Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012

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The fluoridation battle rages on in Portland, Oregon as the city council prepares to vote this Wednesday. The battle has been receiving nationwide coverage because of the undemocratic process the council is taking to force fluoridation on it’s citizens; circumventing three separate previous votes by citizens to prohibit the practice. Even officials from two separate towns that get their water from Portland are questioning the rapid and “behind closed doors” process the Portland City Council has taken in an effort to approve this practice as quickly as possible and with only the support of fluoridation lobbyists. 

The council held the public hearing on fluoridation last week, where more than 275 locals testified, with more than 60% speaking in opposition to the practice. So many people attended that they overflowed into the halls and outside of City Hall, where video screens were set up so everyone could view the hearing. The pro-fluoride lobby was given over an hour to present their case, uninterrupted, then everyone else was given 3 minutes each initially, then only 2 minutes each to make their case in opposition. This is a tactic generally used by pro-fluoride decision-makers to stifle any actual debate or balanced discussion of the issue. 

This week, Dr. Paul Connett was invited to debate forced-fluoridation lobbyist Kylie Menagh-Johnson on the KBOO morning radio show “Healthwatch”. You can listen to the entire debate here. Also this week, the U.S. Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, made the following statement in regard to the Portland fluoridation battle:
            "It's a no-brainer. I support the right of the people to vote on it. It's outrageous  that it is necessary to file an initiative to get it on the ballot."

The citizens of Portland are already organizing an initiative to overturn the council’s expected approval of fluoridation on Wednesday. Clean Water Portland and FAN Oregon point person Kim Kaminski are behind the effort. If the council does approve fluoridation and citizens eventually overturn it, then it would be a huge blow and a huge embarrassment to the pro-fluoride lobby. Clean Water Portland will need all of the volunteers they can get to accomplish this task. Please sign up to volunteer. Please also take a few minutes to contact the Portland City Council to urge them to vote down the fluoridation resolution, or at least bring the question before the public. 

If you live in the Portland area, please join Dr. Paul Connett and Clean Water Portland for Fluoride Action Night on Tuesday, September 11th at the First Unitarian Church at 7pm.

Earlier this summer the Phoenix city council announced that they would be reassessing their water fluoridation program and holding public hearings to gather as much information as possible about the practice. Soon after this announcement, local community organizer and FAN contact Jody Cluteput together Fluoride Free Arizona, and immediately started taking action to end the practice that costs the city’s 1.5 million residents over a half-million dollars each year. 

Just last week, Fluoride Free Arizona hosted an unprecedented two and a half hour Lincoln-Douglas style debate on fluoridation between FAN Executive Director Paul Connet, PhD, and local dentist and fluoridationist Howard Farran, DDS. The Director of the Phoenix College debate team moderated the event, and it featured PowerPoint presentations by both speakers, two opportunities for the speakers to cross-examine each other, and audience questions. You can watch the full debate here.

The Phoenix Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee, chaired by pro-fluoride CouncilwomenThelda Williams, held there hearing on fluoridation today. Leading the charge against fluoridation was Dr. William J. Hirzy, a chemist, a professor at American University, and a former Vice-President of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s employees union. His full testimony can be viewed here. Sadly, the subcommittee of four voted unanimously to continue the fluoridation of Phoenix’s public water supply. While this is a temporary setback, Fluoride Free Arizona will continue to build momentum locally and at the state-level, and will not be ending their fight for fluoride-free water anytime in the near future. 

If you live in Arizona, please join Fluoride Free Arizona and help them bring their battle to not only City Hall, but also the State House. 
New Documentary on Fluoridation
A new film highlighting the risks association with fluoridation has been made public and posted on YouTube. We understand it was unveiled at Portland City Hall last week and we wanted to share it all of you and urge you to share it as widely as possible with all of your friends, family, and local decision-makers. The film is entitled “An Inconvenient Tooth”, and features interviews with experts like Dan Stockin, MPH, and Paul Connett, PhD.
Stuart Cooper
Campaign Manager
Fluoride Action Network  

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