Press Release

Minister Martin Launches the Report of the Forum on Fluoridation

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr. Micheál Martin, TD, today (10th of September, 2002) launched the final Report of the Forum on Fluoridation. The Minister established the Forum in May 2000 to independently review the fluoridation of public piped water supplies and the programme of research being undertaken on behalf of health boards in the area and to make recommendations to the Minister.

The Minister welcomed the Forum´s Report and said “It set out to examine scientific evidence for and against water fluoridation: to look at the best available recognized scientific evidence. That scientific evidence – not anecdotal evidence – led to the primary conclusion of the forum: that there are no adverse health effects of water fluoridation at the maximum permitted legal level.

Fluoridation is a public health measure. A public health measure good for the oral health of all age groups and sections of society. It´s effective in reducing dental decay. We´ve got 40 years of documented support for that.

The safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation has also been endorsed by a number of international and reputable bodies such as the World Health Organisation, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Public Health Service and the United States Surgeon General.”

The Forum was comprised largely of persons with expert knowledge from a diverse range of backgrounds such as public health, dental health, food safety, environmental protection, ethics, water quality, health promotion and representatives from the consumer and environmental areas.

The Minister also said “The Forum took a participatory and evidence based approach striving to ensure balance between participants from both sides of the debate on water Fluoridation. And it went out of its way to engage those opposed to water fluoridation.

On an issue that creates strong feelings, it´s vital to have responsible and measured debate wholly based on fact and evidence. Thanks to this Report, future debate on this issue can be based on data published in scientific literature and subjected to minute scrutiny for accuracy and validation, and we can avoid the invalid currency of assumptions and hearsay.

This forum has demanded scientific proof for every opinion expressed to it, and as a result has produced a credible and valuable report.”