Are you in the mood to hear a conspiracy theory? Recently, I discovered that the Irish Government – and many other governments worldwide – has been "medicating" and "mind-controlling" us in order to keep us docile and lethargic. Yes, we are unwittingly the consumers of a controversial substance that is so dangerous to human health it can cause the following: depression, cancer, leukaemia, thyroid dysfunction, kidney disease and neurological disease – to just mention a few.
You've probably guessed that I'm talking about fluoride and the fact that we are one of the few countries in Europe who fluoridate our water supply. The message is that this is bad. Indeed, going by all the furore, having fluoride in our water is far, far worse than the raw sewage which is currently floating around our rivers and seas.
The Environmental Protection Agency said recently that it was very concerned about the sewage threat to the nation's health, and we may very well be sued by the European Commission because of it. This, I presume is because sewage has been proven to cause nasty things like cryptosporidium, encephalitis, typhoid, hepatitis A, respiratory paralysis and liver failure. The fluoride in our water system, on the other hand, has been proven to cause ... Eh, feck all except fewer cavities and a very low risk of fluorosis if taken in excess.
What? That can't be right, surely?
Hasn't it been proven by scientists that even our very low levels of fluoride in the water system can cause all sorts of health problems? Isn't that why adding fluoride is banned in the rest of Europe? And hang on, didn't the European Court deem it illegal? Isn't the mandatory "medicating" of populations against human rights?
Strangely, no, no, no and no would be the answer to the questions above. The addition of fluoride is not banned in mainland Europe. There have been no European Commission statements or rulings from the European Court that have defined water fluoridation as being contrary to EU or international law (See the report of the Expert Body on Fluorides and Health). And "mass medication" is not unique; we put the common good above the right of the individual when we vaccinate our children, or put chlorine into the water system.
Yes, I know what you're going to say. I just haven't done my research, have I? I mean, with a click of a button I can Google innumerable sources on the internet which will tell me how wrong I am and how dangerous fluoride in the water system is.
There are hundreds of people, all over the country who has been researching the detrimental effects of fluoride for many years. And I admit I'm not a scientist so I have to go look for unbiased, verifiable, evidence-based, objective material on the issue. Material which has not – like the Harvard research, for instance – been reinterpreted to suit a particular bias.
Thankfully, last week Britain's Health Advisory Board, Public Health England, published the results of the first ever national report on this issue. They found "new data which is direct evidence of the safety and efficacy of water fluoridation in England". They continued, "There is no evidence of any effect on general health in fluoridated areas compared to non-fluoridated areas." And then they added that they found "important benefits to dental health in areas which had water fluoridation schemes".
In 2004, then minister Micheal Martin set up the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health. This body and its sub-committees included representatives from dentistry, biochemistry, toxicology, environmental health and public health medicine. They found no evidence that the fluoride in our water system is dangerous. They also comprehensively thrashed the idea that "there is an abundance of scientific material in evidence, including recommendations from respected international and national bodies that condemn the practice of water fluoridation. This is not the case".
But there is absolutely no point in you or I pointing out any of this research to the anti-fluoride brigade.
They are convinced that the World Health Organisation, the EU's Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks, the American Council on Science and Health, the UK Medical Health Committee and our own Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, to mention just a few, must all be mistaken or in the pay of big pharma or quite possibly the Rothschilds. And so must I to dare disagree with them.
To placate them, Minister Simon Coveney has announced that an international group of consultants is to be appointed by the Government to examine the use of fluoride in the public water supply – wasting good money pandering to a loud, irrational lobby group prior to the local and Euro elections.
Meanwhile I'm wondering if I'm the only person pee'd off about the amount of pure (bull)sh**, sorry, raw sewage, we are prepared to put up with in this country.