Saturday, October 27, 2012

Plea from FAN - "Wichita (Kansas) Needs Our Help!"

October 27, 2012

Dear Kenneth M,

There are only 9 days left until the November 6th election and fluoridation vote in Wichita, Kansas where citizen activists need our help! The pro-fluoride lobby has not spared any expense to force fluoridation on the residents of Wichita and several surrounding communities. First, the dental-lobby forced the city council to place the question on the ballot, then proponents spent extravagantly on mailers, on advertisements for TV and radio stations, on canvassing neighborhoods, and putting up signs in an effort to promote fluoridation. And just this past week, the Pew Charitable Trust flew in their primary fluoridation spokesperson, Dr. William Maas (former CDC Oral Health Division Director) to speak with Sedgwick County Commissioners and to lobby local citizens. (Watch the hearing – Maas speaks at 31:00 minutes) In the video, Maas admits that mild fluorosis occurs even in children who live in non-fluoridated communities, and he claims fluorosis is attractive. This remark angers a Sedgwick Commissioner who says others may not find it attractive.

Fluoride-free campaigners have fought back every step of the way, creating their own websites, bumper stickers, flyers, radio ads, newspaper ads, yard signs, door-to-door campaigns, and billboard advertisements. They were able to get Sedgwick County Commissioners to remove a pro-fluoride factsheet from their website, and keep the county from distributing it to citizens as a supposedly objective fact sheet. Campaigners also successfully organized two local debates on fluoridation, as well as a half-dozen speaking engagements for FAN’s Director, Dr. Paul Connett, who will be in Wichita from Monday October 29 through Wednesday October 31
The big dental-lobby and the big money coming from PEW and the American Dental Association are clearly focused on fluoridating Portland and Wichita, even though residents in both cities have repeatedly rejected fluoridation. PEW has developed a massive PR campaign, backed by seemingly unlimited funds used to force fluoridation where residents oppose it. The battle in Wichita will either energize PEW if they win, or if they lose, prove to PEW that money and power can't overcome the truth. Portland residents have already rallied in opposition and were successful in collecting more than double the petition signatures necessary to give citizens a choice in the matter with a ballot vote on fluoridation. Now Wichita needs our help, and more than ever. We must work together from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine to help Wichitans keep their water fluoride-free, and to send a clear message to the dental-lobby that they aren’t in control of our water supply.

Here are some ideas about what we can do to help Wichita:

1) If you live in or near Wichita, lend a hand. -Contact FAN’s Kansas Point Person
-Volunteer with a local campaign:
Wichitans Opposed to Fluoridation, Fluoride Free Kansas, and Pure Water Wichita

2) Send this message to anyone you know in Wichita or Kansas
3) Send comments to the Wichita Eagle’sopinion linecolumn at You don’t have to state your location and it requires only 50 words or less.
4) Make comments on online Wichita media stories (Portland's trained commenters are active in Wichita. Wichitans need your help in defusing them). We will post stories on FAN’s Facebook and Twitter pages daily.5) Donate money, flyers, buttons, T-shirts, etc.
Wichitans Opposed to Fluoridation, Fluoride Free Kansas, and Pure Water Wichita

6) Use your blog, and your Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread the word – someone you know might know someone in Wichita.
Not sure what to say in your letter, email, or post? You can share the facts below. We've limited them to less than 140 characters so you can easily copy and paste them to Facebook, Twitter, or email.

• There is no evidence that any Wichita resident is fluoride-deficient. But CDC says 41% of adolescents nationally are fluoride overdosed.
• The CDC says fluoride’s beneficial effects are topical, not systemic. Meaning swallowing fluoride does not reduce tooth decay.
• Fluoridation wastes money as less than 1% of the fluoridated water supply is ingested.
• After 67 years of water fluoridation, 57 years of fluoridated toothpaste and dental products, yet tooth decay is a growing epidemic.
• Many heath and medical groups no longer endorse water fluoridation.
• Fluoridating Wichita’s water will waste millions of dollars.
• More than 4,300 professionals oppose water fluoridation as ineffective and harmful to health.
• A Nobel Prize winner in Medicine says fluoridation is obsolete and must be abandoned.
• 80% of dentists refuse to treat poor children on Medicaid.

Please consider how you can help make a difference in Wichita, no matter where you live. Ultimately, what happens in Wichita will impact fluoride campaigns across North America. We need your help to reach people who don’t go to meetings, don’t read newspapers, or listen to TV media reports (unfortunately, these people vote too). And more than anything else, Wichita campaigners need volunteers to help them inform local voters about the problems associated with water fluoridation. Together we can help end this outdated practice one community at a time. 

Stuart Cooper & Carol Kopf
Fluoride Action Network

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