Opposition grows to fluoride in water supplies
Ireland’s water is a controversial subject these days, with protests against water charges being held on a regular basis. But now that we’re paying for our water usage, there’s another issue to consider – compulsory fluoridation of the public water supply.
A motion tabled by Independent Councillor Jim Cuddy at a recent Galway County Council meeting called on the Government to hold a referendum on water fluoridation, and was passed unanimously.
Galway City Councillor Catherine Connolly has also expressed concern about the levels of fluoride in the public water supply, saying that most councillors are concerned about it and that it is the councillors that need to do something about it.
“The official response has been that it’s for our health and there seems to be no getting beyond that, so really it’s up to the councillors, I think, to take the initiative. A change is not going to come from the officials; they’re carrying out government policy,” said Cllr Connolly.
Authorities say there are several health benefits to the addition of fluoride in the water, with dental health being listed as the main one. But many anti-fluoride groups say the opposite is true, with fluoride causing dental fluorosis, which leaves tooth enamel damaged.
“Water fluoridation was known, from the start, to cause dental fluorosis in at least 10% of children exposed to it. Dental fluorosis is irreversible tooth enamel damage for life. We believe that drinking the chemicals used in fluoridation is an unnecessary risk to health,” according to the anti-fluoride group, Fluoride Free Water.
There is now a growing movement which aims to repeal the Health Act of 1960 which allows for the compulsory fluoridation of Ireland’s water.
Anti-fluoride groups aim to propose a constitutional amendment which will guarantee every citizen will be protected from water fluoridation in the future.
“Harmful fluorides in tap water are a poison and they damage both teeth and soft tissues and bone. It is illegal to force anyone to take a poison without their knowledge or informed consent,” according to Fluoride Free Water.
Apart from dental fluorosis, there are many worldwide studies that show there are other health complications linked to over-exposure to fluoride in water, including an increased rate of hip fractures and an increased rate of thyroid disorders among others.
There are also many who believe fluoride is deliberately put in the water supply to keep the population docile, compliant and stupid, with numerous studies linking low IQ in children to the consumption of fluoride.
According to Fluoride Free Water: “Vulnerable groups like kidney patients, people with low thyroid function, and the elderly, and babies, who are fed formula made with fluoridated water, must not be exposed to toxic fluorides in their drinking water. Ending fluoridation will stop exposure to toxic fluorides from this source.”
Over the past year, a number of councils around the country, including Galway County Council, have publicly called on the Government to scrap the current policy of compulsory fluoridation.
“This is involuntary medication through an outdated and dangerous state-wide public health policy which continues to inflict irreversible cosmetic and structural malformation damage to the teeth – or fluorosis – of 40% of the population,” said a spokesperson from lobby group Fluoride Free Towns.
Ireland is one of the very few countries in Europe with compulsory fluoridation, and has the highest percentage (71%) of fluoride in its water system compared with Spain which has only 3% in comparison and the United Kingdom, which has only 10% fluoride in its water. The data comes from Dr Paul Connett, CEO of the Fluoride Action Network.
The spokesperson for Fluoride Free Towns said that fluoride “threatens the country’s very valuable food and beverage sector of the economy. Not one other European country maintains a similar mandatory public water fluoridation policy in 2015 due to health, environmental, legal or ethical concerns as a result of ongoing scientific and medical objection.”
Cllr Catherine Connolly says that the officials are only “carrying out government policy”, but councillors and lobby groups have concerns.
“I think they have serious concerns and I think they have to be properly investigated and I think that they have persisted in the face of a wall of denial from the government. Concerned groups of citizens have kept going and saying we are worried. I think it deserves a proper inquiry and a proper investigation,” she said.
For more information on the fluoridation of the public water system, visit www.fluoridefreewater.ie, or www.fluoridealert.org.
Person taken to UHG following collision near Barna
Galway Bay fm newsroom – A person has been taken to UHG following a road traffic crash near Barna.
The incident, which involved a truck and a car, happened this afternoon on the R336 near the church.
Emergency services are at the scene and the road is currently closed.
One person has been taken to UHG, but the extent of their injuries is not known.
Taste of Galway at ‘Flavours of Ireland’
Some 60 tourism companies from Ireland attended ‘Flavours of Ireland’ 2022 in London last week – including Connemara Wild Escapes, DK Connemara Oysters and Killary Fjord Boat Tours.
‘Flavours’ is Tourism Ireland’s annual B2B tourism workshop, where tourism companies from Ireland meet and do business with top global inbound tour operators.
Now in its 20th year, ‘Flavours’ took place in the Guildhall, in the City of London, and was attended by around 100 global inbound tour operators who deliver business from all over the world, including the United States, Mainland Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa.
‘Flavours’ provides an excellent opportunity for the participating tourism providers from Galway and Ireland to highlight and sell their tourism product and build valuable relationships with the key decision-makers in attendance.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Planning Regulator wants Galway City Council U-turn on Development Plan
From the Galway City Tribune – The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) has asked Galway City Council to roll back material alterations to the new City Development Plan proposed by councillors.
In July, elected members voted through a raft of changes to zonings in the Draft City Development Plan 2023-29, which went out on public display.
But the Planning Regulator has now warned City Hall that many of the proposed changes do not comply with the OPR’s recommendations, and are contrary to national planning guidelines.
The OPR specifically highlighted problems with proposals to rezone as residential land deemed at risk of flooding.
Anne Marie O’Connor, Deputy Regulator, wrote to the Council’s Planning Department outlining the OPR’s fresh advice on the changes to the draft plan proposed and approved by councillors.
The draft plan will come before elected members again this month.
Councillors will be asked to row back on some of their previous material alterations, which ran contrary to advice of the OPR.
Ms O’Connor said the OPR welcomed many of the changes made by the City Council in its draft plan. She said, however, that the OPR “has a number of outstanding concerns relating to the response of the planning authority to its recommendations and to a number of proposed material alterations relating to the zoning of lands”.
These relate to changes that conflict with national and regional objectives for compact growth; with legislative requirements regarding climate action and core strategies; and with rezoning land at risk of flooding.
The OPR highlighted a dozen or more material alterations by councillors that are “not consistent” with the National Planning Framework for compact growth.
These include re-zoning of land from agricultural or recreational and amenity to residential.
The changes voted on by councillors, the OPR noted, were done against the advice of the Council’s Chief Executive Brendan McGrath.
The OPR said the changes proposed by councillors represented a “piecemeal approach” to zoning and were “inconsistent” with national policy.
These comments related to proposed rezoning of land at Rahoon; Dublin Road; Quarry Road, Menlo; Ballindooley; off Circular Road; Menlo village; Roscam and Barna Woods.
The OPR also raised “significant concerns” over five material alterations proposed for residential zonings of land at Western Distributor Road; Terryland; Menlo Village; Headford Road and Barna Woods which are located within flood zones.
The approach by councillors “may place people and property at unnecessary risk from future flood events”, the OPR warned.
Ms O’Connor told planners that if the draft plan ignores the OPR advice or is at odds with its recommendations, the Council Chief Executive must inform the OPR in writing the reasons for doing so.
Save Roscam Peninsula in a 33-page submission to the draft plan echoed many of the concerns outlined by the OPR.
The Council has pencilled in four dates in November and December to approve the plan.
It will meet on November 21, 24 and 28 and December 1 when material alterations will be voted on individually.
This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune, November 4. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. The print edition is in shops every Friday.