Open letter to Commissioner Dalli suggests using bisphenol A ban as precedent
Science & Communications Officer, ANH-Intl
A leading paediatrician has sent an open letter to Commissioner John Dalli, asking him to consider a ban on fluoridation of water supplies in the Irish Republic
The call follows the logic of the recent ban on bisphenol A in baby feeding bottles
On behalf of Dutch non-governmental organisation, Ecobaby, and others from Amsterdam University in the Netherlands, leading paediatrician Dr Gavin ten Tusscher has sent an open letter to Commissioner John Dalli calling for vulnerable Irish infants to be protected from fluorosilicates in drinking water. The letter, written in light of European Union (EU) Directive 2011/8/EU that bans bisphenol A in baby bottles, was brought to the attention of Dublin-based EU Ambassadors by Ireland's longest-standing anti-fluoride campaigner, Robert Pocock.
The open letter to Mr Dalli points out that Directive 2011/8/EU outlaws bisphenol A in baby bottles for three main reasons:
The bottle may be the only source of nutrition for bottle-fed babies
Parents are given no official warnings about the risks of bisphenol A
No product labels exist advising parents of the risks associated with bisphenol A
Exactly the same reasoning applies to fluorosilicates in drinking water, say Dr ten Tusscher and Ecobaby, and they urge Commissioner Dalli to develop legislation to end the fluoridation of Irish water supplies.
Fluoride in Ireland: “untrialled and unauthorized”
Mr Pocock’s letter to Irish EU Ambassadors slams the practice of water fluoridation in the Republic, describing it as “[a] clinically untrialled [process whereby] unauthorized fluorosilicates are added to most public drinking water”. This is a perfectly justified criticism when one considers that fluoride should be licensed as a medicine according to EU law! It is, after all, designed to prevent or treat a disease, dental caries (tooth decay), but it is not licensed as a drug by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Irish Medicines Board (IMB). Furthermore, not a single clinical trial was performed on fluorosilicic acid before the fluoride began flowing into drinking water across the country – whether the Irish people wanted it or not.
“What leading paediatricians in Europe have done is to expose the lax controls applying to medicinal products in Ireland,” said Mr Pocock. “Consumers, and especially children, in the rest of Europe are protected from these falsified and prohibited medicines, but not in Ireland”.
Ambassadors urged to educate populace on risks
Until regulations that prohibit such falsified medicines are enforced EU wide, Mr Pocock calls on Irish EU Ambassadors to alert the population to the risks of bottle-feeding using fluoridated water, which can lead to fluoride over-dosing. “Every third Irish teenager now has dental fluorosis or permanent disfigurement of their teeth,” reads the letter, “and the fluorosis risk commences at birth”.
Inescapable logic – and a logical Houdini
Dr ten Tusscher and Ecobaby have what appears a water-tight argument here. However, they are dealing with a man who can in one sentence laud the concept of bureaucratic openness and transparency, and then stonewall an important question in the very next breath! For the sake of the Irish people, and their infants yet unborn, we sincerely hope that Mr Dalli will hold to a more logically consistent line on this occasion.
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