A federal judge has ordered EPA to provide internal documents and allow plaintiffs to depose agency staff on the risks posed by fluoridation, mandates that highlight the effect of an earlier ruling allowing the plaintiffs to introduce new evidence in their landmark Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) suit rather than limiting it to the agency’s record.
In an Oct. 4 order, Judge Edward Chen, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, ordered EPA to release internal documents regarding its scientists’ views of a study linking fluoridation to IQ decrements, as well as ordering EPA to allow plaintiffs to depose agency staff on whether its existing fluoride standards consider neurotoxicity risks.
The order marks the latest in a series of potentially precedential losses the agency has suffered in the landmark TSCA suit, Food & Water Watch Inc., et al, v. EPA, where environmentalists and public health groups are seeking to force EPA to grant their petition seeking to ban the practice of treating drinking water with fluoride.
“In my view, it’s quite significant going forward … [Chen] didn’t provide any qualifications. He allowed deposition and forced EPA to search for internal documents,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Michael Connett with Waters Kraus & Paul’s Los Angeles office, tells Inside EPA. “Even though [the order] is not technically precedential, it’s nevertheless helpful guidance for future courts” because this case is the first of its kind.t appears EPA’s safety standards did not meaningfully consider fluoride neurotoxicity, and, as such, cannot be used to demonstrate a neurological safe level of fluoride.” …
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