By Emma Connolly
SOME of West Cork’s internationally-famed residents, including actor Jeremy Irons and Oscar winning director David Puttnam, are backing an anti-fluoride campaign.
The celebrities have signed a letter to relevant authorities, including Irish Water, calling for the mandatory ingestion of fluoride through water and associated foods to be fully investigated amid serious health concerns.
A raft of musicians are backing the campaign, led by Bandon scientist Declan Waugh, including Christy Moore, Glen Hansard, Mary Black, Sharon Shannon, Declan Sinnott, Damien Dempsey, Declan O’Rourke, Mundy and Paul Linehan and Ashley Keating from Cork’s Frank and Walters, among others.
Playwright Jim Sheridan has also signed the letter, along with many prominent academics, scientists, medical doctors, midwives, historians and concerned citizens in West Cork and nationwide.
In the letter, Mr Waugh refers to ‘the dictatorial, highly controversial and outdated legislation in Ireland which mandates that everyone must consume a xenobiotic neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor, metabolic and protein inhibitor and genotoxic agent such as fluoride.’
The lengthy letter has been submitted to regulatory authorities, including the Taoiseach, the Department of Health, Irish Water and among issues it highlights and calls for it asks for a ‘declaration that artificial fluoridation of drinking water does not pose any risk to neurological health and well-being of infants; does not impair or disrupt endocrine function in infant, adolescents or adults; does not contribute to abnormal bone protein synthesis that may contribute to chronic disease in humans’.
It also asks if Irish Water have evaluated the effects of combined toxicity of fluoridated water and lead in drinking water for neurotoxicity, carcinogenicity, immunotoxicity, endocrine dysfunction and bone health. Mr Waugh draws attention to recent findings which found an association between fluoride exposure in pregnancy and lower measures of intelligence in children.
The letter also states: ‘Knowledge of the fluoride content in tea beverages is essential to all healthcare professionals, especially in a country such as Ireland where most of the population drink tea daily and drinking water supplies are artificially fluoridated in accordance with national legislation.’
It concluded by saying ‘an analysis along with population exposure data is of the greatest public relevance and should be conducted before any more taxpayer’s money is spent on promoting and reinforcing water fluoridation in Ireland.’
Other signatories include David Puttnam’s wife Patsy and son Sacha, along with Skibbereen actor Declan McCarthy, Karen Austin of the Lettercollum Kitchen Project in Clonakilty, and Schull businessman Walter Ryan-Purcell of Loughbeg farm.