Fluoride Action Network

OPINION: As Fluoride Trial Wraps Up, EPA Defends its Inaction

Pagosa Daily Post | Feb 26, 2024| By Leo Cashman
Posted on February 26th, 2024
Location: United States, Colorado

Final arguments have been made by the attorneys for the two sides in the federal court fluoride trial, and a clash of ideas has been laid before the judge. The plaintiffs, buttressed by expert testimony of the most eminent fluoride researchers in the world, claim to have demonstrated that fluoridated water causes brain injury to the developing fetus and to small children, and hence should regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) . The EPA, the defendant in the trial, argues in its defense that the studies regarding this claim are too uncertain and too inconsistent to allow them to even enter into a risk analysis of fluoride’s impact.

EPA claims that the available data is too inconsistent, and leaves too many questions, to allow it to conclude that there is a demonstrable hazard or any clear dose-response curve for the alleged harm by fluoride to children’s brains.

In sum, EPA is saying: no clear hazards, so no ability to engage in risk assessment. With no risk assessment, EPA is off the hook, and there is no need for it to do anything. There is nothing for it to prove, there is no burden of demonstrating the safety of water fluoridation – the only burden of proof is on the plaintiffs. And they say the plaintiffs have not met their burden of proof and therefore the judge should rule against them, finding EPA blameless.

Howard Hu, MD, MPH
The plaintiffs’ lineup of experts was stellar: some of the most widely acclaimed fluoride researchers in the world. Physician-scientist Howard Hu, MD, MPH, a professor at the University of Southern California, was a co-author of the NIH-funded ELEMENT (Early Life) study on a mother-child cohort in Mexico City, where fluoridated salt is involved instead of fluoride added to the water. The ELEMENT study found that the fluoride in the mother’s urine correlated with lower IQ in children at age four and at ages six-12.
2019 studies also find IQ link

Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH
Plaintiffs’ second witness was Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH , a professor of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Dr. Lanphear was a co-author of the MIREC (Maternal Infant Research on the Environment) study which looked at a cohort of mother-child pairs in Canada. In 2019, this study found that higher levels of fluoride in the urine of pregnant women were associated with lower IQs in their children. Dr Lanphear was also a co-author of another 2019 study that found that children who had been bottle fed in fluoridated communities had lower IQs than children who had been nursed by their mother’s breast milk. Breast milk is very low in fluoride, even in communities where the water is fluoridated.

Philippe Grandjean, MD PhD
Plaintiff’s third expert was Philippe Grandjean, MD PhD , Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark, and an adjunct professor of Public Health at Harvard. Grandjean is one of the most eminent experts on lead and other toxic substances, as well as fluoride. He authored a paper that combined data from a study he did in Odense, Denmark, with data from the ELEMENT study and from the MIREC study. Combining those data, Grandjean found a statistically significant association between urinary fluoride levels in the mothers and lowered IQ scores in their children. He did not publish the results from the Odense data by itself, because Denmark is not fluoridated and so there were no significant higher-dosed mother-child pairs to compare with lower-dosed ones. He didn’t expect his Odense data to reveal a fluoride hazard by itself.

Kathleen Thiessen, PhD
The plaintiffs’ fourth science expert was Kathleen Thiessen, PhD, senior scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis in Tennessee. She is recognized as a leading expert on the endocrine-disrupting effects of fluoride exposure, and she wrote the chapter on fluoride as an endocrine disruptor for the National Research Council’s 2006 comprehensive review, Fluoride in Drinking Water . Harm to maternal thyroid function is well known to be a mechanism in which fetal brain development is impaired, and this was emphasized in that review. Thiessen testified that water fluoridation presents a hazard to child brain development.
EPA expert ignorant of Roholm research and much more

EPA’s science experts
EPA’s science experts, David Savitz, PhD and Stanley Barone, PhD, are admittedly not fluoride experts and have never published any research on fluoride. Savitz is a Professor of Epidemiology at Brown University and Baron is a risk assessment scientist at the EPA. Upon cross examination, Savitz made several stunning admissions. Namely, he didn’t know anything about Kaj Roholm’s research in Denmark. Roholm was the world’s first great fluoride researcher, and he documented the severe harm that fluoride caused in occupational exposure of workers at a cryolite plant and compared it to harm caused by fluoride in pigs, rats, and dogs.

Roholm published a book on his findings, and because of Roholm’s honest science reports most of Europe never fluoridated its water. Savitz admitted he know nothing of the work of Phyllis Mullenix, PhD, who published a landmark paper in 1995 establishing that, in her animal study, fluoride dramatically harms brain development. Following her work, the scientists at the EPA mounted a protest effort against EPA’s anti-science stance on fluoride. Savitz admitted that, while he’d heard about the NRC’s landmark review on fluoride and drinking water, he’d never read it.

Judge Edward Chen
Judge Edward Chenwill now decide whether the EPA’s claims of uncertainty are a smokescreen to justify its inaction on water fluoridation and whether the plaintiffs have met their burden of proof to establish that water fluoridation presents a real neurotoxic hazard to children’s brains. A ruling favorable to the plaintiffs would help bring an end, finally, to a controversial practice that tries to force fluoride consumption on over 200 million people in the United States.

Leo Cashman is the cofounder of National Health Freedom Coalition.

Original article online at: https://pagosadailypost.com/2024/02/26/opinion-as-fluoride-trial-wraps-up-epa-defends-its-inaction/