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Wider consultation of papers for fluoride group

The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health will now be in a position to get more “complete information” regarding academic and medical papers dealing with fluoridation, this newspaper has been told.

According to the minutes from the September meeting of the body, members of the group had “agreed that non-English papers be included in the systematic search”.  According to minutes at each meeting of the group, members look at a wide range of academic and medical papers relating to fluoridation; however, up until now, this was restricted to the English language.

“Academic/medical papers retrieved using the search strategy that are not in the English language will be translated using freely available translation software,” a Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

“No extra cost is anticipated. In order to get complete information on evidence-based research on fluoridation from non-English speaking countries, it is important to obtain information in non-English languages.”

The Department spokesperson added that it provides annual funding to the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health both last year and in 2019.

She added the publication aims to establish a clinical advisory committee by the end of 2019.

Asked whether there were plans to review the terms of reference of the body, a Department spokesperson told MI earlier this year: “The Department of Health keeps the policy of water fluoridation under constant review.  A new Expert Body on Fluorides on Health was appointed by the Minister in November 2017. It has a five-year term of office. There are no planned changes to the expert body membership at this time.”

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