Fluoride Action Network

A Lifetime of Giving: An Interview With The Connetts.

November 29th, 2022 | Fluoride Action Network

We have a very special bulletin today, especially for those of you who have followed the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) over the years. Last week, I sat down with Paul and Ellen Connett for an interview that I think many of you will enjoy and everyone should be able to gain inspiration from.

It’s not a typical FAN interview. Rather than focusing exclusively on fluoridation, the conversation was focused on their lives and all that led up to their founding of FAN back in 2000. Since its formation FAN has accomplished a lot, including helping hundreds of communities end fluoridation, producing and archiving a wealth of educational materials and analysis on fluoride science, pushing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to phase out sulfurly fluoride, exposing the promotors of fluoridation and government agencies for their lack of scientific integrity, getting the National Toxicology Program to review fluoride’s neurotoxicity, and suing the EPA in federal court to end the use of fluoridation chemicals …and much more.

Now, twenty-three years later, the Connetts have recently retired from their roles as Executive and Managing Directors to pursue their personal interests and spend more time with family; though they still remain active volunteers and key advisors to our organization.

While their work at FAN has touched so many lives and has helped protect literally millions of people from the dangers of fluoride exposure, their contributions go beyond fluoride. Their story is not just one of scientific integrity and coming to the defense of the vulnerable, it’s also a story about giving one’s passion, time, and energy to something bigger than themselves. It’s about being part of a team or effort to better the lives of others.

We have picked today to share their story–the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday–because it’s known as “Giving Tuesday.” It’s an internationally recognized day of charitable giving and generosity, aimed at empowering people and nonprofits to make positive change for our communities and the world. The Connetts encapsulate everything it means to give oneself to the greater good in an effort to transform our world. As you will learn from the interview, they’ve truly led lives based around activism, and today is the perfect day to honor their work and example.

Their story begins with a presidential campaign and the peace movement in the late 1960’s, followed by their campaign to thwart genocide during the Biafran War. With the knowledge and experience from these campaigns, they then worked in the early 70’s to provide medical supplies and care to refugees displaced by the Bangladesh Liberation War. It was during this time that Ellen was captured by the Pakistan Army–who was already committing genocide against the people of East Pakistan–and was given a quick “trial” and two year prison sentence for providing care to refugees. While in prison, Ellen learned that she wasn’t the only Connett who had been captured (watch to learn more)!

Their story continues with Paul taking up teaching, something he did for over 30 years at both the high school and college level; spending much of this time as a Professor of Chemistry at Saint Lawrence University in Canton, New York. While there, the Connetts led campaigns on a variety of environmental issues, including campaigning against waste incineration, human radiation experiments and worker exposures, and dioxins. They eventually met the founder of the American Environmental Health Studies Project (AEHSP), Cliff Honicker, in 1996 and the Connetts brought with them the issue of fluoridation, which would become an official project of AEHSP in 2000.



The Connetts have given us the Fluoride Action Network, and they’ve brought us far in our journey to end fluoridation. Now it’s up to all of us to nurture and build upon what they created, and ultimately to finish what they started.

If you’ve been inspired or impacted by what Paul and Ellen have given the world, then please honor their work with a contribution to keep it going. Please join us–citizens from around the world and from all walks of life–in ending fluoridation once and for all. Together we can win this battle.

How to Make a Tax-Deductible Donation:

**If you should experience difficulty in donating online, or would like to donate over the phone, please call Network For Good at 1-888-284-7978 and press option 3 to make your donation.

  • Or by Check, payable to: Fluoride Action Network

Mail Checks To:

Fluoride Action Network

PO Box 85

North Sutton, NH 03260

**Please note that some corporations match tax deductible donations made by their employees to some non-profits.  FAN Qualifies for this program.  This is the information to provide your corporate finance staff: the parent body for FAN is the American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc. (EIN#: 62-1599535)

Thank you for your support,

Stuart Cooper

Executive Director
Fluoride Action Network