners around the world our goal of a future without fluoridation couldn’t be possible. To join or start your own campaign, please visit our Take Action section.
Again, thank you for your continued support for FAN and your efforts to end fluoridation. Please help us make 2015 even more successful by making a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you.