Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Letter to the Editor of the Irish Independent Newspaper

Reply to Ms. Colette Browne Irish Independent Newspaper regarding her opinion piece of the 12th March 2014.

I wish to respond to some of the accusations penned by your columnist Ms Colette Browne in her column of the 12th March 2014.

In regard to my report of 2013 which addresses the variations in disease burdens between fluoridated Republic of Ireland and non-fluoridated Northern Ireland, perhaps the two smallest sections of this large report address Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs) and Down Syndrome.

The data for SIDs is from a published document from the Institute of Public Health using official statistics from the Department of Health in both jurisdictions, along with data from the Central Statistics office and Northern Ireland Statistics, the report covers the period 1989-1998 and was published in 2001. Apart from recent All Ireland studies on Cancer statistics, which also show a much higher incidence of cancer in the Republic, this is the only all Ireland report examining the variation in mortality on the Island of Ireland. In this comprehensive report on page 29 and 33 the official figures for SID’s are provided for both geographic regions and a figure of a 310% increased incidence based on annual standardized rates is provided for the Republic of Ireland in comparison to Northern Ireland. This document has not been updated since.

Ms Browne claims that she has figures to show that the incidence of SID's in Northern Ireland are higher than the Republic of Ireland. I would like to see the evidence to support this claim. If this is so, as Mr Gerry Byrne also claims, it would represent a four fold increase in SID's in the Northern Ireland in recent years, a situation which I would find very difficult to believe without credible published scientific facts to substantiate this claim.

In my report I also provided data from the international Journal of Paediatrics (2008) on SIDs incidence globally. What their data showed was that the highest incidence internationally of SIDs was to be found in fluoridated countries. This again is factual information from peer reviewed published sources.

I also reported that the Brisbane City Council’s review of fluoridation (1997) reported that the communities with the longest history of fluoridation had the highest SIDs rates, while the rates were lowest in non-fluoridated communities. This again is verifiable published information from reputable sources.

The U.S National Academies in their report noted (page 252) that Melatonin was associated with increased risk of SIDs. They also noted (page 264) that the one and only study that had been conducted on fluoride and pineal gland function indicates that fluoride exposure alters melatonin production.

Based on these observations, I suggested that the data suggests an association between infant exposure to fluoride and increased risk of SID's.

For making this cautionary statement I am now being ridiculed.

Finally in regard to my interview on RTE radio, I was contacted 30 minutes before the interview when I was at a meeting and asked to participate without any forewarning or opportunity to prepare and with no knowledge of what questions I would be asked. The literature on fluoridation is vast, I cannot be expected to remember every publication or the name of source material especially for something that was a relative minor part of my report. I have since forwarded the information to the researchers at RTE.

Yours sincerely
Declan Waugh