Plaintiffs in first-time Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) trial called five witnesses June 10 as they sought to bolster their case that drinking water fluoridation poses an unreasonable risk and should be regulated.

The case, Food & Water Watch, Inc. et al v. EPA, is the first in which plaintiffs have succeeded in going to trial after EPA denied their petition for regulating the substance under TSCA section 21.

That is significant because it will allow Judge Edward Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to make a risk determination rather than the EPA administrator.

The five plaintiffs’ witnesses called June 10 were Dr. Howard Hu, an epidemiologist whose testimony began on June 8; Dr. Bruce Lanphear, a Canadian scientist whose work on lead and fluoride is well known;… and Dr. Kathleen Thiessen, a risk assessment professional for Oak Ridge Analysis, which has completed work for governmental clients, including EPA and CDC.

The plaintiffs’ questioning of Lanphear sought to establish his reputation as a respected scientist, who has served as an advisor to EPA on multiple occasions, as well as having had research funded by EPA and the National Institute of Health.

… Lanphear admitted that he had little first-hand experience with Exponent, but considered them similar to another scientific consulting firm, Gradient, who he charged with trying to dismiss some of his previous research on lead.

“My work has been more impacted by Gradient, which is another of what we epidemiologists call ‘rented white coat industries’,” Lanphear said…

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