Dáil Éireann - Volume 526 - 28 November, 2000
Written Answers. - Public Water Supply.
Mr. O'Flynn Mr. O'Flynn
248. Mr. O'Flynn asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will make a statement on the arguments for and against the continued compulsory fluoridation of the public water supply; and if he will devolve the decision making power on fluoridation of the water supply to the local authorities. [27237/00]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): I have established a forum on fluoridation with terms of reference as follows: to 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 report and to make recommendations to me as Minister for Health and Children.
The forum is comprised largely of persons with expert knowledge spanning the areas of public health, dental health, food safety, environmental protection, ethics, water quality, health promotion. Environmental interests have also been invited to participate but so far have declined. Submissions from the public will be invited. The forum has met on a number of occasions under the chairmanship of Professor Pat Fottrell. I hope to have an interim report from the forum by the end of this year.
A statement by me on the arguments for and against fluoridation would, I feel, be inappropriate while the forum is still in deliberation. I have no proposals at this time to introduce an amendment to legislation which places a statutory responsibility on health boards and local authorities as their agents, to fluoridate the public piped water supplies.
Dáil Éireann 526 Written Answers. Public Water Supply.