Landmark Fluoride Lawsuit Restarts in January: Here Are Four Reasons You Should Care

By Derrick Broze

After eight years in legal limbo, the second phase of the fluoride lawsuit will begin in January. Will we see the end of water fluoridation in the United States?

On Monday, December 4, Judge Edward Chen called for the second phase of the long-delayed fluoride lawsuit to resume in person in San Francisco on January 31, 2024. The proceedings will be the latest hearings in an eight-year legal battle between the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). The battle began following the EPA’s 2016 decision to deny the plaintiff’s petition under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The FAN is attempting to prove that fluoride is a neurotoxin and should be regulated or banned under the TSCA.

What’s at stake is nothing less than the future of water fluoridation in the US. Heralded as one of the CDC’s top achievements of the 20th century, the practice of adding fluoride to the water supply has long been deemed a common sense activity carried out by every modern city. To even question the safety of such a practice is to be derided as a conspiracy quack and rejected by polite society.

Nevertheless, concerns about the health dangers associated with ingesting byproducts of phosphate mining have existed since water fluoridation began in the 1940s. The FAN and its co-plaintiffs are simply the latest in a long line of scientists and activists who have opposed the practice of water fluoridation on several counts, including health dangers, bodily autonomy, and financial waste.

The first phase of the fluoride lawsuit took place in June 2020 when the world was locked down during the COVID-19 crisis. TLAV exclusively reported on the daily proceedings of the lawsuit. By August 2020, Judge Chen had delayed a ruling until new studies from the US government were released. However, the public release of those studies was delayed several times. Judge Chen would eventually rule that the trial could resume in January and that the proceedings would take place in person for the first time because of the end of COVID-19 restrictions,

Despite the potentially history-making implications of this lawsuit, there has been little to no mainstream coverage of the hearings. In fact, there has been very little reporting outside of TLAV. This is unfortunate because there have been several huge revelations in recent years. Hopefully, with this second phase of the trial, we will see a renewed interest in the actual science behind water fluoridation. As someone who has been reporting on and fighting against water fluoridation since 2010, I see numerous reasons to end the practice and no reason to continue it.

Please do what you can to educate your friends and family about the upcoming second phase of the fluoride lawsuit. In the meantime, here are four reasons you should care about this ongoing legal conflict:

1. Harvard Scientist Says He Was Threatened over Fluoride Science

In the first days of the lawsuit, we heard from the plaintiffs’ witness, Dr. Phillip Grandjean, a Danish environmental epidemiologist known for his work on the neurotoxicity of mercury. Granjean helped the EPA establish safe regulatory levels for mercury in the diet.

During his testimony, Dr. Grandjean stated he had been threatened or coerced by a colleague at the Harvard Dental School after one of his studies concluded that fluoride was a neurotoxin. On cross-examination, Department of Justice lawyer Debra Carfora asked Grandjean about a statement he signed downplaying the significance of the results. Grandjean stated that the Harvard press department put the statement together and added his name to it. The statement said the researchers still agreed with the CDC’s position that water fluoridation is safe. Dr. Grandjean did not elaborate upon who threatened him or how often such threats may happen in his field. He also stated that the “fluoride lobby” infiltrated a World Health Organization committee seeking to exclude any mention of the harmful effects of fluoride.

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On the specific harmful effects of fluoride, Dr. Grandjean stated in his deposition that “the weight of epidemiological evidence leaves no reasonable doubt that developmental neurotoxicity is a serious human health risk associated with elevated fluoride exposure.” Dr. Grandjean has also stated that efforts to control human fluoride exposure need to focus on pregnant women and small children.

During his testimony, Granjean took particular issue with statements made by the EPA’s expert, Dr. Ellen Chang. “What she has written should not be relied upon… This is not science, this is simply a misleading report.” Grandjean continued, stating, “I’m embarrassed that the EPA would recruit Dr. Chang, who has already tried to kill some of my work on polyfluorinated chemicals, that they would recruit her to write this report full of biases. I get a little upset about it… I’m sorry to see what has happened to a colleague that works for a product defense firm.”

Read more here.

2. The #FluorideEmails Show Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine Blocked Release of Fluoride Review

Emails between the US National Toxicology Program and the CDC contain the claim that Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine prevented the release of a long-delayed review on the toxicity of fluoride. Attorneys with the Fluoride Action Network released the emails as part of open records requests.

The emails specifically reveal the claim that Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine intervened to stop the release of the NTP review, also known internally as a monograph. An email dated June 3rd, 2022, shows Nicole Johnson, Associate Director for Policy, Partnerships, and Strategic Communication in CDC’s Oral Health Division contacting Jennifer Greaser, a senior public health policy analyst in CDC’s Washington office. Johnson states: “The latest we heard (yesterday) is that ASH Levine has put the report on hold until further notice.”

Something in the Water: 12 Steps to Ending Fluoridation in Your Town

Michael Connett, an attorney with FAN, outlined the findings of the emails in several exhibits submitted to Judge Chen. These emails confirm that the NTP considered the May 2022 monograph to be the NTP’s final report,” Connett writes. “They also confirm that the CDC was opposed to the NTP releasing the report, and that leadership at the top levels of the Department of Health Human Services intervened to stop the report from being released.”

Read more here.

3. Long-Delayed Review Shows US Government Scientists Believe Fluoride Lowers IQ in Children

In May 2023, the US National Toxicology Program released a long-delayed controversial review of the science behind claims that fluoride reduces children’s IQs. The NTP review from May 2022 confirms the findings of two earlier drafts from 2019 and 2020, which concluded that prenatal and early life exposure to fluoride can reduce IQ.

The NTP review was released with a table of contents detailing the more than 1,500 pages of documents. Other documents include comments from external peer reviewers and internal departments within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as the NTP scientists’ responses.

The summary of the May 2022 version of the NTP monograph states that “this review finds, with moderate confidence, that higher fluoride exposure is consistently associated with lower IQ in children. More studies are needed to fully understand the potential for lower fluoride exposure to affect children’s IQ.” [emphasis added]

Although the release of the NTP review is a positive development for the Fluoride Action Network and plaintiffs, FAN told The Last American Vagabond they “have very little confidence NTP will ever officially release the monograph as a final report. HHS has now taken over the process and controls the show.”

Read more here.

4. US Government Scientists Had to Fight to Preserve Their Conclusion That Fluoride Is Causing Harm

In addition to the NTP draft monograph on fluoride’s impact on IQ in children, several other documents were included in the May 2023 release. One of the documents was a July 2022 meta-analysis titled “Association between fluoride exposure and children’s intelligence: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” The scientists behind this meta-analysis drew similar conclusions as the monograph:

“This meta-analysis confirms results of previous meta-analyses and extends them by including newer, more precise studies with individual-level exposure measures. The consistency of the data supports an inverse association between fluoride exposure and children’s IQ.”

Other documents include several sections with comments from external reviewers and responses from the scientists within the NTP. Over and over, these comments illustrate that the NTP believed they had adequately addressed previous concerns from reviewers and that their review was complete. Some of the back-and-forth centers around a desire expressed in the review to have the NTP insert statements noting that the majority of the studies being reviewed involved exposure to fluoride at levels above the US government’s recommended dose for water fluoridation.

The NTP scientists repeatedly assert their view that adding such a statement is unnecessary because water fluoridation is not the only exposure an individual faces. “As we discuss in the monograph, fluoride is found in water, certain foods, dental products, some pharmaceuticals, etc., and individual behaviors are likely to be an important determinant of actual total fluoride exposures,” the NTP writes.

In another response, the scientists reiterate their reasoning, stating:

“It is true that our stated confidence assessment is based primarily on studies with total exposures higher than those generally associated with consumption of optimally fluoridated water in the United States. However, the confidence assessment also includes findings from studies with fluoride exposures that are similar to, or lower than, those associated with optimally fluoridated water supplies in the United States.”

Another comment from the NTP states that “several of the highest quality studies showing lower IQs in children were done in optimally fluoridated (0.7 mg/L) areas…many urinary fluoride measurements exceed those that would be expected from consuming water that contains fluoride at 1.5 mg/L.

The comments from NTP experts offer further confirmation that the NTP believed their monograph on fluoride was ready for public release. The researchers conclude by stating:

“Although there are limitations in the body of evidence, the low risk-of-bias studies demonstrate a relationship between higher fluoride exposure and neurodevelopmental effects, even in very young children, which supports the consistency in evidence shown in children’s IQ studies of an association between fluoride exposure and adverse effects on cognitive neurodevelopment.”

Read more here.

Source: The Last American Vagabond

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Derrick Broze, a staff writer for The Last American Vagabond, is a journalist, author, public speaker, and activist. He is the co-host of Free Thinker Radio on 90.1 Houston, as well as the founder of The Conscious Resistance Network & The Houston Free Thinkers.

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