Fluoride Action Network

Rick North: Why I Trust FAN

Fluoride Action Network | December 22, 2015

The Fluoride Action Network had another great day! On Monday we received $3,515 from 13 donors, including $2,000 from one of our super-angels. This brings our current total to $69,362 from 295 supporters. This means that the first five donors today will put us over the 300 donor mark, triggering a pledge of another $600.

(See donation details and FAN’s “12-days-of-Christmas” competition below)

Just two years after Portland voted to stop fluoridation in a 61%-39%  landslide, fluoridationists in Oregon continue to push for a statewide mandate. One of the volunteer activists fighting to keep Oregon’s water clean and safe is Rick North, a key member of the Portland campaign team. Below Rick explains why he supports the Fluoride Action Network, and hopes you will too.


Rick North: Why I Trust FAN

I’m a volunteer activist from Portland, OR and I’ve seen first-hand how indispensable FAN is to this great cause of ending fluoridation.

My background includes a 21-year career with the American Cancer Society, the last five as the executive vice president of the Oregon Division.  Later, I worked for over seven years as founder and director of the Campaign For Safe Food program for the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. I retired almost five years ago.

I’m not a doctor or scientist, but have worked with them for nearly 40 years and am familiar with medical and scientific methods. I’m also privileged to have a wide variety of professional colleagues all over the country who advise me on technical questions beyond my knowledge.

For most of my life, I thought fluoridation was fine. Nobody wants cavities, and if the federal government and organizations like the American Dental Association and American Medical Association supported it, that was enough for me. And it’s all I’d ever heard from the media.

About eight years ago, a friend called and asked me to take a look at the science on fluoridation. I looked carefully at the arguments of both sides and was amazed – and very concerned – by what I found. The evidence against fluoridation from every perspective – safety, effectiveness and ethics – was overwhelming. It was easy to change my mind.

FAN was my main source of information opposing fluoridation. Two huge points they made stood out. First, most nations have rejected it. Currently, out of 196 countries, only 24 have it and only 10, like the U.S., for more than half their population. FAN not only revealed this but provided quotes from European health officials citing their health and ethics concerns.

I also discovered the National Academy of Sciences 2006 report, Fluoride in Drinking Water, considered the most comprehensive, authoritative resource ever written on the toxicity of fluoride. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It said fluoride was either a definite or potential health risk for fluorosis, brain functions, bone cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease and others. When you read statements like “Fluoride is therefore an endocrine disruptor . . .” and “. . . it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with functions of the brain. . .” it gets your attention.

What grabbed me the most was the question of fluoride lowering IQ. FAN’s information was extensive, delving into the details of every study finding developmental impairment, now numbering 49. But it went even further, providing links to the few studies that didn’t find an association, showing both sides of the story for anyone wanting to investigate further. FAN had done its homework and done it well.

And then I looked at the other side’s arguments, led by the American Dental Association’s “Facts on Fluoride.” Written in 2005, this is STILL on their website.  ADA said there was no harmful causal relationship between fluoridation and intelligence. It cited only two studies, one from 1986 and one from 1995. They ignored (and continue to ignore) all the more recent studies – both animal and human – finding links to brain damage and IQ.

The quality and quantity difference between the two websites was striking. It was crystal clear that FAN was the go-to authority on the subject and that the ADA’s information was outdated and slanted. (To be fair, and in contrast to their website, one of the ADA staff has been quite helpful in tracking down some recent statistics.)

Since then, I’ve helped inform state legislators and served on the executive committee of the successful 2013 Portland campaign. I’ve done a lot of writing, public speaking and debating. I’m a stickler for accuracy. Like anyone, I’ll occasionally make mistakes, but I never want to make statements that go past the science. The movement’s credibility and my personal credibility mean everything to me.

Most of what I read on the subject is in plain English. But some information is technical science or statistics, for which I don’t have training. This is where advice from scientists like Chris Neurath and Paul Connett has been essential. Many times they’ve told me that a scientific study that supports our argument isn’t very well done and I shouldn’t cite it. Or, I shouldn’t use language that implies the science is stronger than it is.

Bottom line – they don’t always tell me what I want to hear. This integrity is FAN’s heart.

The great website, the scientific studies, Paul and Michael Connett’s inspired speeches, the tracking of international efforts, the videos and the indispensable support for individual campaigns all over the country – all are reasons that I donate to FAN and urge you to do the same.

And as much as any other reason is this: I can trust them. That’s the foundation for everything else.

Donation Details

Have you thought of entering our grand “12 days of Christmas” competition? Its very simple just make a donation of $20 or more and send us your guess of the total for donations and donors we will reach by our deadline (email: info@fluoridealert.org ).   The closest to this total dollar amount will win (in the event of a tie the one closer to the total number of donors wins).

There are TWELVE prizes (one added each day like the carol, 12 days of Christmas).  So far we have the following prizes

1) A presentation by Michael or Paul Connett in your community (FAN will pay air fare anywhere in North America and half anywhere else).

2) 10 copies of the prize-winning videotapeFluorideGate, donated by Dr. David Kennedy.

3) 1 deck of playing cards donated by FAN’s Science Director Chris Neurath. These cards have on their playing surface 52 reasons for ending fluoridation, with two jokers who disagree (the ADA and the CDC).

4  12) FAN will continue to add to this list daily BUT we invite you to do the same with a fun or exciting gift of your own (don’t send it just email us a description of what you would like to donate to info@fluoridealert.org )

We urge you to get together with friends and families to coordinate your efforts.  Only one guess per person is allowed.  Meanwhile please consider a donation today to get us closer to our mini-goal of $75,000 by midnight Christmas eve.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network, a project of the American Environmental Health Studies Project, you can either:

  • Donate online using our secure server.  If you should experience difficulty in donating at our secure server, please call Network For Good at 1-888-284-7978 and press option 3 to make your donation over the phone.
  • Or by check – please make checks payable to Fluoride Action Network and send to: FAN, c/o Connett, 104 Walnut Street, Binghamton NY 13905

See the many GIFTS available for your donation!

Paul Connett, PhD
Coordinator for FAN’s 2015 Fundraising campaign
Fluoride Action Network

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