Fluoride Action Network

The Fluoride Lawsuit Comes to an End: Federal Judge to Decide the Future of Water Fluoridation

Last American Vagabond | Feb 21, 2024 | By Derrick Broze
Posted on February 21st, 2024

On Tuesday, Michael Connett, lead attorney representing the Fluoride Action Network and plaintiffs, made his final attempt to convince U.S. district judge Edward Chen that the 80-year-old practice of water fluoridation is lowering IQ in children and should be banned.

Throughout the proceedings of the final day of the lawsuit, Connett argued that despite uncertainty surrounding the exact concentration at which fluoride causes harm, the evidence that plaintiffs presented over the last two weeks makes it clear that fluoride is a neurotoxin. He encouraged the judge not to let the “perfect be the enemy of the good”.

“We do not need for every piece of the puzzle to fit before we take steps to prevent harm,” Connett nearly shouted during the hearing. “We need to take action when we have evidence of risk, and we have that here.”

The hearing was the final day of the second phase of the long-delayed fluoride lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by FAN, Moms Against Fluoridation, and individual plaintiffs who are seeking to prove that fluoride is a neurotoxin and should be banned. The plaintiffs filed suit after the EPA’s 2016 decision to deny their petition.

Brandon Adkins, a Department of Justice attorney representing the EPA, repeatedly told Judge Chen that his court would be an “outlier” if he ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Adkins claimed the EPA’s expert witnesses, Dr. Stanley Barone, and Dr. David Savitz, proved that the evidence of fluoride’s neurotoxicity is not clear enough to rule against the agency.

Adkins stated that for the plaintiffs to prevail, they must prove that fluoride is a neurotoxin at 0.7 milligrams per liter, and the EPA does not believe they have done so.

Adkins noted that if the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the judge would have to select a “point of departure”, i.e., the point at which harm from water fluoridation begins. He insisted that to rule in such a way would be an error on the court’s part.

“The court would be in uncharted territory if it were to rely on a systematic review to do that here,” Adkins stated. Ruling against the EPA, he said, “would not reflect the best available science”.

Judge Chen asked Adkins what he is supposed to do with the fact that there is “unanimous agreement” that fluoride is causing harm. “Even if it’s hard to find the point where the lowest adverse effect is being observed, clearly there is an effect,” Judge Chen commented.

The EPA’s other main argument was that a risk evaluation under TSCA requires the EPA to look at the Condition of Use (COU) of a particular chemical or compound that is being reviewed. In this case, the COU is water fluoridation, not fluoride from other sources of exposure.

“It is plaintiffs duty to prove that fluoride presents an unreasonable risk, under the COU at issue, community water fluoridation, at 0.7 milligram per liter,” Adkins told the judge. “They cannot do that.”

The EPA told the judge that TSCA requires a finding of risk, not uncertainty or assumption of risk. When Adkins told Judge Chen that “we don’t even know which way the data goes”, the judge responded by noting that, “We can certainly tell there is a ‘direction’ or a relationship between the higher concentration of water fluoridation levels.”

Health Protective Assumption

FAN attorney Michael Connett also made the case that the EPA has ignored what he called a “health protective assumption”. Connett told the judge that the EPA favors a “non-health protective assumption” in this case, choosing to assume that fluoride is safe instead of erring on the side of caution.

Judge Chen asked Connett if the idea of a health protective assumption was a statutory or regulatory mandate, or simply his interpretation of the EPA’s process. Connett responded by showing statements from the EPA’s expert witness Dr. Stanley Barone, where Barone specifically stated that the EPA uses a health protective assumption. Barone said this assumption was “part of our agency guidance”.

Foreign Studies Irrelevant According to EPA

EPA attorney Brandon Adkins repeatedly told Judge Chen that some of the studies presented in the lawsuit are not relevant because they are based on data from populations outside of the U.S. Adkins emphasized the studies came from Iran, India, and Pakistan, and thus there will be variables in the data that, he claimed, would make it inapplicable to the lawsuit.

Judge Chen responded by noting that the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) considered these studies and chose not to rule them out from their systematic review despite being from foreign nations. “You’re not asking the court to ignore the low risk of bias studies the NTP selected, are you?,” Judge Chen asked. The EPA said this was not their intention.

The final order of business revolved around whether or not Judge Chen will allow the video recordings of the recent hearings to be made available to the public as part of the Cameras in the Courtroom pilot project. Chen told the plaintiffs to file a motion and he would rule on it in the coming days.

What’s Next?

Judge Chen will now spend the coming weeks reviewing the expert testimony and the various studies submitted as evidence before he makes a ruling. A ruling by the judge could occur within a week, but could take as long as a month or two. If the ruling is in the favor of the plaintiffs the EPA would have the opportunity to appeal. However, the Fluoride Action Network recently noted that an appeal would “not require re-litigation of the entire scientific case”.

Whichever way Judge Chen rules, the fluoride lawsuit has already been historic and precedent setting. This is the first time a citizens petition under TSCA made it to a federal court. This is also the first time the dangers caused by water fluoridation have been presented in a federal court by expert scientists.

Additionally, the lawsuit helped uncover emails which highlight how elements of the U.S. government have sought to cover up the evidence linking fluoride to neurotoxicity in children. We have also learned that Harvard University and the World Health Organization have been infiltrated by the “Fluoride lobby”.

Is it any wonder that there has been absolutely zero corporate media coverage of this historic lawsuit?

Original article online at: https://derrickbroze.substack.com/p/the-fluoride-lawsuit-comes-to-an