Interviewer: Doctor, we talked about community at the community level,
that's where the fluoride gets into the water. Are there movements to try
to reverse that trend?
Dr. Paul Connett: Yes. If people go to a Web page, fluoridealert.org,
there's a page there called take action which give you all kinds of
suggestions for local campaigns. We will help wherever we can. I'm usually
more than willing to go to communities and debate anybody that's pro-
fluoridation. They usually refuse to debate me, which says a lot about
their confidence on a public platform.
And, so, we've got lots of advice on campaigns and literature and buttons
and bumper stickers and cups and all those kinds of paraphernalia. So
there's all kinds of things and we're being successful. Over the last
couple of years, I mentioned, 53 communities have stopped fluoridation.
But our big weapon is that we have the facts. We have the science on our
side. And I don't say that arrogantly. I've spent, as a chemistry professor
specializing in environmental chemistry and toxicology, I've studied this
issue for 16 years and I wrote a book with two other scientists, 80 pages
of references to the scientific literature. Every single argument is
documented and I say, emphatically, the science is on our side. This book's
been out for 22 months and yet we haven't had a formal scientific response
to this book. I and my co-authors are willing to go to any community and
debate with pro-fluoridation people. They usually refuse. They won't debate
in Portland, for example. We challenged them to debate. They won't debate
because they have the power. This is what it's about. They have the power.
We don't. We have the science. They have the power. And by having the power
means having the money to grease a lot of wheels behind the scenes.
It's been the most frustrating campaign of my life and I've been in a lot
of campaigns. The Vietnam peace movement, Biafra, Bangladesh, India
campaign on Mrs. Gandhi when she threw her opponents in prison. I was
involved in fighting that. I was involved in the anti-nuclear campaign and
fighting incinerators of the whole dioxin issue. Now zero waste. I've been
involved in a lot of tough campaigns, but I can tell you that this campaign
is the most frustrating because all the time you're shadow boxing. Even the
waste people would debate me. Even the chemists who had a different point
of view on dioxin would debate me. The Chlorine Chemical Council debated
me. But these guys? No. They give their confident presentations on solo
platforms. Solo testimony before councils, solo meetings behind closed
doors with editors and councilors on the phone, interviewed in the press.
That's where they excel.
But you give them the situation where both of you, both sides are on the
same platform with the same time, debating each other, answering questions
from the audience. [whistle] No.