Fluoride Action Network

What is the Precautionary Principle?

Fluoride Action Network | Bulletin | April 25, 2018

In Sept 2017, a 12-year rigorous US-government study (Bashash, et al., 2017) confirmed 51 previous studies that links fluoride exposure to lowered IQ in children. This finding should trigger the Precautionary Principle and we urge campaigners to consider bringing it to the attention of your local councilors. But what is this principle?

We wrote a chapter on this in our book The Case Against Fluoride (Connett, Beck and Micklem, Chelsea Green, 2010). Today we share below one of the best definitions we’ve come across. It comes from a UNESCO report on the history of the Precautionary Principle. But first a quick update on our fundraiser.

As of yesterday, we had raised $55,520 from 406 supporters towards our TSCA lawsuit legal fund*. This includes a pledge of $500 for having reached the 400-donor milestone. Another 24 donors – of any amount – will trigger a massive pledge of $5,000 as we edge our way closer and closer to the $75,000, which will be tripled if we reach this goal by May 31. A huge thank you to all who have contributed so far.

Please consider donating today and becoming a member of the team that is taking the Environmental Protection Agency to court* in an attempt to end the deliberate addition of a known neurotoxin into the public drinking water.

How to donate

Or by Check, payable to the Fluoride Action Network. Send your check to:
Fluoride Action Network
c/o Connett
104 Walnut Street
Binghamton NY 13905

The Precautionary Principle

By UNESCO, 2005 page 14, box 2
(United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization)

When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm. Morally unacceptable harm refers to harm to humans or the environment that is

• threatening to human life or health, or
• serious and effectively irreversible, or
• inequitable to present or future generations, or
• imposed without adequate consideration of the human rights of those affected.

The judgement of plausibility should be grounded in scientific analysis. Analysis should be ongoing so that chosen actions are subject to review. Uncertainty may apply to, but need not be limited to, causality or the bounds of the possible harm.

Actions are interventions that are undertaken before harm occurs that seek to avoid or diminish the harm. Actions should be chosen that are proportional to the seriousness of the potential harm, with consideration of their positive and negative consequences, and with an assessment of the moral implications of both action and inaction. The choice of action should be the result of a participatory process.

On behalf of the FAN team, thank you.

Paul and Ellen Connett

* The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prohibit the “particular use” of a chemical that presents an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible subpopulations. TSCA gives EPA the authority to prohibit drinking water additives.

The Fluoride Action Network together with Food & Water Watch, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, Moms Against Fluoridation and others petitioned EPA to exercise its authority to prohibit the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to U.S. water supplies. We made this request on the grounds that a large body of animal, cellular, and human research shows that fluoride is neurotoxic at doses within the range now seen in fluoridated communities.

We have won the first two rounds in Federal Court. The first was the Dec 21, 2017, ruling to allow the case to go forward, thus ending EPA’s effort to dismiss the case. The second ruling on Feb 7, 2018, allows us to enter new studies into consideration, something that EPA argued against.

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