2 Sep 2010

FAN Bulletin 2029: Campaign Updates

Fluoride Action Network
FAN Bulletin 2029: Campaign Updates
September 1, 2010
You haven't heard from us since the FAN conference because Ellen and I snatched two weeks vacation on the NJ shore. This came as a very welcome break after an intense few months that involved completing the book, organizing the FAN conference, interviewing candidates for FAN's campaign manager, and more. Standby for an exciting announcement tomorrow!

Point persons for each state. The campaign manager's task will be greatly helped by the number of people who have already volunteered to be the point person for their state. We have given an updated list of these below. If you are interested in helping to get fluoridation out of a town in one of these listed states please contact the person identified below. The names will be handed over to the campaign manager.

In about a year's time we hope to help bring many of these state leaders/coordinators as well as the most effective individual activists to the Washington, DC area (as we just did in Canton, NY) to further network, inspire and empower. So while we want to see victories at the local level we mustn't lose sight of the need to focus some of this collective education and energy into achieving a far greater pressure on the federal agencies, which could end this ridiculous practice tomorrow if they had the scientific integrity to do so. In this respect, a very important article appeared recently in the New York Times - see http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/08/27/27greenwire-scientists-grow-disillusioned-waiting-for-clea-91109.html

Some exciting news from the UK. The new coalition government has announced that they are disbanding the Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) in 2012 -see http://www2.fluoridealert.org/Alert/United-Kingdom/England/Southampton-Fluoride-plans-could-be-scrapped

These are the unelected bodies, which under the 2003 Water Act, were supposed to make the final decision on water fluoridation. The first SHA that attempted to do this in Southampton made a complete mess up of the so-called "public consultation" process. Even though 72% of the people polled said that they didn't want fluoridation the board voted unanimously to go ahead anyway. This arrogance even upset local politicians who had been in favor of fluoridation. It has been widely assumed that once the SHA's decision has been upheld on appeal, it would trigger similar "public consultations" throughout the country. Now this will not happen. The decision to fluoridate will almost certainly go back into the hands of local decision makers. There are of course dangers in this, but even so having some kind of recourse to a democratic process gives citizens a fighting chance to keep fluoridation out of their communities.

Australia and New Zealand. One only has to compare the Australian and New Zealand experiences with respect to fluoridation to see the importance of democracy. The governments of both countries are very pro-fluoridation and their health departments churn out the same old tired mantra of "safe and effective" even though they do virtually no health studies of their own! The big difference is that communities in New Zealand do have a say in the matter. In Australia there is absolutely no pretence at democracy and the state health departments are simply forcing this practice on communities without giving them any chance to vote. With fluoridation, Australia epitomizes the arrogance of power. Health officials act like tinpot dictators. They have little first-hand knowledge of the issue but are willing to force it on millions of people. They will not debate the issue in public and won't even answer serious questions put to them by opponents with strong scientific credentials. ........................

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