NEW YORK, June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) in a just-concluded trial (June 8 -17) on the neurotoxic risks posed by water fluoridation, was encouraged by a statement made by Judge Edward Chen after both sides had given their summations. According to FAN director Paul Connett, PhD, “He has not yet made a ruling, but he said it was undeniable that fluoride posed a neurotoxic hazard and that EPA was basing their defense on an overly restrictive standard with respect to what constituted an “unreasonable risk”.
The trial in federal court in San Francisco was brought under provisions in the Toxic Substances Control Act. This allows citizens to petition EPA to regulate specific uses of chemicals to prevent “unreasonable risk” of harm to the general population or vulnerable subsets.
The trial, Food & Water Watch, et al. v EPA, was conducted on Zoom. FAN was the original petitioner and a lead plaintiff in the case. Plaintiffs’ experts presented their research that revealed fluoride is a neurotoxic hazard to the fetus and the bottle-fed infant in fluoridated communities.
Plaintiff’s lawyer Michael Connett in his summation pointed out that with water fluoridation “you have millions of susceptible people being exposed on a daily basis, including 2 million pregnant mothers and over 400,000 exclusively formula-fed babies.” He noted that the EPA, at least on this particular issue, “has failed to responsibly carry out its duties to protect this nation from harm.”
Judge Edward M. Chen gave the plaintiffs a major boost, declaring that fluoride was undeniably neurotoxic at some level and that the EPA had applied a wrong standard in judging the rigorous science that FAN had presented.
Plaintiff’s attorney Connett showed how two Exponent firm scientists hired by EPA had a history of consistently finding, on behalf of industry, there was “insufficient evidence of harm” from many toxic chemicals. In contrast, Connett continued, “We brought before your honor, world class experts that the EPA has consistently depended on for assessments.”
The judge asked both parties to discuss a way forward, but that if they could not agree, he was prepared to issue a decision. The implication was that it would behoove EPA to find a way to reduce the risk without being forced to do so by the court.