Forum Minutes of Meetings - 27 September 2001

Minutes of meeting of the Forum on Fluoridation on 27 September 2001
The Boardroom, Dublin Dental Hospital


  • Professor Pat Fottrell (Chairman)

  • Dr Wayne Anderson

  • Professor John Clarkson

  • Dr Elizabeth Cullen

  • Dr Paddy Flanagan

  • Mr Oliver Fogarty

  • Ms Dorothy Gallagher

  • Dr Gerard Gavin

  • Dr Joe Mullen

  • Professor Denis O’Mullane

  • Professor Miriam Wiley

  • Ms Nessa O’Doherty (Forum Secretariat)

  • Dr Miriam Owens (Rapporteur)


  • Professor William Binchy

  • Dr Howard Johnson

  • Professor Cecily Kelleher

  • Mr Kevin Moyles

  • Professor Moira O’Brien

  • Dr Máire O’Connor

  • Dr Carmel Parnell

  • Dr Margaret Shannon (Forum Secretariat)


The minutes of the meeting of 3 September 2001 were agreed but with the following amendment to be made, ie the relevant paragraph should read as follows:

Hydrofluosilicic acid

Dr Anderson and Mr Moyles prepared a document detailing the level of contaminants in hydrofluosilicic acid and this was circulated prior to this meeting. Dr Anderson gave a brief summary of the details contained therein. The Forum agreed that the contents of this document are very important and that it would be useful to have comparative examples in everyday language so as to have the information in a form readily accessible to the public. The Chairman thanked Dr Anderson and Mr Moyles for the work they put into preparing the table.

Matters arising

  1. The Forum’s report is expected by the Minister by the end of October 2001.

  2. Some of the Forum members are meeting with a Paediatric Nephrologist this afternoon – the Chairman stressed the importance of getting a written report following the meeting.
  3. Dr Owens will email the current progress report to all members for comments and it will then be put on the Forum’s web site.
  4. The Editorial Group of the Forum met yesterday.
  5. Dr Paul Connett has been in contact to express some concerns – it is hoped to follow up and respond to these as soon as possible.
  6. Dr Owens will be emailing the draft final report to the members over the next few weeks – members are asked to respond with their comments/ requests for amendments as soon as possible on each draft.
  7. Dr Anderson reminded all members that he and Mr Moyles have circulated a revised version of the document on contaminants.
  8. Dates of forthcoming meetings of the Forum agreed.

Review of Conference Call with Dr Gary Whitford

Professor O’Mullane chaired the call with Dr Whitford. Despite some interference on the telephone line, the call was successful and informative. Professor O’Mullane has circulated the minutes of the call to those who participated and invited comments.

Submission from the Irish Society of Toxicology

The Society is to be asked to clarify some of the points raised. It is hoped to arrange a meeting with the Society and members of the Forum – Dr Gavin and Dr Owens will liaise on this.

Final Report

The Forum’s Report must be presented to the Minister by the end of October 2001. It is hoped to finalise it at the Forum’s meeting on 25 October 2001. In order to make it as accessible as possible to the public, it was agreed to have an Executive Summary as well as the main Report. All technical information will be contained in the appendices for those who wish to follow up in more detail on particular aspects of the report. Feedback from Forum members on drafts of the report is essential.

At the Forum’s meeting on 18 October 2001, members will be asked to express their views on the issues under discussion – those who represent an organisation were asked to consult with that organisation before that date. Any member who cannot attend on 18 October 2001 is to forward their views in writing to the Secretariat prior to that date as it is crucial that all views are expressed and taken into account. Members were asked to consider also what recommendations they would like included in the report.


  1. Dr Cullen is anxious that the views of a relevant expert be ascertained on the following: environmental aspects, daily intake of fluoride in the (Irish) diet and toxicological issues.

  2. The Sub-Group on Ethical Issues is to discuss whether another meeting with the expert on ethics is required.

  3. Dr Cullen and Ms Gallagher feel that the issue of choice must be considered.

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