With fluorosis rates skyrocketing and studies continuing to show that fluoride is both neurotoxic and not particularly effective at preventing cavities, a lot of attention is focused on a lawsuit that’s finally headed for the US District Court in San Francisco.
The twice-delayed trial involves a group of plaintiffs – plaintiffs led by the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) – who are suing the EPA to end the 75 year old practice of adding fluoride to public water systems. Federal judge Edward M. Chen will preside over the case, set to begin June 8.
FAN’s executive director, Dr. Paul Connett, recently hailed the judge’s recent ruling that the purported benefits of community water fluoridation can’t be introduced as part of the trial. Connett says this keeps the focus where it belongs: on recent scientific studies.
“This case is groundbreaking for the opposition to fluoridation,” Connett said in a news release.
Several well-conducted and government funded mother-offspring studies indicate that fluoride has the potential to lower the children’s IQ. These studies have changed the ball-game on the argument over fluoride’s neurotoxicity.
Three experts for the plaintiffs who the EPA sought to exclude from the trial have been cleared by the judge to testify: Dr. Philippe Grandjean of Harvard and the University of Southern Denmark, Dr. Howard Hu of the University of Washington, and Dr. Bruce Lanphear of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
According to Michael Connett, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, these scientists are “some of the world’s leading experts on fluoride’s neurotoxicity.”
Of course, the EPA will be bringing in its own experts, including Ellen Chang, ScD and Joyce Tsuji, PhD, from the consulting firm Exponent, a company that opponents claim “routinely bends conclusions to the needs of clients.” The company’s forte, critics say, is
muddying the waters by attacking research showing evidence of harm, highlighting or exaggerating scientific uncertainties about health hazards, and calling for more research to delay action. The result, critics say, is a pro-industry imprint on scientific literature.
David Michaels, who headed OSHA from 2009 to 2017, has also criticized Exponent and several of its “science-for-hire rivals” in his 2008 book Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens Your Health.
Exponent’s scientists are prolific writers of scientific reports and papers. While some may exist, I have yet to see an Exponent study that does not support the conclusion needed by the corporation or trade association that is paying the bill.
Due to COVID-19, the fluoridation trial will be run by video conference and last just 2-weeks. And while details have yet to be shared, by law, the court case must be accessible to the public. Once we know how and where you can view the trial, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Maybe we’ll all be able to witness history in the making as fluoridation finally gets struck down!