Fluoride Lawsuit Towards EPA: Alleged Corruption, Stunning Beneath Oath Federal Statements

On this sequence, we discover the contentious findings surrounding fluoridation of the U.S. public water provide and reply the query of whether or not water fluoridation poses a threat and what we must always do about it.

Beforehand: A confounding issue within the fluoride debate is the arsenic that contaminates the economic sources of fluoride added to public water techniques.

A groundbreaking federal lawsuit might ban fluoride from ingesting water, overturning a decades-long program aimed toward stopping cavities that has been challenged by mounting proof of hurt.

The Fluoride Motion Community (FAN) sued the Environmental Safety Company (EPA) beneath the Poisonous Substances Management Act in 2017, and it seems to be nearing its conclusion. Beneath the act, residents can problem the EPA in courtroom when the company rejects a petition to ban or regulate a poisonous substance. The FAN’s swimsuit is the primary within the 44-year historical past of the act to really get to trial.

The lawsuit has included pointed testimony from main specialists on environmental toxins and admissions from each EPA and Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) officers that fluoride could possibly be linked to particular harms. The lawsuit has additionally revealed authorities interference in essential scientific findings.

In From the Fringes

The lawsuit has introduced consideration to new analysis that hyperlinks fluoride publicity to damaging neurodevelopment results, issues which have generally been deemed conspiracy theories.

“Opposition to fluoridation is now at the very least 70 years outdated, however for many of that point has been wrongly dismissed as a fringe and unscientific place,” FAN’s govt director, Paul Connett, stated in an announcement.

“The quickly rising science on developmental neurotoxicity, particularly lack of IQ from early life publicity to fluoride, is a game-changer.”

Lots of crucial science on fluoride has come through analysis funded with hundreds of thousands of {dollars} by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being.

A few of that analysis has concluded that “the chance to kids is simply too nice to contemplate water fluoridation secure,” Connett stated.

The Background

The lawsuit started after the EPA rejected a petition filed in November 2016 that known as on the company to “defend the general public and prone subpopulations from the neurotoxic dangers of fluoride by banning the addition of fluoridation chemical compounds to water.”

The petition referenced greater than 2,500 pages of scientific documentation detailing the dangers of water fluoridation to human well being, together with greater than 180 printed research displaying fluoride is linked to lowered IQ and neurotoxic hurt.

In its Feb. 27, 2017 response, the EPA rejected the petition, claiming it did not “set forth a scientifically defensible foundation to conclude that any individuals have suffered neurotoxic hurt on account of publicity to fluoride.”

In response to the denial, FAN and Meals & Water Watch filed the federal lawsuit in opposition to the EPA.

The Poisonous Substances Management Act is aimed at stopping hurt from environmental chemical hazards earlier than they happen and provides the EPA authority to control or ban the “explicit use” of chemical compounds that pose an “unreasonable threat” to human well being, together with prone subpopulations.

The EPA made a number of makes an attempt to have the case dismissed, every of which was denied by the courtroom. After either side made its closing remarks within the two-week trial in 2020, the courtroom made a shock determination to delay judgment.

A 2nd Section

Fairly than problem a judgment, in August 2020, the courtroom paused all proceedings and instructed the plaintiffs to file a brand new petition with the EPA together with the brand new scientific research.

They did so in November 2020, however the EPA denied it, citing inadequate scientific proof, stating, “With out the ultimate [National Toxicology Program] monograph, reconsidering the petition denial right now wouldn’t be prudent use of EPA’s sources.”

That monograph is the Nationwide Toxicology Program’s report on fluoride toxicity, a doc the federal government has been reluctant to launch.

The EPA’s rejection of the petition means a second section of the trial will happen. In explaining his determination to increase the trial, the choose famous the problem of ongoing science on the subject.

“A lot has modified because the petition was filed … two important sequence of research—respective cohort research—which everyone agrees is one of the best methodology. Everyone agrees that these have been rigorous research and everyone agrees that these research could be a part of one of the best accessible scientific proof,” stated Decide Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court docket for the Northern District of California.

Chen desires two paperwork within the subsequent section of trial.

  1. The systematic evaluate of fluoride’s neurotoxicity from the Nationwide Toxicology Program. This system’s report, which isn’t but finalized, has been a supply of controversy within the ongoing lawsuit. The report draft was made public on March 15, 2022, as a part of an settlement within the lawsuit, however inside CDC emails obtained by the Freedom of Info Act revealed authorities interference with its launch.
  2. A Benchmark Dose evaluation of fluoride’s neurotoxicity. The evaluation titled “A Benchmark Dose Evaluation for Maternal Being pregnant Urine-Fluoride and IQ in Kids” by Dr. Philippe Grandjean et al. was printed on June 8, 2021, within the journal Danger Evaluation.

The courtroom additionally expressed a priority that the EPA didn’t apply the correct customary of causation beneath the necessities of the Poisonous Substances Management Act in its evaluation of the well being hazards of fluoride.

In keeping with FAN, the courtroom has put aside two weeks to listen to testimony and cross-examination of knowledgeable witnesses primarily based on new printed analysis and proof that has come to mild because the final trial dates in 2020.

Revelations at Trial

Within the preliminary trial, Grandjean, Dr. Howard Hu, and Dr. Bruce Lanphear have been amongst noteworthy knowledgeable plaintiff witnesses.

Grandjean has printed round 500 scientific papers, and his research on the neurodevelopmental results of prenatal mercury publicity was utilized by the EPA to derive a reference dose for methylmercury.

Hu and Lanphear are identified for his or her seminal analysis on the affect and neurotoxicity of lead publicity, and each have labored with the EPA in knowledgeable advisory roles. Lanphear’s previous research have been utilized by the EPA to set the requirements on and rules of lead.

Each testified on the outcomes of their latest multiyear NIH-funded research on fluoride and neurodevelopment.

In his testimony, Hu stated his findings have been comparable in magnitude to the affect of lead publicity, and in his closing assertion stated, “It’s my opinion to an affordable diploma of scientific certainty, that the outcomes of the aspect research help the conclusion that fluoride is a developmental neurotoxicant at ranges of internalized publicity seen in water fluoridated communities.”

Equally, Lanphear closed his testimony by stating, “The collective proof from potential cohort research helps the conclusion that fluoride publicity throughout early mind growth diminishes the mental talents in younger kids, together with on the purportedly ‘optimum’ ranges of publicity for caries prevention.”

Grandjean, a doctor, environmental epidemiologist, and adjunct professor on the Harvard T.H. Chan College of Public Well being, testified on a weight of proof evaluation he did of all best-available analysis on fluoride and neurotoxicity.

“With an affordable diploma of scientific certainty, I due to this fact think about the elevated ranges of fluoride publicity within the U.S. inhabitants as a critical public well being concern,” he stated.

Science for Rent?

In keeping with courtroom paperwork, as a substitute of the EPA calling in their very own company’s specialists on fluoride, they employed the skin consultancy agency Exponent, bringing of their workers, principal scientists Ellen Chang and Joyce Tsuji, as knowledgeable witnesses.

Exponent says on its web site that one of many many areas it makes a speciality of is poisonous tort and supporting its shoppers on regulatory frameworks such because the Poisonous Substances Management Act. Additionally they notice they’ve testified in fairly a couple of state and federal courts.

Prior to now, Chang has produced systematic opinions for each Dow’s chemical Agent Orange, a herbicide utilized by the navy throughout the Vietnam Struggle to kill enemy crops, and Monsanto’s pesticide glyphosate.

Each opinions concluded that there was no constant or convincing proof of a “causal relationship” between publicity to the merchandise and well being dangers, though not all scientists and research agree with these conclusions.

Chang was additionally a key knowledgeable witness for 3M within the 2017 lawsuit filed by the state of Minnesota in opposition to the corporate for dumping PFC-containing waste into the Minnesota surroundings.

In her knowledgeable report, she argued that “no main well being or regulatory company has concluded {that a} causal impact has been established between publicity to PFOA, PFOS, or different and any hostile human well being end result.”

At present, the Worldwide Company for Analysis on Most cancers, which is a part of the World Well being Group (WHO), classifies PFOA as “presumably carcinogenic to people.”

Per trial paperwork, Chang criticized the standard of the peer-reviewed NIH-funded research linking fluoride to lowered IQ. She concluded that “the energy of the noticed associations doesn’t present persuasive proof.”

In keeping with courtroom paperwork, Chang and Tsuji testified that they weren’t specialists on fluoride previous to their retention for the lawsuit, and Chang had billed the EPA round $150,000 for her work.

In a September 2022 courtroom doc, protection legal professional Brandon N. Adkins notified the courtroom that on July 2022, Chang, the protection’s knowledgeable epidemiologist, was now not accessible as an knowledgeable witness within the case.

Federal Depositions

FAN introduced a number of sworn statements from leaders inside the CDC, the EPA, the FDA, and others from prior depositions.

The Epoch Occasions acquired video clips of a number of depositions and the petitioners’ abstract of the trial document, however hasn’t obtained the entire transcript of the trial.

Primarily based on these paperwork, Joyce Donahue, chief scientist on fluoride on the EPA’s Workplace of Water, admitted beneath oath that the latest research on fluoride neurotoxicity, together with the NIH-funded research, are “properly carried out” and warrant a reassessment of all current security requirements on fluoride.

Throughout his testimony, Casey Hannon, director of the Oral Well being Division on the CDC, said that the company, in reference to the intergovernmental work group, agreed with the Nationwide Analysis Council (NRC) that it’s obvious that fluorides have the flexibility to intervene with the features of the mind and the physique by direct and oblique means.

When requested if the CDC accepts that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor, Hannon replied, “We settle for the [2006] NRC report as a abstract of the hazard, sure.”

Moreover, when requested, Hannon stated that the CDC considers the American Dental Affiliation an outdoor companion that the CDC companions with to advertise group water fluoridation.

Alleged Fraud and Corruption

FAN has used the lawsuit to additionally draw consideration to what could also be systemic points inside the EPA.

Court docket paperwork included a Federal Worker Viewpoint Survey carried out by the U.S. Workplace of Personnel Administration.

Within the survey, 60.4 % of workers within the EPA’s Workplace of Air pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), answerable for imposing the Poisonous Substances Management Act, gave a “detrimental” evaluation relating to the honesty and integrity of senior leaders.

The paperwork additionally famous that 4 EPA scientists within the Workplace of Chemical Security and Air pollution Prevention (which incorporates the OPPT) have filed complaints alleging “fraud and corruption” associated to chemical threat assessments carried out beneath the act, together with the removing of potential well being results with out the information or consent of human well being assessors.

The survey and paperwork weren’t particular to the fluoride problem.

Subsequent: On the coronary heart of the continued trial over water fluoridation is the NTP’s six-year systematic evaluate of fluoride’s neurotoxicity. CDC emails obtained by the Freedom of Info Act reveal authorities efforts to cease the discharge of the evaluate.

Learn Half 1 – The Renewed Scientific Opposition to Water Fluoridation

Learn Half 2 – Uncovering the Variations: Why Pure Fluoride and Artificial Fluoride Are Not Created Equal

Learn Half 3 – Fluoride: A Miracle Treatment for Cavities, a Poison, or Each

Learn Half 4 – Well being Results of Fluoride: The Science

Learn Half 5 – New Research Hyperlink Fluoride to Lowered IQ and ADHD in Kids

Learn Half 6 – Hidden Fluoride in Our Meals, Medication, and Setting

Learn Half 7 – Arsenic: A Recognized Contaminant in Fluoride Added to the US Water Provide