Fluoride Action Network

Judge handles final motions before TSCA fluoride trial

Source: Inside EPA | June 5th, 2020


In one of his rulings, Judge Edward Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that all witnesses providing testimony in Food & Water Watch, et al. v. EPA would be allowed to listen to the entire trial, including opposing witnesses, despite a request from plaintiffs to bar this practice as is usually the case in criminal trials.

“I’m sitting there as if I were doing the task the [EPA] administrator would normally do. [TSCA and EPA] don’t have exclusionary rules,” Chen said. “It does seem to me for this particular kind of case, if there is a case not to [use court procedural] rule 615, this is it. This is not a police case. We’re trying to find the scientific truth. . . . All experts should be able to listen in.”

The suit is a first-time challenge to EPA’s dismissal of a citizen’s petition under TSCA. It is slated to go to a virtual trial beginning June 8, where plaintiffs will seek to prove the practice of water fluoridation leads to neurological harms that pose an “unreasonable risk” and require regulation.

In an order issued last month, Chen barred the agency from presenting evidence on the practice’s benefits while leaving the door open for EPA to argue that it should defer any regulation…

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