- 20 Feb 14
“The Irish campaign is fun, playful and sexy,” says FAN’s Michael Connett.
Fluoride Action Network, the international coalition to end water fluoridation, has identified Ireland as the new leader in the global campaign for fluoride-free water.
In a powerful and wide-ranging interview in the new issue of Hot Press (Graham Norton cover), Michael Connett, an attorney who is Special Projects Director for FAN, singled out both the sustained reporting on the issue of fluoride in Hot Press and the work of The Girl Against Fluoride, Aisling FitzGibbon, as potential game-changers.
“The world’s been waiting for a leader on this issue,” Connett told Adrienne Murphy. “The ball is in Ireland’s court right now. You guys have been doing amazing work. I’ve never seen a more exciting campaign. It’s having a galvanising effect, way beyond your shores.
"Hot Press is bringing the tools of sustained journalism to the issue of fluoride – we really haven’t seen that anywhere else before. One-off articles are great, but to see a persistent focus from Hot Press on fluoride, really keeping the feet to the fire – that’s very exciting."
The US-based campaigner – whose father Dr. Paul Connett is a leading anti-fluoride scientist – emphasised the critical importance of the Hot Press audience.
“Fluoridation is a mistake that the previous generations made,” he observed. "It’s for the younger generations to correct. And Hot Press, by covering this, is equipping the younger generation with the information they need to correct the errors of the past.”
Connett is dismissive of the stance of authorities, like the Department of Health and the so called 'Expert Body on Fluoride'.
“All they do is they keep on studying the teeth,” says Connett. “They just keep the focus on the teeth, the teeth, the teeth. And even then they do a bad job.
“So keep holding the health authorities accountable. Keep doing Freedom of Information Act requests. Follow the money. Question, question, question authority on this issue. And have fun as well!
"That’s why the Girl Against Fluoride campaign is so important – it’s keeping the issue colourful, playful, fun. That’s the most revolutionary thing about the Irish campaign. It’s playful and sexy.
"We always say at FAN that a victory anywhere is a victory everywhere,” he said. "But to see a country like Ireland with mandatory fluoridation beat it would be amazing."
Speaking to Hot Press, the Canadian safe water advocate, Liesa Cinachino, was also strong in her praise of the Irish campaign.
"We are so grateful to the campaigners in Ireland. Your scientist, Declan Waugh, is outstanding. We’ve been able to use a lot of his work here. And Aisling (FitzGibbon) and her mother Martha (Brassil) are amazing…
“I wish we had a magazine like Hot Press out in Canada,” she added. "We’ve had some articles here and there, but nothing has come close to what Hot Press has done. You are an example of what journalism should be. And on behalf of the Canadian campaigners, I can’t thank you enough.
“When we win this, it’s because of what’s happening in Ireland. So please keep up the great work!”
For the full article by Adrienne Murphy, see the current issue of Hot Press (with Graham Norton – in flying form – on the front).