Recap of Day Six
In a nutshell, day 6 was the conclusion of the EPA’s defense and simply put they did not put a dent into the plaintiff’s case that the deliberate addition of fluoride into the public drinking water presented an unreasonable risk to the mental development of the fetus and the infant.
First up was Dr. Ellen Chang an expert from the Exponent, the firm that many polluting industries use to protect their chemicals. Before she spoke the EPA told the court that they were dropping their use of the abstract of a fluoride/IQ study using a new cohort from Spain that has yet to be published. Discussion of this abstract made up much of Chang’s testimony on day five, so throwing it out as evidence was a major blow to the EPA’s case.
When Chang spoke she appeared somewhat chastened, and in her responses to questions from the judge she essentially acknowledged that the human cohort studies of pregnant women and their offspring in Mexico City (Bashash 2017, 2018) and Canada (Green 2019) were of high quality and her reservations were fairly mild. When Judge Chen dug deeper and asked her directly to provide examples of errors in these studies, her answer was that she didn’t want to provide any because they would be speculative as she didn’t have the raw study data, inflicting serious damage to her claims of errors.
Next up was Dr Tala Henry, Director of the EPA’s Risk Assessment Division, who has 25 years of risk assessment experience at the agency. Her testimony focused on the many hurdles presented to those who attempt a risk assessment and risk evaluation of a chemical.
Under questioning from EPA lawyer Debra Carfaora, she indicated that FAN’s experts had not negotiated all those hurdles to her satisfaction. However, under cross examination from Michael Connett, the plaintiff’s lawyer, he showed that she wasn’t an expert on fluoride, and that her testimony on the stand contradicted in many ways what she had said in her deposition testimony. He offered about a dozen examples of impeachment testimony, making it painfully obvious that she wasn’t a credible expert witness.
In an article in Law 360 today, Michael’s most destructive blow to Dr. Henry during cross-examination came when he asked:
“You held the plaintiffs to a burden of proof that EPA has not held a single chemical under section 6 [of the Toxic Substances Control Act] before, correct?” Connett asked.
“By the words on the page, I guess that’s true,” Henry said. “But it was really, my opinion was based mostly on the methodological problems.”
The EPA’s attorney offered a good summation of their expert witnesses’ testimony, when at one point the lawyer was caught on a hot mic saying, “This is not helpful!”
The EPA closed its case with a short video segment of Dr. Joyce Donohue, the predominant fluoride expert in the EPA’s Office of Water. If anything, this video strengthened our case and did not weaken it.
Now onto day 7 – the final day of phase one of the trial. We will hear concluding statements from both sides. Whatever you do, don’t miss this. It could be FAN’s finest moment in our 20 year’s existence and our scientific and educational effort to end fluoridation worldwide.
Watch The Closing Arguments
Our final day in court will start this morning at 8:30AM (Pacific) / 11:30AM (Eastern). We are expecting some statements from depositions to be read into the record, followed by closing arguments, and possibly a short rebuttal from a witness. If there was one day to watch, this is it!
You can watch or listen from any computer or mobile device with internet using Zoom (Download Zoom). You can also listen to the trial using your phone as you would a typical conference call.
If you cannot listen in on the trial, FAN will also continue LIVE Tweeting the highlights from the proceedings so even more of you can join in the excitement of this historic event.
Here is the direct link to watch the trial:
Meeting ID: 160 727 5798
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**Recording or re-broadcasting the trial is prohibited by the court**
A huge thank you to all who have donated so far to our campaign. We have raised $33,513 from 279 supporters on our way to reaching our goal of $50,000 from 300 donors to fund our operating budget through the reminder of 2020.
How to Make a Tax-Deductible Donate:
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- Or by Check, payable to the Fluoride Action Network. Mail your check to:
Fluoride Action Network
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Binghamton NY 13905
Paul Connett, PhD
Fluoride Action Network