The campaign against Measure 26-151, which would fluoridate Portland's water, has received one of its largest single donations—from an Illinois-based alternative physician who makes unusual medical claims.
Dr. Joseph Mercola donated $15,000 in cash to Clean Water Portland on April 28, and the campaign reported the contribution over the weekend.
That's the third-largest single donation to the anti-fluoride campaign, and brings Mercola's total donations to $26,975, including in-kind contributions of polling and a YouTube video.
Mercola runs Dr. Mercola's Natural Health Center in Hoffman Estates, Ill.—a hugely popular health products company and that directly markets items including fluoride-free toothpaste and water filtration systems to remove fluoride from kitchen taps.
WW first reported Mercola's involvement in the anti-fluoride campaign last month.
Mercola has questioned whether HIV causes AIDS, suggests that many cancers can be cured by baking soda, and warns parents not to vaccinate their children. He also says that animals are psychic.
His views have landed him national fame and controversy. He's twice been a guest on The Dr. Oz Show, and last year Chicago Magazine wrote a skeptical profile. It noted how popular his website has become:
According to traffic-tracking firm Quantcast, Mercola.com draws about 1.9 million unique visitors per month, each of whom returns an average of nearly ten times a month. That remarkable âstickinessâ puts the siteâs total visits on a par with those to the National Institutes of Healthâs website. (Mercola claims his is âthe worldâs No. 1 natural health website,â citing figures from Alexa.com.) Mercolaâs 200,000-plus âlikesâ on Facebook are more than double the number for WebMD. And two of his eight booksâ2003âs The No-Grain Diet and 2006âs The Great Bird Flu Hoaxâhave landed on the New York Times bestseller list.