Consumer body calls for water-fluoridation choice

By Dominic Phelan
Sept. 25, 2001

The Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) has called for more consumer choice in the issue of addition of fluoride to the State's water supplies.

The CAI favours the fluoridation of water stopping at source and is to lobby the Department of Health-sponsored Forum on Fluoridation commission, which plans to make its recommendation known by the end of the year.

"There should be no difference between the water you get in the supermarket and the water you get from the tap," said CAI chairman Mr Michael Kilcoyne.

"Mineral water, for example, is fluoride free but if you order a pint of Guinness in the pub it will have been made using fluoridated water".

"Many European and American states have stopped fluoridation and we believe it is time for Irish people to receive the water that they want," said Mr Kilcoyne.

Recent scientific studies published in the British Medical Journal claim the benefits of long-term exposure to fluoride include reduced hip fractures among the elderly and reductions in tooth decay. But they warn against side-effects such as tooth discolouration.

Although the European Commission has said it cannot interfere with Ireland’s water policy because it complies with EU water directives, only two other EU states (Britain and Spain) still fluoridate their water at source.

Several EU states have even banned the practice as being too dangerous.