Dr. Paul Connett is recognized worldwide as a leader in the movement to eliminate fluoride from the municipal water supplies, and I’m pleased to be working with him to achieve this goal.
Earlier this year, he used frequent flyer miles to visit New Zealand and in a month-long tour gave presentations to communities all over the country.
In this interview, he shares some of the successes the movement has experienced.
Dr. Connett has great hopes that New Zealand will move to ban water fluoridation.
“New Zealand has the ability to say no,” he says.
“It became a nuclear free zone and said no to American nuclear ships.
They have the capacity to be a maverick…
I gave a talk to the Ministry of Health and we were expecting two or three people – in actual fact, 25 people showed up.”
What’s Driving the Irrational Water Fluoridation Mandates?
According to Dr. Connett, with the science we now have on fluoride, the current water fluoridation mandates simply do not make any sense. If it is to continue, then the authorities will have to come up with some rational explanations to explain this irrational behavior.
“Teeth are important, but I can’t believe that all these governments are mobilized to protect this miniscule amount of saved teeth,” he says.
“What is the rational explanation for this irrational behavior?…. We know why the rank and file continue; because they are busy doctors and dentists; they don’t have time to read the literature. They just mouth what they are told by their professional bodies.
It’s the attitude of the people at the top of these chains of command; top of the dental associations, top of the health departments, in our (U.S.) case, the Department of Health and Human Services. To lose fluoridation means to lose credibility…”
He may be right, because if they lose credibility on this issue, they stand to lose credibility on other public health policies, such as the childhood vaccination schedule, for example. After all, they must have the public’s trust in order to effectively oversee public health policy, and that’s part of the reason for why they’re fighting so hard to stave this issue off.
“I said to the [New Zealand] Ministry of Health: If you had the courage, you would gain credibility. If you came out now and said, it’s a mistake, or we found out that it only works topically; there is no point in putting it in people’s water… [Then] they would regain the public’s trust.
The people will be so impressed that they have had the integrity to actually tell the truth…then maybe they’ll gain back some credibility on some of these other public health practices.”
Why Water Fluoridation is “A Stupid Thing To Do”
There are very good reasons for not putting fluoride in the water supplies. It is a drug. If you wanted some to ingest, you’d have to get a prescription. And there are good reasons for why we don’t purposely add any other drugs to our water.
As Dr. Connett says:
“We don’t use the public water supply to deliver medicine because it’s a stupid thing to do. You can’t control the dose. You can’t control who gets it. [There's] no individual supervision. Of course it violates the individual’s right to informed consent to medicine.
So, first of all, you start by saying this is a crazy thing to do, for most people. Then you say, what are the dangers? I spent 15 years pursuing the dangers, but then I woke up one day and said, if it doesn’t work anyway; why would we take any risk at all? Why would we lower a kid’s IQ by even a small few number of IQ points? Why would we run the risk of making our bones more brittle when we get old? Why would we run the risk of arthritis? Why would we run the risk of lowering thyroid function?
Why is it that the governments that fluoridate don’t investigate any of the things that I have just listed, and yet spend most of their time attacking the methodology of the studies that have found harm in India and China and elsewhere? [The loss of credibility is], I think, the most rational explanation that I have come up with.
The Tide is Shifting in New Zealand
FAN has had an excellent group working in New Zealand for about 11 years. They are very effective. During my visit they even managed to get the media excited with their educational events, and the traditional Maori’s held an event that was covered on Maori television.
“At least that indigenous community was being informed here,” he says.
Articles were published in the magazine Organic New Zealand, and Grey Power, so the seniors in New Zealand were getting the message as well. Dr. Connett also gave a series of talks to various councils. His talks included the video presentation of Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation, which features 15 different scientists who have spent years investigating fluoride.
In June, the Ruapehu-Taumarunui District Council confirmed their decision to stop fluoridating their water. The town has fluoridated their water supplies for the past 30 years, and their decision came after they had heard from Dr. Connett in person and also consulted proponents for their views. The Upper Hutt City council also resolved to lobby Wellington Regional to stop fluoridation.
“They can’t put citizens down anymore. They can’t pull rank on citizens. They can’t say, “I’m a doctor, I’m a dentist and you’re a nobody, go away.” Because the citizen just holds up the book and say, “Have you read this book? [The Case against Fluoride]” And when they say no, ‘Well, you better go read this book and come back with a scientific response.” Which, incidentally, is what I said to the Ministry of Health. Stop putting millions of dollars into public relations fluff; pamphlets with no references. You’ve got a challenge here. Here is a book with 80 pages of references.
Every single fact is backed up with scientific references to the primary peer reviewed literature. Give a scientific response to it, and if you cannot give a scientific response then the onus is on you to stop this. If you can’t support a major public health policy with good science then that’s the signal to stop the policy and not the signal to squash the science, which they have been doing for 60 years.”
Also on his NZ tour Dr. Connett spoke to a public meeting held in New Plymouth The citizens’ concern generated at this meeting led the council to hold a two-day public hearing to hear formal presentations from both sides. Having done so the council voted out fluoridation.
Good News from North America
Dr. Connett has also been traveling across North America. A particularly exciting meeting took place in a public library in London, Ontario. Citizens had arranged a massive billboard for the event to draw people in, and the attendance was so great they had to turn about 30 people away as all the seats were taken. More than 400 people took in the presentation.
“They heard the science. They heard that it wasn’t effective, and they heard that it wasn’t safe. There’s no adequate margin of safety, particularly when it comes to protecting your brain.
But they also heard and saw the recalcitrant attitude of the local health officers… These guys are like clockwork toys. They come in and say it’s safe and effective.
What you’re looking at are trapped animals. They have got to decide whether they’re going to tell the truth on fluoridation or whether they are going to resign, because they won’t hold on to that job for a day longer if they come out against fluoridation. This is the middle level of bureaucracy.”
The truth is also gaining a foothold in Calgary, where the council has now voted against water fluoridation twice. In the ratifying vote, they voted 12 to 2 to end water fluoridation. Waterloo, Ontario already voted to end fluoridation last year, so the dominoes are beginning to fall in Canada. Since October, 2010 when citizens voted to halt fluoridation in Waterloo, Ontario another 10 Canadian communities have halted fluoridation. For a list of these communities as well as the American and NZ communities who have done likewise, please see the Fluoride Action Networks website. At this point, British Columbia and the province of Quebec are close to fluoridation-free.
This will bring much needed pressure on the U.S.
Peter Vallone, Jr. a well respected councilor in New York, has already introduced a bill to get fluoridation out of New York City. And once New York City stops water fluoridation, the rest of the U.S. will have no choice but to follow suit. The movement is also gaining momentum in Austin, Texas.