Fluoride is a poisonous substance added to many municipal water supplies across the US, Canada, and elsewhere without the permission of the residents. Is there a model that communities can follow to remove it from their water supply? The short answer to this question is yes.
Dr. Paul Connett, a chemist by training and director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), is recognized worldwide as a leader in the movement to eliminate fluoride from municipal water supplies, and I’m pleased to be working with him to achieve this goal.
He’s been active in this area for decades, becoming an environmental activist shortly after joining St. Lawrence University in 1983. In 1985, he got involved with the Zero Waste movement, fighting incineration and promoting alternatives to waste burning.
Those earlier efforts recently culminated in the publication of the book, The Zero Waste Solution: Untrashing the Planet One Community at a Time.1 Then, in 1996, his wife alerted him to the problems of water fluoridation.
“I started to read what she’d given me, and I was embarrassed that I had fallen victim of this American brainwashing,” he says. “The American message from the public health establishment is that everybody in the world says fluoridation is great.
They forgot the fact that most of the world does not fluoridate; 97 percent of Europe does not fluoridate, thank you very much. The other tactic has been to denigrate opponents of fluoridation – flat earth society, crazy people. And I apologize, because I fell victim to that.”
Countering the Status Quo
The book, The Case Against Fluoride, was the culmination of years of joint investigation by Dr. Connett and James Beck, an MD, Ph.D. physicist from Calgary, and Spedding Micklem, who has a doctorate in biology from Oxford. In addition to a clear discussion about the toxic effects of fluoride, it contains 80 pages-worth of references to the scientific literature on fluoride.
The primary strategy that promoters of water fluoridation use is to establish that authorities say: “It’s good; it’s safe and effective,” and that “people who oppose fluoridation are stupid, stupid, stupid.” This strategy is basically aimed at keeping you from looking at the actual science.
“What the Fluoride Action Network has done, and done in spades, is we made the literature readily available – not just a little of it, but all of it,” Dr. Connett says.
“Even material that is pro-fluoridation is accessible through our website. If anybody wants to check that out, go to our website, FluorideAlert.org. On the top right hand corner of the homepage, you’ll see a button that says Researchers.
If you click on that, you’ll get a menu of issues. In that menu, if you click on Health Effects Database, you get another menu of all the tissues that fluoride could interfere with. It’s a tremendous database.
…My son is now going to archives around the country, digging up the information that’s being suppressed. We now know that, for years, they’ve been suppressing information about the harm that fluoride causes.
The industry hid information that fluoride was damaging the workers of the aluminum, steel, and other industries, with the help of the Sloan-Kettering Institute and the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research.
These institutes do research for industry, but only publish the results that are favorable to industry, and hide the results that were not favorable. And of course, what’s sickening about all of this is that there was collusion between these people that were hiding the information and the US Public Health Service. The very service that they set up to protect your health was colluding with industry to suppress information.”
Since about 2009, about 130 communities have stopped water fluoridation. Canada has dropped from about 60 percent of the population drinking fluoridated water down to about 32-33 percent. Victories have also been logged in New Zealand and across the US. Four major developments in the last 13 to 14 months include:
- Last year’s success in Portland, OR, where efforts to start water fluoridation were thwarted despite the pro-fluoride side spending about one million dollars to force the issue. They were even paying local associations $20,000 just to come out in support of fluoridation. Fortunately, their scheme didn’t work, and Portland is now the largest city in the US that does not fluoridate its water
- Wichita, Kansas also won its battle against fluoridation last year, after getting 60 percent of the votes in the referendum, despite being considerably outspent by the fluoride proponents
- Queensland lifted the mandatory requirement for fluoridation, which opened the floodgates and led to 17 district councils stopping fluoridation (or deciding not to start). In total, this affects about 45 different towns
- The new minister of health in Israel announced that this year, she’s lifting the mandatory fluoride requirement in Israel. Hopefully, this will lead to many communities ending their water fluoridation programs.
Each Victory is Paving the Way for More Successes Elsewhere
There are also exciting and highly creative developments going on in Ireland, where politicians are now trying to end fluoridation. Each victory adds to the arsenal of successful strategies that can help other communities to follow suit, even against formidable odds. As Dr. Connett explains:
“There’s a tremendous generosity amongst the communities that are fighting fluoridation. The people in Wichita, after getting a victory, helped the people in Portland. Now the people in Portland are helping other communities. They are sharing the educational material that they used, and some of them are very creative.Clint Griess in California has a teleconference once a month, where people all over the world can join on the phone and hear these experiences.
They hear from the activist in Portland, Wichita, and Canada – including my co-author, James Beck from Calgary. He was able to get it out of Calgary. That was 1.2 million people free of fluoridation. I think it’s probably the Internet that will end fluoridation. They just cannot hide the information any longer.”
It’s worth remembering that if a product is really good, its benefits usually speak for themselves. You don’t need to intimidate people into buying it or using it. You don’t have to hide information relating to its effects. Such is not the case with fluoride, where every dirty tactic in the book has been and continues to be employed to keep it in use.
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