While writing this bulletin we heard the news that our court hearing in Federal Court yesterday went very well. More below.
Meanwhile, it is here again. Dec 1. The first day of our annual fundraiser to keep the Fluoride Action Network running its national and international efforts to end the reckless practice of water fluoridation. After 17 years since FAN’s formation we know how difficult this effort is. We are up against governments with huge budgets to defend outdated policies; special interests with big money; ill-informed professional bodies, and a largely lazy media which keeps the public, and itself, in the dark on the issue.
But while it is not easy, our effort gets more and more urgent with each passing year because of the continuing revelations of the dangers posed to our children, especially with respect to the development of their brains. The latest example is the September 19th block-buster study which we discuss below.
My personal involvement in this issue began in 1996, which coincided with the publication of the first two IQ studies which found an association between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ. These came one year after Mullenix et al, raised this possibility in her seminal work on fluoride’s impact on animal behavior in 1995. This study got her fired from her position as the chairperson of the first department of toxicology in a dental school (Forsyth Research Institute in Boston), reminding us how hard it is to separate serious science on this issue from political interference from those who are determined to keep this practice regardless of its human costs.
Now we have over 150 animal studies that show that fluoride can interfere with various aspects of brain function; 45 studies that show that fluoride interferes with the ability of animals to learn and remember and 51 human studies that have associated exposure to fluoride with loss of IQ. And some of the best of these studies have been carried out at doses exceeded by many children in fluoridated communities. Using standard risk assessment techniques, former U.S. EPA risk assessment specialist, Willam Hirzy PhD, has shown that 1.4 mg/day is associated with a lowering of IQ by 5 IQ points in one well-conducted Chinese study (Xiang et al., 2003a, 2003b). See a comprehensive summary of these studies here.
In November 2016, FAN, together with a coalition of other groups and individuals (*see below), presented a petition to the US EPA to end the deliberate addition of this neurotoxic substance to the public drinking water under provisions in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
EPA dismissed the petition based on a questionable interpretation of Congress’s recent amendments to TSCA.
EPA has again marshaled this same troubling interpretation of TSCA in its motion to dismiss our lawsuit, which prompted the Natural Resources Defense Council to file an amicus brief opposing EPA’s motion.
EPA’s motion to dismiss was heard yesterday (Nov. 30) in Federal Court in San Francisco. Michael Connett argued the motion for us and said the hearing went well. He is cautiously optimistic that the judge will deny EPA’s motion to dismiss.
Since filing the petition our concerns on fluoride’s neurotoxicity have been validated from an unexpected source. A 12-year multimillion dollar study, financed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has shown an association between fluoride exposure to pregnant women in Mexico (as measured by fluoride in their urine) and lowered IQ in their offspring. The study was published in the world’s leading environmental health journal (Environment Health Perspectives). Even so this didn’t stop the American Dental Association and other promoters of fluoridation from dismissing the significance of the study for pregnant women in fluoridated communities even though the fluoride urine levels in the Mexican women are similar to U.S. levels. For example, most of the Mexican women had urine fluoride between 0.5 and 1.5mg/L. Studies have found that adults in the U.S. have between about 0.6 and 1.5mg/L, almost exactly the same range.
Incredibly, this important study was not covered in the New York Times, Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. So even when our concerns are validated few people – including key decision-makers and many others who could help us on this issue – hear about it.
Our message is not complicated: It’s unconscionable for our government to sanction the deliberate addition of a neurotoxic substance to the drinking water of millions of children.
While we don’t have big money like our opponents, we are able to pay a handful of staff (Ellen Connett, Managing Director; Stu Cooper our Campaign Director; Chris Neurath our Research Director; and Jay Sanders our very creative Education and Outreach director – see his videotapes of the FAN conference presentations on our home page).
Importantly – and what makes FAN very, very special – is that our paid staff are very ably supported by a wonderful team of volunteers and advisers prepared to work pro bono, including our current acting Director, Bill Osmunson, DDS; Media officer Carol Kopf; Bill Hirzy from DC; Rick North from Portland; Jack Crowther from Rutland, Vermont; Hardy Limeback from Canada; and so many more including people from other countries (Mary Byrne from FAN NZ; Merilyn Haines from FAN Australia; Declan Waugh from FAN Ireland, others from the UK, Israel, Malaysia, Japan and many fabulous activists in Canada). A wonderful team armed with dedication and integrity.
We have served FAN members like you for 17 years – and now we are coming to you once again for your financial support. Your (tax deductible) donation makes you part of this special FAN team –part of an extraordinary worldwide network –- part of the FAN family.
We need your help more than ever because we are anticipating a larger budget for next year as we need to hire a full-time director in 2018.
Our ambitious – but necessary – target this year is $200,000 from 1000 donors. Please give whatever you can. We pledge to honor your donation by doing our very best not to let you down.
104 Walnut Street
Binghamton, New York 13905
Paul Connett, PhD
FAN Senior Advisor and
part of the FAN 2017 Fundraising team
*The coalition petitioning EPA are: Fluoride Action Network, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Food & Water Watch, International Academy on Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Moms Against Fluoridation, Organic Consumers Union, as well as these mothers on behalf of their children: Audrey Adams, Jacqueline Denton, Valerie Green, Kristin Lavelle, and Brenda Staudenmaier.