The latest YouTube video in Portland's fluoridation war has the bright cutout-style animation of South Park and the ominous string-and-synth score of Unsolved Mysteries.
The four-minute clip, featured on anti-fluoride campaign Clean Water Portland's Facebook page, urges Portlanders to vote in the May 21 election against "risky fluoridation chemicals."
"It's time once again to fight the good fight for clear water, health and individual freedom," says the video, produced by an Illinois opponent of fluoridation.
Clean Water Portland executive director Kimberly Kaminski says most of the campaign's donations are small and local.
Still, she says, "We're happy to get contributions from people who value protecting the largest unfluoridated water supply in the U.S. no matter where they live."
The contributions have come in part from a loosely affiliated national movement that works to defeat fluoridation efforts city by city. They include $43,000 from Wichita, Kan., real-estate developer James Garvey, the largest contributor to the defeat of a fluoride measure in Wichita last year.
Another $5,000 comes from Ken Howard, who runs Abundant Living Information Services, a Christian health-food store in Orem, Utah, and calls fluoridation "a modern David-versus-Goliath story."
The video was produced by Joseph Mercola, an Illinois-based alternative physician, whose clinic has donated $5,000 in cash and polling worth $6,375 to Clean Water Portland. He reported the donation of the video was worth $600.
He runs Dr. Mercola's Natural Health Center in Hoffman Estates, Ill. Mercola has questioned whether HIV causes AIDS, suggests that many cancers are caused by yeast infections, and warns parents not to vaccinate their children.
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Mercola to stop claiming that his "Meditherm Med2000 Telethermographic camera" could serve as an alternative to mammograms. In 2006, the FDA told him claims about the disease-curing properties of coconut oil violated federal laws.
But Mercola's favorite cure may be baking soda. He has written it might cure colds, fight swine flu, heal sunburn and cure cancer in six days.
"Like any group receiving contributions, we may not agree with all views of all of our supporters,â Kaminski says, âbut we appreciate their support.â