Good news! Last Thursday, the Judge granted Plaintiffs’ motion to add additional standing evidence into the case, which should help fully satisfy the Judge’s prior concerns on this issue and ensure that the case is resolved on the merits. The Judge also made clear that he is very keen to read the National Toxicology Program’s finalized report on fluoride’s neurotoxicity, which is expected sometime later this year, as well as other new science on the issue, including an upcoming pooled analysis of the NIH-funded birth cohort studies. In order to consider this new science, the Judge discussed having a “phase 2 trial” where Plaintiffs and EPA can introduce additional expert testimony on the NTP report and other developments. The next status hearing will be on August 26 at 10:30AM (Pacific US).
While the plaintiffs believe they have already presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that fluoridation poses an unacceptable risk, they appreciate the seriousness with which the Judge is taking the case, and his commitment to having the science govern the result.
Since its formation in 2000, the Fluoride Action Network has believed that when scientists and the public learn of the poor science underpinning water fluoridation, that the practice would fall under its own weight. That belief has steadily grown as more and more scientific research has shown the dangers fluoride poses to a number of tissues including the teeth, the bone, the kidneys, the endocrine system and particularly the brain. All of this science we have meticulously cataloged in our health database and shared with visitors to our website. But this educational exercise has not been a simple matter – against us every step of the way has been an entrenched lobby, including both dental interests and the public health bureaucracies in largely English speaking countries – who refuse to give up this practice. For them fluoridation has always been and always will be “safe and effective.” No amount of science will change their minds. Given a level playing ground they would be laughed out of court. Hitherto, they have had the power to convince the world that “black is white.” But now we are actually in court and it is a level playing field!
In light of this, the Judge’s keen interest in following the science has been, and remains, a welcome development. Although he didn’t say it, the Judge’s comments suggest that he doesn’t want to hear any more obfuscation from EPA in lieu of science, and that they can’t win this case by simply appealing to their authority.
Paul Connett, PhD
Fluoride Action Network