Fluoride Action Network

A Lawsuit Update & Two New Resources For Campaigners

September 18th, 2023 | Stuart Cooper, Executive Director - Fluoride Action Network

Dear Friends:

Lawsuit and NTP Status

We’re just over four months away from the January 29th, 2024 start date of the final phase of our federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the neurotoxicity of fluoridation chemicals. The Court has scheduled two weeks to hear testimony and cross-examination of expert witnesses focused on new evidence and science published since the last trial dates in 2020, including the National Toxicology Program’s 6-year systematic review of fluoride’s effect on the developing brain. In the meantime, the final depositions are being conducted by FAN’s attorneys, and expert witnesses for both the plaintiffs and defendants have been selected and are currently preparing. The Court is expected to make a ruling following this final phase of the trial.

Mark your calendars; we’re a month away from the next trial status hearing on Tuesday, October 17th, at 2:30 PM (Pacific) / 5:30 PM (Eastern). We’ll send out a reminder with the Zoom information as we get closer to the hearing.

At the most recent status hearing held in July, very little was discussed, though the judge did ask attorneys an important question. He asked if they had a preference for whether the last phase of the trial should be held in person in the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco or virtually via Zoom like the first phase of the trial. An in person trial could create travel complications for some expert witnesses, increase costs substantially for both parties, and severely restrict the number of people able to watch the proceedings.

Attorney Michael Connett, representing FAN, stated that we would prefer the trial be by Zoom to better accommodate international experts and to allow greater viewing access for the public. However, while attorneys for the EPA admitted that the Zoom format worked surprisingly well during the first phase of the trial, they stated–without explanation-–that their preference would be for an in person trial with limited public viewing.

The judge shared FAN’s preference for a virtual trial and plans to proceed via Zoom unless otherwise directed by updates to the federal court system guidelines. This is another win for FAN, as well as for the public that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and EPA clearly doesn’t want watching the trial.

The NTP report on fluoride’s developmental neurotoxicity has yet to be published and it’s unclear when or if it will actually be published. The date of its publication won’t impact the trial because the judge previously stated that he’s willing to move forward in January using the final unpublished version that is publicly available and was unanimously approved by the NTP’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) in May. While the BSC recommended that the NTP publish the State of the Science report themselves and have a medical journal publish the meta-analysis as soon as possible, evidence obtained by FAN through the Freedom of Information Act indicates that the decision for final publication will likely be political rather than science-based and made by Assistant Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, rather than the NTP Director, Dr. Rick Woychik.

VIDEO: New Interview Featuring Paul Connett, PhD

FAN’s founding director and co-author of the book The Case Against Fluoride, Professor Paul Connett, PhD, is featured in a new interview on water fluoridation. The hour-long video uploaded by a water treatment consulting business called Freshnss includes a discussion between Professor Connett and host Erik Ritland on the history of fluoridation, how Paul became involved with the issue, the recent science on fluoride’s neurotoxicity, and the best approaches for ensuring you and your family have safe drinking water. Click on the graphic below to watch and share:

A New Book Written For Fluoride-Free Campaigners

The best way to remove fluoride from your water is not to install a filtration system or buy spring water. Campaigning locally to end the practice remains the best long-term solution for both you and your community.

While we enter the final phase of our federal lawsuit, it’s important that citizens ramp up their local campaigns to help build momentum. Even with a victorious ruling for FAN, the EPA may drag its feet by appealing the court’s decision and potentially take up to several years to promulgate new drinking water rules that are protective of public health under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). It will be up to us to leverage the ruling and the voluminous science now showing harm to force local and state governments to act rapidly and independently of the EPA if they delay.

As we speak, FAN is assisting campaigners in communities like Spokane (Washington), Branson (Missouri), Orono (Maine), and many more throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. There is no better time to act than now, and there are more supportive studies and resources available to campaigners than ever before.

One new tool available for campaigners is the book Something in Water: 12 Steps to Ending Fluoridation in Your Town by Clint Griess. Clint is an independent campaigner who spent five years interviewing the world’s leading experts and advocates in the fight against fluoridation as the host of the International Fluoride-Free Teleconference. He has distilled the knowledge acquired from his own efforts to end fluoridation in California, as well as advice, stories, lessons, and strategies learned from guests on his monthly teleconference into twelve manageable steps to run a grassroots campaign that both new and experienced campaigners will find useful.

Clint has provided the introduction to his book for free; click here to read it. Something In The Water can be purchased online from The Book Patch and Amazon.

In combination with his new book, Clint is hosting a monthly Zoom meeting called Fluoride-Free Campaigns. Each month he’s joined by both active and aspiring campaigners from around the world to discusses a chapter from his book, share stories, and offer support to one another. Here’s a recording of a recent meeting focusing on Chapter 2, entitled “Protect Yourself.”

The next meeting will be held on Saturday, October 14th at 2:00 PM (U.S. Pacific) and will focus on reaching out to allies to help build support for your local campaign. Click here to register for the next Zoom.

Thank you,

Stuart Cooper
Executive Director
Fluoride Action Network