january 1, 2013
At 9:43 pm last night FAN accomplished the “impossible” by reaching $100,000 – the goal of our 2012 fundraiser.
Our current total stands at $101,287 from 523 donors.
Yesterday was a truly remarkable day. We started with $83,225 and together with those who had pledged $8,425 (which kicked in when we reached $90,000) we raised an additional $11,637 from 130 people; an incredible effort.
A huge Thank you to all of you who gave so generously and inspired us with your very kind and positive thoughts. It was difficult to escape the feeling that in the effort to set up a substantial 2013 Fluoridation Fighting Fund that we had created something more – or at least made it visible in a tangible way – we had set up a Fluoridation Fighting Team. In the end this wasn’t just about money it was about spirit. A coming together of men and women of good will from around the planet who are determined to end this foolish practice once and for all.
Looking forward to 2013
I don’t think FAN has ever been better equipped to take these hard fought funds and make them work.
We have the best website on fluoride in the world. This past year my son Michael wrote a tremendous amount of new content for the site including a huge revamped huge health database, which for any serious researcher is a gold mine of scientific information. With this database it is not hard to demonstrate that fluoridation is neither safe nor effective. For any one with an open mind there are arguments on this webpage that can withstand all the fluff that PR people can throw at us.
In addition, we have our book The Case Against Fluoride that makes a mockery of anyone who says the opponents of fluoride are junk scientists. I am indebted to my two co-authors Professors James Beck and Spedding Micklem for setting the right tone in the book and their meticulous attention to detail. All three of us are willing to debate any pro-fluoridation scientist that promoters are able to find who has the courage of their convictions. In Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. most of these seem to be in hiding.
We are fortunate to have one of the best-informed media officers in the world, Carol Kopf – who has been working on this issue – unpaid - for over 30 years. She knows more about this issue – at many different levels -than the vast majority of “experts.”
My wife Ellen is a logistical whiz – she used to be the traffic manager for one of the world’s largest advertizing agencies – doing a vast amount of work keeping things going. Most of this huge effort is unseen. She runs the office; she runs the latest news section on the webpage; she keeps track of the funds; she maintains the pesticide database, and was the inspiration behind our nine-year battle against Dow on sulfuryl fluoride; she oversees submissions to governmental regulatory agencies and most importantly keeps me calm when I want to kick down walls!
We have a campaign director Stuart Cooper who has demonstrated over the past two years that he is up to the daunting task of organizing throughout his home state of New Hampshire and throughout the country. He wrote and passed the nation’s first state law requiring an infant fluoride warning, and also established and developed FAN’s extensive social media network (with nearly 26,000 supporters), on top of writing and publishing most of our weekly FAN bulletins. You are going to hear much more from him over the next few months as he tries to deploy some of our excellent outreach material, such as the Dr. Yolanda Whyte video.
For the past two years Tara, a biologist, has been invaluable in preparing our submissions to various government agencies. Tara has now taken over the role of FAN’s developmental officer and in 2013 will be looking to secure foundation support for some of our exciting educational projects. In that effort the number of contributors to our fundraising effort will be invaluable.
We have a fabulous science director in Chris Neurath, who is absolutely the best person I know as far as finding the weaknesses and strengths of any scientific paper that comes his way. Quite frankly he can make the PR people at the CDC, ADA and Pew look very silly.
We have a fabulous video production unit in Michael Connett (our special projects director) and Kevin Hurley (Polaris mediaworks) who produced the Yolanda Whyte video. Expect some big things from them this year; they have many more video projects in the works.
It is exciting to see how groups are using these videos in their communications to councilors. No group has done this better than FAN-New Zealand. They have used some of FAN’s videos at public hearings as their testimony. Ellen and I are looking forward to our visit to New Zealand in February.
It is also exciting to see how more and more young people are getting involved in this issue. Fluoridation is an outdated practice and they are willing to say so. Nowhere has this become more apparent than in the Republic of Ireland, with the Little Miss Fluoride Campaign and The Girl Against Fluoride. One senses that it won’t be long before the Irish government is forced to abandon statewide mandatory fluoridation. It is one of the few countries in Europe to have any fluoridation and the only country in Europe that has made it mandatory.
In 2012, we have seen more journalists prepared to tackle this taboo subject in more depth and willing to go beyond the puffery and “smilery” offered by the PR people at the CDC’s Oral Health Division, the ADA (and other national and state dental associations), and the Pew Charitable Trust.
In 2012, we also saw more “respectable” scientists deal with the taboo subject of fluoride’s toxicity and fluoridation. Perhaps the most important was the Harvard University team (Choi et al.) that did a meta-analysis of 27 of the IQ studies. This team included world-famous toxicologist/epidemiologist Phillipe Grandjean and their study was published in the world’s leading environmental health journal: Environmental Health Perspectives, published by none other than the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) an arm of the NIH.
In Canada, we have seen a great group of citizens (including some of the best activists I have met) working together to expose the mindless “robottery” of local medical officers of health who shamelessly read from scripts provided to them by Health Canada. On this issue Health Canada is totally detached from any notion of honest science. There is no national coalition anywhere more inspired than Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation (COF-COF) led by the indefatigable Robert Fleming. It was Robert’s victory in the referendum held in Waterloo, Ontario (Oct 25, 2010) that set the dominos falling. Robert is ably supported by experts with a variety of backgrounds, e.g. Dr. Hardy Limeback, Peter van Caulert, Sheldon Thomas, Professors James Beck and Joe Cummins and many others.
After Ireland, it is a straight race between NZ and Canada as to which country is going to end this practice first. Although, Israel may be a runner in this race as well.
I’m afraid I had really given up on Australia until we heard about the remarkable turnaround in Queensland where the premier announced that fluoridation was no longer mandatory. Talk about lighting the blue touch paper! This has given heart to many citizens and courage to a number of politicians to go further. But it has also triggered an avalanche of abusive commentary from ill-informed editors and politicians. Silly stuff but our forces will undoubtedly capitalize on this not only in Queensland but in other states as well. Some great websites: FAN-Australia & Queenslanders for Safe Water, Food, and Air & Fluoride Australia.
Meanwhile, battles rage on across the U.S. Every day brings more communities and more fresh troops into the fray.
From January to May many eyes will be on Portland, Oregon where citizens will be doing everything they can to stop the arrogant efforts of their councilors to force fluoridation on them by winning a referendum, which they fought so well to get on the ballot.
The challenge to us all – and particularly to Stuart Cooper – is to make sure that these local efforts do not remain isolated but we use them to help others to win their battles as well. I was impressed that the first thing the citizens did, who successfully beat off fluoridation in Wichita, was to state loudly and clearly, “Now we must get this out of Kansas.” I would add: and the U.S. and the rest of the world. Some of our largest donations to our fundraiser came from Wichita.
Many of you have remarked that this effort is dominated by selfless people; people that put others first. People who spend hours and hours of their time – without pay, without recognition, often fighting off abuse –helping others. Some of you do this with your shoe leather and others do that with your financial support and some do both. What a team!
Let’s celebrate this remarkable victory. Let it be the first of many more victories in 2013. A happy new year to everyone and again a huge THANK YOU from the whole FAN team.
Thank you for being part of the FLUORIDATION FIGHTING TEAM.
Paul Connett, PhD,
Director of FAN, co-author of The Case Against Fluoride