Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fluoridation of Dublin Water Supplies.


asked the Minister for Health whether he was aware of the investigations which Dr. Rapaport had made into the side effects of fluoridation; and whether he had given full consideration to his findings before making the Orders prescribing that the public water supplies to Dublin City and County should be fluoridated.

I am aware of Dr. Rapaport's papers, in which he purported to show a statistical relationship between the incidence of mongolism and the fluoride content of water supplies.

Dr. Rapaport's allegations were investigated by the New Zealand Commission on fluoridation and by the Ontario Committee of Inquiry. Both these Commissions were satisfied that there was no basis for his conclusions. I had studied both these reports very closely before making regulations, in May, 1962, providing for the fluoridation of public water supplies in Dublin City and County.

I have also studied the writings of several competent medical experts who have shown that Dr. Rapaport's investigations were grossly inadequate and quite unscientific in method and in no way justified the theory which he propagated. I accept the opinion of these experts that Dr. Rapaport's investigations are completely unreliable.

Without for a moment accepting Dr. Rapaport's views and without purporting to reject them categorically, I would ask the Minister does he now recognise the validity of the rights of a citizen of this State who accepts the views of Dr. Rapaport to apply to the courts in defence of her constitutional rights, if so advised?

I do not accept it because I am not satisfied that certain politicians had not a hand in getting a little self-advertisement out of that action.

Will the Minister agree that Dr. Rapaport does not fall within that category, and that a Deputy of his own Party feels sufficiently perturbed by Dr. Rapaport's report to question the Minister in the House in this regard?

This seems to be an enlargement of the question.

The question was not raised in any formal way by the plaintiff in that action or by counsel appearing for her. On the contrary, they shied very far away from Dr. Rapaport. Dr. Rapaport's reputation is such that he could not be regarded as a reliable witness.

Yet the Minister's colleague saw fit to question the Minister in that respect.

Because of the public uneasiness——

The public uneasiness, exactly.

——and the talk to which the Leader of the Opposition is now lending himself.

The name on this question is Seán Brady, Fianna Fáil T.D. for Dublin.